Christian Church

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  • And What Kind of Church Shall We Be?

    Revitalize Your Church
    Mark Wilson
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:35 am
    There are three generations in the church: the "traditional" generation,  the the "emerging" generation,  and the "bridging" generation. Each generation serves an important function. The traditional generation keeps us rooted in our rich heritage, reminding us of our larger, historic, faith community. The emerging generation pushes us forward into the future, bringing cutting edge vision for tomorrow's effectiveness. The bridging generation lives between both worlds, helping both the traditionalists and the emerging types to respect, value and…
  • Form and Function

    Man of Depravity
    Tyler
    23 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    Today’s post from Hannah Anderson is part of Hinneh: a blog series on vocation and calling. If you’d rather read all the posts from the series in a short ebook, the writers have generously made it available for free. You can download a PDF copy here, or downloads in Epub (most tablets/e-readers) and Mobi (Kindle) formats are available as well. To receive the rest of the series in your inbox, sign up here.  If you wandered through the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania, you might stumble upon one of the United States’ greatest cultural treasures. Today there is a visitors’…
  • Crafting Memorable Messages

    MoreThanDodgeball.com
    Brandon Early
    21 Apr 2015 | 8:06 am
    I have a few “go-to” tools that help me prepare a message. I am the primary teacher in our high school youth ministry but I also carry part of the teaching load for our church (about once a month). More than anything, I want to correctly convey God’s word. My hope is that I do that […]
  • Google’s Mobile Friendly Update on #cmschat

    Church Marketing Sucks
    Kevin D. Hendricks
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:22 am
    Last night’s #cmschat on Twitter covered #Mobilegeddon, the new mobile friendly update for Google’s search results. It’s a tweak in how Google ranks sites that will give preference to mobile friendly features. This change could have a big impact on your church website and definitely puts more importance on features that work for mobile devices. Join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET for #cmschat on Twitter. Here’s the transcript: [View the story “Week 10: #cmschat – #mobilegeddon and it’s implications for your church website” on Storify] The post…
  • Join Open Church

    churchrelevance.com
    Kent Shaffer
    9 Apr 2015 | 10:46 am
    It is an exciting year for Open Church! I’d love for you to join us as we build a global library of free resources and a directory of key initiatives in God’s Kingdom. There are 17 roles that can be filled by volunteers, interns, or self-funded full-time team members. It’s a unique opportunity to be a part of the foundational stages of Open Church. Visit openchurch.com/join to see all of the telecommuting opportunities or check out our top 7 needs below: Scout – Market Researcher identify key initiatives in the Kingdom research what they are doing + see full details…
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    Church Marketing Sucks

  • Google’s Mobile Friendly Update on #cmschat

    Kevin D. Hendricks
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:22 am
    Last night’s #cmschat on Twitter covered #Mobilegeddon, the new mobile friendly update for Google’s search results. It’s a tweak in how Google ranks sites that will give preference to mobile friendly features. This change could have a big impact on your church website and definitely puts more importance on features that work for mobile devices. Join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET for #cmschat on Twitter. Here’s the transcript: [View the story “Week 10: #cmschat – #mobilegeddon and it’s implications for your church website” on Storify] The post…
  • 26 Giving Tips for Church Communicators

    Kevin D. Hendricks
    23 Apr 2015 | 7:56 am
    Last week’s #cmschat on Twitter covered communications and giving, and we saw a lot of wisdom from the community. We wanted to collect some of the best giving tips to make sure nobody missed them. You can join our weekly #cmschat every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET to contribute your own ideas and hear the good stuff firsthand. #cmschat stop saying, “if you’re a guest we don’t want you to give.” that’s probably a lie anyway. :) — Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski) April 17, 2015 Why talk communications and giving? Because church communicators often don’t understand how…
  • Church Visitor Horror Stories: Congregation Fail

    Kevin D. Hendricks
    22 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Last fall we started collecting Church Visitor Horror Stories to celebrate our book, Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive-Away First-Time Visitors by Jonathan Malm. It’s been scary stuff. But hopefully we can learn to be more welcoming. The Congregation Fail Years ago, a visitor to our church was raising her hands in worship when someone tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around, the kindly church member told the visitor, “We don’t do that here.” –Marc Aune My husband and I were trying to be inconspicuous, neither one of us terribly comfortable with the whole…
  • Media Nuts and Bolts by Kim D’Souza

    Sheri Felipe
    21 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    If the phrase “nuts and bolts” means the basics of something, then Media Nuts and Bolts by Kim D’Souza is appropriately titled. The book reads like a reference manual for all things related to media within the church. It gives a basic overview of many concepts and how to get started in each area. The chapters cover a wide variety of topics related to media including: branding getting on television blogging creating videos social media “The power to transform lives is not in the media but in the message of the gospel.” The author explains that the  reason for the book is “…not…
  • The Purpose of Your Church Bulletin: Evaluate Before You Tweak

    Kevin D. Hendricks
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Church bulletins have been a hot topic lately (and we’ve got more coming). But there’s one aspect of church bulletins that really determines everything else. Without considering it, we’re really just talking in circles. So, what’s the purpose of your church bulletin? For starters, the purpose is probably not to drive church communicators crazy or to generate lots of wacky bulletin typos. Those are just side effects. The purpose of your church bulletin really depends on your church. Your bulletin can have many varied purposes. Here are just a few: A method for…
 
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    churchrelevance.com

  • Join Open Church

    Kent Shaffer
    9 Apr 2015 | 10:46 am
    It is an exciting year for Open Church! I’d love for you to join us as we build a global library of free resources and a directory of key initiatives in God’s Kingdom. There are 17 roles that can be filled by volunteers, interns, or self-funded full-time team members. It’s a unique opportunity to be a part of the foundational stages of Open Church. Visit openchurch.com/join to see all of the telecommuting opportunities or check out our top 7 needs below: Scout – Market Researcher identify key initiatives in the Kingdom research what they are doing + see full details…
  • Updated Top Christian Blogs List

    Kent Shaffer
    9 Apr 2015 | 8:31 am
    The 12th edition of the top Christian blogs list is out! Featuring 300 blogs, it’s the definitive guide of the most-read blogs for ministry inspiration. Fifty-three blogs made the rankings this year that were absent from last year. Visit the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry. The post Updated Top Christian Blogs List appeared first on churchrelevance.com.
  • Code for the Kingdom is launching a Global Hackathon this October

    Kent Shaffer
    28 Feb 2015 | 10:22 am
    After hosting local hackathons across Silicon Valley, Seattle, India, and Austin, Code for the Kingdom is launching its first global hackathon on October 2-4, 2015. Featuring 12 host cities, participants will create technologies using a Christian perspective to tackle challenges facing our communities. Over the past two years, over 900 technologists have created create 86 projects through Code for the Kingdom. This first global collaboration will leverage the skills and insights of international entrepreneurs, designers, and technologists to foster an entrepreneurial culture with Christian…
  • 138 Creative Church Logos

    Kent Shaffer
    20 Jan 2015 | 4:05 am
    As a designer, updating the list of our favorite church logos is always a fun process. This year’s list has grown to 138 terrific logos. Check it out and enjoy the creativity of God’s Kingdom. The post 138 Creative Church Logos appeared first on churchrelevance.com.
  • Did you hear what Open Church is doing in 2015? (infographic)

    Kent Shaffer
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:08 am
    I am excited to announce that after spending 4 years with Open Church getting the right relationships in place, now is the time to build the infrastructure needed to help Christians globally collaborate, learn from each other, and share resources. Our goal for 2015 is to develop a database directory, create new resource licenses, and hire 4 team members to lead the initiative and train volunteers. To learn more, download the 2015 Vision Blueprint (PDF) or visit openchurch.com. The post Did you hear what Open Church is doing in 2015? (infographic) appeared first on churchrelevance.com.
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    djchuang.com

  • Yes, there’s a Saddleback Church in Aliso Viejo

    djchuang
    19 Apr 2015 | 12:15 pm
    Happy to share the good news of a new Saddleback Church worship venue in Aliso Viejo (launched on Easter 2015) hosted by Saddleback Church Rancho Capistrano campus. It’s great that it’s so close to where I live (Vantis) and the many other people that live in the neighborhoods nearby. Here’s the details & info about this Saddleback Church Off-Site Venue in Aliso Viejo::The Saddleback Rancho Capistrano Off-site Venue at the Aliso Viejo Conference Center meets every Sunday at 10:00 AM. Off-site venues like this are designed to be an easy and relaxing way for you to…
  • Real Changed Lives of Everyday People

    djchuang
    18 Apr 2015 | 1:55 pm
    Everyone has a story to tell. Even though not everyone is a great storyteller, there are ways to tell one’s story in an engaging way, I think.Stories of everyday people can be presented in a compelling way and the best instance of that is StoryCorps on NPR. Everyday average people having a conversation and sharing a slice of their story recorded in a short episode. So compelling that over 50,000 episodes are archived in the Library of Congress!How often have you heard it said that church is not the building, it’s the people. What does that look like? There are church websites…
  • How mobile giving needs to be easier and available

    djchuang
    9 Apr 2015 | 8:57 am
    Somebody needs to solve this problem of mobile donations aka mobile giving. A few companies I know of that have. But it doesn’t do most churches and nonprofits any good if I know a few of them, they have to know about them.It dawned on me this is an unsolved problem as I went to 7 churches over the course of Easter weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, affectionately known as the OC Easter Tour. I wanted to give as a part of worship at the churches I visited, but discovered that 5 out of 7 churches didn’t have an accessible & working mobile giving solution!So I could only give a…
  • the 2015 OC Easter Tour, a family tradition

    djchuang
    2 Apr 2015 | 8:26 am
    As Holy Week for Christian churches around the world approaches the weekend, churches are hosting worship services for the next four days. And, thus begins our family traditions (since 2011) for going to as many churches as possible in the OC, that is, Orange County, California. To take on the momentus effort, I build this spreadsheet with 20-some churches with multiple worship services on multiple days for this 2015 OC Easter Tour. Share the link http://140t.co/easter2015 and come along to worship Jesus for He is Risen!The post the 2015 OC Easter Tour, a family tradition appeared first on…
  • How Frequently Should Churches Really Post On Social Media?

    djchuang
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:29 pm
    [a guest post by Jeremy Smith, author of “By The Numbers: A Longitudinal Study on the Digital Ministry of America’s Largest Churches“]There is this notion floating around which has gained ground that a magic number exists for how frequently a church should post on different social media platforms to get the best reach every day. The concern pastors want to overcome is the same from the social media account as it is from the pulpit. How many creative quibs do I need to share to be an expert, how long can this sermon go, and how many announcements will I be able to share and…
 
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    RHETT SMITH

  • Rhett Smith Podcast 7: The Journey of Forgiveness

    Rhett Smith
    22 Apr 2015 | 7:17 am
    One of the issues that almost always comes up in my work with clients is the issue of forgiveness. It is the issue that often is not addressed, but the one that is most needed. So a few months ago when a pastor friend of mine asked me to come speak at his church’s marriage conference he gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted to talk about. The obvious stuff came to mind instantly….communication….intimacy….sex….etc. So I thought about what I wanted to talk about for a few days and finally settled on the topic of forgiveness. Why did I settle on this topic?
  • Rhett Smith Podcast 6: Exploring a Rhythm of Life, Creativity, and Leadership from the Quaker Tradition — with Theologian, Professor and Writer, Wess Daniels

    Rhett Smith
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    As I say in the introduction of this podcast, Wess Daniels is one of the smartest guys that I know. I first met Wess about ten years ago or more when I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary and pastoring at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. I started hanging out with Wess when he was teaching me some tech hacks in creating my Apple HTML email signature (I know, sounds pretty exciting). But over the years as my friendship with Wess has deepened, I’ve always been impressed with not only his intellect, and the topics is spans, but his sense of humility. Wess received his Ph.D from Fuller…
  • Rhett Smith Podcast 5: Turning Insight into Change, Striving for Balance, and Living Relationally — with Innovation 360′s Kevin Gilliland and Lauren Barnett

    Rhett Smith
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:30 am
    This was a really fun podcast episode to record. I drove down to Dallas a couple of weeks ago to spend a couple of hours with Innovation 360′s Executive Director Kevin Gilliland, and Director of Marketing Lauren Barnett. I first came across the work of Innovation 360 when I met up with Lauren and another colleague over coffee one morning. And in the last 3 years I have been continually impressed not only with Lauren and Kevin, but the whole team at Innovation 360. I love their all encompassing approach to mental health, which involves caring for the physical, emotional, mental and…
  • Rhett Smith Podcast 4: The Connection Between Our Fitness, Food, and Faith — with Ultra-Athlete and Food Advocate Sarah Stanley

    Rhett Smith
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:25 am
    About two years ago I came across Sarah Stanley online which led to a few email exchanges about running and health. And over the course of the last two years I have been both continually impressed and encouraged as I have watched her explore the outer limits of her abilities (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) through her ulta-running, all the while being fueled on a plant based diet.  And her running resume is impressive: 26 marathons, Boston qualifying, 7 50 mile races, and 4 100 mile races…and on and on and on. The intersection of running and food has been resonating…
  • Rhett Smith Podcast 3: Navigating Transitions, Finding Your Passion, and Letting, Go — with Pastor, Chaplain and Spiritual Director, Dr. Timothy Smith (aka my dad)

    Rhett Smith
    25 Mar 2015 | 7:22 am
    My dad is an amazing guy. Besides being my father he has taken on many roles over the course of his life such as church planter, pastor, professor, prison chaplain, hospice chaplain, writer, teacher, speaker, spiritual director, radio show host…and co-founder of Water from Rock which is a non-profit ministry based in Scottsdale, AZ, and which provides weekly classes, workshops, retreats, Lenten and Advent devotionals and much, much more. So all that to say, my dad is incredibly wise and has a lot of important insight into some of the issues that we all at times find ourselves struggling…
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    Jesus Dust

  • 'The Future of Religion: A Researcher (that's me) looks to Seattle for clues' [NPR interview]

    16 Apr 2015 | 8:42 am
    I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when I got an email from NPR's affiliate in Seattle (KUOW) asking about my research on church plants in Seattle, and what it suggests about the future of church in the urban, American context.  The interview with Marcie Sillman was a blast, and it was a privileged to get to tell a different, more hopeful narrative than the dominant one these days about
  • King 5 News Coverage of New Seattle Churches

    1 Apr 2015 | 1:51 pm
    This Holy Week, King 5 News in Seattle, decided to do a series on some of new church plants in Seattle that have been the focus of my dissertation research and writing, including Community Dinners, Vona, All Saints, and Awake.  I was delighted to be able to share some of what I've been learning about the context with Alison Morrow, and even more pleased that they've been lifting up how important
  • Third Places and/as Sacred Spaces: Innovation among Neighborhood-rooted New Seattle Churches

    26 Sep 2014 | 6:35 am
    Seattle is home to a number of new churches that are embodying their belief that the gospel is good news to neighborhoods. Seeking to incarnate the Kingdom of God, they fashion themselves as a tangible assets to their community.  Several do this by providing a "third place"-- a space that is open to all and fosters community and advances the well-being of the neighborhood. Here are some of the
  • New Seattle Churches Mapped

    7 Jul 2014 | 1:21 pm
    More than 100 new churches have taken root in Seattle, WA since 2001. Explore the churches on this map I created which lists websites, Facebook and Twitter pages, denominational identity, and founding date. See King 5 News Coverage of New Seattle churches here.  To learn more about the New Seattle Churches Project, check out www.newseattlechurches.com and follow me on Twitter for study
  • 'Some Fell on Good Soil': Church Planting in Religious Ecologies

    9 Jun 2014 | 6:45 am
    In the midst of the decline of mainline denominations and the rise of the “nones” in the U.S. something surprising is happening.[i] Church planting is booming.  According to Ed Stetzer and Dave Travis, the number of new churches started annually jumped from approximately 1500 in the late 1900s to 4000 by 2006.[ii]  Such a spike is not only the greatest surge in church planting in the last
 
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    Eric Bryant - Blog

  • Speaking in Austin, Tampa, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz

    Eric Bryant
    23 Apr 2015 | 7:42 pm
    TweetIf you or those you know are in Austin, Tampa, Sacramento, or Santa Cruz, come join me at one of the following events: Gateway Church (South Campus at 9:30am and 11am) April 26th May 10th Upcoming Events include: Exponential East Bonus Session in Tampa, FL (April 27, 2015) Thrive Conference in Sacramento, CA (April 30-May 2, 2015) Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, CA (May 3, 2015)
  • Mosaic Worship Album – MSC is here!

    Eric Bryant
    21 Apr 2015 | 4:48 pm
    TweetExcited for the new worship album from Mosaic! Check out this interview with Erwin McManus at www.christianpost.com!
  • Questionable: Is Jesus God? – Lee Strobel

    Eric Bryant
    20 Apr 2015 | 1:41 pm
    Tweet This week at Gateway Austin we continued a series called “Questionable: Feel Free to Ask.” Lee Strobel former atheist and investigative journalist who chose to follow Christ after his investigation spoke this week. You can watch or listen at www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast. The most powerful part of his message included the story of the transformation in his family. Before Lee started his spiritual search, he struggled with anger and drinking too much. His young daughter would hide from him every time he came home. After he chose to follow Christ, his transformation was so…
  • Forgiveness: The Greatest Miracle?

    Eric Bryant
    19 Apr 2015 | 6:46 am
    Tweet“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” – Jesus in John 14:12 Jesus says that we would witness even greater things than what He did when walking among us. What could be greater than healing the blind or helping those who could not walk or even giving Lazarus life after death? Consider: everyone Jesus healed later died. Jesus’ miraculous healings were temporary. Spiritual healing lasts forever. Jesus’ death on the cross and…
  • Questionable: Science and Faith (Gateway South)

    Eric Bryant
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:28 am
    Tweet This week at Gateway Austin we kicked off a series called “Questionable: Feel Free to Ask.” John Burke interviewed Dr. Walter Bradley at the Gateway McNeil Campus in Northwest Austin. You can watch or listen at www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast. I interviewed Dr. Tricia Shepherd, a professor and department chair at St. Edwards University. Here’s what we shared at Gateway South: Who are we? How did we get here? Is there a God and can He be known? The Scriptures describe our origins with the following: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth…
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    FredMcKinnon.Com

  • Hold On (The Light is Coming) Released Today on YouTube

    Fred McKinnon
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:56 pm
    Hey Friends, A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of the sun rising over Gould’s Inlet, a beautiful section of beach here on St. Simons Island, GA.    Her caption grabbed my attention: Hold on. Sometimes you just need to hear that. The Light is coming. It was an inspiring photo and caption so I took that inspiration into the studio and composed this piece, “Hold On” (The Light is Coming).     Today I released it exclusively on my YouTube channel with several scenic pictures of the the sunrise at dawn. This composition is dedicated to…
  • Announcing the Re-Release of “Be Glorified”

    Fred McKinnon
    18 Apr 2015 | 5:32 am
    Hey Gang, I’m happy to announce that my “out of print” acoustic piano instrumental, “Be Glorified” has been released digitally this week to the world. I recorded this album back in the Summer of 1998.    This was my first instrumental of “cover songs” and includes some of the most popular worship choruses from the 80s and 90s. The physical CD is out of print and all of the original masters and art files are lost.   As some may remember, the original had a picture of a waterfall so we updated the artwork and launched it this week. TRACK LIST: I…
  • Have You Ever Dared God?

