Book of the month: Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne

   In 2016, I want to share more about the books I’m reading. Currently, I’m reading about  6 books at once, but the book “Sticky Teams” by Larry Osborne is really blessing me.  I’ve learned that success in ministry is very much related to the people around us, and our ability to work as a team, delegate, work through conflicts and sometimes, even offense. There … Continue reading Book of the month: Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne

6 Ways to Undermine Your Leadership On Social Media

Social Media is a tool, almost like a double-edged sword. If used properly, it can help you reach more people effectively. If used wrongly, it can hurt relationships and your influence and reputation. If unused, well, then you need to find other tools to use to reach a greater audience. But, too often, I am finding Social Media to be used in ways that undermine one’s … Continue reading 6 Ways to Undermine Your Leadership On Social Media

Slavic Pastors planting English-speaking churches in US

The United States is a land of immigrants. If you ask most people, they have some knowledge of their “immigrant” past. Close to 15% of the residents in big cities weren’t born in US; imagine if you take their children and grand children into consideration? Most families, in one way or another, have some connection to immigration.  That said, when most immigrants come, they start … Continue reading Slavic Pastors planting English-speaking churches in US

An Apology from a Pastor

Recently, Tanya Feygin’s article, “Russian Culture and The Christian Church” went viral in the Slavic Christian community, with close to 4,000 Facebook shares, thousands of views, and a lot of chatter & comments. After reading the article, I countered with a response, posted HERE. Since my first post, Ive had the opportunity to privately connect with Tanya Feygin, and have spent some time reading other … Continue reading An Apology from a Pastor

20 Ways to be Refreshing in the Local Church

The Gospel Coalition recently had a blog by Jason Helopoulos on “20 Ways to be Refreshing in the Local Church.” The content is very relevant to any person and local church, and I wanted to share it with my readers. For full article, go here. There are few epitaphs I would rather have engraved on my tombstone than Paul’s words of commendation to Philemon, “the … Continue reading 20 Ways to be Refreshing in the Local Church

10 Ideas for Wise Leaders

Recently, Chuck Lawless wrote “10 Ideas for Wise Leaders” that I read on Thom Rainier’s blog. These were so great, that I couldn’t resist reposting it for my readers! Great leadership is not about “GREAT BIG IDEAS” but about small things that leaders do everyday. Here are the 10 ideas for wise leaders: Give your family veto power over your schedule.  He’s an incredibly busy man, … Continue reading 10 Ideas for Wise Leaders

A Call to Reform a “Culture of Guest Preachers” in the Slavic Church

DISCLAIMER #1: This post is not against missionaries, nor against any one preacher that has visited or spoke at any Slavic church. Most of these “guest preachers” are people who fear God, are called by God, and are doing the Lord’s work all over the world. Many of them do genuinely need financial assistance, and treat every donation with outmost integrity. DISCLAIMER #2: Many of … Continue reading A Call to Reform a “Culture of Guest Preachers” in the Slavic Church

Book Recommendations on issue of Calvinism/Arminianism: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities

Titles: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities Author: Roger Olson Topic: Calvinism, Arminianism It is clearly evident that Reformed Theology is in. And not just in Seattle, where Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill call home. Throughout the nation, seminaries, denominations, and the blogosphere is full of the “Young, Restless and Reformed,” willing to stop and correct anyone who does not proclaim the Gospel … Continue reading Book Recommendations on issue of Calvinism/Arminianism: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities

Best Writing (and preaching) Advice for Young Writers

This blog was originally posted on Justin Taylor’s blog, “Between Two Words.”  C.S. Lewis’s last interview was on May 7, 1963—six months before he died. Sherwood Wirt (1911-2001) asked for his writing advice: “How would you suggest a young Christian writer go about developing a style?” Lewis responded: The way for a person to develop a style is (a) to know exactly what he wants … Continue reading Best Writing (and preaching) Advice for Young Writers

Book Recommendation: Finally Free by Heath Lambert

Title: Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace Author: Heath Lambert Topic: Pornography, Sexual Purity Porn is the “Elephant in the Room” of today’s culture and the local church. It is destroying many homes and relationships, even if the sin is hidden, because it affects the quality & characteristics of a relationship. There are many books out on helping people overcome porn, … Continue reading Book Recommendation: Finally Free by Heath Lambert

Can a Christian be a police officer?

Having been born in the Soviet Union, a nation deeply atheistic and anti-Christian in its very core, all believers were the laughing stock of society. I was blessed with a grandpa who was a pastor and served years in Soviet camps for his faith in Jesus. Christians were not allowed to get an education, hold high-positions in community, gather, nor teach their Children about faith. … Continue reading Can a Christian be a police officer?

