why Ruth (now)?

Several weeks ago, I wrote about our church’s commitment to biblical exposition – the practicing of preaching (primarily) through entire books or sections of the Bible, letting the main point of each passage shape the main point of each sermon. Last Sunday, we completed our expositional study of the book of Ruth. There are a variety of reasons why we believed Ruth was the right book to walk through in this season of our church’s life. Why did we choose Ruth, and why did we choose Ruth right now?


why exposition?

Over the last few weeks at Life Church, we have been walking through the Old Testament book of Ruth. Last fall, we spent three months studying 1 Thessalonians. Prior to that, we spent almost eight months studying the book of Acts. This coming summer, we’ll devote fifteen weeks to studying a section of the book of Psalms – the Psalms of Ascent. From that habit, hopefully one thing is obvious: As a church, one of our primary commitments in preaching is to biblical exposition. That means that the normal pattern of our preaching and teaching involves walking methodically through whole books of the Bible, as opposed to preaching and teaching on selected topics or from selected texts.1

Why is biblical exposition important? Why have we made a commitment to it as a church? Here are four reasons why.


a prayer about the gospel changing everything

Father: I thank you and praise you for how profoundly you have changed my relationship with you, with your ways, and with your Word through the gospel.

Apart from the gospel, any approach to you was an approach to a severe, wrathful judge who had an airtight case against me. But now, in the gospel, I approach you as a beloved, adopted son, as a member of your family with the full rights and privileges of your other children – even an inheritance from you that will never perish, spoil, or fade!



A month ago, I “announced” in this space a transition that had been underway for several months. While I have loved serving the people of Capitol City Christian Church, the Lord was making it clear that he had another assignment in mind for me.

Last Sunday, the people of Life Church in Salisbury, North Carolina, unanimously affirmed their elders’ decision to call me to be their next pastor of teaching and vision.


a personal update

I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the name Capitol City Christian Church. Sitting at my desk in my home office in Amarillo, Texas, I was holding our youngest son, Carson, who was about three weeks old. Kristen and I had slept a total of fifteen minutes since he was born. An email came through that mentioned the church and encouraged me to consider putting myself forward as the church was looking for a new lead pastor.

As I processed that, my immediate reaction was clear, simple, and decisive. I thought to myself: that will never happen. If our Lord has a sense of humor, I imagine he chuckled at that. Because, obviously, it did happen. And it happened because God clearly, simply, and decisively made it happen. He called me to serve at Capitol City six years ago. And he did it in such a way that those who were a part of the process have never been able to doubt that he was the one orchestrating that call.


the power of weak people

God loves to use weak people to accomplish big things. Weak, timid, desperate people make perfect receptacles for the Holy Spirit’s power when they turn to him and depend upon him. God’s kingdom does not advance by human strength but by supernatural power, and his supernatural power is best displayed – not through strong, smart, capable people, but through weak, humble, dependent people.


my prayers for our search team

Satan hates faithful pastors. He abhors gospel ministry and those who seek to labor at it. The idea a pastor humbly loving and serving a church, faithfully exposing to them the truth of God’s Word, patiently urging them toward personal holiness, confidence in the Lord’s promises, and faithfulness in evangelism and ministry…these things make his skin crawl.

All this, of course, means that Satan hates pastoral search teams, too. Or, at the very least, he loves to undermine their work, their unity, and their love for one another and the church, all with the hope of undermining, in the end, the decisions they make about the kind of pastor that they will call. Because Satan hates pastors, he loves to mess with pastoral search teams.