    Fred McKinnon
    12 Apr 2015 | 7:33 pm
    Hey Friends, I’m writing this entry on Sunday evening, just before bedtime. It was a long week full of activity – and full of some noticeable changes here on the blog. Changes? Well, for one thing – the entire site design has changed. That’s not all … the branding has changed … everywhere. All because of a dare. A dare I had with God. You see, I’ve been wrestling with God for quite a while in regards to my music. Those close to me know that I’m not one who has a lot of idle, spare time on my hands. I work for an amazing church, providing music…
  • My Latest Composition: Awakening

    Fred McKinnon
    6 Apr 2015 | 11:48 am
    Hey Friends, Last week I shared a behind the scenes preview of the process I went through in creating the new piece, “Awakening”.  As promised, I’m happy to share the entire piece now. We performed this as the open to our Easter celebration services at SSCC.  It was a real pleasure to play the grand piano with the orchestral tracks and the additional live musicians that included live drums, percussion, and horns. There was an accompanying visual that was shown on our two side screens and center LED screen as well.   Hopefully, we’ll have that available in a week or…
  • Behind the Scenes: Composing “Awakening” for Easter

    Fred McKinnon
    3 Apr 2015 | 5:53 am
    Hey Gang, For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a new composition entitled “Awakening”.   It’s another instrumental featuring piano with orchestral accompaniment tracks, similar to “The Coronation” that I composed for Christmas a few years ago. I’ll be performing the entire piece as our “open” this Easter Sunday at SSCC.   David Yarborough and Travis Paulding have helped create a script with stunning visuals to accompany the live performance on our LED and side screens.  The performance will include grand piano, the…
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    Worship Ministry Catalyst

  • Preparing For Easter: Becoming Invisible

    Zach Trandum
    31 Mar 2015 | 3:23 pm
    Easter is one of the big ones.  Every church across the nation is in the midst of preparations for their own Easter services.  Every pastor combing over page after page of sermon notes, volunteers are planning egg hunts, and worship leaders are piecing together setlists.  There is so much detail to pay attention too that I feel my head may actually implode at times.  It can all stack up and completely exhaust us weeks before the actual service.  So how do we “get our heads in the game”?  How do we make sure that our hearts are charged, refreshed, and positioned? I read a book a…
  • Does Your Family Miss Easter While You’re Working At Church?

    Laura Blankenship
    17 Mar 2015 | 10:43 am
    My 6 year old loves holidays. I mean, really loves holidays. He will jump out of his bed, sprint into the kitchen and announce, “HAPPY FLAG DAY!!!” We then spend some time looking up the meaning and origin of the holiday for some fun learning. Not joking, this happens for every holiday they mark on the calendar. But I already know what’s going to happen on Easter: “Mom! Mom! It’s Easter! Happy Easter!” I’m sure I’ll reply, “Hurry up! Eat your breakfast as fast as you can. We have to get to church early today.” There won’t be any time for learning. There won’t be any…
  • Every Sunday is Easter

    Josh Ferris
    13 Mar 2015 | 11:49 am
    It’s the stuff of church staffer dreams.  The parking lot is jammed, teams of coffee-amped volunteers are bustling, the band is running through that great new song, and very soon, crowds of regulars, guests, and returners will begin pouring through the doors.  It’s Easter Sunday, a full house, and the energy is intoxicating. In almost every church across the country, Easter brings more of what we all want most – people.  That’s not a bad thing.  After all, our God-given mission is to make disciples.  And by it’s nature, disciple making requires people.  So on a day of big…
  • WMC-0152 – The New Regular, Once A Month Attender and The Tension It Creates In Worship

    David Lindner
    12 Mar 2015 | 4:37 pm
    The New Regular, Once A Month Attender and The Tension It Creates In Worship I have heard, in at least three separate leadership podcasts that the new regular attender in America is once a month. Two of the podcasts said once a month, another said once every six weeks. Not only does this create problems for the church in too many ways to mention in this post, it creates problems for worship pastors and worship ministries. That’s exactly what David & Kevin talk about in episode 0152 of the Worship Ministry Catalyst Podcast.  Why don’t you chime in? Leave your feedback in the…
  • Ancient to Modern: Tenebrae

    Robert Gifford
    12 Mar 2015 | 2:25 pm
    As we approach the Easter season, I wanted to bring an often unknown but very powerful type of service to your attention. Practiced since medieval times, the Tenebrae service can be a powerful expression and meditation on Christ’s sacrifice. The Tenebrae service takes place during Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. Though this service is usually practiced by more Liturgical denominations, I believe it can easily be adapted to work in any congregation. The word Tenebrae comes from the Latin for “shadows” or “darkness.” It makes use of symbolism to symbolize the events of the last days…
 
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    Christian Web Trends Blog

  • Google #9: You Can Be Serious Without a Suit

    Meredith Gould
    24 Apr 2015 | 6:41 am
    This guest post by Meredith Gould is part of the blog series Google’s 10 Things We Know to be True. “You can be serious without a suit” appears as number nine on Google’s 10 Things We Know to Be True. And where did my mind immediately wander when I saw that? Clergy collars, something about which I’ve had some thoughts. But then a more careful reading revealed that this Google truism is not about clothing, but company culture. Here are highlights from thing #9:  Our founders built Google around the idea that work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. We believe…
  • The Impact of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update

    Paul Steinbrueck
    22 Apr 2015 | 9:24 am
    Yesterday was the big day… Mobilegeddon… the day Google launched it’s algorithm update to penalize sites that are not mobile friendly in its mobile search results. Some may find this shocking, but somehow the sun still rose this morning. In all seriousness, this is a big deal because this a major update, and Google is the biggest source of new website visitors for most churches, schools, nonprofits and businesses. Here are 3 things we know one day into the mobile-friendly update… 1) Google has begun rolling out the update.  Google announced on their search blog…
  • It Starts Today! Are you ready?

    Mark Steinbrueck
    21 Apr 2015 | 4:55 am
    For the past month, we have been talking about April 21st and its significance in the world of websites.  If you didn’t read the past posts, today is when Google stated it was going to begin to factor a website’s mobile-friendliness into the mobile search rankings. If you didn’t know this, have been too busy, or simply ignored the notices, it is not too late to get started.  If your website isn’t mobile friendly, there is no better time than the present to start the process. If you are not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not, go to…
  • Google #8 – The Need For Information Crosses all Borders

    Jason
    20 Apr 2015 | 5:53 am
    This guest post by Jason Caston is part of the blog series Google’s 10 Things We Know to be True. Google has become so synonymous with the internet that it’s name has become a verb for searching for things on the Internet. In order to reach this type of notoriety, your cultural, business and overall impact has to expand beyond physical, cultural and other pre-defined borders. The reason Google was able to achieve this amazing feat is the need for information crosses all borders. No matter your location, ethnicity, culture, education or other defining factors, we all need information to…
  • Google, Bing and Yahoo All Make Search News

    Paul Steinbrueck
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:02 am
    In this month’s search engine news, more details on Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly update plus big changes may be ahead for Bing and Yahoo search. And Bing introduces a new feature that will help multi-site churches. Here are the headline: 1) Bing Places Adds a Multi-Site Tool 2) Could Yahoo Be Planning a Split from Bing? 3) Google Creates New Web Interface for Mobile Searchers 4) More Details on Google’s Big, Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Update //www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yCY5wbm4IM For an outline of the video, click here. Here are links to Google’s guide to…
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    Emergent Village

  • 5 Ways to Maximize Your Curb Appeal for Potential Tenants

    Thomas
    23 Apr 2015 | 2:32 pm
    Many homeowners are aware of the need to increase their home’s curb appeal before putting it on the market to sell. What few owners realize is that, in order to attract high-quality renters who will place value in the home, it needs to have curb appeal for the tenant. Many recommend standing across the street from your home and looking at it from all angles to figure out what you have to work with. Making your home beautiful can generate higher revenue from the home as well as create renters who want to maintain the beauty of the place.  Utilize Shade If you live in a hotter…
  • How to garden organically

    Thomas
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:47 pm
    One of the main reasons many of us turn to growing our own produce is to control the amount of harmful chemicals and pesticides we expose ourselves to via food. Organic fruit and vegetables used to be something that only hippies and tree huggers would go for, but it’s increasingly becoming a dirty word in the general public. They have been linked to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and washing your fruit and vegetables does little to rid them of pesticides. Worse still, commercially grown fruit and vegetables are loaded with pesticides, with an apple containing as much as 30…
  • Renovating Your Home? Questions to Ask Your Flooring Store

    Thomas
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:56 am
    Home renovations are becoming increasingly popular as the housing market still hasn’t recovered since it took a hit in the last decade. Instead of moving into bigger homes, more homeowners are simply renovating their current homes, sometimes adding rooms and other times just giving it a whole new appeal. If you are currently renovating your home from the ground up, you will almost certainly be installing new flooring. Photo from freedigitalphotos.net Before beginning your project, there are some things you should know about the different types of flooring available and how they should be…
  • Home Ideas: Polka Dot Decorating With a Tasteful Twist

    Thomas
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:09 pm
    Many people start to squirm at the mention of polka dots. They simply don’t like them or they associate them with little girls and dresses and never think that they could be used in a serious decorating scheme. In recent years, polka dots have made something of a resurgence and are now gracing a variety of walls in homes and businesses around the world. Polka dots can be trendy, sophisticated, and even edgy when done right. Here are some tips for making polka dots work for you. Curtains Polka dot curtains can be a great way to add color and interest to any room. This works especially…
  • Choosing a door that’s right for your home

    Thomas
    2 Apr 2015 | 1:43 pm
    Interior doors can make or break a room. Choose the right door and it will compliment your décor; the wrong door can outdate a room or create a feeling of inconsistency. There are several things to consider when choosing a door: the existing décor, your personal style, how much space you have… All of these will impact which door will maximise the aesthetics of your room. Choosing a door when you have a small space Glazed Doors are a great way of letting in light into a room and creating a feeling of space so are perfect for small rooms or rooms without a lot of natural light. Choose…
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    Ron Edmondson

  • 5 Things Every Leader Needs to Hear

    Ron Edmondson
    24 Apr 2015 | 6:30 am
    Sure I’m a leader. So this may appear to be a self-serving post. I understand — and accept — the risk. The fact that I am a leader, however, gives me a certain credibility in speaking on behalf of leaders. I wrote this post several years ago, but decided to edit it and post again. More convinced than others. I recently returned from encouraging dozens of church planters in Chicago. One of these planters has worked for several years without seeing a single person come to faith in Christ. Yet, I saw first hand the good work the church is doing in a very hard community. Others…
  • 7 Things Great Leaders Do: Advice For Today’s Young Leaders

    Ron Edmondson
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:14 am
    Recently I was asked to speak to a local youth leadership program on — well, it makes sense — leadership. That’s what they are attempting to learn. I’ve led in the business world, elected office, and now in ministry – and on dozens of non-profit boards. Along the way I’ve observed a few things about leadership. And, some great leaders have appeared along the way. I culled together 7 things I’ve observed and shared with the group things I felt they should know. Here are 7 things great leaders do: Great leaders never quit learning. Never. So, if you want to be a great…
  • The Power of Tenacity By Samuel R. Chand

    Ron Edmondson
    22 Apr 2015 | 5:14 am
    The statistics on the longevity of pastors isn’t encouraging. A major survey of pastors says 80 percent leave the ministry within five years.(1) Jimmy Draper, former president of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and former president of Lifeway Research Group, observed that for every twenty people who enter the ministry, only one retires from it.(2) That’s only a 5 percent retention rate. I don’t know any leaders—of churches, businesses, or nonprofit organizations—who haven’t thought about quitting at some point. Leadership is a magnet for pain, and…
  • 5 Words of Encouragement to the Church Planter or Young Leader

    Ron Edmondson
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:07 am
    Recently I was able to share some encouragement with church planters in Chicago. Having been a planter twice, I understand the unique challenges facing planters. They are constantly struggling with leadership issues, finances and simply knowing what to do next. I get it. Most of what I know now came from experience and the wisdom of others. Many of the suggestions I shared are suitable for young leaders in any field. Here are 5 words of encouragement: The more specific you are the more we can help. Established churches have systems. Processes. Committees. Structure. Too much you might say and…
  • 7 Things You May Not Know but You Need to Know about Your Husband

    Ron Edmondson
    20 Apr 2015 | 6:15 am
    I recently wrote a post about 7 things you may not know about your wife. It was a popular post and I committed to write a companion post for the wives. Here are 7 things wives need to know — but may not know — about your husband: His ego is more fragile than you imagined. I know, you’re probably tired of hearing about the male ego. I get it. But, it hasn’t gone away and, frankly, the world isn’t too kind on our ego. We see the jokes on every sitcom and commercial about how inadequate we are at times. But, there’s not a man with a soul that’s alive…
 
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    TonyMorganLive.com

  • Resources To Get You Unstuck

    Tony Morgan
    23 Apr 2015 | 8:52 am
    I partner with a group of organizations that provide resources to leaders like you. Here are the folks that are making things happen at TonyMorganLive.com in April. Volunteer Rocket Coaching – gain, train and retain great volunteers Leaders Book Summaries – summaries of the best books on leadership, management and church life to help you become a better leader Vanderbloemen Search Group – provides executive searches, staff consulting, succession planning and compensation analysis for churches RSI Stewardship – designs and implements successful financial campaigns for churches,…
  • You Fail When You Program Instead of Personalize Leadership Development

    Tony Morgan
    22 Apr 2015 | 8:28 am
    In this Surefire Ways to Fail in Developing Leaders series, I’m exploring the ways many churches are making leadership development complicated and ineffective. One major mistake is ignoring the leadership pathway when assigning leaders at different levels. Another? Churches are trying to program leadership development rather than taking a personalized approach. You just might fail in developing leaders if these are your strategies: Schedule quarterly leadership training meetings for full-time staff; be sure to include long, detailed teachings on generic leadership principles. Another…
  • Surefire Ways to Fail in Developing Leaders

    Tony Morgan
    21 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    People get stuck at levels of leadership in the church. Have you seen it? Or worse, have you experienced it? Ignoring the Leadership Pathway is a surefire way you’ll fail at developing leaders in your church. All leaders need mentorship to discover their capacity and grow to new levels. People who start out leading 10s may have the capacity to become leaders of 50s. People who lead 100s well may be great leading 1000s, but then again, they may not. It takes leaders who have walked this pathway investing in their teams to help them find out. There are different competencies required to lead…
  • Why Are Many Multisite Churches Stuck?

    Jim Tomberlin
    14 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    Most of the 8,000-plus multisite churches in the United States are stuck at one or two additional campuses because they don’t know how (or aren’t willing) to make the organizational changes necessary to fully deliver their church to multiple locations. The majority of multisite churches are still functioning like a mono-site church with campuses instead of as a church of campuses. Very few multisite churches get beyond three campuses. Those that do figure out how to reproduce their ministry best practices and restructure organizationally. We crossed that bridge at Willow Creek…
  • The Innovators: What Churches Can Learn from the Digital Revolution

    Tony Morgan
    13 Apr 2015 | 8:44 am
    A couple of months ago I wrapped up the book The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson. Since technology is one of my favorite hobbies, it was fascinating to read about the innovations that led to the computer, the Web and all the digital goodness we experience today. For me, though, it wasn’t just a history lesson. I found several principles that certainly could help shape what’s happening in the church today. Here are some of the key quotes that jumped out to me: Teams always outperform the individual.
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    Carlos Whittaker

  • Why the weekend AFTER Easter is JUST as important for your church

    admin
    10 Apr 2015 | 7:24 am
    So I was thinking. What happens the week AFTER Easter is normally a HUGE disappointment for more people than you think. Let’s make it FEEL JUST AS GOOD AS EASTER!!! Thoughts? Los
  • Today I stopped feeling God.

    admin
    2 Apr 2015 | 4:55 am
    Today I don’t believe. Today I don’t believe God is going to provide. Today I don’t believe I should have ever left working my 9 to five. Today I don’t believe the book I wrote matters. Today I don’t believe the words I’m writing for my next one will matter either. Today I don’t believe my ideas are worth pursuing. Today I just don’t “feel” it anymore. Well that sucks. Cause when I went to bed last night I actually did believe all those things. I actually did “feel” God. But you know the good news? God’s provision…
  • Join My 30 Day Fitness Challenge! #FitByFirst

    admin
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:08 am
    JOIN #FitByFirst TODAY! Only 8% of people who made New Years Resolutions actually kept them! And Spring Is Here. And there is no worse season to feel horrible about your physical fitness than summer. SOOOOOO I’m gonna teach you EVERYTHING I DID to lose my 35lbs in 3 months. But I’m gonna show you in 30 days… I changed my body and SO CAN YOU! Amigos y Amigas. It’s time to break forth the rhythm and the rhyme. Over 2,000 people took part in the #FitByFourth Challenge. But alas, only a few finished.  Why is that? Cause there was nothing at stake. This time around……
  • Booking 2nd Half Of 2015!!!

    admin
    23 Mar 2015 | 8:16 am
    “Carlos is funny and profound. It’s rare to be so entertained by a speaker while he simultaneously changes your life.” Donald MillerStoryline This last year was one for the ages… It was a year in which I made a purposeful switch to trying to fill my calendar dates with 75% speaking and 25% leading worship. “Carlos? Why in the world would you do that? You lead worship at some of the largest churches in the world? That’s just plain dumb man.” No. That is not anything anyone in particular said to me. IT’S WHAT I SAID TO MYSELF AS I DECIDED THIS WAS THE…
  • Your Thorn May Be In You, But Your Thorn Doesn’t Own You

    admin
    19 Mar 2015 | 6:46 am
    It’s so hard to explain. Because it’s never the same. Lately I explain it as this… You know when you are freezing cold, and you can’t help but shiver. It’s like that.  Except you look at your arms and you aren’t shivering. It’s like your insides are shivering. Living with anxiety is a bitch.  Quite literally. I mean, most of my income comes from standing and singing/speaking to lot’s of people. It is the thorn in my flesh that rears her ugly head at the most inopportune times. The second point of my message this past Sunday… Driving to…
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    Pomomusings

  • Brian Ellison on Pastoral Identity: Who Is My Congregation?

    Adam Walker Cleaveland
    2 Apr 2015 | 6:39 am
    This post is part of a blog series on Pomomusings, discussing pastoral identity. To read about the series, as well as get a full schedule of participants, click here. Who Is My Congregation? “And have you met Brian; he’s a pastor.” Being polite usually has meant not correcting the person making an informal introduction. The speaker is usually someone who is only an acquaintance, or isn’t Presbyterian, or hasn’t kept up with my life the last few years. It’s not a big deal, really; I know what they meant. But I still end up having to unpack the confusion once someone asks the…
  • Palm Sunday Sermon: Lay Down Your Cloaks

    Adam Walker Cleaveland
    31 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    This sermon was preached on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at Winnetka Presbyterian Church. My text was Matthew 21:1-11. You can listen to it, and read it, below. Holy Week and Advent. These are the two times in the rhythm of the church calendar when we come to church and hear stories that we hear every year. During the rest of the year, we get to familiarize ourselves with other stories from the Bible – maybe some from the Hebrew Scriptures, certainly we get to hear stories of Jesus from the Gospels…maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to listen to the rants of the prophets…and…
  • Jessica Gregory on Pastoral Identity: A Pastor or One who Pastors?

    Adam Walker Cleaveland
    30 Mar 2015 | 10:11 am
    This post is part of a blog series on Pomomusings, discussing pastoral identity. To read about the series, as well as get a full schedule of participants, click here. It is an honor and delight to have this opportunity to reflect on pastoral identity. I am grateful to Adam for offering a blog newbie this chance. It has been a joy to get to know Adam as a colleague in the Presbytery of Chicago and a fellow associate pastor serving along Chicago’s North Shore. A Pastor or One who Pastors? I am one that is slow to claim parts of my identity as they emerge. It took me a good two years to feel…
  • Tim Hughes on Pastoral Identity: Costume or Calling?

