Every now and then one of our leaders writes something. This is where you can read it.


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In this series, Defining Church, I have argued that the single most foundational and important aspect of defining church, aside from Jesus himself, is God’s people gathered in God’s presence on a consistent basis. This leads to the two major questions that I presented at the end of Defining Church (part 5): 1) Why don’t we sense, see, or feel the presence of God when we gather in our churches today? 2) Aren’t there a bunch of other important factors in defining church? I believe that the answer to these two questions are inextricably linked. Question #1 is largely based
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In Defining Church (part 4) I showed how the beginning of the church was a God ordained reenactment of God’s giving of His presence to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. I offered this as proof of the New Testament’s support of the idea that a definition of church must begin with God’s presence in the midst of God’s assembled people (Christians). In this post, I want to further demonstrate the New Testament’s support of this idea. In Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”1 This verse is one of
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In Defining Church (part 3) I concluded, “When defining church we must start with God’s people in God’s presence and we must recognize that the first century Jewish person would have recognized that this happens most clearly and powerfully when God’s people are assembled.” Almost all of what lead to this conclusion in my first three posts in this series came through passages of Scripture in the Old Testament. In fact, much of the basis of the above conclusion has been based on things that happened thousands of years before the church came into existence. [bra_highlight style=’highlight1′]This begs the question, does
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In Defining Church (part 2) I connected the story of the Israelites encountering God on Mount Sinai to the modern church and concluded, “When defining church we must begin with God’s people and God’s presence”  (if you haven’t read part 2, please do so before proceeding). One of the most telling aspects of their encounter with God at Mount Sinai is the name that the Israelites would later give that day. Jim Samra, whose book and preaching is foundational for this blog series, said it this way: “Typically on a day of such great importance, we give it a title so
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Note: In Defining Church (part 1) I said that the first chapter of the book, The Gift of Church by Jim Samra, “radically altered my view of church” and “began to help me define “church.”” Much of what I say here and in the remainder of this series is owed to that chapter which is entitled “God in Concert.” It is one of the best books I have read on church and I recommend that you read it. While the English word “church” first appeared around 300 AD, one must go back thousands of years earlier when defining church. In fact,
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This blog is about church, but what is church? This question is more difficult to answer than one might think. In order to define “church” one might begin with a building that has pews, a steeple, and a pulpit. But, this definition negates the importance of people in church – an element that would be almost universally accepted as essential – and doesn’t take into consideration the plethora of churches that don’t meet in a “church” (building). People may also define “church” in terms of a group of people who gather together. This is helpful, but makes every concert and
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What do file cabinets, country music, and closing statements have in common? This blog. As I have blogged through the first result for the search “church” in each of Google’s main categories, I have tried to stick with major themes in each of my posts. As you will see, this is not the case in what you are about to read. I hope you enjoy the conclusion to the Church’s Chicken series with my thoughts on Maps/Places, News, Shopping, and Books. The Riverside Church (Maps) My Google search for maps left me a little bit frustrated. With Google’s new system it
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Starbucks (Video) Unlike Church’s Chicken and Abraham Lincoln’s Church, the top Google video search for “church” was something I was already familiar with. I had seen the video titled “What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable.” a couple of years ago and at that time my only thought about it was, “That was funny. Kind of true too.” This time, knowing I was going to blog about it, I watched the video by Beyond Relevance with a keener and more critical mindset. While I still think it is funny, watching it this time around brought deeper things to mind . If you haven’t
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Disclaimer: 1) I believe that Christians (along with all other Americans) should vote. 2) I think it is awesome when Christians run for a political office. 3) I think all political issues should be considered through a biblical point of view. Abraham Lincoln (image) The first result of my Google image search of “church” returned a picture of…a…church. This was not nearly as surprising as discovering Church’s Chicken. But, my curious mind wondered why this particular church had made its way to the top of Google. I clicked on the image and after seeing a larger version of it, the first
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Pop quiz: Based on the title, how did I choose the content of this blog post? A) Spent time stressing about what to write about in my FIRST blog post. B) Googled “what to write in your first blog post.” C) Found an article that suggested starting a post with a pop quiz. D) Stressed some more about what to write in my first blog post. E) Decided to google “church” (since “church” is what this blog is mostly about). F) Based the content of this post on the first google results that searching “church” gave me. G) All of