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As many of you know, I served as the convener of the Gender Forum at what is considered the most important missions organization for evangelicals: the Lausanne Conference for World Evangelization (LCWE). Because I value the work of Lausanne as much as I cherish the leadership of Lorry Lutz (my co-convener), I knew God was leading CBE into an important opportunity! Our task was to generate discussion on the impact of gender on missions and evangelism, while also exploring the important issue of abuse. Our goal was to voice the experiences and vision of Christian leaders from around the world. Read more
What do evangelical Christians mean when they use words like “equal,” “complementary,”—or even “biblical”—to describe the truth about gender? Egalitarian and complementarian scholars discussed these issues at sessions hosted by the Evangelicals and Gender study group at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) annual meeting entitled, “What is Truth?” Read more
Our daughter Christy was born in Congo and spent her childhood there while my wife Joy and I were missionary professors with the Evangelical Free Church Mission seminary serving French- speaking Africa. Our son Mark heard about our ministry in Africa all his life, but had never seen it for himself. Although Joy could not join us for this trip, the three of us were heading back. Read more
When Rebecca* saw the notice in the church bulletin about a short-term mission trip to Haiti, she was elated. For years she had felt called to the small, impoverished nation and she believed she could offer much to the islanders. After the service, Rebecca approached her pastor and told him she wanted to sign up for the trip. She was shocked when he scoffed. Read more
“You need to find a husband,” my stylist announced, briskly clipping my curls. Ignoring my silence, Janet (not her real name) bubbled about an eligible male customer of hers who was “just right” for me. There was a time when such comments about my single state would rub me raw. To Janet and the others who meddled in my personal life, a woman my age should be in the happily-ever-after set — not still searching for Mr. Right. If a thirty-some-thing woman hadn’t tied the knot, folks thought something was wrong with her. For many years, I agreed with them. The word single sounded like a disease to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes the Bible’s support for the single life helped me feel less weird. But if being single was so great, as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, then why did most of my friends constantly date in an effort to head toward the altar? And why did the few single women I knew seem like miserable misfits? I concluded marriage and motherhood equaled “success” for a female; singleness branded her a failure. Read more
Growing up, my father’s esteem was the most important in my life. Throughout my childhood I attempted to meet — and exceed — his expectations for me. I longed for his approval. If he thought I was smart, I was. If he thought I was pretty, I was. If he thought I was worthy of love, I was. My father’s sense of who I was shaped who I wanted to be. And it shaped who I wanted to be with. Whether a girl’s relationship with her father was good or bad, existent or not, he is still the first man in her life. As girls move from child-hood to adolescence to adulthood, their fathers are often the first people they turn to discover their worth. Read more
Is it okay to open a door for a lady? Come on, no laughing. Sometimes small things tell us something about the big things. I’m a fairly egalitarian male; some would say I’m hyper-sensitive regarding unequal treatment of women in the church and in society. But when it comes to the traditional chivalrous role the male gets to play ... I confess I enjoy it. So am I a hypocrite? Read more
Did you know that the Bible is filled with single people who were loved, called and used by God? Whether prophets or widows, eunuchs or church leaders, these single souls served God “with gladness and singleness of heart.” And the greatest among them was the Son of God. Read more
“Can you stay late again tonight to help me work out one last kink in the budget?” Pastor Keith gently urged Sarah from the doorway of her office. Sarah glanced at her watch, then back at Keith. His big blue eyes won again. “Sure, I’ll come to your office as soon as I make a quick call home.” Her heart began to race a little. She had worked for other pastors before, but never had one of them appreciated her as much as Keith did. She really felt special around him. “Great!” he beamed as he gave her a wink and big smile. By the time Sarah had cleared her desk, made the call and joined him, all the other staff members had gone home. As she entered his office, he jumped up and offered her a chair beside his desk. “You’re an incredible woman, Sarah. You’re the best administrator this church has ever had. Besides that, you bring me more joy than you can imagine!” Keith exclaimed. After that last comment, his face clouded and he added, just above a whisper, “I wish I could say that about my wife.” That she could mean so much to Keith touched Sarah deeply. How she longed to save him from the heartache he was experiencing in his marriage... Read more
Fly as you might, you have to land somewhere, sooner or later. Weeks became months as my wife, Trish, and I cruised the smorgasbord of Southern churches — the comfortable pews of conventional denominations; folk festivals spilling lots of latte-slurping Peter, Paul & Mary but rather less God; small, sad country independents whose land and members were dying in suburban sprawl; a church where we gritted our teeth as we passed the hyper-Christian greeters at the door, wondering what theology fuelled their hopped-up, wide-eyed grins. We moved on. Read more

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