Expression & Permission

It was an unusually heavy weekend: presiding at a funeral on Friday, First Step membership class on Friday night and Saturday morning, three high energy services on Sunday, helping with but not leading a funeral on Sunday afternoon, and then my enjoyable stint in The...

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The One Point Sermon

This past week, I received an email from someone who attended Good Shepherd for a season and then had to move to another part of the country. Anyway, part of his email said that he and his family still remember and use the phrase "forgiveness is learned, so teach it...

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Polarizing Effectiveness

A couple of years ago, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple executive and current venture capitalist, told some of the leaders of Good Shepherd: "It's good to polarize people."Those are scary words to hear.Pastors and church leaders naturally want to comfort people, not...

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Large And Deep

At Good Shepherd, we strive to be not only a large church but a deep church as well.Which means that in addition to reaching out to welcome new people to worship, we also want to grow the people who are already here into more mature, more faithful followers of...

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Stretching Exercises

Julie and I were away this weekend, enjoying a trip that all the pastors at Good Shepherd have received this summer, courtesy of what we call our Staff-Parish Relations Team.But back at the church, we showed this piece as a demonstration of the ways God stretches us...

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Pre-Emptive Confession

Have you noticed how everyone is sorry for their sin . . . after they get caught? The repentance gear seems to kick in once the light exposes the dark places of people's lives.Jimmy Swaggart's tears, Mark Sanford's press conference, and Ted Haggard's apology all come...

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What If I Stumble?

I was so proud of Angela Hynds, Chris Macedo, and John Pavlovitz as they led into yesterday's sermon with a haunting version of DC Talk's "What If I Stumble?" Enjoy:It was an ideal segue into the first message of unChristian -- a talk which confessed that we 21st...

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LoveDare Is Coming

This Sunday launches LoveDare, a new series based on the book of the same name. This series will address relationships, romance, and, yes, marriage. Check it out:Why this series at this time? Because we're serious about addressing the marriage crisis in our community....

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Happy?

Here's something I teach on with regularity: God is not concerned with your happiness. He's concerned with your obedience.That's not an easy truth. It's not a pleasant truth.But it is a "true" truth.And it comes with a promise: any time we pursue happiness as a goal,...

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Unexpected Subject

So yesterday we tackled one of those subjects that churches like us usually avoid: praying in tongues.I tried to "de-weird" something that is inherently, well, weird.As part of the message, I told of my own journey from skepticism about tongues to pursuing it to...

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