The church year begins with the season of Advent, which we are in now. Advent is the season of Christmas carols, Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating and Christmas parties. But the most recognizable part of Advent, apart from the Advent wreath, is the Advent Calendar, which counts down to Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus. … Continue reading Advent… of What?
Thanksgiving is a little weird, right? It's the one day a year we are required to be thankful, as if we shouldn't be thankful every day... But it’s also a really great day. A day filled with family, fun, football… and food! Thanksgiving is, after all, one of the High Holy Days of the Food … Continue reading The Perfect Recipe
Wait, what's a liturgy? If you haven't already read this, it might help to start there and then come back. Liturgy might be an intimidatingly churchy word, but it just refers to the order of the service. It is from the Greek word leitourgia, which comes from the words leitos (public) and ergos (working). So … Continue reading A Walk Through The Liturgy
This is a re-post of an earlier writing, but I think it's an important one. And because of something I want to write about next, I think it would be good for you to read this first...A common misconception (because it is wrongly taught and spoken of in that way) is that worship refers only … Continue reading Worship Is…
In another entry for the "Why Do We Do That?" category, I thought I would talk about one of those things you likely either a) take for granted that everyone knows, or b) never noticed before: the church year. Many people aren't even aware that the church follows a different format than the "Puppy of … Continue reading The Church Year
No, really! Every fall, there seems to be a lot of confusion and debate among Christians around the topic of Halloween. In fact, the church I once served as a youth director actually split over the question of whether or not it is OK for Christians to celebrate Halloween. Look, I know that we want … Continue reading Halloween Is a Christian Holiday
Back in March, I received a call (an official job offer in our church body) from Peace Lutheran Ministries of Saginaw, Michigan, to serve as their Lead Pastor. At the time, I was happily and comfortably serving the wonderful people of Community Lutheran Church in Flat Rock, also in Michigan, as their Administrative (and sole) … Continue reading On Getting (And Taking) a Call
So, now that you know what a sermon is, and now that you know that a sermon has to hit on both Law and Gospel, let's answer another common question: how in the world does a pastor decide what to preach on, every single week of the year, every year of his ministry? It essentially … Continue reading On Preaching, Part 2: What to Preach On?
In this installment of the "Why Do We Do That?" series, I hope to answer some fairly common questions about an integral part of the worship service and a primary responsibility of a pastor, the sermon. This week: What is a sermon and why do we do it? Next week: How do you decide what … Continue reading On Preaching, Part 1: What Is a Sermon?
Over the coming (school) year, the congregation I serve is going "Back To The Story." Each week, we are encouraging our church family to read along with the book The Story, which is a translation of the Bible in narrative form, making it easier to read as one continuous story. The sermons will focus on … Continue reading Can We Trust The Bible?