Don’t Just Start a Church; Establish a Family

Early in the life of Blueprint I watched a YouTube documentary about gangs. The documentary revealed why most young people join a gang—they feel alone and hopeless. Gangs give these lonely individuals a sense of family. Community is suppose to begin in your family and grow from there, but these gang members did not get […]

Temptations for the Urban Ministry Leader

As missionaries entering into God’s mission we will face temptation similar to the ones Jesus faced. The first one we see is that we will be tempted in the area of provision. I remember when I first felt the Lord calling me to move from Denton to Atlanta to start Blueprint. I had a great […]

Unleashing Disciple-Makers

When I was six, my dad told me, “Son, you have a God-given talent.” I just finished my first football game and had a good game. For better or worse, those words shaped my identity for years. I doubt he knew how significant they were. Well-placed words can be life-shaping. Jesus states in Matthew 28:18–20,  […]

Developing & Defending a Disciple Making Culture

2 Timothy 2:2 is one of the most quoted verses in regard to discipleship. And yes, Paul does talk about discipleship here. But sometimes in zeroing in on this verse, we miss the broader context of this Pastoral Epistle. Paul, an apostle, is writing to Timothy, a pastor, about how to develop and defend a […]

Why I Stay

I am Christian. I am Black. I pastor a church in the Southern Baptist Convention. And I am not done with white evangelicals.  I am staying.   Over the last four years, there have been various headlines about Black and Brown Christians leaving white evangelical churches. From individuals to artists to pastors with entire churches […]

Living Among Wolves

“I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I am here with you.” That type of commitment is a tall order—especially in hostile environments but this became my heart’s cry: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew […]

How to Develop Vision from Burden

Each year after the NFL season ends, two things happen. First, a champion emerges. Second, all the other teams evaluate themselves based on what made the champions successful. Whether they won due to a defensive-minded team, or had a fast-paced offense, the other teams will work to mimic whatever made them successful. We do the […]

Community Restoration and a Holistic Gospel

About ten years ago I walked into an Urban Outfitters store when I had the sudden realization…there is nothing urban about this outfitter! The urban of today is not the urban of yesterday. It is no longer quarantined to the “inner city.” The urban of today is marked by density, diversity,1 and disparity.2 If you want […]


After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the airlines changed the way they did everything. Flying has never been the same since. Security, regulations, reservations, organization, and whether or not people could walk you to your gate – it seemed every element of flying was impacted. And yet, in the midst of all the […]

Evangelism is An Open Door

In today’s culture, there is constant pressure to look out for yourself. Political aisles, socioeconomic differences, religious divides—all of them can make us feel isolated, and force us inward. Because differences are so heightened and tense, the things that distinguish us from our neighbors can also make us feel threatened. Already-existent tensions were heightened during […]