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Category: Harvest Bible Chapel

The Greatest Event in Human History

July 12, 2016

Nothing more satisfying than a growing discipleship relationship with the men in our own church. After five Act Like Men “serious as a heart attack” Sunday-night discipleship events – this is how the faithful attenders from September ’15–May ’16 rewarded each other – with an Act Like Men Palooza, dubbed “the greatest event in human …

How Worship Can Amplify Sermon Impact

May 20, 2016

It surprises me that it is not always apparent to the preacher of the Word that the musical support surrounding his proclamation can significantly amplify and punctuate the message God has given for the congregation that weekend.

The Tension in the Truth

March 31, 2016

During the time allotted for sermon prep, pastors frequently feel a growing dissonance about a tension created by the biblical text from which they are working. To illustrate, if I were planning to speak on abortion, I might begin to feel a growing tension as I prepare. I would sense the need to express grace …

Here We Stand on Marriage

July 09, 2015

With the recent Supreme Court decision on marriage, various people have been asking where we stand in response. Our position is expressed in the following statement from Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which I was honored to be asked to sign.

The Gospel Changes Everything

June 22, 2015

Love, love, love the stories of how God continues to be glorified through people who build on the foundation of unconditional forgiveness in Christ and let the Lord truly transform them… If you need a lift, watch this.

Elder Rule Church Government is From Satan, Too

April 16, 2015

Back in the spring of 2011, I made the regrettable decision to publish a blog post entitled, “Congregational Government is From Satan.” Initially the post was inflammatory to get attention, but in the end it was judged as unbalanced and therefore unfair. In that sense, the danger of hyperbole was realized. That post was removed long …

Some Wind for Your Sail

November 21, 2014

Ministry leadership is a privilege, but we all face difficult seasons of pruning and even times of fallow ground. Again and again, I have seen tough seasons yield in God’s time to renewed seasons of joy and ministry growth. As we wait by faith for God to move afresh, we wonder if those joyful, fruit-bearing days …

Where Is the Evidence?

May 13, 2014

No one worries much if the shovel and salt are in the garage when a sprinkling of snow comes in October or March—but when the blizzard comes, you want to make sure you are ready to deal with it. The greater the importance, the greater the need for confidence. Nothing is more important than a biblical assurance …

A Time to Dance

April 21, 2014

So proud of and thankful for the worship leadership from Luke MacDonald, Andi Rozier, Josh Buendorf and the entire Vertical Church Band worship and production teams. Praying for them as they rest up from an incredible victorious weekend!

Vertical Passion Week

April 17, 2014

What distinguishes Passion Week in a vertical church? 1: Passion Week is a week, not a day or a weekend. We give our people special materials and devotionals to work through personally. We give them music to listen to on their way to church. We are a church family and we love to remember and, …

Preacher Thoughts on Tone, Criticism, Scripture, Confession and Valentine’s Day

February 26, 2014

Random thoughts (no doubt related to conscious thoughts) are constantly in a pastor’s mind. What do I think about that? How should I handle this? Which approach is most Christ-honoring, most helpful, most impactful?

Shhhhh…It’s a Mercy Killing

January 10, 2014

Allow me to date myself by quoting a line from a song by the Imperials (a popular CCM group before the dawn of time): “Now in my house there’s been a mercy killing, the man I used to be’s been crucified,

Elevating Worship Through Scripture

December 31, 2013

Dear Pastors and ministry leaders—a new year of God’s faithfulness is upon us. I am praying for a year of growth for me, my family and for our church. I hope this blog has been and continues to be a source of encouragement to you in your service to Christ and His kingdom.

The Earth Stood Still

December 20, 2013

Pastors: Don’t fear a lack of originality at Christmas. If How the Grinch Stole Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life can be watched every year, and if “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” can be sung every year, you don’t have to wrestle with “something they have never heard before” in your …

This Is My Bible

November 25, 2013

This weekend I preached from John 15:1-17 about the secret to a joyful life, which Jesus makes clear begins with abiding in Him. I challenged our church family to make a plan to spend time in His life-giving Word every day…

Watch Out for These!

November 14, 2013

Keep your heart alert to the powerful stories of God at work in your church. As the Spirit moves and changes lives you will serve your church well by building a team of people, volunteers at first, who can grow their ability to tell those stories well.

Stop and Celebrate!

October 04, 2013

Dear Pastor Friends: God is faithful, His promises are true, His ways are just, and our trust is rightly placed in Him. For this reason milestones in the life of a ministry matter

Money Matters

September 27, 2013

Hey Pastor: I always thought the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) was for parachurch ministries. As your church grows, the percentage of people diminishes whose confidence can be based in personal relationship.


