Speaking Engagements

Upcoming Events: Ladies, You’re Invited!

Looking for a super, doctrinally sound women’s event to attend? Let me tell you about a few I’ve got coming up soon!

Virginia

Yes, Virginia, there is a doctrinally sound women’s conference coming soon! Join me, October 22-23 in Faber, Virginia, for Pop Up Church’s conference on Biblical Womanhood!

We’ll get things kicked off Friday night with dinner at 5:30. Then, at 7:00, we’ll take a look at God’s unique design for biblical womanhood in our first teaching session. God ingeniously created us differently from men because His creation wasn’t complete without womanhood in the world.

Saturday morning, we’ll get started with doughnuts, coffee, and fellowship at 9:00. At 10:00, you’ll learn how to rock your role as a godly woman, walking out biblical womanhood in your day to day life. And, at 11:00, if you’ve got questions, I’ve (hopefully!) got answers – get ready for an awesome Q&A session to round out the day!

This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but registration is required. Register by scanning the QR code or texting the number on the ticket above, or by visiting the conference website.

Tennessee

My last event for 2021 is the Walk in the Word women’s conference at New Prospect Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Join me November 5-6 for a buffet of topics that are sure to equip and encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

In our session on Biblical Womanhood, we’ll explore the beauty and value in God’s Creative design for women and the roles He has set aside for us.

Are you Hooked on a Feeling – living life according to your feelings and emotions? This session is all about biblical and practical ways to live according to God’s Word instead.

Suffering – everybody goes through it at some point. This session teaches us to look to Jesus, the hero of our suffering, so we can take hope in our suffering, and biblically handle our suffering.

What does it mean to pursue Holiness? In this session we’ll take a look at how the Bible defines holiness and how to practice holiness in your daily life.

This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly for details. See the information on the image above, or visit the NPBC website. Tickets are $25 each and cover the conference, materials, refreshments, and lunch on Saturday.

NEW!
North Carolina

On January 8, 2022, I’ll be speaking live via Zoom at Church of the Open Door’s quarterly Sister 2 Sister meeting. If you’re in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area, you’re welcome to attend the 2:00-4:30 meeting, but you must contact the church directly for details.

During my part of the program, I’ll be giving a 30 minute mini-session on Discernment. How can we tell the difference between the biblical and the cheap, unbiblical knock off? We’ll take a look at what the Bible says, plus some practical tips. A 30 minute mini-Q&A will follow, so get ready to fire away with your questions!

Come on out for an afternoon of fun, fellowship, and edification!

NEW!
California

California, here I come…again! This time, I’ll be speaking at the Women’s Advance Conference at Agape Bible Church in Willits, California. Come join us, January 28-29, 2022!

This year’s conference is going to be focused on Suffering. Maybe that sounds like kind of a depressing theme for a conference, but it’s actually very encouraging. In our first three sessions we’ll focus on Jesus, the Suffering Servant, as our perfect example in suffering, what the Bible has to say about suffering in our lives, rejoicing in suffering, and responding biblically to suffering. No doubt many questions will arise, so we’ll wrap things up in our fourth session with a Q&A.

Ladies from the surrounding area are invited to attend, but you must contact the church directly for details.

It’s time to schedule me
for your 2022 event, so…

…for more information on an event near you, or to schedule me for your own event, check out my
calendar of events and booking information on my
Speaking Engagements page.

Hope to see you soon!

Mailbag

The Mailbag: When is it OK to leave a church that’s begun embracing false doctrine?

Originally published September 12, 2016

The elders and pastor of my church have made it clear that they aren’t interested in my husband’s and my concerns about, among other problems, a new women’s study (by a false teacher) starting this month. He told me he would read the articles I sent him but that I was wrong. Is it OK to leave this church, and, if so, when? How long do we wait and not see change?

That’s a great question, and I’m afraid there’s no “one size fits all” answer. When a church begins slipping, biblically, and there’s a Christian in that church who’s wise and discerning enough to see it, God has put that Christian in that church to help biblically solve that problem, or at least to serve as a prophetic warning as to what God’s Word says about the issue and what will happen if the church does not correct its course.

