All posts from “Authenticity”

Part 2: The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors

February 21, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1. This market-driven cycle of megachurches, conferences, and publishers results in an echo chamber where the same voices, espousing the same values, create an atmosphere where ministry success becomes equated with audience aggregation. (Thankfully there are outliers like...

The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors (Pt. 1)

February 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Last week Bob Hyatt wrote about the temptations created by the celebrity pastor culture we live in and the harm it causes to our souls. He's not the only one talking about the issue. Both Relevant Magazine and the Together...

The Dangerous Pursuit of Pastoral Fame

February 13, 2012 12:00 AM

As my chiropractor was working me over yesterday, she was asking about the reading I’m doing for a degree I’m working on. After I rattled off the titles and subjects of a number of leadership books, she said, “Wow, what...

Celebrity Pastors, Bloggers, and Questions of Authority

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

Shoot the Wolves from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo. Above is a video from last year’s Elephant Room. The clip highlights a panel of popular pastors discussing the behavior of perceived “wolves” in the church and in Christian media. During...

Skye Jethani: Is Tim Tebow a Hypocrite? (Part 1)

January 9, 2012 12:00 AM

Tim Tebow represents America’s two great religions: Christianity and Football. But the way the young Denver Broncos’ quarterback intertwines the two has made some followers of each faith uncomfortable. His post-game interviews always begin with “I’d like to thank my...

Tebow, Jesus, and Praying in Public

December 9, 2011 12:00 AM

If you are not a fan of football (or prayer), then you may be unaware of Tim Tebow. The young quarterback for the Denver Broncos has been outspoken about his faith in Christ. But what has been causing a stir...

Ur Video: Francis Chan's Warning to Young Pastors

November 18, 2011 12:00 AM

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Praying For The Weekend: Mark Driscoll

September 2, 2011 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: The Best (Or Worst) Prayer Ever?

August 3, 2011 12:00 AM

Pastors are often asked to offer a prayer at public events. But what sort of prayer is best for these gatherings outside the church? Pastor Joe Nelms has been getting a lot of press for the opening prayer he offered...

Pastoral Authority: Earned, Taken, or Granted?

July 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Pastor. In the eight years since this label first applied to me, it has been fascinating to notice who uses it and who doesn’t. The church that first entrusted the title to me was suburban, predominately white, and largely middle-aged....

The Dangerous Pursuit of "Cool" (Part 2)

September 9, 2010 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of Brett McCracken's post. Perhaps pastors and church leaders should focus their energies more on understanding and valuing culture for itself instead of always trying to use it to bolster their church's insider credibility, suggests James Harleman,...

Catalyst Day 1: A Lab on Your Heart Condition

October 7, 2009 10:47 AM

Mark Batterson led off the Catalyst lab sessions with a few words from his upcoming book Primal, which led into a reflection on the foundation of ministry. (Kevin Miller was across the room blogging this session as well, and...

Skye Jethani: Generation of Sarcasm

August 19, 2009 12:00 AM

A poll conducted by Time has revealed that The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is the most trusted news anchor in America. He beat Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, and Katie Couric. Walter Cronkite, having just entered his grave, must already be...

Scot McKnight: Spiritual Eroticism

May 4, 2009 12:00 AM

A peculiar development occurred in the medieval age regarding love. Behind closed doors and in the rush of brief encounters, there developed what has been called "courtly love" or "romantic love." Married men found themselves emotionally carried away with either...

The Dangers of Easter

March 31, 2009 10:29 AM

As we journey through Lent toward Easter, I want to be mindful of the dangers that surround this season and threaten the soul of a community and the soul of a pastor. What danger? The temptation to bait and switch....

Cartoon: Image is Everything

December 1, 2008 12:00 AM

This image reminds me of something James Twitchell writes in Shopping for God: "Megachurches concentrate on what makes the brand powerful: growth. What you sell is the perception that whatever it is that you are selling is in demand."...

