Gary Westra

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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What a Hollywood Actor Taught Me About Preaching

“I don’t’ believe you!” he would shout from the last row of the classroom. John Holland was one tough task-master. He taught a seminary course titled, “The Public Reading of Scripture.” Mr. Holland could smell if something was disingenuous from a mile away. If there was anything “affected” in our Scripture reading, anything that seemed

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What’s Happening in Worship?

Worship in a Variety of Churches After serving five churches, three as Senior Pastor, for the first time I’ve moved to a new region without a call to a church. This has afforded me the opportunity to attend various churches and get a feel for what is happening in worship in the body of Christ.

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Sharing Faith in Post-Christian America, Part 4

 It’s time to stop holding on to yesteryear and start looking for ways to introduce Jesus to our dark world. —Daniel Im, Christianity Today, August 2, 2016 In this fourth and final post, I will explain the missional shift and 7 must does to engage in evangelism in post-Christian America. Remember, four cultural shifts have

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Whatever you think of Pope Francis…

Whatever you think of the Pope, he knows the power of pulpit, symbol, & compassion. He walks in the way of faith, hope, & love. Today it was reported that Pope Francis met with 2o women who were rescued from the sex trafficking trade. He again showed spiritual leadership. It led me to post this

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Sharing Faith in Post-Christian America, Part 3

“The Church is the only organization that does not exist for itself, but for those who live outside of it.” – William Temple (Church of England, Let’s be honest. It is hard to swallow that your church doesn’t exist for you. Pastors feel pressured for their church to grow. Members want a place of spiritual vitality

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ShareTheLove Evangelism

Sharing Faith in Post-Christian America, Part 2

In my last post, I referenced individuals from across Christian theological perspectives that have affirmed a fundamental shift in evangelism in a “post-Christendom” world. We have now been hearing this message for two decades.  But we have been slow to adapt. The message? This ain’t your grandma’s world, and what reached her for Jesus won’t

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