Church Planting, Leadership, Pastors, Preaching, Sermon Illustrations

Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church

Hemant Mehta and Rachel Held Evans on CNN

Do you agree that the church in America is becoming more known for what it is against?

What do you think of Rachel’s statement that many millennials leave the church because they are not able to engage their questions and doubts in church?

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Church Planting, Leadership, Pastors, Sermon Illustrations, Uncategorized

Why Women are Invited to Serve in Leadership at One Church

Shhh Women

One Church invites women to serve in church leadership, including serving on the church board and preaching sermons.

This is not liberal.

It is normal.

I’m not a radical feminist. The truth is, I don’t crusade for issues of the day, and I don’t make political statements publicly. Enough churches do that. It’s just that I’m a member of mainstream society on this issue.
Here is a link to a sermon I gave entitled “God’s Daughters.”The church I pastor, One Church, is a mainstream, nondenominational church that highly values the Bible. However, we value the whole Bible, not just the two verses that seem to prohibit women from leading or speaking in public. We are also interested in what the other verses say about the role of women.

Half of the churches in 2013 America, however, do not allow women to serve in any position of “authority” over men. Don’t believe me? As an interesting test, visit the websites of churches in your area. If the website lists members of the “Elder Board” (the governing board of the church) look at their names. Notice that the names are all male names. Why is this?

It’s not an accident.

Some churches attempt to hide their theology that women cannot serve in church leadership. The pastor of a large church in my area claims to be passionate about opposing injustices toward women. Yet, he holds to this same theology that women cannot have “authority” over men. For example, the “Elder Board” of his church consists of only males. Intelligent people have no problem seeing through the veil.

My wife is a schoolteacher who was raised in a pastor’s home and possesses great knowledge of the Bible. She is perfectly capable of preaching sermons. My sister is a lawyer. She could argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, but she can’t preach in half of the churches in America. In 2013, this is just odd.

Margaret Thatcher, a staunch conservative, served as Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1980s and was a close friend of Ronald Reagan. Both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have had massive influences in politics.

Allowing women to serve in leadership is not liberal.

It is normal.

The theology of Complementarianism is an oddity in 21st century America. People who hold to the view that women have no place in church leadership form a small Christian subculture that has already been left behind by mainstream American society.

Some people might think that a male pastor who supports women in church leadership has given up his “man card.” Here’s my answer to that. My wife and I may have a daughter someday.

I want my daughter to have all of the opportunities that life can afford her. I want her to know that she fulfill her dreams and that there is nothing off limits to her because she happened to be born a certain gender.

In other words, I’m man enough to stick up for my daughter.

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Church Planting, Leadership, Pastors, Preaching

TXT: Controversial Messages of the Bible

In October, One Church is beginning a new sermon series entitled TXT: Controversial Messages of the Bible. We’ll explore four of the most provocative messages in the Bible:

Week 1 | How was the Bible was Written and Formed?

Week 2 | Does the Bible Condone Violence (ex. the Canaanite Genocide)?

Week 3 | What does the Bible teach about Slavery and Sexuality?

Week 4 | Did Jesus Really Claim to be the Son of God?

One Church is committed to be a church where questions and doubts are welcome. We’re not afraid to address the most difficult subjects for American churches. It is a guarantee that some people will leave the church, but addressing difficult subjects will bring more people who appreciate the church’s approach.

On week three, I will address the topic of Christians and homosexuality. This will require sensitivity and a calm, reasonable tone.

Click for more info about the sermon series here. You can also watch or listen to sermons anytime at onechurch.com.

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Church Planting, Leadership

When People Leave the Church

One of the most difficult experiences for a church planter is letting people go. People you never thought would leave will leave for a multitude of reasons.

One Church has only held weekly services for six months, and we’ve seen half of the visitors leave because they were looking for a different type of church. One person called me names on the way out.

Here is a tough realization- people will leave your church. You will be tempted to convince some to stay. Others will attack you as they go, and you will be tempted to retaliate. Regardless of their reasons for leaving, you only really have one choice.

Bless them as they go.

Contrary to what some church planting “experts” tell you, you don’t need warm bodies to fill seats. You need people are passionate about fulfilling the vision and mission of the new church you are planting. People who passionately believe in your vision will multiple themselves.

People who do not will distract you, hold the church back and take other people with them when they leave. The longer they stay, the more toxic relationships they create. If they attack you as they leave, even the people who don’t leave will wonder if they’re correct.

When they leave, don’t let them make matters worse by dragging you into a conflict.

Let people go sooner than later. If they attack you, do not retaliate.

Just bless them as they go.

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