Bruce Ware Audio on The Majesty of God

This past weekend Dr Bruce Ware, professor at Southern Seminary, was at Omaha Bible Church teaching on the Majesty of God. In addition to being a terrific writer Ware is also a tremendously gifted preacher/teacher. The sermon titles themselves below are edifying.

Beholding the God of  Merciful Holiness (Isaiah 6)
Bruce Ware on Isaiah 6

Beholding the God of Redemptive-Covenantal Love (Isaiah 43)
Bruce Ware on Isaiah 43

Beholding the God of Sovereign Supremacy (Isaiah 45)
Audio not yet available.

Additional info:
Dr Ware’s bio at Southern
Dr Ware’s books

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ted Kluck at Omaha Bible Church on Saturday AM: The Art of Manliness

I am looking forward to attending the Men’s Breakfast tomorrow at Omaha Bible Church. Here is the info:

Omaha Bible Church is excited to have writer and cultural analyst, Ted Kluck join us for a Men’s Breakfast on April 23rd at 9 a.m.  Ted will be speaking on the Art of Manliness in two sessions on Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00. Breakfast will be served starting at 8 a.m. (map)

Ted Kluck is the author of several books, on topics ranging from Mike Tyson to the Emergent Church. Both Why We’re Not Emergent and Why We Love the Church (with Kevin DeYoung) won Christianity Today Book of the Year awards. His work has also appeared in ESPN the Magazine and Christianity Today.

I recently finished another one of Ted’s books The Reason for Sports and plan to review it soon. It was a good read.

If you are local, make plans to attend (it’s free). It should be a good time of encouragement in Christ.

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged | 6 Comments

Some Convictions About Church Planting and the Mother / Daughter Church Relationship

In the previous two posts I talked about the benefits and the drawbacks of using the campus model as a bridge toward church planting.

The Benefits of Using the Campus Model as a Bridge to Church Planting…

The Drawbacks of Using the Campus Model as a Bridge for Church Planting

In this post I want to highlight a few convictions or priorities that I have about church planting in the future.

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Drawbacks of Using the Campus Model as a Bridge for Church Planting

Yesterday I wrote briefly about some of the advantages, as far as I my experience, to using the multi-campus model as a bridge for church planting. Many churches are using this method and having success with it.

Today I take the other side. I want to highlight the drawbacks to the multi-campus model in church planting. Please note that this is based on my experience, which is limited. I am not impugning a method across the board (nor am I promoting it). I am making some post-game observations of the process.

It is interesting that some of the strengths from yesterday actually become drawbacks long-term. In other words, some things are extremely valuable up front but as time goes by and the ministry develops they become disadvantages. As Tony Horton of P90X fame has said, “Nobody said this would be easy.” Exactly. There are a lot of moving parts.

Let’s begin.

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Benefits of Using the Campus Model as a Bridge to Church Planting

In the last ten years we have seen a significant increase in the number of churches adopting a campus model for ministry. In this model the church replicates itself in another area while maintaining a close connection and identity to itself (the main location). There are many different ways that churches go about this. I will not attempt to cover them all here.

Instead, I want to talk about what we did at Omaha Bible Church (OBC) as we moved to plant Emmaus Bible Church (where I currently pastor). We used the campus model as a bridge toward church planting.

In the next two days I want to highlight the pros and the cons of this approach.

Today it is the pro side. Why was the campus model a good bridge toward church planting?

Our Context
OBC is a growing church with young leaders. There is a lot of motivation to press on in gospel ministry. This climate led to a desire for church planting.

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Reformation Conference with Stephen Nichols

I am really looking forward to the upcoming conference at Omaha Bible Church. This is due in large part to the fact that Stephen Nichols is going to be the featured speaker. I have reveiwed many of his books here in the past. Some of my favorites include his biography of Martin Luther and Jonathan Edwards,  his book on the “American Jesus” (Jesus Made in America), the book on the Reformation- How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World, a church history book for kids-The ABC’s of Church History, and his work on the early church entitled For Us and Our Salvation.

(Note: If you are looking for good deals on these and other titles from Nichols, see this page on Amazon for a complete list.)

One of the things I like about Nichols is how he helps make history interesting. He does this by writing (speaking) in a creative way and having a finger on the theological pulse of today as well as yesterday. In this way we are able to not only learn facts about history but also lessons. This is the goal of this conference.

Here are the details:

9:00 a.m. – Jan Hus, Martin Luther, and Sola Scriptura

10:30 a.m. – The Life of Luther and Commitment to the Church

12:00 noon – Lunch at Omaha Bible Church

1:00 p.m. – The Cross and Discipleship: From Martin Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer

2:00 p.m. – Conference ends.