    Adam Walker Cleaveland
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    This post is part of a blog series on Pomomusings, discussing pastoral identity. To read about the series, as well as get a full schedule of participants, click here. Costume or Calling? I was 25 years old when I did my first church internship in seminary, still feeling very much like a person pretending to be a minister. The first time I donned a black clerical robe to conduct a funeral, I felt as though I might as well be traveling door-to-door through the neighborhood, calling out “Trick or Treat!” and collecting candy. It was difficult to own the role, to put it mildly. Surely Peter…
  • The Five Minute Journal

    Adam Walker Cleaveland
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    A few months ago I saw that Rhett Smith post about The Five Minute Journal on Instagram (view post here). Rhett wrote: I’ve been using this for 3 weeks and have noticed significant change in my life and daily routines. Especially around gratitude and intentions. Love the neuroscience involved in how the morning and daily questions are arranged. I highly recommend it to anyone. I like Rhett, and thought that I might take him up on his recommendation. I got mine a couple weeks ago, and for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been doing it first thing in the morning, and before I go to sleep each…
 
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    Pete Wilson

  • Social Media Is The New Lunchroom

    Pete Wilson
    23 Apr 2015 | 6:27 am
    The past few weeks  I’ve started blogging and doing interviews on “fear”, which is the topic of my next book “What Keeps You Up at Night” which comes out in a few weeks. One of the unexpected joys of the past few weeks is meeting people who struggle with so many of the same fears I do. It’s a great reminder that fear is no respecter of persons. It’s victims are old and young, rich and poor, and even those who seem to have it all together. It’s also a great reminder that we’re all on a similar journey and despite how we might feel at any…
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    Perry Noble | Senior Pastor, NewSpring Church

  • 10 Things Everyone At NewSpring Needs To Know

    web@newspring.cc
    9 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    #1 – This coming Sunday is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY to invite someone back to church with you!  (Found People Find People!)  #2 – The series we are beginning this weekend, “Sex…It Doesn’t Have To Be Grey,” is going to be one of the most life giving, hope filled series we’ve ever had in the history of NewSpring Church.  #3 – If you are single you are going to LOVE this new series as it is going to set you up for success in dating and marriage.  #4 – So far in NewSpring’s history we’ve seen 47,158 people…
  • Four Questions About Sex & A Sex Series

    web@newspring.cc
    8 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    This Sunday we begin a brand new series entitled, “Sex…It Doesn’t Have To Be Grey!”  There are some people who are really excited about this series, others are curious in regards to what type of things will be talked about—and others are afraid of what is going to be said.  Which is why I am writing this article—to answer some questions you may have about why we’re doing the series and what can be expected.  #1 – Why is our church going to spend four weeks dealing with the subject of sex?  Everyone is thinking…
  • Hey NewSpring – Let’s Celebrate

    web@newspring.cc
    7 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    I am still amazed at what happened at our church over the weekend.  You’ve heard me say it before—and I will say it again, seeing people surrender their lives to Jesus NEVER gets old.  Last week I asked our church to pray we would see 1,000 people receive Christ at our Easter services – and the Lord chose to do more than we could have imagined by bringing 1,210 people from death to life.  I want to take just a minute to celebrate the salvations at every campus… 176 people in Anderson!  29 people in Boiling Springs! 86 people in…
  • Sex

    web@newspring.cc
    6 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm
    The whole world is talking about it. In fact I believe it is more talked about in our society right now than any other time in history.  All of us think about it – some of our thoughts are good, others not so good – but the reality of having to deal with the subject of sex in our culture is something the church must learn to embrace.  In the past the church has chosen to have two stances on the subject of sex (both of which are destructive).  Stance #1 – Sex is dirty, ugly and gross—save it for the one you love.  Stance #2 –…
  • A Very Important Question For Everyone At NewSpring

    web@newspring.cc
    2 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    (First of all, if you go to NewSpring—help me to get this article out to as many people as possible before this weekend. Retweet it, like it, share it—send people this link. Do whatever it takes!!!) All of us probably know someone who does not know Christ. It could be a family member, a friend, a co-worker or a person who sits near you in class.  Every single time you hear someone talking about someone that doesn't know Christ, “that person” comes to your mind.  We’ve prayed for “that person,” we’ve dropped…
 
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    MoreThanDodgeball.com

  • Crafting Memorable Messages

    Brandon Early
    21 Apr 2015 | 8:06 am
    I have a few “go-to” tools that help me prepare a message. I am the primary teacher in our high school youth ministry but I also carry part of the teaching load for our church (about once a month). More than anything, I want to correctly convey God’s word. My hope is that I do that […]
  • Some Students Hate Mother’s Day

    Leneita Fix
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:07 pm
    Every other day lately it seems like I receive a new coupon telling me what I can buy my mom on her special day in May. In the restaurant world, Mother’s Day is seen as one of the busiest of the year. We will buy flowers, jewelry and candy to tell those we love all […]
  • 5 Tips for a Zero Inbox

    Brandon Early
    15 Apr 2015 | 5:45 am
    As of 9 a.m. today I had 1,400 emails in my inbox. That is actually lite compared to some of my friends. I have a friend who told me he has 30,000 emails in his inbox. Seriously! I said, “you should claim email bankruptcy“. Email bankruptcy is a thing, here’s how it works. Control/Command + A […]
  • 6 Learnings On Being Present

    Aaron Crumbey
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:07 am
    Growing up I’ve had several people in my life that have made a lasting impact. I am totally the man I am today because of the people who took the time to invest in me. I feel privileged to have been able to do the same in the lives of the students I get to invest […]
  • A Cuban Adventure With a Purpose

    Amber Cassady
    13 Apr 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Our friends at Lifetree Adventures provide incredible international mission experiences for youth groups, church groups, individuals, friends, and families all over the world. One of their unique mission experience destinations is Cuba! (Yes, you can travel to Cuba!) Dave Hoffman, recent Lifetree Adventure Traveler, shared about his time there. Read below about how awesome your Cuban […]
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    TerraceCrawford.com

  • #ThisWeekinYM – Links of the Week!

    Terrace Crawford
    24 Apr 2015 | 8:56 pm
    You may be familiar with the brand-new This Week in Youth Ministry Podcast … but this is This Week in Youth Ministry LINKS!  Each Friday I’ll be bringing my favorite (and notable) posts from around the blogosphere to you right … Continue reading →
  • #ThisWeekinYM – Episode 10

    Terrace Crawford
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:34 pm
    The tenth episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We’ll be bringing these to you every Thursday. from the description: This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 10: How to Grow Your Youth Ministry with Chris Wesley.  Terrace Crawford and Christopher … Continue reading →
  • #ThisWeekinYM – Links of the Week!

    Terrace Crawford
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:11 pm
    You may be familiar with the brand-new This Week in Youth Ministry Podcast … but this is This Week in Youth Ministry LINKS!  Each Friday I’ll be bringing my favorite (and notable) posts from around the blogosphere to you right … Continue reading →
  • #ThisWeekinYM – Episode 9

    Terrace Crawford
    16 Apr 2015 | 4:34 pm
    The ninth episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We’ll be bringing these to you every Thursday. from the description: This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 9: The Pastor\Youth Pastor Relationship.  Terrace Crawford and Rob Shepherd, youth pastor turned pastor, … Continue reading →
  • The #1 Most Meaningful Job on the Planet

    Terrace Crawford
    14 Apr 2015 | 8:24 pm
    Just posted this on my Instagram. It’s from Forbes. They just released their list of the Most and Least Meaningful jobs. Coming in at #1? Youth Minister. What YOU do has purpose. Sure, it might be the lowest-paying, thankless, and most … Continue reading →
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    TheWorshipCommunity.Com

  • Don’t Let Your Heart Get Carried Away With The Sound…

    Editor
    22 Apr 2015 | 10:44 am
    “Sing spiritually – have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.” – John Wesley, 1761 In the Select Hymns with Tunes Annext hymn book, John Wesley a set of seven guidelines for congregational singing. One of those is the quote above. Sing Spiritually…
  • What Does The Bible Say About The Worship Leader?

    Editor
    20 Apr 2015 | 10:28 am
    In the Bible we don’t find much at all (if anything) about the role of a Worship Leader. In fact, those words (worship leader) aren’t really found in Scripture at all. When worship leader David Santistevan looked and didn’t find those words in the Bible he suggested they be added in the next ESV Study Bible update. It would look something like this: “And King David continued the rest of his earthly ministry as a worship leader, making bank, and writing songs on his harp for the people of Israel to declare in battle.” (relax, folks, it’s a joke!) For some reason,…
  • Sunday Setlists #352

    Editor
    19 Apr 2015 | 10:24 am
    New for Sunday Setlists – join us on FACEBOOK! Join us over on our Facebook page and comment on our Sunday Setlists post for the week. It will be the pinned post at the top of our feed! We’ll post a new post on Saturday night so that it will be there early on Sunday for you to share your images, thoughts, setlists, and other creative elements from your Worship Sets! Share your worship confessionals, recaps, and setlists for the week of: April 19, 2015!! Welcome to the 352nd consecutive week of “Sunday Setlists!” Share your experiences from your worship…
  • Wow! Look At This Beautiful Palm Sunday Intro Video by C4 Church

    Editor
    15 Apr 2015 | 11:43 am
    From Chris Vacher (chrisfromcanada.com): “We launched our Easter series this past Sunday at C4 with Palm Sunday. I wanted to share some of the pieces we put together leading up to and during the worship service.” “Rather than creating a series bumper video like we’d normally have we put together this video leading in to the sermon. This was shot by a videographer in our church and the concept developed by an artist in our church who you see in this video. It was shot on our stage and came together as a really great element for our services.” Beautifully done, C4!
  • Question: Experimenting with Service Structure

    Editor
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:22 am
    Today’s post is more of a question than an article, but I will share our experience to get the ball rolling. I am an overseer for all of our “family” ministries at what some would consider a mega-church. Although I would classify SSCC as just a large church, we technically fall into the very bottom of the “mega” category. Because of our size, we have the opportunity to do several services based on age range. Our family ministries encompass 5 separate services: (pre-k, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school). These all fall under my…
 
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    LeadingSmart.com

  • DESTROY SILOS ON YOUR CHURCH STAFF

    Tim Stevens
    21 Apr 2015 | 7:37 am
    IT TOOK ME MONTHS TO IDENTIFY THE SILO IN ONE OF MY DEPARTMENTS. I kept hearing comparison or fairness language, but it was typically third- or fourthhand, so I didn’t give it much credit. I heard about a little bit of jealousy about another department’s budget, and someone even suggested that the department must not be valued since their budget was lower.But it wasn’t until I assigned a leadership coach to jump deep into the department that I confirmed the depth and seriousness of the silo that had evolved. In an organization that was relatively healthy,…
  • How to Effectively Lead Change on Your Church Staff

    Tim Stevens
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:06 am
    I don’t care what anyone else says, change is hard. The reason people stay where they are is because they are comfortable.When I was the Executive Pastor at Granger Church, we made many changes through the years, and I have some scars to show for them. We canceled services, changed locations, ended women’s ministry (gasp!), discontinued a weekly gathering that had nine hundred people regularly attending, built buildings, released staff, and shifted the church toward a new vision.It’s not easy, but change is good. Change may be hard for those ingrained in the institution, but change…
  • Is Your Church Staff Aligned?

    Tim Stevens
    7 Apr 2015 | 9:39 am
    Have you ever driven a car that had its tires out of alignment? You might not know it at first, but before long, you find yourself constantly fighting to keep the car on the road. It wears you out and causes tension in your neck and shoulders as your hands keep a constant pressure on the steering wheel. And, all the while, your car is being damaged.That’s exactly what happens when you have a volunteer or staff member in your church staff who is out of alignment with the direction of the vision of your church.In chapter 51 of my book Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership…
  • New Video Coaching Series For Church Leaders

    Tim Stevens
    29 Mar 2015 | 1:51 pm
    I know it's been an unusually long time since I have last published here, and I am thankful that you're still here reading my thoughts.I have been beyond blessed over the last few months as I've joined the Vanderbloemen Search Group team and hit the ground running helping hundreds of churches around the country build their teams.One of the projects we've been working on at Vanderbloemen Search Group is our first-ever video coaching series called VanderCoaching.Each day, our team is asked, "What are the best church leaders out there doing?" We've designed this course to answer that…
  • Another Year Gone. Another Year Begins.

    Tim Stevens
    3 Jan 2015 | 12:51 pm
    Typically I reflect on a year in the rear view mirror remembering events or parties or important family moments, sometimes mixed with sadness from my loss or others. As I look back on 2014 I see a year of significant transition.One year ago, I never would have guessed…I would resign from Granger Community Church.I would move away from Indiana.I would lose a best friend.I would no longer be a pastor at a local church.I would join up with a world-class company.My lead team would be William, Ben, Bob and Holly instead of Mark, Jason, Kem, Ted, Mark and Sean.Instead of being the most-tenured…
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    Blog - Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog

  • The dance: Create to tell a story. Innovate to solve a problem.

    Rich Kirkpatrick
    21 Apr 2015 | 3:55 pm
    “A designer without an engineer is an art gallery, and an engineer without a designer is a parking lot.” — Etan Lightstone (techcrunch.com/March 31, 2015) There are two types of creativity needed as humans. We have presented issues that need addressing and to be creative in this case mean people work to solve what needs to be solved.  After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Things that are “needed” get the resources, the cash, the spotlight. This is true in our spiritual leadership, as well. Culturally, we are locked into a love affair with making things…
  • Seeking a sign: Is our modern worship an idolatry of experience?

    Rich Kirkpatrick
    14 Apr 2015 | 2:07 pm
    We all need signs. Where am I? I love the arrows on maps that tell me exactly where I am and the context. Real life scares us because rarely are signs this clear. When it comes to faith, signs were sought by many of our Bible heroes. Whether I am praying and leaving out the fleece at night or putting my fingers into the holes in the hands of Christ, it is all the same. I need to see. Those that truly saw God like Isaiah wreathed in the fetal position. Honestly, I may ask for a sign, but may not want the real deal. If God truly shows up, it seems I might have to change as anyone is…
  • The Fallacy of the "Straight Line": How A to B really doesn't work in real life

    Rich Kirkpatrick
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:23 pm
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart      and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him,      and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)Real life is never lived in a straight line. In fact, it's the turns and bends that teach us about who we really are and reveal the Creator’s intervention. I confess that often I forge out straight into the gauntlet, hoping the speed of a dash in the right direction will get to the destination. I might fail as badly as Halo’s Master Chief would if he were to…
  • Ministry, the Trailing Spouse and Seasons in Life

    Rich Kirkpatrick
    19 Feb 2015 | 1:23 pm
    I was introduced to new terminology—trailing spouse. This is the marriage partner that is uprooted from his or her job when their spouse moves for work. They are the individuals whose job or career is secondary to the other’s and willingly break what in some cases may be very rewarding work and relationships. I have worked as a full-time ministry professional for many years as my wife has moved away from good jobs and potential advancement opportunities. The sacrifice for a ministry wife is not just in the disruption of career path, but the perks of the relationships that go along…
  • Sacramental Breakfast: Memories of breakfast with Dad

    Rich Kirkpatrick
    22 Jan 2015 | 9:51 am
    Memories flood at times when a scent arises–catching you off guard. Bacon does this for me. The sacramental experience of our dad’s Saturday breakfast event unfolds for me. With five boys eager as chicks in a nest to feed, our dad would make from scratch his waffles or pancakes, mountain-piled plates of bacon, and potatoes. At times, he even made his own recipe of brown-sugar syrup. The bacon-fat haze in the house was a welcome sight after delivering the local San Jose Mercury newspapers earlier that morning.Added to bacon were eggs cooked open-faced or over-easy. Imagine tall glasses of…
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    Ministry Best Practices

  • 12 Unfortunate Reasons Why Churches Neglect Church Discipline

    Bill Reichart
    9 Apr 2015 | 8:36 am
    excerpted from Chuck Lawless at Thom Rainer's blogHere are the twelve (8 posted here) unfortunate, yet true, reasons why churches neglect church discipline.They don’t know the Bible’s teaching on discipline. I can only guess what percentage of regular attenders in evangelical churches even know that the Bible teaches the necessity of church discipline. This topic is one that some pastors choose to avoid.They have never seen it done before. Some of the reticence to do church discipline is the result of ignorance. Frankly, I admit my own ignorance when I began serving as a pastor 30+ years…
  • 3 Keys To Raising Support Before Groups

    Bill Reichart
    8 Apr 2015 | 8:36 am
    excerpted from SRS blogHere are three keys to help direct you as you engage with groups during your support-raising journey. But, understand you will not have near as much time making a presentation to a church or group as you would in a one-on-one appointment. The average amount of time afforded missionary presentations at churches is a whopping 7.5 minutes! Here are the keys:1. Maximize what does work well with groups:Cast vision for your ministry – This is your primary task throughout your support raising, whether with groups or individuals. Though a crowd won’t be able to experience…
  • 5 Tips To Help Turn Volunteers Into Superstars!

    Bill Reichart
    20 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Ok, sure you've recruited your volunteers, they've signed on the dotted line but NOW WHAT?Now you have to TRAIN them! Training though isn't just ONE and DONE, rather it is an ongoing process and investment into your volunteers.Continual training and development is very important. Because it not only helps with your volunteer's overall enjoyment and performance but it also helps in retention. Remember, it takes less energy to continually equip your volunteers than it does trying to recruit new ones.But it's not enough just to train, you need to do it well! But how?1. Make sure your volunteers…
  • Visual Inspiration To Motivate And Encourage Your Faith

    Bill Reichart
    19 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    Here are some quotes, made visual, that will challenge and inspire you. These quotes are frequently posted on Ministry Best Practices' social media sites, therefore consider LIKING us on Facebook and FOLLOWING us on Twitter. When you do follow us on our social media sites, you'll be able to get considerably more thought-provoking and inspiring content throughout the day.#Faith & #Love - Henri Nouwen #quote - pic.twitter.com/sQkdDsKUtI— MBP (@BestMinistry) March 18, 2015 “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt pic.twitter.com/aZUTMOaFAL— MBP…
  • Four Crucial Things To Remember In Your Preaching

    Bill Reichart
    18 Mar 2015 | 8:26 am
    Here are 4 great reminders from Tim Keller, taken from his article on Preaching in a Secular Culture, that we should never forget in our preparation and preaching within the pulpit.1. PREACH TO CHRISTIANS AND NON-CHRISTIANS AT THE SAME TIMEBecause the gospel is the root of both justification and sanctification.The typical approach to the gospel is to see it as the ABC’s of Christian doctrine, or merely the minimum truth required to be saved, but to rely on more “advanced” biblical principles for progress in the Christian life. If that were the case, then we truly could not…
 
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    Christian Personal Finance

  • 15 Kitchen Tips & Tricks that would Make MacGyver Proud

    Dawn
    25 Apr 2015 | 9:21 am
    MacGyver. Remember him? If you watched television in the later 80’s and into the early 90’s, you’ll know exactly who I am speaking of. He always had some trick up his sleeve and a way to solve nearly everything problem and he knew how to get out of every situation. Even life or death situations. He just always had THE solution. My kitchen can be a battle ground some days, but I’ve found some tips and tricks that I think would make him proud. Thanks to Pinterest, I have found numerous little things that I could do to solve issues in my kitchen, save time and…
  • What’s Your Financial Personality?

    Tim
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:00 am
    Ever notice how finances can affect you emotionally? I’ve known people who hate the idea of spending their money altogether and some people who don’t know how to make a budget at all. What if there was a scale that you could use to classify your financial personality? Yes, I can see it now. Instead of making up a boring answer when your financial planner asks how things are going, you can simply select your personality from the chart and they’ll know exactly what to do to help. Unrealistic? Maybe so, but you might relate to a few of these: The Spending Freeze You’re the type of…
  • The Ultimate Bundle: Over 75 books worth $1,000+ for just $29

    Bob
    20 Apr 2015 | 11:26 am
    I am excited to be partnering on the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for the next few days.  It really is an amazing collection of eBooks, courses, printables, and a lot more that you can pick up for $29. There are so many great books from Best-Selling authors, bloggers with millions of followers, and true experts in a variety of topics. Click here to see all the books/courses/printables included! The bundle was designed to help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships with proven, simple, and effective tools that really give you a boost as a homemaker –…
  • Financial – and Life – Lessons from 40 Years of Marriage

    Joe
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    As I bask in the celebration of our recent 40th wedding anniversary, complete with surprise readings from each child, child-in-law and grandchild, I can see some great personal finance applications of the principles Jan and I used raising our four children. My quandary is that in order to share the financial lessons, I am obligated to share what our kids had to say in their readings. I therefore ask myself, “Is this more about boasting on what great kids we have or helping my readers with their finances?” I will let you be the judge. Our Grandchildren (Ages 8 and 10) I love you because…
  • 10 Frugal Landscaping Ideas to make Your Yard Amazing

    Dawn
    18 Apr 2015 | 9:18 am
    So, I’m starting to research frugal landscaping ideas to make my yard amazing this Spring. Bloggers have so many fab ideas! There are so many back yard projects, curb appeal DIYs that it’s hard to narrow down what will not only look best for my home, but also won’t hurt my wallet too much! I would like to share with you some of these creative and inexpensive landscaping ideas with you. Below, I’m sharing my top ten finds! Enjoy!   Plant Perennials by Sunset Before You Mulch by Rosemary on the TV   DIY Wheelbarrow Planter by Cottage Life Pallet Picket Fence…
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    KemMeyer.com

  • When “press 0 for operator” doesn’t work, what...

