Gary Westra

7 Must-Does for Evangelism in Post-Christian America

The British missionary Lesslie Newbigin went to India around 1950. There he was involved with a church living ‘in mission’ in a very non-Christian culture. When he returned to England some 30 years later, he discovered that now the Western church too existed in a non-Christian society, but it had not adapted to its new

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Roadmap to Church Revitalization

The journey to church revitalization is a roadmap. It is not a recipe. When you follow a good recipe, you put together the correct amounts of flour, sugar, milk, butter, oil, baking powder and eggs, put it in the oven and “presto!” out comes a cake. Every time, guaranteed. Not so with church revitalization. When

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5 Challenges to the New Normal Church After Covid-19

Students of human nature may assume that life will go back to the “old normal” after Covid-19 passes and a vaccine is present. I fear that to a degree. The past is easy to fall back to, and not all of it is good! Anemic evangelism, an inward focus, and a lack of leadership development

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Pentecost

Four Powerful Reasons Your Church Should Celebrate Pentecost

Quick question! When is Pentecost Sunday this year? Sunday, May 20.  Did you know?  Maybe not. Why? Because there is no “Pentecost Bunny,” stores have not decorated a month ahead of time for Pentecost, and there are no “Pentecost sales.” In other words, Pentecost has not been co-opted by commercialism or consumerism. I recently noted

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Three Things Tom Brady Can Teach Pastors

Sam Darnold, QB of USC is being projected as the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft.  Why? “After his pro day performance in the rain, Darnold to the Browns at No. 1 overall became the overwhelming consensus.” (Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports, 3/26/2018) Do JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf and Jeff George bring back any memories?  Each one

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Four Crucial (And Neglected) Issues for Church Greeters

It would be easy to come up with a list of 10 issues for church greeters. Some church gurus even offer them as a free download to join their mailing list! But my experience and observation is that four crucial issues are often neglected. 1.  Start with Greeters in the Parking Lot (or doors), and

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3 Crucial Theological Attitudes for Every Pastor

at·ti·tude ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od/ noun a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. If an attitude is a “settled way of thinking and feeling,” there are three crucial theological attitudes pastors need to “settle.”  And then settle them again.  These three attitudes will permeate your

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Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches

This guest post by Dr. Kelton Hinton, Associational Missionary of the Johnston Baptist Association of North Carolina, is a review of a book on church revitalization. The principles shared here are worthy of passing on.  -Gary Westra, TAP Inc. Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches (2016) By Kelton F. Hinton This is a brief overview of

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Common Advice That’s Bad Advice

“Don’t change anything for a year!” That has been an adage forever for a pastor who is new to a church. I wish I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard it. (That is a nickel indexed for inflation.) The concept includes some truth. It can be expressed in several ways. First, “Seek first

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