For the Love of God | Book Review


For the Love of God, edited by Jerry M. Ireland, examines “principles and practice of compassion in missions,” as the subtitle puts it. Part 1 examines principles, and Part 2 examines practices. Contributors are for the most part missionaries with … Continue reading For the Love of God | Book Review

Christians in the Age of Outrage | Influence Podcast


America is angry. Turn on TV news, tune into talk radio, check your timeline on social media, and chances are good you’ll see someone angry—outraged!—about something. Some commentators even worry that our nation is on the verge of a civil war. It would be nice to say that Christians in America are tamping down the fires of outrage, but unfortunately, that’s not always true. Instead, some Christians are fanning the flames. They’re kicking outrage up to 11. One Christian leader who’s trying to turn the outrage down is Ed Stetzer. He thinks outrage is unbiblical and anti-Great Commission. In his … Continue reading Christians in the Age of Outrage | Influence Podcast

Why Missions Needs Missionaries | Influence Podcast


This past summer, thousands of Assemblies of God churchgoers went on short-term missions trips. These trips often do much good. They certainly change the people who go on them for the better. But is it a good idea to shift a church’s missions strategy to short-term missions? Similarly, churches are increasingly supporting “social justice” causes such as anti-human trafficking initiatives and water well drilling as an important part of missions. Granted, these are great causes, but are they missions? In today’s episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with with Doug Clay and Greg Mundis about what missions is and why missions … Continue reading Why Missions Needs Missionaries | Influence Podcast

Five Tensions Churches Must Manage to Successfully Engage Millennials | Influence Podcast


America is in the midst of a generational sea change. Baby Boomers are no longer the nation’s largest generational cohort. Instead, Millennials are. Unfortunately, Millennials are the least religious generational cohort in our nation’s history. If the Church wants to reach Millennials, it cannot rely on strategies that worked with Boomers. The generations are simply too different. In today’s episode, Influencemagazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Geoff Surratt about five tensions churches must manage to successfully engage Millennials. Together with his wife, Sherry, Geoff is the founder of Ministry Together, which “partners with “ministry leaders for relational health, organizational growth … Continue reading Five Tensions Churches Must Manage to Successfully Engage Millennials | Influence Podcast

Institutional Intelligence | Book Review


“Institutions matter,” writes Gordon T. Smith. “Vibrant institutions—effective organizations—are essential to our personal lives and to the common good.” Institutional Intelligenceidentifies seven elements of such organizations: mission clarity, appropriate governance, quality personnel, vibrant culture, financial resilience, generative built spaces and strategic alliances. Smith shows Christian leaders how to implement these elements in their organizations. In a day when public trust in institutions, including churches, is low, this book offers a hopeful, helpful view of trustworthy institutions that contribute to human flourishing. Book Reviewed Gordon T. Smith, Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization(Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017). P.S. … Continue reading Institutional Intelligence | Book Review

Mission: The Sixth Mark of an Ideal Church (Revelation 3:7–13)


Mission is the sixth mark of the church (Rev. 3:7–13). Before Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, he gave his disciples what we now call the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18–20). This commission consists of three elements: the fact of Christ’s authority, … Continue reading Mission: The Sixth Mark of an Ideal Church (Revelation 3:7–13)