Category Archives: Church of Christ

Operating Out of Conviction

Conviction is a word that I don’t hear very often. I think it is underused. The Bible talks about conviction in a few places including the famous chapter on faith in Hebrews 11, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” If we are to operate out of faith then we need to operate out of conviction. I am not always so sure that people are very convicted these days. Sometimes it feels like we make decisions out of what seems right or out of business sense but what about operating out of a sense of conviction?

We recently held an elders and ministers meeting to discuss our direction. We purposeful phrased our brainstorming question to ask for convictions rather than suggestions. Let’s only bring up the few things we feel strongly about…even convicted about that would honor God in our actions and direction.

When Paul writes to the Thessalonians he talks about when they presented the Gospel to them before they were Christians. Here is what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7,

For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

This is the same thing we see in Acts 2, even though the word “conviction” isn’t used when the crowd at Pentecost was cut to the heart. It also ties conviction to the Holy Spirit just as Jesus does in John 16 especially verse 8 where Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit will convict mankind in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.

Do we truly believe God is interested in convicting us of anything? Certainly we can and should be convicted by the Word of God. According to the scriptures we can also be convicted by the Holy Spirit. What would happen if we started operating out of conviction rather than convenience or conviction rather than tradition or conviction rather than fleeting feelings? This would require us to be in the Word more and to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit than ever before. I believe we would experience a revolution!

Ministers’ Health in Churches of Christ – Some New Statistics to Consider

I recently ran a survey of Church of Christ ministers to assess their health and self-care. I am going to be presenting a very small portion of that information at the Pepperdine lectures next week. There were a lot of things in the data that were encouraging and some things that scream just how muchContinue Reading

Playing Chess With God

Sometimes life feels like playing chess with God. I am sitting on one side of the table trying to play both hands. Seated across from the Creator of the universe I strategize…figuring out what my next moves are going to be while also attempting to determine what God’s next moves are going to be AtContinue Reading

Thomas Campbell and the Declaration and Address

Yesterday our class focused on Restoration Movement history. We talked about the life of Thomas Campbell and some of the things that influenced him to seek a path to unity. While obviously not an inspired document, his Declaration and Address of 1809 expresses several principles that the Restoration Movement has drifted from and it wouldContinue Reading

Ironing Out Our Conflicting Message on the Usefulness of the Old Testament

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard in my life that the Old Testament is irrelevant to us because it was nailed to the cross and is therefore no longer useful to Christians today. People have based this view on a number of things. First there is Colossians 2:14 that says somethingContinue Reading

Being Direct

Every eldership I have ever worked with I have told up front that I will trust them and that I expect for them to tell me anything I would need to know including any criticism that they are directing toward me. This is a very important thing to establish in any important relationship. Often weContinue Reading

Biblical Preaching and Teaching Should Stress High Expectations of Christians

The Bible is clear. Christians should be involved in ministry. Christians should be working together for the good of the kingdom. The body of Christ is the body as it is connecting and functioning together as Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12. In all of my life I cannot think ofContinue Reading

Ministry Update from Auburn

I have been a lot slower on the blog lately. The transition to Alabama has taken a lot of time and energy, just as it should. I wanted to update you on a few things that are going on here by talking about a few areas of ministry that we are focusing on right nowContinue Reading

Christianity’s Biggest Problem is the Same Now as it Always Has Been

Here is my latest post over at Wineskins. I hope you will take a moment to read it and think about how our culture affects your faith. Christianity’s Biggest Problem is the Same Now as it Always Has Been  

The 30% shift

I am a firm believer that the mission of the church is both inward and outward. The thing many churches face is that the inward focus has so far outweighed the outward focus that we find ourselves in need of balance and so we have a tendency to over correct. In a new article atContinue Reading

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