    21 Apr 2015 | 7:43 am
    When “press 0 for operator” doesn’t work, what do you do? I spent 10 minutes trying to find the front desk button. Apparently, that’s not what the kids call it these days. 😏
  • I wish you knew...

    16 Apr 2015 | 8:25 pm
    I wish you knew...: Are you asking the right questions?
  • Form follows function in email design

    24 Mar 2015 | 4:41 am
    Form follows function in email design: 50 Of The Best Email Marketing Designs We’ve Ever Seen…
  • THINK before you print that next brochure or flyer. Good idea....

    15 Mar 2015 | 3:29 pm
    THINK before you print that next brochure or flyer. Good idea. Noble intentions. Ironic execution. We’ve all done it. Focus on OUTCOME before OUTPUT. If you skip this step, you might spoof your own message. (Thx for photo find nevver)
  • I know this has been out there a couple of weeks. But, if  you...

    14 Mar 2015 | 9:01 am
    I know this has been out there a couple of weeks. But, if  you haven’t seen this rant yet- hit play (it’s only 8 minutes). Russell Brand shares his story, science and stats to address the personal, spiritual, relational and biological consequences of porn. This may not be YOUR issue, but it is OUR issue. It’s our responsibility to advocate and help run interference for the new victims of media and mainstream pornography- “Our teenagers are being exposed to ‘icebergs of filth.” 
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    ChurchCrunch

  • The Weekly Briefly Podcast [Saturday Morning Review]

    Chris Wilson
    25 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Shawn today is the member’s exclusive podcast from Shawn Blanc, Former creative director at the International House of Prayer and now online entrepreneur behind ShawnBlanc.net, Tools and Toys and the Sweet setup. The Friday edition of the podcast is called the weekly briefly and is published openly, the other episodes are only accessible to members. I heard about Shawn and his endeavours a while ago when I got my first mac and wanted some bloggers to follow and get the best tips from. Shawn was one of the names put forward but I didn’t sign up to be a member and get his “daily”…
  • Pong + Pacman + Space Invaders

    Eric Dye
    25 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    What would happen if you took three iconic retro games and combined them into one? Wonder no more. I present to you, Pong-Pacman-Space Invaders: 2 players Gamepad support 1080p 60 fps This little number can be downloaded for any PC platform—Windows, Mac, Linux—for free. Yup. There goes the rest of the day. You’re welcome. Get it while you can! Pong + Pacman + Space Invaders first appeared on ChurchMag and is sponsored by ChurchMag Press.
  • Church Tech Snack Pack #069

    Eric Dye
    24 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    Happy Birthday YouTube! (Well, it was yesterday, but still!) For a few weeks, the snack pack tasted like a bag of old potato chips. This week, however, is full of #nomnom! Fresh potato chips anyone? Children are children. Not blog fodder. — JUSTIN WISE (@JustinWise) April 23, 2015 Thank you, Justin. Thank you. What counts as a conversion for church marketing? Great thoughts on church social media. Evaluating Your Church Website Great points, here, along with some stellar church website examples. 4 Church Website Stats You Can’t Afford To Ignore Are you following your website metrics?
  • Minecraft Theology: 04 Giving Diamonds

    Jeremy Smith
    24 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    One of our newest beta testers, Tim, joins me in looking at what has been happening on the Churchmag Minecraft Server and in the process, we discuss what community can look like digitally. Tim shared his own thoughts on joining the servers and we get to hear his heart. What do you think? [Video via YouTube] Could a Minecraft server actually be a ministry tool for community? [Find more Minecraft Theology videos and learn more about the ChurchMag Minecraft world here.] Minecraft Theology: 04 Giving Diamonds first appeared on ChurchMag and is sponsored by ChurchMag Press.
  • EPIC PowerMac G5 Computer Desk [Images]

    James Cooper
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    If you’re a geek, and anything like me, then you tend to ‘collect’ old, dead and dying computers (oh, it’s just me then…) But some old hardware is just beautiful and is worth doing something with (rather than just putting in a cupboard and forgetting about). One of the most classic of computer designs was the big aluminium PowerMac G5 towers. Crafted out of brushed metal, they were an instance classic and look as good today as they did when they first came out. Although their interiors might not be exciting these days, you can still use them for some pretty…
 
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    Revitalize Your Church

  • And What Kind of Church Shall We Be?

    Mark Wilson
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:35 am
    There are three generations in the church: the "traditional" generation,  the the "emerging" generation,  and the "bridging" generation. Each generation serves an important function. The traditional generation keeps us rooted in our rich heritage, reminding us of our larger, historic, faith community. The emerging generation pushes us forward into the future, bringing cutting edge vision for tomorrow's effectiveness. The bridging generation lives between both worlds, helping both the traditionalists and the emerging types to respect, value and…
  • Assume the Best

    Mark Wilson
    20 Apr 2015 | 7:07 am
    Have you noticed how humans tend to process difficult conversations and negative interactions, giving a play-by-play post-encounter analysis?Occasionally we process it up. Most of the time, we process it down. We walk away and start stewing:"What did she MEAN by that?""I wonder what he was thinking!""Did you notice his body language?""It's what she DIDN'T say that bothers me!"Cooking conversations after the fact is like overcooked spaghetti -- a tangled gob of mush with a stench.The problem with processing conversations downhill is our inclination to make false assumptions.  An…
  • Grow For It

    Mark Wilson
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:38 pm
    Personal growth is the secret to organizational growth. Self leadership is a valuable and necessary art. If you can't lead yourself, you won't be able to lead anybody else.If you want things to improve in your business, your family, your church or community, the first thing to start improving is yourself!How can we begin the personal growth journey?1. Learn something every day. Every experience of life is a learning lab. How sad it is for people to have difficult experiences and fail to learn from them. You can learn from anybody and anything. Keep your thinking cap on at all times.
  • Listening to Your Life

    Mark Wilson
    17 Apr 2015 | 4:33 am
    “You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it…. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go…
  • Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

    Mark Wilson
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:33 am
    Blessed this morning to ponder this beautiful consecration hymn by Isaac Watts, Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove: Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,With all Thy quick’ning powers;Kindle a flame of sacred loveIn these cold hearts of ours.Look how we grovel here below,Fond of these trifling toys;Our souls can neither fly nor goTo reach eternal joys.In vain we tune our formal songs,In vain we strive to rise;Hosannas languish on our tongues,And our devotion dies.Dear Lord! and shall we ever liveAt this poor dying rate?Our love so faint, so cold to Thee,And Thine to us so great?Come, Holy…
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    challies.com - Informing the Reforming

  • Weekend A La Carte (April 25)

    Tim
    25 Apr 2015 | 4:27 am
    I’ve got no new Kindle deals today, but you may want to take a look at these from Monday: Against the Gods by John Currid ($1.99); Ancient Word, Changing Worlds by Stephen Nichols ($2.99); Inerrancy and Worldview by Very Poythress ($2.99); Canon Revisited by Michael Kruger ($5.99); Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? by Various ($5.99). I am enjoying the new series of blog posts at 9Marks that they are calling the 9Marks Mailbag where they simply offers answers to readers’ questions. Russell Moore answers this question: What Should the Church Say to…
  • Free Stuff Fridays

    Tim
    24 Apr 2015 | 9:01 am
    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Christian Statements, sister company to Missional Wear. They are offering 5 prizes, each of which is a $50 gift certificate to their store. Christian Statements offers a variety of decor products with a focus on scripture verses, inspirational phrases and quotes from your favorite theologians! They are ideal for making a statement in your home, church or place of business. Vinyl Wall Statements Our classic vinyl series is the best way to get a classy hand-painted look without the cost or hassle! At Christian Statements will find the…
  • New & Notable Books (Late April 2015)

    Tim
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:01 am
    I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books, and every few weeks I like to provide a round-up of what is new and particularly notable. Here’s the most recent list as we come to the end of April. Psalms: From Suffering to Glory by Philip Eveson. Despite their centrality to the Bible and their importance to Christian worship, the Psalms seem under-served when it comes to excellent, orthodox commentaries. This commentary is the newest volume in the excellent Welwyn Commentary Series and it looks promising. Here’s what the…
  • A La Carte (April 24)

    Tim
    24 Apr 2015 | 3:30 am
    I have been looking for Kindle deals, but this has been rather a slow week. How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss is good value at $1.99, and new from GLH Publishing is John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence ($0.99), but that’s about all I see. Pastors may want to check out some new deals from Westminster Books. The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul’s classic video series The Holiness of God is available now in the App Store as a free interactive course from Ligonier Connect for iPhone or iPad. (Also, here is an update on Dr. Sproul’s health…
  • Would You Like to Read a Christian Classic With Me?

    Tim
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:01 am
    Many times over the years I have invited readers of this blog to join me in a reading project, mostly as part of a program I’ve called Reading Classics Together. We’ve read some incredible books together—Holiness by J.C. Ryle, Christianity & Liberalism by Gresham Machen, The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards, The Cross of Christ by John Stott, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, and a whole lot more. Most recently we read through John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation (for the second time!). I think it is time to…
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    Desiring God

  • How the Prosperity Gospel Hurts Racial Reconciliation

    24 Apr 2015 | 6:00 pm
    When a prophet calls down fire from heaven, it’s wise to stand to the side. That’s how I felt a few weeks ago when John Perkins, the revered preacher and civil rights activist, brought up prosperity gospel pastor Creflo Dollar during a live interview I was conducting with Perkins at a summit on racial reconciliation. Perkins lamented that there are so few accredited African-American evangelical schools in the United States while at the same time Dollar is asking for money for a $65 million dollar private jet. “That’s almost witchcraft,” he said. The more I’ve thought of that over…
  • You Have Just Enough Time

    23 Apr 2015 | 6:00 pm
    “I don’t have enough time.” I have said this countless times over the years. I have thought it many times more than I’ve said it. But I have not ever seriously considered that thinking or speaking this way reflected poorly on God. Until the other day on “Ask Pastor John” I heard Prof. Bruce Hindmarsh say, Busyness is moral laziness [because it is often a statement of our self-importance and our excuse to be inattentive to people]. . . . But God has given us just enough time to do what we need to do moment by moment to respond to him. And his grace is there; it is eternally…
  • Three Ways to Remember God’s Grace

    23 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    Remembering who God is and who we are is the antidote to grumbling. If we see our world, our lives, and our circumstances through the lens of Jesus’s cross, everything will come into focus. And that clarity of sight will awaken joy in us. It is looking through this lens that we find a deep sense of what it means to be loved by a good and kind heavenly Father. Here are three examples of how God calls the people of Israel to remember. Rather than just gloss over the past, we are called to recall it, letting the testimony of God’s faithfulness spur us on in love and worship. 1. Remember…
  • Nine Arguments Against Anxiety

    23 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    This three-part series of labs takes on anxiety by studying Matthew 6:24–27. If the Bible is going to effectively speak to our anxious hearts, we need to learn how to read it well. In this lab, John Piper lays out the arguments and gives three short lessons for our daily Bible reading.Watch Now
  • That Hideous Beauty of Calvary

    22 Apr 2015 | 5:45 pm
    We have a crisis if the cross loses its offense in our eyes. If we’re not offended by the cross, we’re in grave danger of losing the comfort and hope of the cross. Paul writes, “If I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed” (Galatians 5:11). Meaning, if I preach a righteousness through good works, then the cross is no longer necessary. The message of the cross — that we are sinful beyond saving unless God intervenes on our behalf — is softened or silenced by false gospels. The true gospel is the…
 
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    Todd Rhoades

  • Six Things My Friend Learned from Robert Schuller

    Todd Rhoades
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:05 am
    As you probably know by now, Robert Schuller past away last week. I never met Robert Schuller, but followed his ministry from a distance over the years. I remember watching him when I was a small boy.  I liked his booming voice.  And the pipe organ was amazing (remember, this was in the 1970s!). And I was too young to know that his theology probably didn’t match up all that well with my local fundamentalist baptist church.  (Oh… the innocence of youth!) And, of course, in recent years I followed the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral; and the personal life of Robert and Arvella…
  • Be a Witness, Not a Judge

    Todd Rhoades
    3 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    I think you’ll enjoy a quick excerpt from my friend Mark Wilson’s new book, Purple Fish: A Heart for Sharing Jesus: Some church folks, as Marshall Shelley observed, are “well intentioned dragons. Their earnest desire for setting things (and people) right comes off wrong. “Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony,” said Watchman Nee, “than our trying to be right and demanding right of others.” A Barna group survey conducted a few years ago found that 90 percent of non-Christian young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-nine view Christians as…
  • Should You Focus Exclusively on Conversion Growth?

    Todd Rhoades
    2 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    When Brian Jones started the church he pastors some fifteen years ago, he made one promise to God: “I promise we will grow this church through conversion growth only.” Here’s what Brian has to say about this promise; and how they’d tried to live it out at his church: Every church leader I know agrees that transfer growth (one Christian deciding to leave their church to attend yours) is rarely a win for the kingdom. But few take actual steps to prevent it from happening, as if the matter was completely out of our realm of influence. Not quite sure how to make good on my…
  • Should the Goal of Your Church be to Grow, Multiply or Expand?

    Todd Rhoades
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    See what you think of this quote by Tim Suttle: The church’s job is not to grow, multiply, or expand. The church’s job is not to take back the culture for Jesus. The church’s job is not even to survive. The church’s job is to be the church—to be the faithful people of God who organize their common life together in such a way that they image God to all creation. Sadly, most American churches do not image God so much as they image American story of bigger, better, stronger, higher, and faster. The story of God is quite different. This story says the last will be first and the first…
  • 12 Signs They Are Not A Good Leader

    Todd Rhoades
    31 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Scott Williams writes:  Most of us have worked for leaders that are for all intents and purposes were not very good.  I have worked with and for both great leaders and those not very good leaders. To be honest, I actually learned a lot in my early days of leadership from some really bad leaders.  Not only were they bad leaders, they were oblivious to the negative affects of their poor leadership.   There are many signs that a leader is not a good leader and below are 12 Obvious Signs. The reason I attribute these signs to not being a ”Good Leader” instead of “Great Leader,”…
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    Pastor Steven Furtick

  • The Common Denominator with Every Struggle

    webteam
    21 Apr 2015 | 10:35 am
    When it comes to our struggles, we have this tendency to keep fighting the same battles over and over. Is there any way to ever win? And what can we do to help each other survive the fight?
  • Raised to Life Weekend Recap

    webteam
    13 Apr 2015 | 12:59 pm
    Join us as we celebrate the 1600+ people who were raised to life through baptism this weekend.
  • Raised to Life Weekend

    webteam
    10 Apr 2015 | 10:53 am
    Some moments you never forget. Your first love. Your greatest loss. The moment you decided to choose hope. Join us on this special weekend, and experience that moment that will last a lifetime. Click here to find out more about baptisms at Elevation Church. And click here to find a location near you.
  • Elevation Creative: Dark to Light

    webteam
    9 Apr 2015 | 12:44 pm
    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. In this video from our 2015 Easter Worship Experience, our Creative team used vivid imagery to portray the darkness of our world, and the triumphant moment when it was overcome by a victorious Light.
  • Easter at Elevation: This Is the Genius of Jesus

    webteam
    8 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    The life of Jesus is marked by acts and events that stand in contradiction to the things of this world. We opened our Easter 2015 Worship Experience with a compelling look at the genius behind the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior.
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    Adrian Warnock

  • Authority vs Internet-inspired anarchy

    adrian.warnock@gmail.com (Adrian Warnock)
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    In this third session of Evangelism in a Post-Christian World, the focus turns to using the Internet as a Christian. Without the printing press it is hard to see how the Reformation would have had the impact it did. How can Christians today use Social Media for good? What should we beware of? You can [Read More...] The rest of this article is available by following the link above
  • Gospel Confidence: Do you really want your church to grow?

    adrian.warnock@gmail.com (Adrian Warnock)
    22 Apr 2015 | 10:22 am
    The second in my series of talks on Evangelism in a Post-Chritian World is called: Gospel Confidence: Do you really want your church to grow?. It is my contention that many of us are actually secretly not that keen on our church growing. If this is true, then we are not that keen on people [Read More...] The rest of this article is available by following the link above
  • Ancient Morality vs Modern ‘Freedom’

    adrian.warnock@gmail.com (Adrian Warnock)
    20 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    Today I begin a short series of videos which I have entitled “Evangelism in a Post Christian World” These were filmed at a training day I spoke at for the Counties Evangelists. The first section focused on the way our society is changing and a Christian response. You can watch the video above or view [Read More...] The rest of this article is available by following the link above
  • Modern Reformation: a contrary but friendly appeal on Gifts of the Holy Spirit

    adrian.warnock@gmail.com (Adrian Warnock)
    21 Mar 2015 | 9:54 am
    A few months ago the new editor of The Modern Reformation wrote to ask me to consider contributing an article to what is now their current issue. The issue approaches the work of the Holy Spirit (and the sign gifts of the Spirit) from a cessationist view point, but we believe that an article from [Read More...] The rest of this article is available by following the link above
  • How a misinterpreted verse can make us feel guilty when we grieve

    adrian.warnock@gmail.com (Adrian Warnock)
    14 Mar 2015 | 12:27 pm
    If there was one verse in the ESV that I would tweak the translation of it would be 1 Thess 4:13. In it we are told “that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” It is unfortunate simply because the most natural interpretation of that phrase in English is “You are not allowed [Read More...] The rest of this article is available by following the link above
 
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    Steve K. McCoy

  • NPM - April Woods: Morning

    Steve McCoy
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:47 am
    April Woods: Morningby Wendell Berry in New Collected Poems (p68) Birth of colorout of night and the ground.Luminous the gatheringsof bloodrootnewly risen, green leaf,white flowerin the sun, the darkgrown absent.Happy National Poetry Month!
  • Lots-o-Links 4.21.15

    Steve McCoy
    21 Apr 2015 | 1:52 pm
    New Music - Out TodayBuilt to Spill - Untethered MoonSan Fermin - JackrabbitAlabama Shakes - Sound & ColorRecent Noteworthy BooksSaturate by Jeff Vanderstelt -- I've been able to spend some time with Jeff the last few years at conferences and Soma School. Remarkable guy with a remarkable (and simple) vision for the church being the church. And the vision, as I have experienced it first hand, is being realized. A book I wish I could gift to every one of my pastor friends. Blind Spots by Collin Hansen -- "It's easier to associate only with our own. But anyone in the…
  • Music Monday 3.9.15

    Steve McCoy
    9 Mar 2015 | 10:38 am
    Streaming FreeSeth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott SmithTwin Shadow - EclipseInventions - Maze of Woods - Two guys, one from Explosions in the Sky & the other from Eluvium. Cheap AlbumsDelta Spirit - Into the Wide $5Brandi Carlile - Give Up The Ghost $5Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise $5Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers $5Radiohead - The Bends $5 - It's the 20th anniversary of this album and you should celebrate!NEWBrandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter - A must-buy for my family as she is singing in our house regularly. Every CD is…
  • Elijah Crohn's Update 3.6.15

    Steve McCoy
    6 Mar 2015 | 11:00 am
    Brief update after Elijah's first infusion of Remicade. Infusion - Elijah's first infusion went great. Stayed at Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Monday night and infusion was first thing Tuesday at Lurie Children's in Chicago. Given Tylenol, Benadryl, and Remicade. Benadryl made him a grump for a bit, but the Remicade had no visible effects. Seemed to take it great. Very proud of our boy. We took a photo next to a Lurie pillar (below) so we can track his growth with each visit, if we can remember to take the picture. :) We are believing that God and doctors and meds will get…
  • Lots-o-Links 2.25.15

