A New Level of Kingdom Unity

Jeff Church Life 18 Comments

Yesterday was a historic day for New Bridge Church, where I serve with Dustin Pennington as Co-Lead Pastor. The picture above reveals the enthusiastic response of the people who gathered yesterday after a major ministry announcement was made at New Bridge. I chuckle as I write that because, technically, New Bridge is only twenty months old. We shouldn’t be having …

Releasing The Mute Button

Jeff Church Life

“Why are we sitting here until we die?…We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.”  – 2 Kings 7:3-4,9-10 The above text was the first passage of Scripture I ever …

Yucky: The Doctrine Of Suppression

Jeff Church Life

Just make sure you remain balanced. Be careful – do not run too far with that. Avoid extremes. You go too far out on that limb and you will regret it. Calm down. Hush up. Process within. Do not wade too far out. Mild salsa. Room temperature coffee. Finger food. Monochrome, one size fits all, keep an eye on the …

1 Unchangeable

Jeff Church Life

Every Christian has an opinion about what the priority needs to be in their home church. The beauty of the local assembly is that it is comprised of many different people, all of them uniquely fashioned by the Father for an express purpose in His Kingdom.  None of us are wired exactly the same as another. God intends to take …

Does My Behavior Really Matter?

Jeff Church Life, FAITH, Spiritual Growth

In my last post, I shared from the Apostle Paul’s words to the young pastor, timothy, concerning Timothy’s need to rise above some of the stereotypical pitfalls of young people, specifically, young men, even more specifically, young male zealots. As we move farther into looking at what else Paul wrote to Timothy, the field of applying his words to everyday …

Shedding Some Light On The Religious Spirit

Jeff Church Life

Recently, I spent some time with a pastor friend who was grieved over a family who had left the church where he leads and serves. He, like all pastors, understands that people will come and go as he fulfills his ministry, so he was not pouting for himself. The struggle that had landed upon his heart was that this family …

Staggered By Statistics

Jeff Church Life, Cultural Observations

So I spent some time this morning reading up on denominational divisions within the global Church: just sticking with Protestants, I found that research shows some 9,000 separate denominations. Nine thousand. Nine THOUSAND! My whole Christian life was lived out under the denominational banner of ‘Baptist’ for the first 22 years, but that word clearly means very little when we …

Pastors, Pulpits & People In The Pew

Jeff Church Life, Leadership, Ministry, Preaching

One of the strangest, most unfortunate aspects of the modern church is often found in the expectation of what happens in the pulpit from those who sit in the pews (or chairs).  Somewhere before I was saved, it must have begun it’s slow creep into local churches.  I’ve been a Christian for more than two decades, and I have watched this …

When Tempted To Withdraw

Jeff Church Life, Family

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” – Proverbs 18:1 The individual above is described as someone who purposefully separates himself from others. In essence, it would seem that the person is, in some fashion, hiding from others so as not to have to listen to their counsel. He has learned to trust …

Evicting Jesus

Jeff Church Life, Legalism, Ministry

We are ten days into the new year and I thought it was time to post a devotional blog, focusing on a passage of Scripture. Spending my morning in Matthew’s eighth chapter, I was struck at the difference between how this chapter begins and how it ends. Look at this with me:   Matthew 8:1 – “When He came down …

One Year Ago Today…

Jeff Church Life, Sundays

On the first Sunday of October in 2015, I awoke refreshed, having spent most of the previous two days with a group of men whom I’d never met before.  Pastor Dustin Pennington of Cornerstone Fellowship had asked me to come and pour into the men of his church as they spent the weekend in a retreat together. God moved among …

Closing Down the Religious Spin Cycle

Jeff Church Life, Legalism

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”   – Proverbs 19:21 What a simple and empowering nugget of truth we have in this verse.  We humans make lots of plans of various types.  From those plans, systems proceed and we find something which works for us.  These …

Restaurants & Relationships

Jeff Church Life, Relationships

My family and I are enjoying some time away with each other. If the Lord lays something fresh on my heart to share while I am away, I will certainly blog it. Until then, please enjoy some from the archives. Below is one from a while back that I thought would be nourishing for you today. Blessings to you all. …

Ministry Update: New Bridge Church

Jeff Church Life, Pastors & Pastoring

Our church family recently united with another local assembly in our community. This Sunday we publicly launch as New Bridge Church, an independent New Testament local church. Our emphasis will continue to exalt the authority of the scriptures and the necessity of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for life and ministry.  Here is a really condensed video …

Leadership: The Glories & The Groans

Jeff Church Life, Leadership, Pastors & Pastoring

Recently, I saw a pastor post something on Facebook about the pain of being “stabbed in the back” by someone in the church where he serves.  He was not vindictive in what he wrote, and he left it broad enough to where it would be impossible to pinpoint the specific person who had wounded him.  Nonetheless, I understood immediately that …

No More Generational Hostages

Jeff Church Life, Cultural Observations

For several years I have been observing how those who are older and those who are younger operate in the Kingdom of God.  I am no longer young (unless you happen to be older) nor am I old yet (unless you happen to be younger).  Being forty-five years old places me in between these two different groups of saints, and I …

Soaring by Bowing

Jeff Church Life, Ministry, Sundays

“Do nothing from rivalry or arrogance, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3    What a strange charge is given to Christians from the heart of the wise Apostle Paul.  He instructs us all when he tells the church at Philippi not to interact with one another in rivalry and arrogance.  We have to be …

Remarriage In The Church

Jeff Bible, Church Life, Holy Spirit

God is working a highly proactive plan in your life. He is not casual about you.  You are not lost in the innumerable mass of humanity populating the planet.  He is so wise, so focused and so omni-capable that His eternal eye falls upon you this moment, and He will never miss a thing that you do for the rest …

Fat On Molasses

Jeff Church Life, Ministry

Today my mind rests on how we Christians regard those who do not know Christ. The endorsed approach for the last thirty years by many evangelicals makes a priority out of removing all uncomfortable confrontation when it comes to people and their need for the Gospel. The new approach is what I call molasses evangelism – it’s sweet going down …

Daring Escape

Jeff Church Life

Looking into the eyes of the young man across the lunch table from me, I saw what I’ve had the unfortunate experience of seeing too many times before. He’d just completed a year at a Christian College which I know to be legalistic, manipulative and saddled with a history of compromised leadership. This disillusioned young man is not even fully …

The Arrhythmia Of America’s Heart

Jeff Church Life, Cultural Observations

Today was a very heavy day for many of us in the United States of America. Another definitive step further out of the will of God has been taken by those appointed to render judgment in the highest human court we regard in this republic.  I am on a short ministry sabbatical and am trying not to think on any heavy …

Something To Sweat Over

Jeff Church Life, Vision

Twenty years ago a recently saved young man walked into a local church for the first time since he was a teenager.  He sat on the back row, profusely sweating in his nervousness, and wondered if he would be welcomed in this church or judged by the people there.  His hair was pretty long while the other men all seemed …

An Open Letter To Older & Younger Pastors (From a pastor who is in the middle)

Jeff Church Life, Pastors & Pastoring

Dear Pastor, It occurred to me today that all of the times I have heard the “itching ears” passage of 2 Timothy 4:3-5 referenced it has been focused on preachers watering down the truth of Scripture to please wishy-washy churchgoers who were lax on holiness or commitment to the Kingdom. In essence, these ear-tickling pastors are exposed for taking the …