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Religious Freedom Under Attack

Religious Freedom Under Attack

Over the last few years, religious groups have found themselves on the defensive as a result of increasingly aggressive actions from a variety of government and private actors. Consider the following:    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (a Christian group that Marlene and I were a part of at our university) has been "derecognized" by the 23-member colleges of the California State ...

When You

When You're Not in the Mood to Pray

A person doesn't have to read the Bible for very long before discovering that one of the main businesses of life is prayer. The gospel writer, Mark, tells us that in the morning a great while before day, Jesus rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. The apostles didn't allow themselves to get distracted with the busyness of life. Instead, they determined to give ...

In Praise of Faithfulness: A Tribute to Linda Heselton Upon Her Retirement After 25 Years As Our Children’s Pastor

In Praise of Faithfulness: A Tribute to Linda Heselton Upon Her Retirement After 25 Years As Our Children’s Pastor

One of the very first hires I made when I became Vineyard Columbus’ first senior pastor was to hire Linda Heselton to oversee our VineyardKids’ Ministry.  And for 25 years we’ve worked side-by-side in serving this wonderful church.  Linda is now retiring (not from Christian service, of course – one never retires from that) as our children’s pastor.  ...

Why Vineyard Columbus Encourages Women to Preach, Pastor & Church Plant

Why Vineyard Columbus Encourages Women to Preach, Pastor & Church Plant

The conversation concerning the appropriate roles for women in the church today starts, unsurprisingly, at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 1 - the fundamental creation text:   Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the ...

Vineyard Columbus: What Does the Survey Say?

Vineyard Columbus: What Does the Survey Say?

Every two years, Vineyard Columbus takes a survey of our congregation. Our most recent survey was taken in March 2014. What did we discover about our church? We are becoming more racially diverse. Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in the United States. Only 14 percent of all congregations in America are considered racially diverse, which is generally ...

The C.A.L.L. to Leadership

The C.A.L.L. to Leadership

Recently, I've been doing a series at Vineyard Columbus titled Strength in Weakness: Leadership Lessons from the Life of Paul.  Many Christians ask themselves the question: "Am I called to Christian leadership?"  Some feel called to pastor, some to missions, some to lead a small group, some to lead children or teens.  Some Christians feel called to lead regarding issues of ...

Why Plant Churches?

Why Plant Churches?

Vineyard Columbus is part of a larger association of churches known as Vineyard: A Community of Churches, which is comprised of approximately 550 churches in the United States. Two years ago, the leaders of the Vineyard movement put forth an audacious goal: to plant 750 new Vineyard churches in the next decade. This goal means that the Vineyard movement is seeking to more than double the number ...

What Does Love In A Multicultural Church Look Like?

What Does Love In A Multicultural Church Look Like?

Personal Note from Rich: This past month, Women's Ministry hosted a conference titled "Make Us One." The conference was about the biblical message of unity - across races, across classes, across genders, across economics and family situations, etc. Our Women's Pastor, Marlene Nathan (who is also my wife), wrote the following. I found her thoughts to be worth sharing with you, so I decided to use ...

Why Kids are Leaving the Faith (and What We Can Do About It)

Why Kids are Leaving the Faith (and What We Can Do About It)

There are few things more painful for a parent than watching a child walk away from faith. As a pastor, I've had dads and moms break down in tears in my office as they recount the story of their child's departure from Christian faith.   "I don't know what happened," shared one parent. "She loved church growing up. She was so involved. We used to pray together every night."   "He ...

Back to Basics: Being a Disciple; Making Disciples

Back to Basics: Being a Disciple; Making Disciples

Jesus has one fundamental way of evaluating the success of any individual or any local church: Are we fulfilling His command to be disciples and to make disciples?  Simply put, do we look like Jesus?  Do we, as individuals, and does our church produce people who look like Jesus? Do we forgive like Jesus forgave? Do we love like Jesus loved? Do we pray like Jesus prayed? Do we value ...

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