    Steve McCoy
    25 Feb 2015 | 10:38 am
    9Marks -- Life, Ministry, & Books with Tim Keller Part 1 on Life, Part 2 on Ministry, Part 3 on Books - Excellent interview. Kindle DealsThe Stories We Tell by Mike Cosper ($1.99)The Daring Mission of William Tyndale by Steven Lawson ($3.99)Imagination Redeemed by Gene Veith ($2.99)The God Who Is There by D.A. Carson ($3.99)Crazy Busy by Kevin Deyoung ($0.99)The God Who Justifies by James White ($2.99)Can artists do good work in the suburbs?The key attraction of the suburbs for artists is comparatively cheap and spacious accommodation; the same imperative…
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    Worship Matters

  • A Call for Musically Gifted Pastors

    Bob Kauflin
    22 Apr 2015 | 7:38 am
    In 2008, I suggested in Worship Matters that the title of “worship leader” needed to be defined to be helpful. So I defined it this way: A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory. I still like that definition, but I’m less sure the term “worship leader” is serving us. It’s taken on a life of its own and…
  • Dave Gobbett on Sovereign Grace Music & WorshipGod UK

    Bob Kauflin
    6 Apr 2015 | 10:55 pm
    I first met Dave Gobbett in 2000 when he was in the states. His love for the Savior and the church were almost palpable. He was bursting with enthusiasm for God’s gospel, God’s people, and God’s work. He also had an appreciation for Sovereign Grace Music that he shared freely once he got back to the UK (as you’ll see below). He played a key role in my leading the music at Word Alive in 2011. Dave now serves as the Lead Minister at Highfields Church, Cardiff, and is a trustee of Word Alive. I’m grateful that Dave will be teaching a seminar at WorshipGod…
  • How Michael Reeves Helped Me Love God More

    Bob Kauflin
    1 Apr 2015 | 9:05 am
    Through the years I’ve been grateful for the many books God has used outside of Scripture to expand and deepen my relationship with him. In the late 70s my wife, Julie, gave me Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount for my birthday. As I read through it, my eyes were opened to the necessity of humility in the Christian life and the profound effect of expository preaching. In the mid-90s I read Desiring God by John Piper for the first time. It rocked my world. In fact, as a recovering legalist, the book didn’t make sense to me. I thought that my…
  • Interview with Rob Spink from The Crowded House

    Bob Kauflin
    24 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    I’ve never met Rob Spink, but my good friend Tim Chester recommended that I contact him to share some songs at WorshipGod UK this coming May.  Rob was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Among other things, I appreciate his comment that the local church is a place where we can create culture rather than just consume it. 1. What is your history of leading in the church, musically or pastorally? I’ve been a member of The Crowded House since 2002. I’ve served as an Elder since 2007 and as well as being Community Pastor, have been Music Director since July 2013. So as well…
  • Simon Brading Reflects on WorshipGod UK

    Bob Kauflin
    10 Mar 2015 | 4:41 am
    I’ve known Simon Brading for a number of years now and been encouraged by his thoughtfulness, his passion for the gospel, and his heart to see music used in the church for the glory of Jesus Christ. Last year at WorshipGod UK he sang a couple songs  and I was struck by his desire to pastor the people he was leading. At this year’s conference, I’ve asked him to lead the music for a main session and participate in a seminar called Planning for Sundays. Simon kindly took some time to answer a few questions about himself and WorshipGod UK, coming to Bath 7th-9th May. 1.
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    Deep Thoughts by Gman

  • Why the Cross? Why the Resurrection?

    8 Apr 2015 | 9:26 am
    This past Sunday I had shared on the 7 last sayings of Jesus from the Cross and why the Cross was important. The death of Jesus was our atonement in which Christ died and took our place and basically was our perfect Sacrificial Lamb.But we can't leave Jesus on the Cross ...much less leave Jesus as the babe at Christmas. the Resurrection is important and fundamental to our faith.There are several skeptic objections to the Resurrection including:1. Jesus a mythological figure. There are 39 ancient sources outside the NT that refer to Jesus.Source: Rose Publishing Evidence for the Resurrection…
  • Church Shouldn't Suck the life out of you.

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:23 am
    I had just read this book ...still taking it in.http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ZioO
  • Walking on Water.

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:20 am
    There is a passage in Mark 6 that gives Jesus walking on water. I had recently given a short devotional thought this morning at Piedmont Christian School. (#yrs olds to High School)Here are my thoughts:I. We need to pray more. Pray like Jesus. II. We don't need to be afraid. We don't need to be afraid of Jesus especially.III. We do need to be astonished more. Our job is to point to well, Jesus.Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing WHO is in control.http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ZioO
  • Mulan- I'll make a man out of you (with lyrics) (HD)

    20 Feb 2015 | 11:56 am
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ZioO
  • Teaching the Word. What books are you teaching?

    20 Feb 2015 | 10:26 am
    Sunday Mornings I've been preaching through the book of Galatians.Wednesday nights we just started Nehemiah. And my Thursday Morning Small Group we are looking at Ecclesiastes.So what books of the Bible are you reading and teaching from?http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ZioO
 
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    markartrip.wordpress.com

  • MOVEMENT CHURCH EASTER SUNDAY WRAP-UP

    markartrip
    7 Apr 2015 | 11:00 am
    Movement Church, I wanted to write you a letter and let you know I am so proud of what God did through you on Easter Sunday as we celebrated life in Jesus. #youPLUSone We had a simple vision to see our normal church numbers double and to see every person bring a friend. Not JUST because numbers are important, but because each one of those numbers represents a person that you have relationship who needs to know the gospel. We equipped you with flyer invites and sent one to every home in Hilliard and prayerfully gave it to God. Sunday we had 296 people!!! God far exceeded our expectations and…
  • 10 THINGS I AM EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW AT MOVEMENT CHURCH

    markartrip
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    10 things I am excited about at Movement Church right now 1. NEW LIFE – We have recently had some close friends in our Movement group give their lives to Jesus. Some we have lifted up in prayer for two years. I get giddy thinking about their testimonies being shared on Sunday and celebrating new life in Jesus. 2. LARGEST ATTENDANCE EVER – This week we had 171 people attend Movement Church. That’s not gigantic and everything isn’t just about flashing numbers, but I am excited about the church God has slowly built in less than two years. “Every number has a name, every name has a…
  • WHY WE ARE ASKING YOU TO SIGN UP FOR OUR 5K RACE – ADOPTION UPDATE

    markartrip
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:51 am
    I’ve had people ask me how our adoption is going, what’s up next, how fundraising is going, why we are still raising funds and many other questions so I wanted to put all those thoughts in one spot and give an adoption update to our friends and family. HOW IS YOUR ADOPTION GOING? The process is going quickly and very smooth. It helps when you have been through it all before. Things like writing a 12 page narrative on questions about your family, upbringing and parenting make more sense the second time and the task is not as daunting. As far as a checklist goes, we submitted our…
  • HELP THE ARTRIPS ADOPT….AGAIN!

    markartrip
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    We are asking anyone who wants to invest in us as a family to donate to our adoption fund. Our goal is to raise $10,000 (of the $21,000 total) as soon as possible so that we can be matched with a baby this fall. If every Facebook friend gives $5 we will meet our goal. STORY 4 years ago we wrote this blog entry outlining our heart for adoption and our plan to start the process. We believe that God has a HEART FOR ADOPTION and we want our family to express His heart. With the help of our friends, family, and network of people we were gifted $7,000 that helped us adopt Mercy. Here is the entry…
  • HAITI 2014 @CPR3MOVEMENT TRIP MIND DUMP

    markartrip
    18 Mar 2014 | 11:10 am
    (This is a blog post to sum up my thoughts and excitement from my Haiti trip last week. This post is written for my Mom and Dad because they made my trip happen and I want to honor them with a recap of events. You can read it if you want, but just know that if your name isn’t Ron or Jeanne you are merely my secondary audience. Thanks Mom and Dad!) BUCKET LIST Up until a week ago the only time I had ever left the United States was to venture to an IGA super market slightly into Quebec Canada north of Vermont to buy groceries for the Operation Barnabas team I led in 2005. I know what you’re…
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    Thinking Out Loud

  • C. S. Lewis on Modern Bible Translations

    paulthinkingoutloud
    25 Apr 2015 | 12:31 am
    It’s hard to believe this wasn’t penned yesterday. I don’t know the original date it was written, but it first appeared in the collection titled God in the Dock, and we found this excerpt in another anthology tiled The Joyful Christian. Since Lewis died in 1963, we know the material is, at minimum, around 60 years old. I’ve changed the paragraphing and (horrors!) Americanized some spelling. It is possible that the reader … may ask himself why we need a new translation of any part of the Bible… “Do we not already possess,” it may be said,…
  • Damascus Road Blinding Light Identified

    paulthinkingoutloud
    24 Apr 2015 | 3:50 am
    Some stories are just so… unique; they deserve more than just a mention on a link list; they deserve their own space… Falling meteor may have changed the course of Christianity The early evangelist Paul became a Christian because of a dazzling light on the road to Damascus, but one astronomer thinks it was an exploding meteor NEARLY two thousand years ago, a man named Saul had an experience that changed his life, and possibly yours as well. According to Acts of the Apostles, the fifth book of the biblical New Testament, Saul was on the road to Damascus, Syria, when he saw a bright…
  • The Lacey Sturm Story, In Her Own Words

    paulthinkingoutloud
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:25 am
    As I wrote back in October, I became aware of Lacey Sturm while live streaming one of the Franklin Graham ‘Rock the Lakes’ events. Many weeks later, a copy of her book The Reason: Revelations of a Rock Princess turned up in a review package from Baker Books’ Canadian distributor, and this week I finally got to it. I am not the target audience for this book, so I needed to review it with that in mind. Lacey’s story is that of a young girl on a definite trajectory toward suicide, and how a dramatic encounter with a man at the back door of a church she was fleeing…
  • Wednesday Link List

    paulthinkingoutloud
    22 Apr 2015 | 2:24 am
    Link List Returns to Previous Format The return of the Wednesday List Lynx There were just a few comments on the blog on Saturday, as well as a few that came in on the comment form, and by email; but the general concensus seems to be that you prefer the shorter link teasers over the article excerpts, so as of today, we’re back to that format.  In case you missed it, we’re no longer being carried at PARSE, the blog of Leadership Journal. Then again, the Christianity Today family produces some great stuff, and while I avoided too many internal links, you’ll now see more CT…
  • World Vision Paying Bookstore Up To $185 For Each Child Sponsor

    paulthinkingoutloud
    21 Apr 2015 | 2:31 am
    An article published Sunday in the Detroit Free Press on the receivership/restructuring of Family Christian Stores (FCS) carried information not seen to this point, including the amount of kickbacks the chain received from World Vision for each child sponsor recruited.  We can attest to the solicitations personally; going through the FCS checkout there is a litany of pitches including bonus buy offers, but also charitable causes including placing Bibles in prisons, and child sponsorship: The one which was most shocking was the amount of the “bounty” paid the company each time…
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    MINISTRY-TO-CHILDREN

  • Purse Object Lesson for Mother’s Day (Exodus 20:12)

    Mimi Bullock
    25 Apr 2015 | 5:47 am
    A good mother is worthy of praise! She’s also a great example for an object lesson for Mother’s Day. This highly visual teaching will keep kids laughing and demonstrate the value of listening to their mother’s teachings. Ready to teach? What You’ll Need Large purse Small bible Pack of tissues Chewing gum Comb Mirror Anything else you want to put in the purse! Prepare to Teach Before the class starts, put all the items inside the purse. Close the purse so no one peeks inside. Ladies could walk in carrying the purse. Guys could simply display it on a teaching table.
  • Table Games for Mother’s Day

    Mimi Bullock
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:46 am
    Every holiday, it never fails. Kids are wound up! Especially if the holiday involves candy. Well, on Mother’s Day, I may have less of a problem with sugared-up children but it is still a good idea to have some table or sit down games ready to play. Of course, I do provide active games but when kids need something quieter, this game will do the trick! Save this game for the end of your Mother’s Day session–especially if you choose the M&Ms! Sit down with kids and enjoy a laugh or two. What You’ll Need Dixie cups M&Ms Skittles Cheerios Paper towels Paper Pencil…
  • Comforter Object Lesson Ideas (John 14:16)

    Mimi Bullock
    23 Apr 2015 | 11:21 am
    Kids can experience heartache, grief and sadness just like their grown up counterparts. They may be resilient and perhaps “snap back” a little faster than an adult (or not) but regardless of the length of time, the pain is real. Jesus’ promise in John 14:16 applies to children too! Remember this precious verse? And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever… Therefore it’s so important to tell kids about this loving promise. What better way than to demonstrate it with a comforter object lesson? What…
  • Pin the Corsage Mother’s Day Object Lesson (Proverbs 1:8)

    Mimi Bullock
    21 Apr 2015 | 12:56 pm
    Mother’s Day is upon us! What an awesome time to honor to the mothers in our church. You’ll probably be busy leading crafts and wrapping gifts to send home with the kids but don’t forget the lesson. Usually, on major holidays, I do spend a lot of time crafting with our groups but I always take a little time to present an object lesson. One of my favorite verses to use is: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (Proverbs 1:8) Of course, it’s not the only verse you can use but I find kids remember it pretty easily. Here’s…
  • Object Lesson: Different Containers, Same Contents (1 Samuel 16:7) God Looks at the Heart

    Kristin Schmidt
    20 Apr 2015 | 1:43 pm
    There are many wonderful illustrations, conversations, and activities that address how outer appearance is not as important as what lies in the heart. Between racial difference discussions, equality emphasizing, and body image talks, students will no doubt be exposed to the “don’t judge a book by its cover” maxim so much it might seem trite and cliché.  But there is no overstating this critical principle, especially with younger children. Small kids are just beginning to formulate their concepts of the world and what’s in it, and the sooner they can be inundated with the message of…
 
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    Matthew Starner

  • Holy Week: The Gospel in Real Time

    Matthew Starner
    31 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Holy Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday (also known as Passion Sunday) and Easter Sunday, is a unique time in the church. The rest of the year, we move quite quickly through the life and ministry of Jesus. In December, we spend 4 weeks leading up to Christmas and Christ’s birth. A couple of weeks later, we’re at Epiphany and we move right into Jesus’ life and ministry. In a matter of a few weeks, we cover a span of 30+ years of time. After Easter, we move to Pentecost and then again to the ministry of Jesus, often moving around in the timeline of Scripture. But in…
  • Modern Worship Resources: Holy Week

    Matthew Starner
    30 Mar 2015 | 10:40 am
    Even though the church I’m at now doesn’t strictly follow the Church Calendar, preaching on the specific readings prescribed for each Sunday, there’s one aspect of the Church Calendar that I really appreciate. It begins with Advent, moving swiftly from prophecy, to announcement, to the birth of Christ on Christmas. Then from Christmas through the season of Epiphany in a few weeks as we begin Lent. From Christmas to Lent, we cover a time span of over 30 years. But then at the end of Lent comes Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter, and things slow down. I’ve always…
  • You’re Not Too Cool for Traditional or Too Mature for Contemporary

    Matthew Starner
    19 Mar 2015 | 9:36 am
    I’ll be honest. I stole curated that title from a post over at The Worship Community. The post itself was fine, but the title put into words what I have been feeling for a long time: the polarity between “traditional” and “contemporary” is tired and unnecessary. Before I get too far into this though, what I want to speak to is not style but content. You can take the same lyrics and tune and accompany it with an organ, a worship team, or sing it acapella. There are many possible styles for the same piece. Instead, what I want to focus on is content. You’re…
  • Worship Leader: You Shouldn’t Play that Song

    Matthew Starner
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:12 pm
    A few months ago, I spent some time with another worship leader here in Grand Rapids evaluating our worship song libraries. I revamped my library in Planning Center a couple years ago, but it was due for a revision. There were categories were missing, categories that needed to be split up, and songs that needed to be reevaluated. I recently read through Constance Cherry’s “Selecting Songs for Worship” and used some of her criteria to come up with categories. I use the categories not only to find songs in the library each week, but to evaluate songs as they’re added…
  • Christmas Carols and God in the Flesh

    Matthew Starner
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    With Christmas less than a week away, we’re about to be bombarded by a bunch of songs that we only hear once a year. Classic Christmas carols, some of which the church has been singing for centuries, are going to be a part of every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services – not to mention all the airplay they’ll get on radio stations too. The celebration of Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation – when God became flesh. That baby lying in the manger is the very Son of God. He is the Word who was present at creation, through whom all things were made.
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    Man of Depravity

  • Form and Function

    Tyler
    23 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    Today’s post from Hannah Anderson is part of Hinneh: a blog series on vocation and calling. If you’d rather read all the posts from the series in a short ebook, the writers have generously made it available for free. You can download a PDF copy here, or downloads in Epub (most tablets/e-readers) and Mobi (Kindle) formats are available as well. To receive the rest of the series in your inbox, sign up here.  If you wandered through the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania, you might stumble upon one of the United States’ greatest cultural treasures. Today there is a visitors’…
  • The Two Pitfalls of a Calling from God

    Tyler
    21 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    Today’s post begins Hinneh: a blog series on vocation and calling. If you’d rather read all the posts from the series in a short ebook, the writers have generously made it available for free. You can download a PDF copy here, or downloads in Epub (most tablets/e-readers) and Mobi (Kindle) formats are available as well. To receive the rest of the series in your inbox, sign up here.  Sometime in high school how I thought about life changed in a dramatic way. All throughout childhood and even my early teen years, my thoughts toward life were completely focused on what was happening…
  • Hinneh: a three-part series on vocation and calling

    Tyler
    15 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
      All throughout our lives the question, “Lord what would you have me do?” is continually asked. This question is asked of life’s biggest and smallest steps, but the answer is often difficult to come by. Whether deciding on a career, a college degree program, a marriage, a place to live, or who to share a meal with next Friday night, life is chock-full of questions needing God’s help and direction. Despite having found a career, a wife, and a home, I still find myself asking the question “Lord, what would you have me do?” nearly every day. It’s a…
  • Dear Church, Old People Matter

    Tyler
    8 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    In the process of watching hundreds of music videos of church songs for worshipsongs.me, I realized that the overwhelming majority of the people in the videos are 35 years old and younger. Here’s just a few different examples. The church has long had an obsession with youth culture in its attempt to stay “relevant,” and in the process the people deemed by each church to be “old” are relegated to nursing home status—we’ll visit you a few times a year, but otherwise just stay out of the way. I can think of a number of issues with this, chief among them is…
  • Transformed Not Performed

    Tyler
    31 Mar 2015 | 6:45 am
    One of the over-arching themes in my book Why Holiness Matters is the idea that holiness is not something we attain, it is a gift imparted to us through the work of Christ. In the book I described holiness as the outward reality of an inward affection. Meaning holiness isn’t first new behaviors, it’s a transformed heart. Taking this a step further, it is the purity of Jesus which is extended to those who choose to follow Him. Often I hear people describe holiness in terms of behavior, but holiness is primarily something of God, a perfect purity. And if this is true then…
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    ChurchForFamily Sermons

