Dear Church, We all know that over the past three weeks, the constant news about our global pandemic has given way to relentless dialogue about race. These impassioned conversations are happening almost exclusively in online spaces due to our homebound lives and our collective dependence on the endless town hall meeting we call social media. … More Part 2—Dear Church: Can We Talk about Race?
It’s now been several weeks since most churches have gathered in person. The last Sunday our church met was March 8, almost a full month ago. Like many states and cities around the country, our local “Stay Home” regulations distinguish between “essential” and “non-essential” services. In many places now, you can buy groceries and take … More Is the Church an “Essential Service”?
Our Father in heaven, We come to you this morning weighed down. Our hearts are so heavy and so full. We can’t begin to carry all that you’ve laid upon us. We have too much to be grateful for. We are too rich, too loved, too protected. You are too good, too kind, too near. … More A Prayer of Thanksgiving
We’re all trying to make timely decisions and communicate clearly during the COVID-19 disruption. Here’s what our church is doing. … More Our Church's Coronavirus Decision
I offered this prayer on Sunday during our church’s annual Missions Week. Our Father in heaven, We come to you this morning in the name of Jesus. Our hearts are bowed because you are Lord. You rose from the dead, and even now, you reign over your church. So, we’re coming to ask you to … More A Prayer for the Nations
How do you listen to a sermon that’s not about you? How can I benefit from a talk on anxiety if I’m not worried, marriage if I’m not married, or depression if I’m not down? I’m currently preaching through 1 Peter, and coming across some passages with specific target audiences—like Christian wives, many with non-Christian … More Six Reasons to Listen to Sermons That Aren’t About You
Our morning services have been canceled due to a power outage. There are lots of weather-related outages across the city, and our provider is prioritizing emergency situations first. We hope to have power by the afternoon so we can hold an evening service, but we’ll see. This incident is just the latest in a long … More The Vision and the Battle
Some people love change. Others hate it. For most of us, though, change is both a challenge and an adventure. There are many different kinds of change, of course. Some changes come in the natural progression of life, like moving from one grade to the next. Other changes come from leaders whose decisions impact our … More The Heart of Change: Four Emotions We Experience in Transition, and How We Can Respond
There’s nothing like coming home. Sunday we celebrated our first service back in our church building after being displaced for more than a year. For months this day had been circled on our calendars, and it didn’t disappoint. Doors opened at 9:00am, and people began flooding into the building. Twenty-eight inches of water in a … More Coming Home
It’s been 375 days since floodwaters first slid beneath the doors of our church building in west Houston. Twenty-eight inches later, the adventure had begun. It cost nearly $500,000 just to gut the first floor, and we lost at least $500,000 in contents. Reconstruction has lasted nine months, and the final cost—well beyond the initial … More Relaunching in Houston
Last night was Vision Night at BridgePoint Bible Church. After singing “Amazing Grace” a cappella and hearing a stirring introduction from our Community Life Pastor, I was up. About 250 people were there to seek God’s leading for the future of our church. Earlier in the day, at lunch, I had put my head in my hands … More Vision Impossible
I’m 36 years old, and I’m a new pastor. Our congregation has a lot of senior saints who’ve been faithful to Christ and to our church for decades. I want to maximize their wisdom, honor their legacy, and build on the foundation of all who’ve gone before me. But I also want our church to … More Grey Hair on the Front Lines
Every day, we’re crawling toward Sunday. Because every Sunday, the Christian church the world over gathers to celebrate the life, death, resurrection, and soon return of Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Scripture and prayer, songs and sermons, confession and supplication, joy and lament, we haul our broken bodies and our heavy souls back to the place … More Crawling to Sunday
The end of November marks six months we’ve been in Houston. Our kids haven’t completed a grade yet, we’re still looking for a house, and I’m laboring to match names and faces at church. But sometimes it feels like we’ve been here ten years. No one could’ve predicted the well-known events that have unfolded in … More Thankful in Houston
He was “all in,” they said. “Larger than life,” they said. “Big Daddy,” his grandkids called him. He leaves behind a loving family and an outsized legacy. His name was Ralph Watts. He was a member of our church, and his funeral was Monday. Ralph Watts graduated to glory at 96 years of age. He … More All In: The Legacy of Ralph Lee Watts (1921-2017)
Four weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey made landfall south of Houston. Three weeks ago, I was kayaking up to the doors of our flooded church building. Two weeks ago, some church members were finally seeing the waters recede from their homes. One week ago, we were preparing for our first Sunday service in our new temporary … More Ten Brief Updates from Houston