11 Daring Questions to Ask Yourself about Social Media Use

I use Social Media a lot. I believe it is one of the greatest tools available today for individuals and churches to communicate, inform and influence people. I do not believe Social Media is a sin; I actually think its probably unwise to not be utilizing social media for ministry. I also have a track record of getting other ministers to use Facebook and Twitter. … Continue reading 11 Daring Questions to Ask Yourself about Social Media Use

Мысли вслух о прошедшем форуме по вопросу кальвинизма

Перед тем, как рассказать о своих впечатлениях, я хочу поблагодарить пастора Александра Шевченко за организацию форума по столь актуальной теме. Некоторые служители используют кафедру для само-пиара, формируют неверное представление о кальвинизме и арминианстве, и ложно представляют то или другое учение. А, между тем, американская молодежь знает о кальвинистских идеях значительно больше, чем мы думаем, многие являются сторонниками данной позиции. В США кальвинизм играет огромную роль. … Continue reading Мысли вслух о прошедшем форуме по вопросу кальвинизма

5 ways to Intake the Bible

INSERTION: I believe Bible intake is the most important Spiritual Discipline that all believers in Jesus Christ must exercise. Why so? Why not prayer? Church attendance? Reading the Bible will lead us to prayer, fellowship, the local church, serving, giving, loving our neighbor, and more. Yet, there are many people who spend A LOT of time in prayer or in church (like Muslims, & Buddhists … Continue reading 5 ways to Intake the Bible

Is the Bible trustworthy? On the Validity of the Holy Scriptures

Though I was born in a Christian family, there was a season in my life when I questioned my faith and the validity of the Bible. I asked questions such as “Why should I consider the Bible trustworthy and not the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or some other religious literature?” I believe it is ok to ask questions. I did not want to proclaim … Continue reading Is the Bible trustworthy? On the Validity of the Holy Scriptures

What is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Could I have committed the Unpardonable Sin?

When I was a teenager, at one point, I began to strongly struggle with the fear that I had committed the unforgivable sin of the “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”  Without a true desire in my heart, my mind questioned, “What if I just say quietly that the Holy Spirit is ________ (a profanity),” does that mean I will never be forgiven? After reading the … Continue reading What is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Could I have committed the Unpardonable Sin?

Book Recommendation: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Title: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Author: Donald S Whitney Subject: Spiritual Growth Some books and some movies are only watched once. This book has been one of the few books that I pick up every other year, and re-read it. It is so simple, easily presented, yet so powerful and necessary. SOME THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK: How do we pursue Holiness and become … Continue reading Book Recommendation: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Book Recommendation: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

Title: The Meaning of Marriage Author: Timothy Keller Topic: Marriage One of the best marriage books I have read and will recommend is “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. In this book, author Timothy Keller frankly lets people know marriages built on “self-fulfillment” will not last, rather, marriages need to be built on self-denial & sacrifice.  Some small points from the book: * Vows … Continue reading Book Recommendation: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

5 Questions to ask, before dating someone

All marriages, including marriages of Christian couples, are never perfect and need a lot of work to make them work. Getting married will neither make you “complete” nor “whole.” The only thing that makes us complete and whole is our relationship w/ Jesus Christ. Choosing your marriage partner should never be based on the feelings of “love” alone. Feelings of love are the result of … Continue reading 5 Questions to ask, before dating someone

The Christian’s approach to homosexual marriage

The issue of homosexuality has been front cover news for several years now. Many liberals have equaled the rights of homosexuals to get married w/ the great civil rights movement. On the other hand, many Christians are ready to take arms and literally fight so that the government does not give homosexuals the right to get married legally, as if a prohibition against homosexual’s right … Continue reading The Christian’s approach to homosexual marriage

Where do black people come from?

I am of Ukrainian descent and in the Slavic circles, because the culture is not very diverse with different races, the question that is often asked is “where do black people come from?” Sadly, many preachers have tried to answer this questions using the Bible and have been completely off. Here are the 2 answers I heard growing up: 1. Black people are descendants from … Continue reading Where do black people come from?

FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson (Part 1)

City On A Hill hosted Dr. Roger Olson, author of many books (including Against Calvinism, and Arminian Theology: Myth and Realities) and professor at Baylor University (George W. Truett Theological Seminary). In this video, Dr. Olson answers many questions related to Arminian theology and Calvinism, how these 2 compare, and how they differ. Part 2 of this FORUM can be viewed here (http://vimeo.com/62474379) http://vimeo.com/62468956 Continue reading FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson (Part 1)

FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson, Part 2

City On A Hill hosted Dr. Roger Olson, author of many books (including Against Calvinism, and Arminian Theology: Myth and Realities) and professor at Baylor University (George W. Truett Theological Seminary). In this video, Dr. Olson answers some of the questions from the audience, that were not asked in part 1. Watch part 1 here: http://vimeo.com/62468956) http://vimeo.com/62474379 Continue reading FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson, Part 2

Tips on purchaing translation equipment for church

We often get calls to City On A Hill office, asking what system we use for our translation services. Instead of answering all calls in details, here is the info. If you are looking to buy a system to use for translation, read this blog, it will help you even if you don’t go with the same system we went with. First of all, the … Continue reading Tips on purchaing translation equipment for church

Is it mandatory that Christian women should wear head coverings or veils?

Pastor Aleksey Kolimiytsev wrote a blog on whether it is necessary for a woman to wear a head covering or a veil, while praying. I definitely think its worth your time, reading it. Here it is. How do we interpret 1 Corinthians 11:1-16? Does this scripture indicate that Christians must wear a head covering at all times? The issue of head coverings and veils often … Continue reading Is it mandatory that Christian women should wear head coverings or veils?