  • Getting Beyond Where You Are: 2 From Grasshoppers to Giant Killers

    paulwnewell
    23 Apr 2015 | 6:02 pm
    Loading Content... Copy and share the link below: Okay, I'm Done - Browse Series - Getting Beyond Where You Are Easter2015:Celebrate! I'm Lovin' It 4:13 Christmas in a Box Core Training: Ultimate Cross-Fit Life Between Sundays Summer Blockbusters Manly Men of the Bible Bringing Home Big Words FUEL STORY Strength The Return: An Old Testament Christmas Story The Verb Vibe Life Apps View Series Archives - Browse Speakers - MEN'S BIBLE STUDY John Carlson Mike Lind Paul Newell Terrie Newell Dr Lou Petrie Dr. Ron Sheveland Luke Sheveland Kevin Simmons - Browse Topics - Demonstration Life…
  • Our Current Series

    paulwnewell
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:38 pm
    Welcome to our Sermon Series Archives. Here is a list of our most recent sermons and series from ChurchForFamily’s morning Worship Services. You can also check out “recent posts” to the right and our list of sermons prior to 2008 by visiting our categories directory. Loading Content... Copy and share the link below: Okay, I'm Done - Browse Series - Getting Beyond Where You Are Easter2015:Celebrate! I'm Lovin' It 4:13 Christmas in a Box Core Training: Ultimate Cross-Fit Life Between Sundays Summer Blockbusters Manly Men of the Bible Bringing Home Big Words FUEL STORY Strength…
  • Getting Beyond Where You Are: 1 From Here to There

    paulwnewell
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:32 pm
    Loading Content... Copy and share the link below: Okay, I'm Done - Browse Series - Getting Beyond Where You Are Easter2015:Celebrate! I'm Lovin' It 4:13 Christmas in a Box Core Training: Ultimate Cross-Fit Life Between Sundays Summer Blockbusters Manly Men of the Bible Bringing Home Big Words FUEL STORY Strength The Return: An Old Testament Christmas Story The Verb Vibe Life Apps View Series Archives - Browse Speakers - MEN'S BIBLE STUDY John Carlson Mike Lind Paul Newell Terrie Newell Dr Lou Petrie Dr. Ron Sheveland Luke Sheveland Kevin Simmons - Browse Topics - Demonstration Life…
  • Celebrate! What Do You Do With An Empty Tomb

    paulwnewell
    14 Apr 2015 | 6:24 pm
    Loading Content... Copy and share the link below: Okay, I'm Done - Browse Series - Getting Beyond Where You Are Easter2015:Celebrate! I'm Lovin' It 4:13 Christmas in a Box Core Training: Ultimate Cross-Fit Life Between Sundays Summer Blockbusters Manly Men of the Bible Bringing Home Big Words FUEL STORY Strength The Return: An Old Testament Christmas Story The Verb Vibe Life Apps View Series Archives - Browse Speakers - MEN'S BIBLE STUDY John Carlson Mike Lind Paul Newell Terrie Newell Dr Lou Petrie Dr. Ron Sheveland Luke Sheveland Kevin Simmons - Browse Topics - Demonstration Life…
  • Test Post April 2015

    paulwnewell
    14 Apr 2015 | 6:01 pm
    Loading Content... Copy and share the link below: Okay, I'm Done - Browse Series - Getting Beyond Where You Are Easter2015:Celebrate! I'm Lovin' It 4:13 Christmas in a Box Core Training: Ultimate Cross-Fit Life Between Sundays Summer Blockbusters Manly Men of the Bible Bringing Home Big Words FUEL STORY Strength The Return: An Old Testament Christmas Story The Verb Vibe Life Apps View Series Archives - Browse Speakers - MEN'S BIBLE STUDY John Carlson Mike Lind Paul Newell Terrie Newell Dr Lou Petrie Dr. Ron Sheveland Luke Sheveland Kevin Simmons - Browse Topics - Demonstration Life…
 
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    Kevin Campbell

  • Life Change Story

    Kevin Campbell
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:08 pm
    Check out this life change story we shared during our Easter Services this year at Elevate Church. Never gets old seeing God pursue someone! It’s the heart of God to see His children come HOME! Related posts: What Does EASTER Mean For You? Life Change Story At Elevate Beach Baptisms – Life Change!
  • EASTER At Elevate

    Kevin Campbell
    3 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    Easter Sunday: Something For The Whole Family I hope you had a great week and are getting ready for Easter! I want to share with you exciting details about this coming Sunday at Elevate as we celebrate EASTER! EASTER – Sunday, April 5th at 9am & 10:30am TWO Identical Worship Services to work around your family plans for this day – 9am & 10:30am. BOUNCE HOUSES in Elevate KIDS for some extra FUN! FACE PAINTING and other EASTER Activities for ALL KIDS! FAMILY PHOTO BOOTH for the WHOLE family to remember this day! Kick off a new message series called Four…
  • What Does EASTER Mean For You?

    Kevin Campbell
    30 Mar 2015 | 3:48 pm
    Watch below to get a picture of the real meaning of EASTER. Join us this Sunday to celebrate EASTER At ELEVATE. Find out all the details on our EASTER landing page. TWO Services at 9am & 10:30am. Related posts: EASTER @ Elevate: Get Ready! Easter 2012: Kick Off BAGGAGE Series Hey Elevate Church, Easter Is 11 Days Away! Help Get The Word Out
  • LOVE Story: How To Actually Live One

    Kevin Campbell
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:33 pm
    Help For Our Most Vital Relationships I want to invite you and your friends to the kick off of our LOVE Story series this Sunday at Elevate Church. I believe this will be one of the most important series we have ever done.  It is also a GREAT opportunity to invite someone as we deal with REAL issues that EVERY relationship will face: Week 1 – Art of Attraction: What to do when you lost that loving feeling Week 2 – Dating: How to date your spouse again Week 3 – Intimacy: How To Rediscover God’s Gift Week 4 – Conflict: The One Thing Every Couple Will Face…
  • 21 Days That Will Make A Difference

    Kevin Campbell
    5 Jan 2015 | 1:33 pm
      We got off to a great start on the first Sunday of the NEW YEAR at Elevate Church! We are believing God to do great things and want to start today and set aside 21 Days to commit this year to the Lord. If you will join us and would like some prayer & fasting resources let me know here. What ONE area do you need breakthrough this year? Health, career, finances, habits, relationships, etc. David said, “this ONE thing I seek” – Psalm 27:4 Paul said “this ONE thing I do” – Philippians 3:13 Jesus said, “few things are needed, indeed only…
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    Digital Evangelism Issues

  • Heartwarming Reese Witherspoon film The Good Lie – free discussion materials

    siskin
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:42 am
    Culturewatch team Damaris are offering free official community resources for The Good Lie. This engaging and heartwarming film, starring Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, reflects the real-life stories of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan’s 1983 civil war, their challenges to integrate with Western culture, and how their beliefs and values encourage others to find a wider understanding of family and community. This film, and the true events on which it is based, are deeply moving. Sudan’s civil war displaced 20,000 children who were forced to run from their homes, walk…
  • Are you a maven*? Do you want to publish curated content?

    siskin
    4 Apr 2015 | 5:22 am
    It’s an obvious truth that you should only write about what you know, and what enthuses you. The CopyBlogger infographic below gives you guidance and ideas about how you might write a curated email newsletter. On anything. See also What can I curate? Many of these choices apply equally to curating a visual topic on Pinterest, writing a blog – or even creating a website – around something that excites you. I have often suggested building a website or blog around a special interest or hobby. It’s a great way to connect with people who share your own interests. It is one…
  • A language that Christians mostly refuse to translate text into

    siskin
    17 Mar 2015 | 8:11 am
    English is unique in being a world language. In a review of new book What is English? And Why Should We Care? (Tim William Machan, OUP), London Times columnist and language-use expert Oliver Kamm writes: …debates over the nature and purpose of English are longstanding. It’s not only the language but its speakers who are different from the past. In the middle of the past century, about 400 million people spoke English. The total is now 1.5 billion, while the proportion of them living in Britain, North America and Australasia has declined. There is no historical parallel for this…
  • Questions that release stories and space for change

    siskin
    13 Mar 2015 | 7:42 am
    Grounded questions, says Mark Strom in this short 16-min TED lecture, have the power to release stories, creative thought, and transformation. They are not yes/no questions, or even questions about facts or feelings. Mark’s insights are helpful in any area of life, work, or ministry. And here’s another explanation, from the Slideshare blog, of why storytelling engages with our minds and hearts, in ways that facts cannot. Subscribe, share & re-use . . . GET UPDATES BY EMAIL & TWITTER Get our blog posts by email, once or twice a week: Feedburner email | + Feedly RSS or by…
  • “You win, infographics!” Print: not so quick

    siskin
    9 Mar 2015 | 6:20 am
    “You win, infographics!” In communicating overall concepts quickly and simply, visual beats text. Learn how churches can use infographics, which apply also to non-profits and other teams. More about infographics. Source: Rickmann’s Posterous Subscribe, share & re-use . . . GET UPDATES BY EMAIL & TWITTER Get our blog posts by email, once or twice a week: Feedburner email | + Feedly RSS or by Twitter: HELP! How Internet Evangelism Day can help YOU and your church. Please help us: complete this short digital outreach questionnaire and get free ebook Tweeting Church.
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    Brad Lomenick

  • The Top 20 Leadership Podcasts I Listen to

    Brad Lomenick
    20 Apr 2015 | 6:30 am
    There are lots of leadership podcasts available today, for free, through iTunes and other outlets. Which is great for all of us who are passionate and serious about leadership development. So here are 20 I listen to. These aren’t the only 20, but 20 I’ve found to be incredibly helpful, inspiring, and equipping. 1. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast  2. EntreLeadership Podcast 3. Catalyst Podcast  4. Perry Noble Leadership Podcast 5. This is Your Life, with Michael Hyatt 6. Coffee with Chris Caine  7. Relevant Podcast  8. Jesus Culture Leadership Podcast 9. Seth Godin Startup…
  • 11 Key Ways a Younger Leader can Gain Credibility

    Brad Lomenick
    8 Apr 2015 | 6:36 am
    Are you a young leader looking to gain credibility? What to do? I talk to leaders all the time, especially those in their 20’s, who are seeking the quick credibility answer. How do I get credibility now and not have to wait until I am in my mid 30’s or early 40’s before people will respect and respond to me? Well, great question. I have a theory. The Credibility theory. Starts with an equation, since I was a math minor in college….. Ultimately, credibility is this: C = T x (E + E). Credibility = Time (multiplied) by Experience + Expertise Whether a young leader, or a seasoned…
  • Young Influencers List, March edition

    Brad Lomenick
    31 Mar 2015 | 7:23 am
    Here you go, the March edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here. 1. Josh McCown- NFL quarterback currently for the Cleveland Browns, 2. DawnChere Wilkinson- speaker, worship leader and co-pastor of The Vous Church in Miami, FL, along with husband Rich Wilkerson, Jr. 3. Ian Utile- San Jose based CEO of Gorilla Branders, marketing and brand strategist agency and firm. 4. Jason Lozano- founder and senior pastor of Freedom Christian Center in Los Angeles. 5. Jared Erondu- San Francisco based advisor, photographer, designer, and creative director…
  • How High is Your Emotional Intelligence?

    Brad Lomenick
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:58 am
    Measuring your IQ has been a standard for years and years. We determine how “smart” someone is by their IQ score. How about your EQ? Your emotional quotient. Your level of emotional intelligence. Your ability to read people, connect relationally, create long term friendships and relationships, etc. Why is it that some folks just seem to have that sixth sense when it comes to connecting with people? Why is it that the one staff person can always talk the cranky accounting person into approving the difficult invoice that no one else can get pushed through? Or that sales person can…
  • Beware of a Shortcut Leadership strategy

    Brad Lomenick
    21 Mar 2015 | 6:31 pm
    I admit, I get a bit impatient at times….. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration…..I get very impatient at times! Lately, I’ve noticed a ton of impatience in my driving. Now it’s not road rage (not yet!), but getting close. It’s not just that slow drivers get in the left lane, but more that I seem to think I now know every shortcut in the greater metro Atlanta area. So my solution for impatience on the roads is that I get frustrated and try to find shortcuts or alternate routes to get somewhere. Only to find that these shortcuts end up taking longer and…
 
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    TeamRCIA

  • How to completely transform the way catechumens learn in the RCIA

    Nick Wagner
    23 Apr 2015 | 9:23 am
    There is one simple thing you can do to dramatically influence the way catechumens—or any adult—learns. If you can manage to make this one shift in your catechetical process, your catechumens will be more engaged, more interested, more motivated, and … Continue reading →
  • Episode 120: Four key markers that identify us as true Christians

    Jen Pardo
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:44 am
    Check out this week’s discussion of the four marks of the church Our featured resource will help you in your ministry with Christians who want to become Catholic And in the Q&A segment, Nick and Diana will answer a question … Continue reading →
  • What is adult learning in the RCIA? Six concepts

    Nick Wagner
    16 Apr 2015 | 1:47 pm
    I like to think of myself as a lifelong learner. Right now, I have ten books on my “to read” shelf. I also like learning new skills, exploring new places, and trying new recipes. But sometimes learning is drudgery. I … Continue reading →
  • Episode 119: The ancient truth about the church that Vatican II revealed

    Jen Pardo
    10 Apr 2015 | 10:10 am
    In this podcast, we’re going to continue our study of the Creed by looking at what we mean when we say we believe in the church Also, we suggest a resource that will help your team understand why we do … Continue reading →
  • Why is the norm of adult initiation so important?

    Nick Wagner
    9 Apr 2015 | 1:32 pm
    For the first five centuries that the church existed, the norm for initiation was baptism of adults. Infants were probably also baptized, but the New Testament never explicitly mentions that they were. By the second century, there is more firm … Continue reading →
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    Brandon A. Cox

  • What to Preach This Sunday In Light of the End of the World

    Brandon
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:38 am
    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine… That’s a line from the chorus of a hit song by the band R.E.M. And I think, surprisingly, there’s a great deal of truth in it. I was pulled aside after a Sunday morning service not long ago by an attender who wanted to know when I was going to be warning the congregation about the impending crash of the world economy that Illuminati would be orchestrating in order to decrease the human population by up to 90%. After several minutes of hearing of the danger of vaccines, conspiracies with communist nations, and…
  • 5 Ways to Recover Your Passion for Pastoral Leadership

    Brandon
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:44 am
    I’ve been there. I’ve been burned out and depressed, discouraged and defeated. I’ve led in atmospheres where every creative idea was smothered by questions rooted in fear. I’ve been distracted by secondary interests. I’ve given into my own emotions and have isolated myself from healthy, life-giving relationships. And I’ve recovered. That doesn’t mean I’m where I need to be – I’m still on the journey and have a long way to go. But I’ve learned the hard way how to bounce back to passionate preaching and leadership in the local…
  • SINCE Jesus Christ Rose from the Dead…

    Brandon
    8 Apr 2015 | 4:54 am
    When I was a kid, I heard the gospel and believed it. I didn’t fully understand it, but I believed it. I can remember attending our annual Easter Sunday sunrise service at the foot of the hill that hosted the headstones of our little country church’s cemetery. The Pastor talked about how Jesus could return at any moment and when he did, the graves around us would pop open and God’s resurrected people would rise from the dead to meet him! This made me huddle in a little closer to Mom and Dad, just in case. When adulthood came, I had to grapple with the real questions.
  • 4 Ways You Can Use Social Media for Good

    Brandon
    31 Mar 2015 | 3:02 pm
    I just wrote an article for one of the best websites on the net for small group ministry, SmallGroups.com. Here’s the intro: No one can deny the popularity of social networking. It’s everywhere. It’s the cloud we breathe all the time without even thinking about it. If you’re like most people, you get anxious when you’re more than eight steps from your phone, and you think you feel it buzzing in your pocket even when it’s quietly lying on the table. But is social media useful for small groups? I believe you can’t have a healthy small group without…
  • What Did Jesus Suffer? And Why?

    Brandon
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:33 am
    About seven hundred years before Jesus died on the cross, Isaiah wrote about it in extraordinary detail… Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it…
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    Biblical Preaching

  • 10 Pointers for Evangelistic Preaching

    Peter Mead
    20 Apr 2015 | 1:06 am
    There are far more qualified voices on this subject, but nevertheless, here are 10 pointers to ponder as you anticipate preaching evangelistically. 1. God can work despite your weaknesses as a communicator, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your best – this is true in an individual message, and in a lifetime of ministry.  So look for ways to improve and grow in what you do as a preacher of the gospel. 2. The Gospel is good news, so proclaim it – somehow it is easier to talk about it, than to actually proclaim it.  We have great news to share, so let’s…
  • 3 Weird Things To Avoid Doing on Social Media

    Peter Mead
    18 Apr 2015 | 12:34 am
    It is easy to live in the moment and lose perspective.  For instance, let’s think about social media.  As a preacher or church leader, just press rewind and imagine doing the following things back in the old days (i.e. even the 1980’s or 1990’s).  What would it look like if we went back in time by a generation, thus removing social media, but still acted the same way?  Would we really do the following? 1. Mundane Info Sharing.  It’s Monday morning.  You had a busy Sunday and are not feeling too motivated to dive into another week.  So you are running a few…
  • 10 Pointers for Special Occasion Preaching

    Peter Mead
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:18 am
    Preaching at a wedding, a funeral, a baptism, a baby dedication, or some other special occasion is a great opportunity to preach to people who would normally not be sitting in the church.  Here are 10 pointers to ponder. 1. It isn’t about you – Don’t try to draw attention to yourself.  At a wedding, people are there for the couple.  At a funeral it is about the deceased and their family. It isn’t about you.  Don’t try to draw attention your way.  Gracious service to others goes a long way. 2. It isn’t the time to be clever – Don’t preach in character with a…
  • 7 Ministry Diet Tips, From David Murray

    Peter Mead
    11 Apr 2015 | 12:16 am
    I have been really enjoying reading through The Happy Christian, by David Murray.  When I finish it, I will offer a review, but meanwhile I will post some highlights along the way.  Murray suggests rebalancing the diet we are taking for ourselves, and offering to others, in the following ways: 1. More Salvation than Sin “…the gospel message must begin with “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  But we don’t want to linger there any longer than we have to.  Some preachers, teachers, and parents love to dwell in the smoke and fire of Mount Sinai…
  • 7 Thoughts on Relevance in Preaching

    Peter Mead
    7 Apr 2015 | 12:01 am
    When you are planning your message, consider your relevancy strategy.  When and how will you demonstrate the relevance of your message? The Bible is relevant.  We don’t need to “make it relevant,” but we do need to demonstrate how it is relevant.  Here are seven quick points to consider: 1. There is a logic to the traditional Application-at-the-End strategy.  Logically we do explain the text before we can apply the text.  This means that the traditional idea of taking the final few minutes to offer some applications makes sense.  However . . . 2. There is a flaw in…
 
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    samluce.com

  • New curriculum you need to check out!

    samluce
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:44 am
    Go! Curriculum Review Go! is a new player in the kids curriculum scene. (Go! will release fully this August.) They have what looks like a great mix of what you would expect from a “Large Group/Small Group” curriculum and fresh ideas. Here is how they describe themselves. GO! lessons, you’ll probably notice that every section of the lesson is designed to help kids engage with God through their minds, hearts or hands.  Some sections are designed to help kids learn about God and His Word.  Some sections are designed to help kids experience, reflect on and respond to the love and…
  • The 10 Best Free Stock Photo Sites

    samluce
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:39 am
    One of the things I never have enough of is good stock photos. Photo sites like iStock Photo started out cheap but is now no longer affordable. When you are making a website or flier promoting your church great stock photos make all the difference. Below are 10 of the best stock photo sites that give you quality photos for free. Hope these help. If I have missed one you use please leave the link in the comment section. http://www.pexels.com/ https://unsplash.com/ http://pixabay.com/en/ http://nos.twnsnd.co/ http://PicJumo http://skitterphoto.com/ http://join.deathtothestockphoto.com/…
  • 3 Actions you must take to lead under insecure leaders

    samluce
    9 Apr 2015 | 5:12 am
    Leading under an insecure leader is just plain difficult. It’s difficult because you often times don’t know where the land mines are. You end up leading carefully and timidly. The irony of leading under an insecure leader is that it can produce in you the very thing you see in them. Leading up is never easy and in the case of an insecure leader it can be nearly impossible. Another reason insecure leaders are challenging to work for because everything takes twice as long because you have to clarify, explain and garner their support before anything can move forward. It can, quite…
  • What every family needs what every pastor wants!

