This Fourth of July, worship leaders work to focus devotion “In Christ Alone.” Around star-spangled holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day, churches have often faced pressure to feature a patriotic song or two in their worship service lineups. But this year, many worship leaders are thinking more carefully about those expectations and how they can recognize a national holiday while preserving God’s place as the sole focus of our devotion. Cole Willig, worship leader at The Crossing in Milton, Delaware, anticipates some criticism over the absence of patriotic content in this year’s Fourth of July service. “I’m not going…

Fed up with the high cost of living, many young London renters are taking advantage of the pandemic to relocate to smaller cities and towns.

Long dominated by white executives and artists, the country music industry is facing its complicated history with race following protests for racial justice. Black artists are speaking out, calling on the industry to address entrenched racial barriers.

Since Chol Duang returned to South Sudan from the U.S., there had been questions. What did you learn in America? Are you a spy?

Paul knew that if people became the central focus of the church, the church would be conformed into the image of people not the image of Christ. Recently, I had a two-part series (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here) describing features of a church being more like a country club. The sober reality is many churches fit the bill when it comes to embodying characteristics of a country club. However, very few pastors, leaders, or members want to admit it. I get why it’s hard to admit that your church has more in common with a country club…

True church growth transfers people from the domain of darkness into the glorious light of Christ. On Thursday, we looked at the first three shifts to experience transformation in our churches. Today, I’ll share the final three. Shift 4: The church must make the shift from swapping members to having the primary growth strategy of going after people who do not yet belong This seems to be where most churches struggle. According to Rick Richardson’s research, only 40 percent of the churches in America are growing. However, only 10 percent of these churches are experience growth through conversion. That means…

Gambia’s case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice is historic, and not only because it may mark a turning point to protect Rohingya.

A conversation on evangelical Christians’ political obligations. Amid the tempest of the 2020 election season and all the anxiety it provokes, I’m comforted by the familiar image of Jesus asleep at the stern in a boat being swamped by a furious storm (Matt. 8:24–27). His terrified disciples, experienced sailors scared for their lives, could not fathom how their spiritual captain could seem so indifferent to their doom. But Jesus slept not because he was indifferent or resigned to their fate. Quite the opposite. Jesus was unafraid because he knew he possessed a power greater than the storm. Jesus spoke and…

Viewing the church or behaving as if the church is a country club distorts both the identity and the mission of the church. In my previous post, I began outlining four identifiers that your church might be more like a country club than a church. Once again, I’m not knocking country club memberships. If you are a member of one, I give you permission to sing along with Travis Tritt—loud and proud—“I’m a member of a country club….” But I fear that many believers view the church as a country club. Or at the very least, they practically behave as…

When churches are crafted into the image of consumers, they distort the image of their Savior. I have been involved at a country club three times in my life. The first time was under my parents’ membership while I was growing up. The second was as an employee serving as the assistant to the golf pro. The third was at an affordable club I found in Louisville a few years back. Let me just say, I have an affinity for golf! I’ve also grown up in the church and have been a pastor of several churches over the last 12…

Residents of Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta hold conflicting beliefs about government regulation and protecting the land from polluters.

A bill passed Tuesday by California Senate could remake the gig economy – one of several measures that reinforce the state’s image as a trendsetter.

Ken Burns’ latest series focuses on the origins of country music and the diverse and eclectic performers who shaped it.

Acclaimed writer Susan Straight shares a poignant and vivid reflection on her family’s journeys.

For soybean farmers, weather is “an uncontrollable.” Now President Trump’s fight with China is, too. 

A writer and a scholar attempt sympathetic portrayals of the president’s rural supporters, but their sympathy only extends so far. The torrent of words brought forth by the election of Donald Trump has turned modern political discourse into a daily obstacle course, dizzying in its movement from one news cycle to the next. Setting aside the daily headlines of escalating racial tension, immigration debate, budget fiascoes, Russian collusion, and Stormy Daniels to delve into deeper cultural, theological, and political trends is a daunting proposition. Fortunately, that weightier sort of analysis is starting to appear in print, as evidenced by new…

The new Netflix documentary reveals an uncomfortable truth about American religious innovation. In the 1980s, thousands of enthusiastic enlightenment-seekers built a commune called Rajneeshpuram in the rugged Central Oregon desert and for their brief time there, clashed with the residents of the rural town of Antelope. For anyone like me who grew up in Oregon in the ’80s, Rajneeshpuram is a part of the mythic landscape of the region. Stories about a guru with a fleet of Rolls Royces, rumors of sexual orgies, and casual jokes about bioterrorism (don’t eat at the salad bar!) are as much a part of…

One of the more provocative and fascinating documentaries you will ever watch that released last month on Netflix is “Wild Wild Country.” And the journey that you take into the dynamics of this cult. There is nothing wrong with the desire for community, experience and purpose. They are good and God-planted desires. But, when divorced from God, they turn in on themselves and lead to decay and eventual destruction.