Our very first priority in this situation is prayer. We must pray fervently for God to change the hearts of the pastors and other leaders, for wisdom to know how to best approach the problem scripturally, and for God to give us wisdom about how long to stay and when to leave. (For us married ladies, that decision ultimately falls to our husbands, so we need to be praying for them, too.)

When you’ve done what you can to help biblically solve the problem(s) and have consistently been rebuffed (and it sounds like that’s about where you and your husband are with this church), it may be time to leave. It is perfectly biblical to leave a church that is embracing false doctrine despite scriptural warnings (Titus 3:10-11, Romans 16:17-18, 2 John 9-11, 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, Mark 6:11, Matthew 7:6).

Sometimes, God will make it exceedingly clear as to when you should leave because the church will ask you to leave or, in some way, make it impossible for you to stay.

It sounds like you and your husband have tried to help this church. Just continue to pray for your church and its leadership, and for wisdom (especially for your husband) about staying or leaving. Then trust God to direct you (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If you do end up having to leave, make sure you immediately begin your search for a doctrinally sound church to attend. No church is perfect, but we need to obey God’s mandate to be faithful members of a local body of believers.

Additional Resources:

The Mailbag: How should I approach my church leaders about a false teacher they’re introducing?

The Mailbag: How to Leave a Church

Searching for a new church?


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Speaking Engagements

Upcoming Events: Ladies, You’re Invited!

Looking for a super, doctrinally sound women’s event to attend? Let me tell you about a few I’ve got coming up soon!

Montana

I have so been looking forward to getting together with these ladies. Our conference scheduled for last year had to be canceled, but we’re back on track this year for September 25-26 (Sat./Sun.) at Ekalaka Bible Church in Ekalaka, Montana.

What is biblical womanhood? How do we walk out our role as godly women in our daily lives? We’ll take a look on Saturday, September 25. Join us at 3:30 for fellowship with your sisters in Christ. Worship and session one, God’s Design for Biblical Womanhood, will start at 4:15, followed by supper at 5:45. Next, it’s more great worship and session two, Walking in Biblical Womanhood, starting at 6:45.

Come back on Sunday, September 26, and join EBC for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., and worship service at 11:00. Then, rest up, because day two of the conference starts at 3:00 with another warm time of fellowship. Worship and our Q&A session will begin at 3:30, with supper to follow at 5:00. Our last session is at 6:00, starting with worship, and finishing up with Discernment 101, in which you’ll “learn to discern” the biblical from the unbiblical and the false from the true.

The Rooted in Christ conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly for details.

California

California, here I come! I’m so excited about meeting the lovely ladies at First Southern Baptist Church of Waterford, California.

FSBC’s women’s conference will take place October 8-9. Join us at 6:30 Friday evening for dinner, followed by our first session on The Authority, Sufficiency and Necessity of God’s Word at 7:15. We’ll explore the role of the Bible in the Christian’s life, and why it’s so vital to our growth in Christ.

On Saturday morning, we’ll be starting with breakfast bright and early at 8:00 a.m. At 8:30 we’ll dive into Discernment 101 – how can we tell the difference between the biblical and the cheap, unbiblical knock off? And, finally, fire away with your questions as we close out the day with a Q&A session starting at 9:45.

This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly for details.

Virginia

Yes, Virginia, there is a doctrinally sound women’s conference coming soon! Join me, October 22-23 in Faber, Virginia, for Pop Up Church’s conference on Biblical Womanhood!

We’ll get things kicked off Friday night with dinner at 5:30. Then, at 7:00, we’ll take a look at God’s unique design for biblical womanhood in our first teaching session. God ingeniously created us differently from men because His creation wasn’t complete without womanhood in the world.

Saturday morning, we’ll get started with doughnuts, coffee, and fellowship at 9:00. At 10:00, you’ll learn how to rock your role as a godly woman, walking out biblical womanhood in your day to day life. And, at 11:00, if you’ve got questions, I’ve (hopefully!) got answers – get ready for an awesome Q&A session to round out the day!