    samluce
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:02 am
    In about 4 weeks I will be in sunny Southern California. As someone from the chilly northeast this excites me. Why I am excited may surprise you. Yes this winter was brutal, but I am most excited about being at The Gathering again this year because of my experience at the conference last year and what David C. Cook is trying to accomplish in this event. There are many conference that talk about the need for family ministry and this emphasis is well founded. The family in America needs every ounce of prayer, strength and support we can give it. What I appreciated about The Gathering was the…
  • 5 signs you might be an insecure leader

    samluce
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:12 am
    Leadership is not easy. The reality is that every person leads at some level. The question is not are you a leader as much as how well are you leading. Growing up in the church I saw one insecure leader after another. I never saw them as insecure leaders until I started to work at Redeemer 18 years ago. I began serving Mike Servello Sr. as his kids Pastor and currently serve his son Mike Servello Jr. as his campus pastor. Mike and his father are by far the most secure leaders I have ever met. It was only through their confident yet humble Christ centered leadership that came to see those…
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    Children's Ministry Online

  • Career advice for an aspiring Children’s Pastor

    Kenny
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:29 pm
    I’m kinda working on an ebook. I have been for the past 18 months. When I say working on it, I mean mostly in my head. I’ve written an outline and several posts on this blog from over the years will be turned into chapters. The inspiration comes from the hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes that have come across my desk over the years. I feel like I’m usually hiring someone every year and I’m often frustrated by the quality of most of the resumes sent my way. I’m frustrated because of my time wasted by unqualified applicants but also frustrated for many of the…
  • Who is more important than what

    Kenny
    13 Apr 2015 | 7:53 am
    I’m about two weeks out from my annual trek to the Orange Conference and I’ve been busy getting ready. I usually have responsibilities at Orange (this year I’m leading/hosting the NextGen Leaders track), but even before my friends at Orange gave me work to do, it’s been a long time since I simply “attended” a conference. Whether you’re getting ready to come to Orange or any of the other amazing conferences out there, I think there’s something important you should know about the conference experience. This idea should frame your thinking about…
  • Writing a winning resume

    Kenny
    11 Mar 2015 | 1:33 pm
    I had so much fun with Monday’s resume post, I decided that I would do another one. In that post I wrote about tips to make your resume 10,000 times better. Most of them are small things. Tweaks and adjustments. However, there’s a bigger issue that I didn’t really address. What if you don’t have awesome content for your resume… meaning, your experience is less than exciting. Maybe you’ve been a volunteer at a church and you just don’t have enough experience to put much down on a resume. Perhaps you’re at a church that’s been in significant…
  • Your resume is awful

    Kenny
    9 Mar 2015 | 7:38 am
    Every month I have people send me resumes. It’s smart actually. On average, I have a position come available every year. I have a position coming available in a few months that I haven’t started promoting yet. I often know people who are hiring as well. I admire those who take a risk and send their resume like that – it shows initiative. Unfortunately though, most resumes I receive are junk. This weekend someone sent me a resume and I was prompted to write back immediately. I actually wrote a long response because I truly wanted to help. However, my first paragraph contained…
  • Understanding your volunteers

    Kenny
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:31 am
    This is bigger than just a volunteer thing, but since this is a Children’s Ministry blog, I figured I’d position this idea from that perspective. You’ll never truly see life through the eyes of someone different from you. You may get a glimpse every now and again, but you’ll never get it. I have many friends who are introverts and I try my best to wrap my mind around why they do what they do and I’ve found that the best I can do is appreciate their difference and that’s a good step. A few weeks ago I had my good friend Jonathan Cliff speak at our Winter…
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    RELEVANT Magazine

  • The Brilliance

    admincameron
    24 Apr 2015 | 2:56 pm
    This week we feature an amazing in-studio performance by The Brilliance you won't want to miss. We also talk to Johnnie Moore, author of the new book Defying ISIS, about the crisis in the Middle East and what the Church can do about it; the crew breaks down the new emojis, and a shofar may or may not make an appearance.
  • The 'Good News' About Sex

    mattchandler
    24 Apr 2015 | 12:34 pm
    Matt Chandler on how sex and marriage can point us to Jesus. In the church I pastor, I am continually bombarded with questions about how dating and marriage should work. There appears to be a deep desire to approach dating, marriage and sex in a way that would please God, but there seems to be a profound lack practical know-how. There is a sizable gap between our understanding of the Gospel and our application of that knowledge.
  • Report Links Earthquakes in the U.S. With Oil Drilling Practices

    Anonymous
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:59 am
    Back in 2000, Oklahoma had a total of 29 earthquakes, all with relatively low magnitudes. In 2014, there were more than 5,400 earthquakes in the state, hundreds of them with a magnitude of 3 or above. According to a recent report released by the United States Geological Survey, Oklahoma is just one of eight states identified in the report (also Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas) where earthquakes are becoming increasingly common, at least partially because of oil and gas drilling practices. Oil drillers often inject polluted wastewater deep underground, which…
  • Officials Just Evacuated the Statue of Liberty

    Anonymous
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:56 am
    Officials in New York have evacuated Ellis Island, Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. There have been reports of some sort of suspicious package being found in a locker, as well as a telephoned bomb threat. A bomb squad has been dispatched to the area ...
  • Disturbing Video Shows Police Shooting Unarmed Black Man

    Anonymous
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:36 am
    Local media outlets in Palm Beach, Florida have obtained a disturbing video which shows a police officer shooting an unarmed black man. The incident occurred in 2013, and the video was just released as part of a lawsuit facing the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. The dashcam video shows Dontrell Stephens riding his bike, talking on his cell phone, as an officer begins following him. As the officer pulls over, Stephens is seen getting off his bike and walking briefly out of frame. Seconds later, he is shot multiple times. Stephens was paralyzed from the waist down in the shooting. Florida’s…
 
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    DAVID KENNEY

  • Fairness Is Overrated by Tim Stevens

    David
    7 Apr 2015 | 9:14 am
    Tim Stevens is an executive with the Vanderbloemen Research Group, and in his new book, Fairness is Overrated, Stevens takes his lifetime of leadership knowledge and pours out what he knows in short, and very concise chapters. Each of Tim’s chapters fall under one of four essential pillars: 1. Be a leader worth following. 2. Find the right people 3. Build a healthy culture and 4. Lead confidently through a crisis. Stevens understands that leaders learn by leading; and so he knows that creating a healthy and successful organization requires throwing out what’s “normal”…
  • Good Friday: Our lives were ransomed

    David
    3 Apr 2015 | 9:52 am
    At first glance, the cross is confusing. It’s true. We both know it. The cross comes at the end of the story like a terrible punch line. Wait? What’s the story of Jesus? A really great guy came to earth, taught about loving your enemies, restoration, world peace. He held children, cared for the forgotten, ate with outcasts. He raised the dead, healed the sick, and fed thousands of people… and right at the end…. the people killed him as a criminal. It makes no sense. It’s the kind of thing that makes you look at the joke teller and ask, “are you sure…
  • Feeling relevant

    David
    1 Apr 2015 | 9:31 am
    I used to love writing for Relevant Magazine, it helped me feel… you know… relevant. But now with my family and my ministry, I just haven’t had time. I stopped by their website the other day and stumbled across all of my old articles and just thought I’d post them here for posterity. So here ya go! Offering To God More Requests I’m trying to find the verse in the Bible where Noah prays that his ark passes smog. Or what about the time when Timothy prays that God helps him with his next mid-semester test? Is it in 2 nd Hesitations where Ezekiel prays that his dog gets…
  • The Legacy of St. Patrick

    David
    17 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    Around this time of the year, we typically celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, many people only observe this holiday, by drinking themselves silly, which is totally contrary to the spirit of the man who Christianized Ireland. St. Patrick’s day is the date of his death and is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is a holy day of obligation; and it is also a celebration of Ireland itself. St. Patrick was known as the “Apostle of Ireland.”  And I would like to read a prayer of St. Patrick titled…
  • Wresting for my Life

    David
    16 Mar 2015 | 10:28 am
    You might remember Shawn Michaels, as an American professional wrestling personality “the heartbreak kid” with the WWE, or his times as a television presenter. Currently Shawn is retired from wrestling and has recently teamed up with Zondervan publishers to release his new book “Wrestling for My Life.” Shawn’s book is a look behind the scenes of both his wrestling career and his personal life. His book is full of testosterone driven stories that involve his love for hunting and his wrestling career. The book also take a more personal side by examining stories of…
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    Leader Lifter

  • Enlisting Leaders-The Emerging Method

    Hal Mayer
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:41 am
    “The idea is this … leadership emerges.” The idea is this … leadership emergesClick To Tweet When there is chaos, you will see a leader step into the chaos and create direction. Remember the call of Paul and Barnabas to... Continue Reading →
  • Enlisting Leaders- The Soliciting Method

    Hal Mayer
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:12 am
    This is another widely practiced method (see pervious post- “Enlisting Leaders- The Appointing Method”). Many times this happens when there are leadership needs or vacancies and other enlistment plans have failed. A plea is made for volunteers from the pulpit... Continue Reading →
 
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    ChurchTechToday

  • 6 Website Tips to Keep Your Church Community Connected

    Emily Kantner
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:01 am
    While your church website should be primarily targeted to potential visitors, it should also provide the necessary tools for people that are already a part of your church community. Beyond providing the basics like service times, location details, and contact information, your website should also allow people to: 1) Connect with a Small Group In a typical church, over 40 percent of people that attend services at least once a month never get involved in a small group. The busyness of day-to-day life already keeps people from connecting, but a lack of convenient sign-up shouldn’t further…
  • 5 Steps to a Solid Children’s Ministry Foundation [Free ebook]

    Lauren Hunter
    20 Apr 2015 | 11:01 am
    Setting up, improving, and running a children’s ministry program is no small task. From curriculum to volunteer coordination to classroom setup to safety and security, there are many facets to the equation that add up to a successful program. Whether your ministry is brand new or centuries old, it is vital to evaluate from year to year to improve upon the well-being—both physical and spiritual—of the children your church serves. When parents bring their children to church, they are entrusting a part of their spiritual development to the teachers and staff. They’re also putting their…
  • Small Church Live Streaming

    Paul Clifford
    15 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The great thing about technology is that while prices start high, they tend to go down and do so quickly. When I first started doing church video, we used to tell churches that if they could afford to buy an organ, they could afford to buy the equipment to do video. Now, the barrier to entry is so low that church plants often launch with equipment that established ministries could only dream of a few years ago. Live streaming is like that. When I was in seminary, we did a live stream between two campuses and to do so we needed dedicated internet connections, specialized equipment, and a week…
  • 3 Kinds of Insider Language That Keep People Away From Your Church

    Steve Caton
    13 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Language matters.  How we use it can either make you feel a part of the conversation or on the outside of a club using a secret code. Perhaps, for you, church communication is a piece of cake, but you’ve heard through the grapevine that some folks miss the point so much they think you’re off your rocker. You can preach till the cows come home, and even though it is clear as a bell to you, others seem to have their wires crossed. Are you caught between a rock and a hard place trying to make a connection with visitors? If you understood that, most likely either you’re a native English…
  • The Value of Digital Giving via Text

    Mark Schrader
    8 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Introducing new technology into your church should always be done thoughtfully–especially when it comes to giving, which is a particularly sensitive area. One new technology many churches are considering adopting is the ability to give via text message. This is a technology I’ve personally worked with many churches on implementing and I wanted to write this post to outline some of the theological reasoning and practical implications for churches receiving giving by text. Theology of Text Giving The use of an offering basket tells us about our theology of giving. @churchtechtodayClick…
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    Brandon A. Cox

  • What to Preach This Sunday In Light of the End of the World

    Brandon
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:38 am
    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine… That’s a line from the chorus of a hit song by the band R.E.M. And I think, surprisingly, there’s a great deal of truth in it. I was pulled aside after a Sunday morning service not long ago by an attender who wanted to know when I was going to be warning the congregation about the impending crash of the world economy that Illuminati would be orchestrating in order to decrease the human population by up to 90%. After several minutes of hearing of the danger of vaccines, conspiracies with communist nations, and…
  • 5 Ways to Recover Your Passion for Pastoral Leadership

    Brandon
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:44 am
    I’ve been there. I’ve been burned out and depressed, discouraged and defeated. I’ve led in atmospheres where every creative idea was smothered by questions rooted in fear. I’ve been distracted by secondary interests. I’ve given into my own emotions and have isolated myself from healthy, life-giving relationships. And I’ve recovered. That doesn’t mean I’m where I need to be – I’m still on the journey and have a long way to go. But I’ve learned the hard way how to bounce back to passionate preaching and leadership in the local…
  • SINCE Jesus Christ Rose from the Dead…

    Brandon
    8 Apr 2015 | 4:54 am
    When I was a kid, I heard the gospel and believed it. I didn’t fully understand it, but I believed it. I can remember attending our annual Easter Sunday sunrise service at the foot of the hill that hosted the headstones of our little country church’s cemetery. The Pastor talked about how Jesus could return at any moment and when he did, the graves around us would pop open and God’s resurrected people would rise from the dead to meet him! This made me huddle in a little closer to Mom and Dad, just in case. When adulthood came, I had to grapple with the real questions.
  • 4 Ways You Can Use Social Media for Good

    Brandon
    31 Mar 2015 | 3:02 pm
    I just wrote an article for one of the best websites on the net for small group ministry, SmallGroups.com. Here’s the intro: No one can deny the popularity of social networking. It’s everywhere. It’s the cloud we breathe all the time without even thinking about it. If you’re like most people, you get anxious when you’re more than eight steps from your phone, and you think you feel it buzzing in your pocket even when it’s quietly lying on the table. But is social media useful for small groups? I believe you can’t have a healthy small group without…
  • What Did Jesus Suffer? And Why?

    Brandon
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:33 am
    About seven hundred years before Jesus died on the cross, Isaiah wrote about it in extraordinary detail… Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it…
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    Liberty Church NYC | New York City | Pastors Paul & Andi Andrew

  • SHE IS FREE 2016 SPECIAL REGISTRATION

    Dee Tate
    25 Apr 2015 | 6:26 am
    In 2016 we are raising a banner for freedom. Jehova Nissi means “The Lord my Banner,” hoisted in times of great victory (Exodus 17:15-16). Because the Lord is our Banner,victory is always certain. As long as we are lifting Him up, it is under His presence and power that we are made strong and able to advance. Unity and strength come to a nation as women step into place without entitlement, bitterness, manipulation, insecurity, malice or pride. Health and wholeness come when a woman links arms with those around her. The cries of the poor, abused and disenfranchised are heard and their…
  • Lisa Bevere speaking Sunday, April 26th

    Emily Kirkendoll
    21 Apr 2015 | 9:29 pm
    We are so happy that Lisa Bevere will be speaking to each of our communities next Sunday. Lisa is a candid speaker and author who is as profound and powerful as she is funny. In her messages and her books, she always draws deeply from her own life and the truth of the Word of God. She will be pouring her wisdom into our women at this week’s sold-out She is Free Conference. But on Sunday, April 26th, you have the opportunity to hear her speak at our services in Brooklyn (9:30am), Soho (11:00am), and Union Square (5:00pm and 7:00pm). Lisa has written many bestselling books,…
  • Coming Up at Liberty Church

    Emily Kirkendoll
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Welcome to Liberty! Here are some ways you can get involved. Lisa Bevere speaking, April 26th // She is Free Livestream, April 23–25 // All Team Meeting, May 8th // Community Group Leader applications // Get the Liberty Church App  Lisa Bevere | Sunday, April 26th We are thrilled to announce that internationally renowned speaker and author, Lisa Bevere, will be speaking at all our communities on Sunday, April 26th. She and her husband John Bevere co-founded Messenger International, an organization established to teach, reach and rescue. Lisa is a powerful and prophetic communicator who…
  • “I See You” Paul Andrew – Podcast

    Peter Vigil
    19 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Paul Andrew preached this message titled “I See You” at our service in Soho on April 19, 2015. From the Liberty Church NYC app, click on “Messages” to listen to the podcast. You can download the app here: Download Sunday Services- Brooklyn – United Artists Cinema 9:30am Soho – Scholastic Auditorium 11am Union Square – Union Square Ballroom 5 & 7pm Subscribe in iTunes to the LibertyChurchNYC podcast to receive new teachings automatically. Related posts: “Everyone Matters” Paul Andrew – Podcast “The Funeral Crasher” Paul Andrew – Podcast…
  • She is Free is almost here!

    Emily Kirkendoll
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:17 am
    She is Free is committed to helping women rediscover femininity, and experience true freedom—spirit, soul and body. At the She is Free Conference, April 23–25, in New York City, women will be changed from the inside out and empowered to administer freedom in their sphere of influence. Last year, Andi Andrew announced the She is Free conference to the women of Liberty Sisterhood, and in less than one week from now, we will gather at Gramercy Theater to extend the gift of freedom. Please pray over the upcoming week as women make their way to New York for a life-changing weekend. The…
 
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    MarkHowellLive.com

  • Hebrews: Don’t Miss This Timely Bible Book Study

    Mark Howell
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:20 am
    Spent some time this week with a new study from LifeWay’s Explore the Bible series. Hebrews is a 13 week study, divided into two study guides: Chapters 1-7 “introduces the Book of Hebrews and gives encouragement and hope to believers.” Chapters 8-13 “helps believers understand how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of a New Covenant.” The Explore the Bible series provides “deep, book-by-book study. Each study focuses on one book of...Click here for more... »         
  • Thinking Thursday: The Power of Time Off

    Mark Howell
    23 Apr 2015 | 3:30 am
    Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali. Can’t see the video? You can watch it right here. Image by Bret Hartman View Article: Thinking Thursday: The Power of Time Off or visit MarkHowellLive.com for more!Or, better yet, subscribe via email and get my...Click here for more... »         
  • 4 Steps that Build an Effective Small Group Coaching Structure

    Mark Howell
    22 Apr 2015 | 3:30 am
    Who are you looking for when you are trying to find another coach? How do you recruit small group coaches? Do you have a tried and true system for building an effective small group coaching structure? I was talking with one of the members of my 2015 small group ministry coaching network and I realized that I have a system, an ideal set of steps that I go through as I’m building a coaching team. I know I did not have this system when I began. And I know that what I have now is the way...Click here for more... »         
  • FAQ: When Should We Begin Promoting a Church-Wide Campaign?

    Mark Howell
    21 Apr 2015 | 3:30 am
    I get a lot of questions.  This is a good one and one you need to be thinking about as you plan for your next church-wide campaign. When should we begin promoting a church-wide campaign? That is a good question; don’t you think? And the answer might be a little different than you’ve assumed. My answer? You should begin promoting your church-wide campaign 3 to 5 months before it’s scheduled to begin. Here’s an example fall campaign timeline: May 9-10 or May...Click here for more... »          CommentsThanks Brian!
  • 5 Best Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2015

    Mark Howell
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:30 am
    I don’t know about your church, but right about now is when many churches pull the trigger on a fall church-wide campaign.  And although there are two other windows when the impact of a campaign can be optimized, in many ways the fall is still the best of the three.  See also, When Is the Best Time to Launch a Church-Wide Campaign. While choosing the best church-wide campaigns is certainly subjective, I’ve made these selections with over a decade of experience leading churches...Click here for more... »         
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    joel mayward

  • Movie Review: It Follows

    24 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The opening scene from It Follows sets its tone of invisible dread and intriguing visuals. The stationary camera pans in a slow 360-degree spin as unsettling events unfold in the middle of a suburban Detroit neighborhood. A teenage girl flees into the street, a look of terror on her face. She runs in a circle, ignoring the questions from her perplexed neighbor, then dodges her concerned father and heads back into her house, only to emerge again a moment later and drive away in her car to the edge of a lake. As she sits by the water, she calls her dad and gives a final farewell, then awaits…
  • The Golden Rule for Movies

    23 Apr 2015 | 8:54 am
    Just because a film is quiet and contemplative, that doesn't mean it's "pretentious" or "snobby."Just because a film explores new ideas and deep human emotions, that doesn't mean it's "dangerous" or "overly dramatic."Just because a film is romantic, soft-hearted, and affecting, that doesn't mean it's "mushy" or "just for girls."Just because a film is light-hearted, fun, and innocent, that doesn't mean it's "childish."Just because a film is from another country, that doesn't mean it's "weird" or "unimportant."Just because a film is old and gray and from a different era, that doesn't mean it's…
  • 4 Problems with the Funnel of Youth Ministry

    21 Apr 2015 | 7:50 am
    Photo Credit: C X 2 (Creative Commons)The funnel of youth ministry is dead.If you're a youth worker, you've probably seen or heard of this funnel diagram. I've used it before in training volunteers, and heard many use it as the model for describing their philosophy of youth ministry.This funnel is the primary metaphor and model for how evangelical youth workers commonly do ministry in North America. I'll make a bold statement here: I believe the model is inherently flawed, and does more harm than good to our views and practices of Christian spirituality.The funnel begins with the pool of…
  • The Authenticity Spectrum

    15 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The language of "authenticity" has become ubiquitous in evangelical church circles. To be authentic is to be Christian. I almost included it as #9 on the list of 8 cliche youth ministry phrases, but this word goes beyond youth ministry into the larger church culture. More than just a common church term, it's a key value to the millennial generation, almost more than any other word or phrase:Be real.Be true to yourself.Be genuine.This is just who I am, take it or leave it.If you're going to be anything in this world, be authentic.Here's the thing: there is no Biblical command for…
  • Movie Review: The Babadook

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:31 am
    I have a love/hate relationship with the horror genre. I've argued for a theology of horror films, recognizing spiritual themes and beautiful truths within the horrific images and narratives of these movies. However, I have a confession to make: horror movies scare me. Like, keep-a-pillow-nearby-to-cover-my-eyes scared. Yeah, I know: that's the whole point. A non-scary horror film isn't really fulfilling what it intended to accomplish. To confront the things that scare us, to open ourselves up to the fear and enter into it, wading into the terror and anxiety until we pass through the other…
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    Blog - Think Eternity

  • Are All Sins The Same?

