Why College students are Really Leaving the Church

I’ve read several articles on the subject of  “Why the youth leave the church.”  Usually the articles give reasons such as, “They were never really saved,” or “they were never taught the importance of fellowship,” or “they weren’t discipled,” and the lists go on. While I don’t think the points made in the articles are incorrect, I do believe most of the lists are incomplete and do not adequately address one of  the biggest reasons people leave the church after…

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come back to church

American Easter: A letter to Easter-only churchgoers.

I sent a draft of this to my sister, Jaclyn. She said it made her cry, and she said you have to read it to the end. Easter Sunday afternoon, I wrote a Facebook post that said, “Happy ‘never see them again’ Sunday.” I shouldn’t have written that, especially in that way. I had some family quickly point that fact out. It was written out of a deep-seeded frustration. I’m not saying that makes it right, but today I’m going…

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Unacceptable Answers for Your Thinking Teens

I spent Dec. 29–31 at the Youth Alive conference in St. Louis. About 300 students from Missouri youth groups were in attendance. It’s been more than a week since the conference, but I’m still recovering as I was a room sponsor for my home church, was on the Questions and Answers panel, taught a breakout session and played bass in the band. I’d like to share with you something I learned at this conference. The youth group students in your…

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Disunity is a Luxury Good: In Praise of Doctrinal Statements

Have you read your church’s doctrinal statement? If you haven’t, or if you haven’t recently, you should read it. There is something about it that I think we should all pay particular attention to: The things that are not in it. I’ll use the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of America as my example, but I bet yours (if you’re Protestant or Evanelical of any kind) is similar. I don’t know who wrote the revised doctrinal statement for…

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This is Really Just a Facebook “Rant”

I’ve noticed a really strange trend in popular Christianity. Many people will say that people who hold to certain interpretations of things like Genesis, Revelation, free will/irresistable grace are crazy/nuts/dumb/heretics or at the very least incredibly dangerous to the faith. BUT THEN, I see these same people quote and laud and applaud popular teachers such as Keller, Piper, C.S. Lewis, or Ravi Zacharias and more about how great they are not knowing that these guys would hold to many of…

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steak

10 Tips to get off the “milk”

I believe many churches have a diet problem. While an article on gluttony would be sure to offend many and might be needed, I am talking about spiritual diets. I think we need to think of our spiritual depth in a new way. The conventional wisdom seems to be that you have to start new/immature believers on the “milk” of the Word and then slowly wean them off of it. I disagree. This strategy isn’t working. You might need to…

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Teaching Purity

Two weeks ago, I was in Magnolia, Arkansas speaking at a purity conference for teen girls.  We had a great time and I was so blessed by the women there and their hearts to serve, lead and mentor their youth. I have literally had months to study the topic of purity and to ask the Lord to reveal His ideas and His ways for teaching it.  I’ve been angered, convicted and overjoyed all in the same breath as He has…

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The Ripple of Ferguson

As I sat watching the news coverage of the events in Ferguson, MO last night, I had mixed emotions and many thoughts.  Although I am not directly affected by the chaos, I asked the Lord to show me what I can learn and how I could be used to help — if that is even possible.  I want to share with you what He spoke to me.  You may not like it. I really don’t want to address the death…

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The Problem of “Free” (Sample) Salvation

Christians need to take care to explain Biblical concepts when talking to non-believers. While we might be comfortable with our “Christianese,” we have to remember that the vast majority of the population does not go to church. We need to be diligent students and patient witnesses so those who do not believe are not more confused about Christ after speaking with us than they were before. One area where I think there is a lot of confusion is the idea…

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house of cards

House of Cards Christianity

Have you ever built a house of cards? It isn’t easy because it doesn’t take much to knock the whole thing down. If you pull out one card, even if that card is on the top of the “house,” you have a good chance of making the entire thing collapse. Unfortunately, sometimes I see the Christian faith taught in a way that makes it look like a house-of-cards faith. Let me explain, starting with the good news. There is only…

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