Archives For Chris

What is at Stake?

December 2, 2018 — Leave a comment

When we returned to America as a family 18 months ago, it came as a surprise. Coming into my role as a missions and local outreach pastor, I did not have a set strategy or preset plan.

I had to come with the eyes of a missionary to my “home”. I was a stranger in my own land.

Here are few things I observed about America as I returned, coupled with some thoughts on how we can interact with this reality.

1. The World is Flat.

No, this is not a conspiracy theory, rather an observation of all the traditional missions needs. Issues like poverty, human trafficking, and pain are not “over there, international” issues, but are present right outside our door. Missions no longer requires a passport, it can be done in our own communities.

2018 Top Books Read!

November 22, 2018

It’s time for the annual list of the top books I have read in 2018. This has become a tradition on Thanksgiving/ Black Friday / Cyber Monday / and whatever they will call Tuesday and Wednesday in the future!

Without further ado….here are the top books I’ve read this year.

People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue

This is hands down the best book on this difficult issue. Preston Sprinkle covers the Biblical passages that do and don’t apply in a thorough yet readable style. The first two-thirds is a Biblical journey. The last third of the book is worth its weight in gold as he explores pastoral responses. A must read!

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

I Don’t Read My Bible Enough

September 5, 2018

Feeling like we miss the mark when it comes to Bible reading is a common struggle.

There are many reasons for this:

  • I’m too busy.
  • It’s boring.
  • There is so much strange stuff in there.
  • I don’t understand it.

As I have grown in my understanding of the Bible, my favorite part is seeing the big picture messages and how things fit together from cover to cover.

Especially when you come to books like Leviticus or Judges, it is easy to write them off and wonder what their point is.

I want to recommend a great resource to those of you who can relate to any of the preceding feelings.

The Bible Project is a great tool to understand what the Bible is all about. You can get the big picture of books or an overview of the major themes throughout Scripture.

Top Books Read in 2017

November 24, 2017

Below is a list of the top books I have read in 2017. I’d recommend these as gift ideas or for your own personal growth.

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church

This is the best leadership book I have read in some time. Fuller Seminary studies growing churches and how to keep young people in church. Their insights are very timely for the missions organization I previously served with and the church I now work with.

 

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

If you are a leader who takes missions teams or sends them from your church, this is a must read. This book gave me words to articulate my strategy as a missions pastor following 25 years of missionary service.

 

I have an attraction to leadership books which describe real leaders, rather than those with a polished, corporate facade. I fully acknowledge we can learn from books touting secrets and methods, but I find much more encouragement in those which help me lead in and through my weaknesses.

An all time favorite of mine is Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender, which I have spoken about multiple times on this site.

A new addition to these ranks is a book I am currently reading. The Way of the Dragon, the Way of the Lamb by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel is study of leadership in weakness.

Coupled with their musings, they interview multiple humble giants of the faith. The authors spent time with J.I. Packer of Knowing God fame, Eugene Peterson who paraphrased the Message, and several others. The heroes share many of their observations on the North American church, which has been largely influenced by power, prestige, platform and personality.