This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but registration is required. Register by scanning the QR code or texting the number on the ticket above, or by visiting the conference website.

Love these events and can’t wait for more? I’ll be posting more info. about my fall, winter, and spring events (in November, January, and beyond) as time gets closer.

I’m coming to see YOU,
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, and Willits, California!

For more information on an event near you, or to schedule me for your own event, check out my calendar of events and booking information on my Speaking Engagements page.

Hope to see you soon!

Church, Complementarianism, Worship

Throwback Thursday ~ Six Questions for a Potential Church

Originally published March 27, 2015

church questions1

Have you ever had to look for a new church? Even with recommendations from godly friends, it can be hard to know which churches and pastors are doctrinally sound, and, of those doctrinally sound churches (because you certainly don’t want to go to one that isn’t doctrinally sound), which ones would be a good fit for your family.

There are lots of great articles out there with good, probing questions you should ask about the theology and doctrine of a church you’re considering. (I would recommend this one, this one, and this one. Also, make sure you understand these doctrinal issues and that the church you’re considering lines up with Scripture on these issues.) However, there are times when the answers to these types of questions don’t give you the whole picture of what is actually going on in a church on a day to day basis. In other words, sorry to say, a church can give you all the right answers on paper (or on their web site), but their practices don’t mirror those answers. Additionally, there are some non-doctrinal issues that are important to know about that questions about soteriology, baptism, biblical inerrancy, etc., won’t give you the answers to.

My husband and I are currently looking for a new church for our family. Since we are Southern Baptist and somewhat familiar with the handful of Southern Baptist churches we’re looking at, we already know the answers to the most important questions (the inspiration of Scripture, the divinity of Christ, the way of salvation, etc.) But I want to zoom in a little more on the finer points of belief and practices of these churches, so here are some questions I might ask the pastor of the church we would potentially join.

1.
Which Christian authors have had the biggest impact on your life, beliefs, and ministry?

When I ask this question (and look over the pastor’s shoulder at the titles on his bookshelf), I’m listening for the names of authors and pastors, living or dead, that I know are committed to sound biblical doctrine. If I hear a name like Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, or any Word of Faith or New Apostolic Reformation personality, I’m going back to ask more probing doctrinal questions. If I hear multiple names like those, I’m outta there.

2.
Are you/this church complementarian or egalitarian?

Now you may not be familiar with those terms but any Christian pastor should be. It is a current issue in evangelicalism, and it’s part of his job to stay abreast of such things. I’m not looking for a pastor to be an expert on this topic, but he should be familiar with the terms and have a working understanding of the issues at play as well as the applicable Scriptures, and he should embrace and practice complementarianism as the biblical position.

Because I have been given the right “on paper” answer to this question in the past only to find out later that the church’s practices didn’t match up with its profession, I will probably ask the follow up question: “In what positions of leadership are women currently serving? Do any of them hold authority over men or instruct men in the Scriptures?” If I hear that women are (or would be allowed to in the future) teaching co-ed adult Sunday School classes, giving instruction during the worship service, serving on committees in which they hold biblically inappropriate authority over men, etc., that’s problematic.

3.
Can you give me some examples, from any time during your career as a pastor, of church
discipline issues that have arisen and
how you have handled them?

I’m looking for three things here. First, what does this pastor think constitutes a church discipline issue? If he thinks it’s necessary to discipline a female church member for wearing pants instead of a skirt, that’s an issue, because he’s disciplining someone who’s not sinning. If he doesn’t think it’s necessary to discipline church members who are unmarried yet cohabiting, that’s an issue because he’s not disciplining people who are sinning. Church discipline should only be exercised over unrepentant sinful behavior.

Second, is he afraid to exercise church discipline? Generally speaking, someone who has been a pastor for many years and has never handled a church discipline issue is either woefully ignorant of the biblical requirement of a pastor to rebuke those in sin, or he is afraid to rock the boat because he might get fired. Both of these are huge red flags.

Third, how does he exercise church discipline? Does he follow the steps outlined in Matthew 18 and other Scriptures with a heart to see the church member repent and be reconciled to Christ and the church body? Is he harsh and condemning? Is he firm enough in his resolve to carry all the way through to disfellowshipping a church member if necessary?