Stiff Necks and Bruised Reeds

September 12, 2008 12:00 AM

Sometime last year, a short passage of Scripture lodged in my brain. It's been rubbing and needling there ever since and challenging the way I think about ministry. The passage is from Isaiah 42. Describing Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the...

Out of Context: Rick Muchow

August 7, 2008 12:00 AM

"The fact is that secular music speaks to people--seekers, unchurched, and churched alike ... because many secular songs articulate universal human needs. The reason so many songs are written about love is because it's a universal desire, and one...

Audio Ur: Brandon O'Brien on the Masculinity Movement

August 6, 2008 12:00 AM

Back in April, Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien wrote an article in Christianity Today about the recent trend toward manly Christianity in some evangelical churches. The article generated quite a buzz on the website and in the blogosphere. Brandon...

Is Manliness Next to Godliness?

July 24, 2008 12:00 AM

Today you can read Leadership's own assistant editor, Brandon O'Brien, was in USA Today. The report by Cathy Lynn Grossman highlights the lengths churches are going to reach men. O'Brien wrote an article last spring for Christianity Today on the...

A More Macho Messiah

April 21, 2008 1:44 PM

Brandon O'Brien, assistant editor of Leadership, has a provocative article over at ChristianityToday.com about the shortcomings of the new Christian men's movement. From worship songs that inspire men to "Grab a sword, don't be scared. Be a man, grow...

Out of Context: John Ortberg

April 24, 2007 12:00 AM

"If I'm to preach to people effectively, I must be freed from my need for their approval and applause. As long as I am chained to that need, then my preaching will really be trying to fill up something in...

Worship that Reorders Reality

February 13, 2007 12:00 AM

The National Pastors Convention in San Diego is over and I've returned to the frozen north. But I still have one last reflection from the conference. Mark Labberton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California, spoke on Thursday night...

The Ten Deadly Sins of Preaching

February 7, 2007 12:00 AM

Monday was a great day to leave Chicago. The wind-chill was thirty degrees below zero and the Bears had just lost the Super Bowl. This week I'm in sunny San Diego for the National Pastors Convention. Although the main sessions...

Have We Become Crypto-Christians?

January 5, 2007 12:00 AM

To my knowledge this blog hasn't tackled too many issues of church history, so this post may be more "Out of Place" than "Out of Ur." Still, I have found that the past often illuminates my understanding of my faith...

Donald Miller Isn’t Hip: a gospel for people tired of trying to be cool

May 15, 2006 12:00 AM

In recent posts we have debated the importance of "image" in advancing the ministry of the Gospel. Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and other books seeking to build a bridge between Christianity and those raised in a post-Christian...

Disposable Worship: a caution about using too much technology in worship

April 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Last month I attended a "worship experience" that included smoke machines, lasers, digital graphic projections, and more flat panel screens than I could count. Technology is changing the way we worship, but what are we losing as a result? David...

Beyond Sermons and Songs 2: Further Thoughts on Worship and Liturgy

December 16, 2005 12:00 AM

Pastor, author, and professor David Fitch has responded to the discussion he began about the pitfalls of experiential worship. To read more about worship and ministry in a postmodern culture we recommend Fitch's provocative new book The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming...

Beyond Sermons and Songs: Why Experiential Worship Isn't Enough

December 13, 2005 12:00 AM

Churches pour enormous resources into creating meaningful worship experiences. But what if those experiences don't carry the meaning we intend? Pastor and theologian David Fitch believes a worship experience by itself is not enough in our postmodern culture. Instead he...

Flowbee, Jesus, and Me: A Catalyst Echo

October 21, 2005 12:19 PM

My hair stylist cancelled my appointment yesterday because of a schedule conflict, and for a few minutes afterward I searched the Internet for the Flowbee, the vacuum-attachment haircutting system that lets you give yourself a buzz cut. (I really, really...

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