The cost of the conference is $5 per person with a maximum family expense of …

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Trying to Understand why Evangelicals quickly chase fads and what actually works

Emergent, Seeker Sensitive, traditional, liturgical, purpose driven, etc. Pastors and church leaders today seem to have many options for how they approach the ministry of the local church and specifically the Sunday gatherings.

In the past I have often been rather harsh in my criticism over the pastors who seem to be so eager to try out whatever fad or method comes down the evangelical stream. My frustration was based by in large on my convictions, which are strong.

However, I don’t think I’ve ever asked myself why. Why do they do this? Why are they so attracted to pragmatism? Why are they so eager to bite at something that might work?

I have sat face to face with a seasoned and, by many standards, successful church growth pastor from the Willow Creek school. I have asked these questions.

By in large the answers pivoted on a desire to see people come to Christ and the ministry of the church to expand. In other words they have a burden for people and believe in their message.

What drives these guys?
But as I talked to him and processed what else I have read and seen in this movement I was struck by another reality. This reality is the pressure to produce or succeed.

I think this really drives these guys.

They are under pressure from leadership and themselves to produce results; and produce them quickly.

So what do they do? The grab what would logically work and has some record of quick results. Many believe that it will …

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Email Critique of My Sermon (only in Nebraska)

I received this email from an OBC member after I tried to ‘contextualize’ an illustration regarding Nebraska football and rivalries. According to this email, I stumbled over several Cornhusker tripwires. He helped set me straight. I am still laughing because I know he is serious. My apologies if your state or school took some fire in this post.

One very improtant error in your sermon, and it’s happened once before, so I better mention it.

Nebraska fans don’t care about Iowa (I asssume you mean Iowa State). If they beat us, then we deserve to beat and we are really bad. But they do not have our respect.

Nebraska fans have two rivals. Oklahoma is a much respected progam, and if they beat us, we can live with that. If we win, we know it is worth a lot.

Colorado is evil. We hate them. If we beat them, we’re just glad the game is over. If they beat us, we hate them more, and we’re glad the game is over. We do not respect them. (We’ve been known to fire coaches even if they win this game.) We do not tolerate them. We cannot run up the score on them, because no game in NCAA history has ever ended with a spread wide enough for us to consider it running it up against Colorado. No amount of “bullitein board” material on either side can increase animosity more than …

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

The ‘Manning Up’ Conference

We are having a men’s conference at Omaha Bible Church next month. The focus will be on the priority of demonstrating faithful Christian leadership. The intention is to take and chase down how the reality of the gospel so profoundly impacts & informs the life and service of the Christian man. There are indeed requirements. There are duties. There are responsibilities that flow out of our new life in Christ.

Furthermore there is little secret that since the fall of man these responsibilities have been ignored, abused, and perverted by some. Hence the need for the conference.

We were looking to make things a little edgy. So here is our marketing attempt:

Now the logic is this: just as this fat guy in a sun dress is out of place and offensive so too is the spiritual cross dressing of men who don’t act like men. Too many guys in churches are shamelessly prancing around in their spiritual sun dresses and mascara. On the other extreme there are many guys who think that leadership is being a jerk and suppressing people like a tyrant. In either case men need a biblical calibration. The conference aims to, like a loving friend, intervene and instruct in the practice of Christian masculinity.

So if you are an OBC guy then you need to be there. And if you are not, but are local, feel free to join us. Check the website for more details.

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Why Omaha Bible Church is Switching to the ESV

The elders’ of Omaha Bible Church have decided to make the switch from the New American Standard Version to the English Standard Version as the primary preaching, teaching, reading, memorizing, and ministry Bible of the church.  What follows below is an excerpt of the announcement including some of our rationale for the switch.

The pastors have been reading through the ESV for more than a couple of years in our own personal devotions. We have been carefully and prayerfully considering this change. We recognize that there are other good translations (including the NASB!) so this is by no means a shift to becoming an ‘ESV-only’ church. We just simply think that the ESV is the best translation for Omaha Bible Church to put in the hands of our people.

There are three big reasons for the change to the ESV.

1) The ESV is an excellent translation

By excellent translation I mean that it is a word-for-word translation as opposed to a thought-for-thought translation. This becomes critically important for us because God did inspire thoughts but rather words (2 Tim. 3.16).

Furthermore, the ESV also emphasizes and demonstrates a high literary quality. In other words, the translators have worked hard to ensure that the ESV maintains the high literary quality of the Bible. The translation reads better than many others and it has a greater sense of literary beauty. We have used the NASB for a number of years and really enjoyed the attention …

Posted in Ordinary Pastor | Tagged , | 19 Comments