4.
How much oversight do you (or an
associate pastor or elder) have over the
women’s ministry at this church?

With this question, I’m trying to find out how much the pastor knows about what’s actually going on inside the women’s ministry (if they have one) and how much responsibility he takes to make sure all teaching and activities are in line with Scripture. Does he research and approve all teaching materials before a women’s Bible study commences? Does a women’s ministry director have complete autonomy over all materials and activities? Are all of the women in leadership positions in the women’s ministry godly and spiritually mature? Would any of the women’s ministry leadership raise a stink if someone showed them from Scripture that a Bible teacher whose materials they use or a women’s ministry activity they enjoy is unbiblical?

5.
Does the music ministry at this church follow a
minister of music model or a concert model?

There’s nothing wrong with Christian concerts per se, but my husband and I feel strongly (notice, I did not say “the Bible says”) that the worship service is not the place for one. We believe that a minister of music, preferably one who is ordained to the ministry, should lead and take responsibility for the church’s worship in a pastoral role. He should be trained in the Scriptures, preferably at seminary, in order to rightly handle and apply them to the music portion of the worship service and other music programs. He should also be trained in music theory and conducting so that he is able to lead in the practical aspects of music.

By contrast, we do not believe that making the music portion of the service like a concert, in which a band gets up and plays in a dark room with a laser light show and a smoke machine and the congregation can sing along if they want to, if they happen to know the songs, and if they are able to follow the ad libbing of the lead singer, is conducive to worship. We believe this tends to make the worship band into entertainers and the congregation into spectators, whereas the minister of music model fosters an atmosphere of “we’re all pulling together to do the work of worship as a unified body.”

This is not about contemporary music versus hymns, it is about one worship model versus another. It is our conviction (again, not a biblical mandate, but our strongly held conviction) after more than two decades in music ministry ourselves, that the minister of music model – regardless of the genre of worship music used – is the one most conducive to strong, biblical congregational worship. So this is something we’re going to want to know about, even though it is not necessarily a doctrinal issue.

6.
Do you preach topically or expositorily or both?

Topical preaching is when the pastor selects a topic to preach on (parenting, money, etc.) and uses biblical passages that apply to that topic to form his sermon. Pastors who preach expositorily usually preach through a book of the Bible from beginning to end before moving on to the next book.

Both are valid forms of preaching as long as God’s word is rightly handled and applied. However, it has been my experience that pastors who preach exclusively topically have more of a tendency to lift Bible verses out of their context in order to make them fit the topic they’re preaching. This is usually not as much of an issue for pastors who preach expositorily because they are simply preaching the Word, verse by verse, in its context.

Additionally, expository preaching gives church members a better understanding of Scripture and how it fits together, and exposes them more thoroughly to a wider range of biblical truth than exclusively topical preaching does. Therefore, I am looking for a pastor whose preaching style leans mostly towards expository, but who isn’t afraid to preach topically if he believes the church needs instruction on a certain topic.

So, those are some of the questions I’m thinking about asking. What questions would you ask when considering a new church?


For more resources on finding a new church, or what to look for in a church, click the Searching for a new church? tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Church

Throwback Thursday ~ Is It Really All Our Fault?

Originally published July 15, 2016

all our fault

“If the church would just _________,
the world would flock to us.”

“The world is in the state it’s in because
the church has fallen down on the job.”

Over the past few years, I’ve been hearing and reading statements like these more and more frequently. But are they true? Is the world really in such sad shape as a result of the failings of the church?

Yes!…and…no.

It is absolutely true that the visible church – everything that wears the label “church” or “Christian,” whether or not it’s biblical Christianity – has a lot to be ashamed of. Westboro. TBN. Homosexual church leaders and members. Pastors caught in adultery. Child molestation scandals. Female “pastors.” All manner of demonic behavior masquerading as “worship,” blasphemously attributed to the “Holy Spirit.”

