But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 21 February 2019 14:15

The Gospel is Better Than Amnesty

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Good paintings tell stories.

Think of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It tells the story of Jesus and his disciples sitting down for the final meal before the crucifixion. Jesus would drink the Passover cup before being sacrificed as the Passover lamb.

The good news of Jesus is more...

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 14:10

Hold Out The Story

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What’s your story? The concept of narrative seems to drive our culture. Facts don’t do it anymore. Data points are okay, but where is the story? Championships are good and all but a good story will grab the people’s attention. We see this when the Olympics come around.

It is not...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 14:15

3 Reasons to Fight Self-Pity

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If I look hard enough, I can always find some reason to feel sorry for myself. I bet you can, too. Whether your gaze drifts to your bank account, your work, your health, your relationships – there is always some circumstances in our lives that can make us feel victimized.

And it feels...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 14:10

Open-Door Discipleship

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If you were to visit my house on a Friday night around 10 o'clock, you would likely find our floors and couches full of people. Friday in our family is Family Movie Night, a night we treasure having each week. Something my wife and I love is that our kids have come to...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 14:05

10 Things to Know About Ministry Among the Poor

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1. Please stop thinking of ministry to the poor only in terms of mercy ministry.

Often, well meaning rich churches and/or middle-class Christians come into financially poorer communities to do good works, usually in the form of a handout or some form of debt counseling....

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When my mom walked into the room there was dust in the air. Draped over the ceiling fan, filling the curtains, imbedded in the carpet and all over my little brother and sister. It was soot from the cast iron stove—lots of it, strewn all across the living room. They had decided it was fun to...

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 14:05

How to Do Ministry When You Don’t Have Money

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How do you do ministry when you don’t have any money? How do you serve the Lord as a church planter while broke? After 30 years of experience, I assure you I have expertise. But wisdom comes from Scripture:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has...

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We at FTC are really excited about the latest book from managing editor Jared C. Wilson. The Gospel-Driven Church is for ministry leaders interested in transitioning their church away from pragmatism and more toward a conscientious gospel-centeredness. As such, it is full of...

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Monday, 18 February 2019 14:15

Refuting the Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

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September 18th, 2018 marked the twenty-year anniversary of a book that many have read or at least heard of: John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. If you haven’t heard of him, John Maxwell is a fairly famous former pastor and leadership expert. In 1998, I...

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Monday, 18 February 2019 14:10

Equip Your People to Counsel Each Other

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I remember hearing a pastor of a fairly large church saying—at a counseling conference no less—that he wasn’t going to hire any more counselors on the church pastoral staff. What he meant was this: he had hired fine counselors whose schedules quickly filled with counseling,...

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Despite a short roster of popular sitcoms aimed at younger audiences, there is a reason TV network CBS has carved out a niche among older viewers. Owing largely to the success of forensic procedurals like the various iterations of “CSI” and “NCIS,” the network has become...

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Sunday, 17 February 2019 14:10

The Tears of Success in Foster Parenting

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In class, philosopher Cornell West once said that every story that has ever been told is either a tragedy, a story with a sorrowful ending, a comedy, a story with a happy ending, or a tragicomedy, a story with elements of both. The tragicomedy, West said, is the most difficult story to tell, but it...

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Sunday, 17 February 2019 14:05

Links For The Church (2/18)

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4 Ways To Be Quick To Listen, Slow Speak

Rob Hurtgen writes that a quick tongue can cause damage to our relationships. He provides four practical ways to cultivate the practice of being slow to speak. 

How Does She Do It? The Making of an Atypical Woman

God grows us in ways we don't always...

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Saturday, 16 February 2019 14:15

The Lord Was There

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"Whereas the Lord was there."-- Ezekiel 35:10

Edom's princes saw the whole country left desolate, and counted upon its easy conquest; but there was one great difficulty in their way--quite unknown to them--"The Lord was there;" and in his presence lay the special security of the chosen land....

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“How do you do it?”

The most common question I get from well-meaning friends and peers when they find out I’m

1. The director of Women’s Ministry

2. At my complementarian church

I think they ask because they know me well. They know I’m opinionated. They know I have a...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 14:05

When Fighting Anxiety Seems Unbearable

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One of my favorite stories is Pilgrim’s Progress written by John Bunyan. It is the story of Christian leaving the City of Destruction in search of salvation which is found only in the Celestial City, which is heaven. It is an allegory depicting the Christian life all the way.

There is one...

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In my previous post, I unpacked the Send Network’s value of brotherhood. This value is important and paired with multiplication and restoration, the values are changing the culture of church planting.​

Being part of a family is a good thing. Creating a brotherhood that stands shoulder to...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 14:10

Lessons Learned from a Leadership Nightmare

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I’ve been a local church pastor for more than thirty years, but I’ve never had a year like 2018. Honestly, it was brutal, far and away the most difficult season I’ve ever had in ministry. I experienced a church leader’s nightmare.​ Through a grueling five-month...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 14:05

So, Do You Write Your Own Sermons?

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I went to the office early to work on my Thanksgiving sermon before the rest of the team arrived. I stopped by the Waffle House on the way. As I sat at the counter, a man in a nearby booth asked, “Is that Psalm 100 on your file?” It was. I was working on several projects at the...

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:15

Do Not Regard God's Discipline Lightly

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I’ve never met a person who said that discipline was pleasant. Parents battle their kid’s temper tantrums with heavy hearts and tears, athletes break their bodies in order to build strength and train for victory, and reckless drivers receive expensive tickets so the roads are...

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:10

He Came - We Go

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I am composing this as I sit next to my daughter’s hospital bed. For several days now she has been fighting dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus common in Cambodia where she spent the previous two weeks. She was working with a ministry that cares for children who are trapped in a cycle of...

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Monday, 11 February 2019 14:15

Marriage: A Covenant, Not a Contract

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While the Bible teaches marriage is a covenant, our culture sees marriage as a contract. While Christians often repeat the claim that marriage is a “covenant, not a contract,” what does this mean? I’d like to suggest eight differences between seeing marriage as a contract as...

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Monday, 11 February 2019 14:10

Community is a Costly Business

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Gospel doctrine creates gospel culture. As the gospel message goes out, a community around Jesus Christ is formed. When God joins his word with his people, he gives power to the church as an outpost of the kingdom of heaven. Ray Ortlund puts it simply:

  • Gospel doctrine - gospel culture =...

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Sunday, 10 February 2019 14:15

Are Mormons Heretics?

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The young man shifted nervously on my doorstep, his cheerful face belying his anxiety. He wore the customary white short-sleeved shirt and black tie and carried a backpack. He had just knocked on my door and just discovered that I was a pastor.

“Oh good!” he said. “It’s...

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Sunday, 10 February 2019 14:10

3 Ways to Squander Your Influence

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Our influence is temporary

It was given to us by God

It can be taken away

One day we will give an account for how we used it

(Andy Stanley)

“Influence” is a buzzword these days, with volumes being written about how to achieve it and steward it well. In our ministry culture, leaders (and...

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