September 24, 2013

After 25 years in the same church, Kathy and I have seen much of what there is to see in serving the Lord. So my goal in posting occasionally on this blog is to open my heart to pastors.

The Goal is Reproducing Disciples

September 12, 2013

Love, love this video below from one of our young, passionate Christ followers. Watch until the end for a fun surprise! 🙂 Click here to see the story of how he found Christ. As exciting as that story is, I find it even more praiseworthy to see how Christ has continued with Anthony, as He does with …

He Owns Me

August 15, 2013

Jesus is the Good Shepherd—He lays down His life for the sheep. And as His child, through faith in Him, He owns you, too.

Who Needs a Resurrection?

June 24, 2013

Last weekend in our church, we saw many respond to the teaching on the death and Christ’s raising of Lazarus in John 11. Seeing eternal transformation take place before your eyes—as God’s Spirit brings conviction of sin and grants repentance,

Vertical Purpose Leads to Horizontal Effectiveness

April 19, 2013

My Wednesday post on how the glory of God is the only fire that can sustain evangelistic zeal in local church ministry, may seem a very indirect evangelistic approach to you. If you believe intentional evangelism is what reaches people, you may find it hard to accept what I am writing.

Why Am I Struggling Spiritually?

April 05, 2013

In John 9, the disciples wanted to debate with Jesus about the source of a man’s blindness—when Jesus saw him much differently. Not as an issue to discuss, but as a person to help. Why do some Christians see everything so differently? Possibly they have become consumers of spiritual content vs. disciples who are not …

Things to Think about During Holy Week

March 25, 2013

This is Holy Week. And with the outpouring of ministry that will accompany it among our churches, I want to take a few minutes to encourage my fellow pastors as we prepare for its significance. Visit TheDayJesusDied.com

5 Biblical Responses to Public Opinion

February 01, 2013

The sum total of human opinion is often very inaccurate—and we are neither as bad as our critics say, nor as good as our fans say. I like to make scriptural lists…and the one I brought to church with me last weekend was this list of five biblical thoughts on public opinion.

God at Work through the Gospel

January 08, 2013

Nothing stirs my heart about faithful service to Christ and His church more than a fresh account of God at work through the power of the Gospel. Watch the story below, shared in our services last weekend, and be encouraged.

The Preaching Pillar

October 24, 2012

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22 “And they were all amazed…saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority!

Unceasing Prayer

August 16, 2012

When was the last time you participated in a faith-driven, expectation-filled prayer meeting that invited God to reveal His glory and show up in power at your church? Not where one or two people pray the will of God, but where everyone in the room

Preaching the Word & a Vertical Response

June 28, 2012

The New Testament knows nothing of an unbaptized convert. Jesus asked us to do two specific things—to remember His sacrifice with the bread and the cup, and to be baptized. I’ve been preaching verse-by-verse through the book of John in a study called Authentic Jesus. A few weeks ago the entire message was dedicated to …

When I Need a Miracle: What to do While I Wait

June 19, 2012

It was a real honor for me to preach for the third time at the Southern Baptist Convention last night in New Orleans. I felt very small, sandwiched between Dr. Jack Graham

Where is Your Trust?

May 15, 2012

Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. —John 2:24-25

Miracles Flow through Active Faith

May 01, 2012

This year at Harvest we’re walking verse-by-verse through the book of John. Last weekend’s teaching was on Christ’s first public miracle, at the wedding in Cana. And while God does not promise prosperity or healing in every circumstance (2 Corinthians 12:7), He does continue to work

A Sendoff for Hungry Shepherds

April 26, 2012

Wow. Yesterday, after 2.5 days of pouring into and worshiping with over 2000 pastors and leaders from around the world, we closed out Harvest University 2012. Today, I’m thanking God for the outpouring of His Spirit

Going Vertical at #HarvestU

April 23, 2012

Today kicks off Harvest University, our annual church planting conference. Right NOW we’re gathered with a packed house of 2000 pastors and ministry leaders from Harvest Bible Chapels around the world

Multi-site and Fruitfulness

April 19, 2012

Harvest Bible Chapel is now on 7 campuses—and each is a story of reluctant expansion, given our greater passion to plant autonomous churches. When dying congregations have come for help or facilities have been given to us, we have infrequently multiplied locations

The Gospel at Harvest Reaches New High Water Mark at Easter 2012

April 10, 2012

We are wanting to give God glory for the work He is doing in our church—taking us deeper and further into the joy of His gospel than ever before.   God forbid that I should boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Galatians 6:14


March 02, 2012

How many of us have launched out to serve the Lord with an expectation of how it’s going to be, and found it’s not like we thought?

