Why You And Jesus Need Marriage Counseling (or a personal appeal for fresh analogies)

marriage counselingWhen my middle daughter was in 7th grade she called home from an overnight Christian youth conference to tell us that she and her friend Jackie were no longer going to date boys because they had decided to date Jesus.

I stopped her mid sentence, put the phone to my chest, and laughed out loud.

“I’m serious dad. Why are you laughing?”

“Well for starters you’re in 7th grade and haven’t had a boyfriend yet. But mainly because that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Well that’s what our conference speaker said we should do.”

“That’s because he’s an idiot.”

“He was being honest.”

“Well, dear, you’re going to find out that in life just because someone’s a Christian, and honest, that doesn’t mean they’re smart.” [Read more...]

An Open Letter To Amway Salesmen (and anyone else like me that tends to use people in the church)

AmwayIf I had a dollar for the number of times an Amway salesman approached me at the end of a church service and shared that they had a wonderful money making opportunity that would transform our church, I’d, well, you know.

“No offense,” I always reply, “but the last thing that transforms churches is money. That’s usually the very thing that spoils them.”

“Well, um, yeah, I get that, I think, but I work for a multi-national Christian company where Jesus Christ is at the center of all we do, and we empower Christians to have the financial resources to (a) have more time to serve in the church and (b) give money to important Christian causes.”

“Let me guess: Amway?”

“Don’t you want that for your church members Rev. Jones?”

“Please call me Brian. And we’re talking about Amway, right?”

“I mean, just imagine! If your people had the…” [quickly placing my hand on his shoulder and cutting him off mid-sentence…] [Read more...]

Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

To wrap up our series, “Questions I Want To Ask God,” I chose to answer the question, “Why Did Jesus Have To Die?”

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5 Reasons I Believe In Short-Term International Mission Trips

Haiti Mission TripsChampioning short-term international mission trips has unquestionably been one of the best things I have ever done in my life, both as a father and as a pastor.

Short-term international mission trips have sparked more spiritual growth in the hearts of people at the church I serve than everything we have ever tried to do combined.

When people ask why I think CCV has grown so rapidly and impacted our community so deeply, I always tell them I think it’s because God has blessed two things:

  1. We’ve committed ourselves to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God.
  2. We’ve thrown ourselves into international missions.

HaitiThere are missionaries who have deftly pointed out the pitfalls and perils of sending Americans abroad to do short-term mission work. Yet, even when you consider these valid critiques, I still believe the positives far outweigh the negatives. [Read more...]

Why Does It Seem Like God Is Never There When We Need Him Most?

Last Sunday I asked the 2700 people that were with us to answer the following question: “If you could ask Jesus any question, and you knew he’d have to give you an answer, what would you ask him?” I told everyone I would pick two questions and answer them over the next two weeks as a part of a series called, “Questions I Want to Ask God. ”

The question I picked to answer this Sunday was, “Why does it seem like you’re never there when I need you the most?”

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Pete Rose Interview #SecondChances

Here is Sunday’s interview with Pete Rose. I am so proud of our CCV volunteers for the awesome way they pulled off this special event.

This interview is available on my podcast on iTunes. Click here to listen.

Don’t Waste Your Life

Here is the second week of our series called “#SecondChances.”

Click HERE to subscribe to Brian Jones Uncut, my sermon podcasts through iTunes.

Pete Rose Appearance Attracts Widespread Media Attention

Pete RoseI’m really stoked that besides all the national media press (including Cincinnati), many major Philadelphia area TV and radio stations and newspapers will be at CCV this Sunday, March 30th, to cover my interview with Pete Rose.

But…

I’m WAY more excited to hear all the stories from CCV’ers about how so many of their non-church going friends are planning to join us that day.

Undoubtedly there are going to be many join us who have never heard about the amazing #SecondChances that are available to us all in Jesus Christ.

I’m praying Sunday changes that for a whole bunch of people. Will you join me? [Read more...]

Best of the Blogosphere for the Week of March 17th

Matthew Paul Turner
Here are the top 5 posts I read this week plus one moving video.

1. People of the Second Chance’s “Motivational Yeller” gives an important reminder of the affect yelling has on our children.

2. Matthew Paul Turner’s “YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE BRAVE. YOU ARE GOOD. YOU ARE LOVED” and why he shares those words with his kids everyday.

3. Ray Ortlund’s “What Just Happened” regarding Pastor Mark Driscoll’s letter of repentance and what that means for you and me.

4. Richard Beck’s “On Christian Celebrity” talks about the need for pastors who are introverts to suck it up and be available after speaking engagements.

5. Shauna Niequist’s “She’s Not A Megachurch, She’s My Sister” regarding the powerful role the church of her childhood has played in her life.

And finally, the best video I watched this week

The Crowd Is Untruth by Soren Kierkegaard

The Crowd Is UntruthThose looking for the encouragement needed to stand up against opinions blindly accepted by the masses will find a welcome friend in this little gem of an essay.

I found the The Crowd Is Untruth by Soren Kierkegaard to be both autobiographically revealing and refreshingly contrarian. Known to be a loner, and standing at odds with the intellectual climate of his time, Kierkegaard provides a brief defense for offering viewpoints that stand in direct contradiction to prevailing intellectual norms.

Kierkegaard writes,

There is a view of life which holds that where the crowd is, the truth is also, that it is a need in truth itself, that it must have the crowd on its side. There is another view of life; which holds that wherever the crowd is, there is untruth, so that, for a moment to carry the matter out to its farthest conclusion, even if every individual possessed the truth in private, yet if they came together into a crowd (so that “the crowd” received any decisive, voting, noisy, audible importance), untruth would at once be let in.

To Kierkegaard, simply because an idea is broadly accepted does not add a greater sense of credibility. That’s because crowds can be easily swayed. As the author writes, “For to win a crowd is not so great a trick; one only needs some talent, a certain dose of untruth and a little acquaintance with the human passions.” [Read more...]