Even churches with an orthodox statement of faith – which, to onlookers, seem to be doing fine, biblically – water down the gospel in the name of being seeker sensitive, use materials produced by false teachers, invite false teachers to speak at their conferences, fail to evangelize, place women in unbiblical positions of leadership, have pastors and teachers whose main form of teaching is eisegesis and pandering to felt needs, fail to provide for the needs of their members and their surrounding community, focus on fun and silliness in their youth and children’s ministries instead of Scripture and holiness, allow members to gossip, backbite, and exercise selfishness, fail to practice church discipline, make their worship services into irreverent entertainment-fests, have “pastors” who are little more than stand up comedians, and have largely biblically ignorant congregations.

Some churches are spiritually healthier than others, but nobody’s getting out of this one with clean hands. Even the healthiest church is doing something wrong in some little nook or cranny. And as Christ’s bride, it is incumbent upon us, whenever we discover those nooks and crannies, to repent, set things right, and do things biblically as we move forward.

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25b-27

That’s Christ’s vision of the church. A vision all churches fall woefully short of. And when the church fails in any area, it does contribute to the downhill slide of the world, because it is not being the city on the hill Christ wants it to be, and it is producing individual Christians (or false converts) who aren’t being the salt and light Christ wants them to be.

But is it fair to lay all the world’s woes and sinfulness at the doorstep of the church? Is it really true that if we would just clean up our act in this area or on that issue that we’d magically see an influx of pagans begging, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

No, it isn’t.

The world isn’t steeped in sin because of the failings of the church. The world is steeped in sin because of the Fall.

Look back over history. The world was vicious and depraved long before the church ever came on the scene. And, for that matter, long before God set apart and established Israel as His chosen people. (Hello? The ante-diluvian world? Sodom and Gomorrah? Ancient Egypt? Baal and Molech worship?)

Examine any era in the last two millenia when you think the church was doing a better job than it is now and take a look at the society that church was situated in. The New Testament church? It was surrounded by a world of war, oppression, torture, debauchery, sexual deviance, slavery, misogyny, poverty, famine, and child abuse.

The head of the church, Jesus Christ, spent over thirty years physically present on this earth. We know He conducted His ministry perfectly. Not once did He fail to preach the gospel or provide for people’s needs or fall short in any other way. He even went so far as to lay His life down for the sin of the world. And what impact did that have on His immediate society? Did all the Pharisees repent and temple worship was restored to godliness? No. Did Rome stop ruling the world with an iron fist? No. Did acts of sedition and perversion and persecution suddenly disappear? No. In fact, some of those things actually got worse during and after Jesus’ time.

Just like He prophesied.

You see, Jesus didn’t say, “Be more like Me and the world will come running,” or “The church can solve the ills of the world.” He said:

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13

The more the church and individual Christians look and act like Christ, the more world will hate, persecute, and ostracize us.

The church is not going to fix all the evils of society. And it’s not fair to lay that burden of responsibility – one that even Jesus’ earthly ministry didn’t accomplish – on believers who genuinely love their Savior and want to serve Him. Holding out the stick and carrot of a utopian world to the church – if only we’ll get our act together – does nothing but breed hopelessness, despair, and futility in the pews.

Does the church have a lot of repenting to do? Yes. Are there right hands we need to chop off and right eyes we need to gouge out in order to facilitate obedience to Christ? You bet. Should we be exponentially more proactive and passionate about preaching the gospel and meeting the needs of a lost and dying world? Absolutely.

But we do not do those things because we’re failing the world. We do those things out of love for and faithfulness to Christ. Christ is our goal, not a changed world. Christ is the prize we’re to fix our eyes on, not a society that behaves itself. Christ is the finish line we press toward, not domestic tranquility and morality.

Christ.

Because if it’s the church’s job to set the world right, we’re doomed. The world sins because the world is made up of sinners. And the world will continue to sin – even if every church on the planet suddenly becomes perfect – because the world is made up of sinners. But if the church’s highest attainment is love for Christ, faithfulness to Christ, and obedience to Christ, then we are successful in God’s eyes regardless of what the world around us looks like.

Let’s be faithful and trust God to handle changing the world.