Welcome to Harvest

February 16, 2012

When people are looking for a church home, they want insider information—to learn what’s behind the service they’ve just attended and the core values the church is built upon. At Harvest Bible Chapel, those values are known as

Jesus Christ Is Our Peace

December 20, 2011

The Hebrew shalom is a universal greeting; it means “peace, a complete state of well being.” But the New Testament significantly expands the concept of peace.

And He Is Everlasting

December 16, 2011

Again, consider this amazing verse of Scripture that tells of Jesus Christ and what He came to accomplish. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:

Father God Revealed in Christ

December 13, 2011

I love my children, and they love me. I love my father, and I have always known his love. But hear this: No human can fill the Father hole in the human heart. A good father helps, but

We Can Call Him Wonderful Counselor, If…

December 09, 2011

Consider again Isaiah 9:6, overflowing with a richness of depth and dimension about our Savior Jesus Christ: “Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be

Jesus Is a WONDERFUL Counselor

December 06, 2011

You know you’re talking to a wonderful counselor when they open the Scriptures and speak the Word of Christ into your life. Find people who will go against the grain of what you want (counseling to your flesh) and speak the Word into your life that you need.

God Is Doing Something Awesome

November 07, 2011

  Something awesome, maybe unparalleled (for us), is happening in our church. There is a fervency and unity and moving of God’s Spirit in our services that is provoking such expectancy every week. It’s the worship and the Word and the hunger of the people…it’s…I can’t totally explain it, but it is truly AWESOME!

Apology School: Are you a graduate?

October 27, 2011

I have had to apologize a lot through the years—for things I did, for things I should have done, or should have done better.  I have been back at it in recent days, and a couple of weeks ago I shared with the church family what I have learned in Apology School.

2 Things a Multi-Site Pastor Can’t Do

October 25, 2011

Sometimes I get weary of people arguing for one side as though the other does not exist, when in reality it often does. Some arguments involve absolute truth and have only one side. But most division (outside what the Scriptures prescribe specifically) involves matters of

Preaching the Authority of God’s Word

October 20, 2011

Pastors, here is a foundational principle of preaching: Preach the authority of God’s Word without apology.

Celebrity Pastors and Multi-site Limitations

October 18, 2011

Some current thinking on issues that have been getting a lot of air time recently.   RE: Celebrity Pastors Every pastor manages a certain amount of increased profile and a tendency on the part of people to elevate them beyond

Preaching the Gospel to Harvest Students – September 2011

October 13, 2011

A few weeks ago, we rushed out of church on a Saturday night and headed to downtown Chicago for an important youth event at our Harvest Cathedral in the heart of the city.  What a joy to proclaim the incredible truth of Psalm 27:4

Big Problems with Our Church Leadership??

July 21, 2011

Amazing how quickly a problem in the church can draw conversation and criticism from church members. I thought that headline would attract some readers, but isn’t that kinda sad? How about taking time to read about a pastor who is thrilled with and blessed by the Elders

Recalibrate: AAA Ministry

June 20, 2011

I have the tremendous blessing of being surrounded by a highly-motivated and highly-competitive staff, numbering some 400+. What I have observed is that if we are not intentional about selfless relationships that bless and encourage, we can find ourselves ‘writing checks’ we can’t cover and overdraft with the very people we care about most.

Vertical Church

May 11, 2011

When you talk about the purpose of the church, what is the one word that should be at the forefront of your mind? Vertical. What do I mean by that?

The Word of God Obliterates Unbelief – Check it out!

March 29, 2011

So much emphasis today is on the power of personal persuasion in sharing the gospel. What to say, how to say it. Reasons to believe, proofs for the authority of scripture -methods for gaining credibility blah blah blah. It’s always helpful to hear an actual testimony of how someone got saved.

He Is Risen!

April 01, 2010

Tomorrow we will take some time to remember the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross through some powerful, yet reflective services at our church. I trust that you will set some time aside do the same. Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, …

Encouragement: Lives Changed by the Gospel

February 11, 2010

Hey: Thanks for coming back to this blog again and again; our audience is really growing. One of the things I want to accomplish here is to encourage pastors to keep “preaching the Word.” Popular today is the notion that to really reach people you have to some how ‘get beyond the Bible.’ We have …

Jesus Will Return

February 01, 2010

I am leading my church family through the New Testament book of Revelation this year called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ: Learning to Hope in the King and the Kingdom.” We started last fall and we’re going verse by verse, week by week through this final book in the book God wrote. Now that we …

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