    Matt
    9 Apr 2015 | 11:26 am
    My whole life I have heard people say that in the sight of God, all sins are the same. However, I have not found this same sentiment in Scripture.While we are all the same in many ways, different sins have different kinds of consequences to both man and God. But first, here's where we are all the same:We all have the same great need. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Meaning, we are all in the same place, being great sinners in need of a great Savior (see Isaiah 53:6). None of us can hold it over another that we are "better" or more spiritual, because were it not for Christ,…
  • Is There Work Involved in Faith?

    Matt
    3 Apr 2015 | 12:18 pm
    The Bible says that we are to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12-13). But wait a minute, isn't this a contradiction to accepting Christ's work for us by faith? Actually, no, but it's all about handling Scripture correctly. The Bible doesn't contradict itself. If we properly look at it, there is a clear understanding of faith and works.Although some denominations believe we need both have faith and work for our salvation, the Bible clearly says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is…
  • The Urgency of the Gospel: Recap of Wheaton 15

    Matt
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:24 pm
    At the end of February we held one of the most significant events in the history of our ministry. Nearly two dozen young evangelistic leaders gathered to speak on a passion for the gospel, and reaching the world for Christ for our Wheaton Conference (Wheaton 15), at Wheaton College in Chicago.We had a sold out venue, with a standing room only crowd on Friday evening. Approximately four thousand people joined us from around the world on the live stream, and the event trended worldwide on twitter, with more than 34 million impressions.We are so grateful for the friendship and…
  • Some of My Favorite Quotes From Awakening

    Matt
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:22 am
    It is has been an absolute joy hearing from so many of you picking up copies of my new book Awakening at your local LifeWay or FamilyChristian bookstores, or on amazon.I love seeing your pictures tweeted of the book, and sharing them.Here are some of my favorite quotes from Awakening. I'd love for you to enjoy and share them with friends! We get enough bad news these days. We need good news too, for our weary souls. amzn.com/0891124179 (click to post thisThe Bible shows us over and over again that we don’t need to be perfect in order for God to use us.
  • My New Book Awakening Releases Tomorrow

    Matt
    9 Feb 2015 | 12:12 pm
    We keep hearing about weakening faith in our country, but God is alive and well in America.Christians today are inundated with negative stories and statistics about the decline of the faith. This is why I'm excited to share with you my new book Awakening, from Leafwood Publishers as a very encouraging counter balance of astounding stories of God at work all around the world, and an inspiration to take part. It is available tomorrow, February 10, wherever books are sold (LifeWay Stores, Mardel, FamilyChristian, Books-a-Million, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks,…
 
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    RobShep.com

  • Next Level Update

    Rob Shepherd
    24 Apr 2015 | 1:26 am
    Giving, Marriage Rocks, and a new worship song for Sunday. It must be time for another Next Level Update… Jesus talked about money a lot. He talked about it even more than hell. I am not rich and I probably will never be. But I feel incredibly blessed by giving. I wish all Christians would experience the spiritual faith that comes from trusting God with their finances. One day I may do a series where I challenge everyone at Next Level to give 10% away, save 10%, and live on 80%. If we do that series I am going to give away all the extra money we bring in so people don’t think I…
  • 5 Random Questions

    Rob Shepherd
    23 Apr 2015 | 1:49 am
    I love getting to know the readers of robshep.com. That led me to a series I like to call 5 Random Questions. Here’s how it works. I ask 5 questions and you answer them in the comments. Ready. Set. Go. What is one part of your daily life that you really don’t enjoy? What is the most fun way for you to waste time? Would you rather accidentally put your hand in a hornets’ nest or have your Internet history for the last year sent to everyone you know? At what age where you when you had your first crush? What’s the last random thought you had? I’ll go first. I truly do…
  • I’m Born This Way

    Rob Shepherd
    22 Apr 2015 | 2:17 am
    I’m born this way. What way, you ask? Fat. No one had to teach me to overeat. No one had to teach me to LOVE food. I was born this way. It is inauthentic for me to be skinny. Even if I lose a bunch of weight I would be a fat person living in a skinny person’s body. And it feels oh so good to eat whatever the heck I want. Vegetables don’t bring me comfort. When I’m stressed you want to know what’s there for me? Carbs. Pizza. Cheese. Chocolate milk. I’ve tried choosing to pick vegetables over food that actually tastes good and I just can’t do it. I…
  • The Dud Of A Disciple

    Rob Shepherd
    21 Apr 2015 | 2:29 am
    Can you name all twelve of Jesus’ disciples? The disciples are more responsible for Christianity taking off then Jesus. I know you may want to punch me in the jugular for writing that, but it’s true. Jesus invested in a group of 12 men and then charged them with changing the world. Jesus launched Christianity and did the amazing work of rising from grave, but the spread of it started with the disciples. Without them Christians wouldn’t be here today. Now the disciples shouldn’t be worshiped, but it should be noted how important they were in God’s plan. So how…
  • Weird

    Rob Shepherd
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:37 am
    I’m so happy today is Monday. A lot of people complain about Monday, but I’m mad excited about it. Why, you ask? Because I’m so excited to get out of last week. Granted last week wasn’t bad per say, but it was weird. I’m talking Adams Family weird. I’m talking… There is no other way to explain everything that happened last week. Weird. It started on Monday. My son had decided to rebel against pooing in the potty by pooing in his pants. Circa 25 times. Then by the end of the week he stopped. He just started going in the potty like a champ. On Monday…
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    News and prayer information from Richard and Pinuccia Wilson

  • Kids Club at Lavis

    Richard Wilson
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:43 am
    Yesterday afternoon the church was present at the festival of Lavis, doing craft work with children. It was not an explicitly evangelistic event, but was more to make ourselves known to prepare for future events. But for us from Lavis, it was a good opportunity to talk with people we know as they passed by, and explain who we are, what we are doing and why. At least, it was for Pinuccia. I was kept busy taking Stefania and Daniele around to the other activities, and accepting lots of compliments for the twins.
  • New Kids Club

    Richard Wilson
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:59 am
    Kids Club, the church’s evangelistic program for children, has taken on a new emphasis lately, concentrating on Lavis, a town of 9000 people that is next to Trento, and where we and a disproportionate number of church members live. At the moment they are getting themselves known, having done an Easter Egg hunt in a park a few weeks ago, and next Sunday there will be a bigger event. There will be a festival in the town, where Kids Club will be running some craft activities for children in the main square of the town, together with other associations. A lot of the children of the town…
  • Public evangelism

    Richard Wilson
    25 Mar 2015 | 8:58 am
    There are a few evangelistic events coming up in the church that you could pray for: 1. Kids Club, the evangelistic program for children, has a new focus, and will be concentrating on the town of Lavis (the town next to Trento where we and many of the church live), getting involved in the official activities of the town. The first step will be games in the park (including an Easter Egg hunt) this Saturday afternoon. 2. The church musicians have a Easter concert in a coffee shop on Friday night, and in church on Saturday night. 3. There will be a Pakistan church service next Friday (Good…
  • Back to the real world

    Richard Wilson
    12 Mar 2015 | 2:18 am
    This morning I took my in-laws to the airport, for the end of their three week stay at Trento. It was like a much needed holiday for us, as they looked after the house and especially the twins. It meant that Pinuccia could do a lot of study for the exam for her work which is coming up, and I could do more than the bare minimum of my work. In particular, I was able to move forward in some of my projects for laparola.net, including releasing a new version of the program for Windows which had been sitting on my computer for a couple of months. But now I can hear someone crying, so it is time to…
  • A satisfied customer

    Richard Wilson
    15 Feb 2015 | 7:44 am
    This week I received a message from someone I have exchanged many e-mails with over the years, answering questions and seeing his life change: Greetings from Rome and thank you for the time that you’ve always spent for me. My marriage is fine and my daughter is growing cheerfully in a serene environment. Only six years ago I was very far from having a family. Then… all of a sudden a subtle desire to change my life that coincided with some “random” meetings that were fundamental for my existence. You were a decisive encounter.
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    Will Mancini

  • 5 Biblical Principles for Personal Visioning

    Will Mancini
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    Two new initiatives have marked my ministry in 2015 and have me spending more time on personal visioning. The first is leading my first personal vision cohort. Fourteen people have joined with me for a 12-month journey of finding and aligning their personal vision. It continues to be a great joy, and you will see a lot of new content on my blog toward the end of 2015 under the banner of “younique.”   Younique will be a brand for training and tools for personal visioning like nothing else currently available. Another initiative is writing the official trade book follow-up to…
  • Powerful Quotes on Vision and Leadership by Lyle Schaller, Church Consultant #LyleLearnings

    Will Mancini
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:25 am
    Lyle Schaller, a church consultant who passed away last week, was the most well-known and most-traveled church consultants of the 20th century.  He was a master of understanding church vision and leadership. He wrote or cowrote over 94 books, and brought a prolific diagnostic ability to his work. I cannot express my gratitude enough for his life model and the rich learning that he passed on; especially helping guys like me practice in the arena of church consulting. To celebrate his legacy, the Auxano team is inviting church leaders and church consultants everywhere to join in a simple…
  • Incredible Coaching Opportunity for Pastors in Southern California: Vision co::Lab with Senior Pastor Rich Kannwischer

    VRCurator
    19 Mar 2015 | 10:16 pm
    How would you like to get 24 hours of vision, strategy and missional leadership coaching from one of the most effective pastors in the country? Rich Kannwischer, Senior Pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA, will be leading a Vision co::Lab at his church from April – November. I am particularly excited about this opportunity to learn from Rich. Shortly after Rich assumed the pastorate at St. Andrew’s, I reflected on a dynamic interplay I observed in his leadership, between two different kinds of “wins.” Some things that a new pastor does naturally relate to…
  • The Top 10 Ways Pastors Spend Time that Doesn’t Make Disciples

    Will Mancini
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:04 am
    What gets in our way when it comes to the church’s mission to make disciples? Let’s look at the things we do at church and they way we spend our time as pastors: Preparing a sermon or teaching message in a given week without spending time in disciple-making relationships. Spending time meeting with staff and church leaders in a given week in lieu of spending time in personal disciple-making relationships. Designing a worship experience in a given week without a prior design of a clear disciple-making strategy. Managing a weekly money gathering process from people without having a…
  • The Most Important Trend of Church Trends in 2015 And What To Do About It

    Will Mancini
    1 Jan 2015 | 7:05 am
    I like reading about trends and I like thinking about the long lists of church trends. Two of my most widely read posts on church trends include: 5 Trends in Retail that Matter the Church (2013) 11 Church Vision and Strategy Trends (2011) This year I want to do something different by focusing on one important church trend. By calling it the most important trend, I want to state up front that I am not building my case with stats. What I do have is 14 years of weekly meetings with church leaders across the country talking about what’s happening in the church. Specifically, in the last two…
 
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    Alastair Vance

  • She’s My Favorite

    Alastair
    21 Apr 2015 | 9:34 am
    I really love this image from this past weekend when we visited Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. There’s nothing more relaxing than walking and talking along the beach with my most favorite person in the whole wide world.
  • As Lazy As An Old Dog

    Alastair
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:18 am
    When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” (MSG) This challenged me this week. I don’t want to be lazy like an old dog. I want to be fully alert and fully engaged in what God has for me. When I write songs about running to…
  • 6 Ways Apple Could Make Their New Photos App and iCloud Library Awesome (for me)

    Alastair
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:45 pm
    Reduce the app footprint. Give me the option of whether all, partial or no photos at all are cached on my iPhone. All my photos should still be available but thumbnails will stream to my phone from iCloud instead. I also use iTunes Match – I can stream all my music without having to download and carry around a percentage of my music library and no-one thought of that when developing Photos? The current all or nothing approach for Photos is forcing me to look at alternative solutions. Make it faster. The Photos app on my phone is slooooow. This is probably because the phone is trying…
  • Jesus Was Abandoned So You Wouldn’t Have To Be

    Alastair
    14 Apr 2015 | 10:04 am
    I was reading through Matthew’s coverage of the Crucifixion a few days back. As Christians we tend to focus on the horrendous physical pain, stress and abuse that Jesus endured because of our sin. What is often overlooked is the consequences of our sin that Jesus saved us from. Death is one of those, but I believe much worse than that was separation from the Father. For a moment before His last breath, Jesus felt abandoned on that cross. From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama…
  • Free 5 Minute Countdown with Spy Theme

    Alastair
    12 Apr 2015 | 4:58 pm
    Not 100% happy with how this one turned out. We used it during our Agents Of Change series at STORYCHURCH. Download video here (*.mp4).
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    What I Learned Teaching Sunday School

  • Review of Finding Favor With The King

    12 Apr 2015 | 5:47 pm
    Author Tommy Tenney does an amazing job bringing the story of Esther to life and I very much enjoyed reading about what life in Persia and in the palace was like. What I had a problem with is he used the story to tell Christians how they could follow the steps she took to gain favor with the king to Christians finding favor with God.I believe as a Christian I don't have to earn His favor. I already have it and it's not because of anything I've done. And the author didn't convince me of anything different.It is a good read about Esther and her story though.
  • Review of Touched by Heaven

    20 Mar 2015 | 9:11 am
    This was a hard book to put down! Nancy was beaten by her father starting at age five. All she could do was pray on her knees by her bed afterwards. And Jesus began visiting her. Even as an adult, married and away from her father, He continued to show up. At first I kept thinking why we He come to this one person so often and no one else? Then I read something her husband, David Ravenhill, wrote in the Epilogue. Jesus once said in the Bible that He could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their unbelief. And it was unbelief that kept Israelwandering around the wilderness for forty…
  • Christian Book Review

    26 Feb 2015 | 5:25 pm
    This is a review of the book Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo.When I first found out I was expecting (over 20 years ago) I felt like I had joined a club. Women who were already moms started to treat me differently. Like now I was one of them. I didn’t realize how true that was until I read this book.Clubs are usually made up of like minded people. And it seems like mothering follows a formula.The authors of Mothering from Scratch, tell women that there is more then one way to do it and it depends on your…
  • Live a Life Worthy of Your Calling

    22 Feb 2015 | 11:59 am
    Ephesians 4:1-16 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:“When he ascended on…
  • The Need to be a part of a Church Community

    21 Feb 2015 | 1:48 pm
    If we want to experience the life that God intends for us, there comes a point where we shift from being merely recipients of grace to being channels of grace to others…we no longer hold God’s love for ourselves, but find ways to share it with others…we stop being spectators and become participants in God’s transformation of the world. Our individual calling is always a part of God’s mission for the church. We cannot fulfill our individual calling without being a part of a Christian community.God chooses to accomplish His work through the lives of ordinary people. He blesses the…
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    Mobile Ministry Magazine

  • Exploring A Different Kind of Mobility with the Samsung Gear S

    Mobile Ministry Magazine
    20 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Samsung GearS and Chromebook 11 For a number of years I’ve been of the persuasion that mobile will eventually get into wearable form factors. Over the past year the complimentary wearable, the smartwatch has been introduced. And while there are various options on the need for it, it’s hard to deny that it is a piece of fashionable and contextual technology that’s  just  opening our eyes to the next steps for mobile. I’ve reviewed the Samsung Gear S with a hope of figuring out the direction of the product and the space: For some, the Samsung Gear S will feel a lot…
  • Updates on the Side of Bible Apps

    Mobile Ministry Magazine
    13 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Years ago, the question that provoked many to first come to MMM had to do with finding a bible application. We answered that one in a manner that’s still not see as clearly in this age of app stores. There’s still something to be said about updates and new releases to various Bible platforms. Here are a few that have had a recent update: Accordance Mobile Accordance Mobile 2.0 is here! Designed for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches running at least iOS 8.0, the latest version of “Bible Study with Accordance” (iPhone App Store name) is sure to please. It is optimized to take…
  • Resurrecting the Reasons for Mobile Ministry

    Mobile Ministry Magazine
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Its truly been a long while since writing a post of substance here. Part of that has been a sense of focusing on other channels. Another part of that has been a sense that MMM might have run its course. 10 years of discovering, observing, relating, and releasing this idea called mobile ministry is a long time. Others have stepped up in this space (very much appreciated to see the other voices), some have faded away. Mobile ministry is still a niche. And its still very much needed to be talked about. Discover In remembrance of the season, we want to once again highlight a few pieces…
  • Receiving and Giving A Liebster Award

    Mobile Ministry Magazine
    7 Feb 2015 | 12:12 pm
    My good friend – and co-laborer with the TheoTek Hangout/Podcast - Wes Allen has nominated me for a Liebster Award. Many thanks Wes, and to those who might be reading and going “what’s this,” its simply a recognition of some of those folks who blog who might not get the kind of attention that those with larger followings tend to get – and its a chance for you to read a little something new, while learning something new about the person you’ve been reading/watching/following. So, thanks for the award Wes, and due to my silly nature – this probably…
  • Issue 3: Holy Week

    Mobile Ministry Magazine
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:11 am
    This issue of Mobile Ministry Magazine (MMM) is deliberately begin set against the backdrop of Holy Week. The tools and technology should always take a backseat to the faith and its impacts, but as we find even in this famous week – the tools used (the whip, crown of thorns, nails, cross, and stone) speak just as loudly as the participants in the story. Discover In remembrance of this week, we want to once again highlight a few pieces we’ve posted previously around this time of year – looking at the story of the end of Holy Week/Passion Week through the lens of mobile.
 
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    joel mayward

  • Movie Review: It Follows

    24 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The opening scene from It Follows sets its tone of invisible dread and intriguing visuals. The stationary camera pans in a slow 360-degree spin as unsettling events unfold in the middle of a suburban Detroit neighborhood. A teenage girl flees into the street, a look of terror on her face. She runs in a circle, ignoring the questions from her perplexed neighbor, then dodges her concerned father and heads back into her house, only to emerge again a moment later and drive away in her car to the edge of a lake. As she sits by the water, she calls her dad and gives a final farewell, then awaits…
  • The Golden Rule for Movies

    23 Apr 2015 | 8:54 am
    Just because a film is quiet and contemplative, that doesn't mean it's "pretentious" or "snobby."Just because a film explores new ideas and deep human emotions, that doesn't mean it's "dangerous" or "overly dramatic."Just because a film is romantic, soft-hearted, and affecting, that doesn't mean it's "mushy" or "just for girls."Just because a film is light-hearted, fun, and innocent, that doesn't mean it's "childish."Just because a film is from another country, that doesn't mean it's "weird" or "unimportant."Just because a film is old and gray and from a different era, that doesn't mean it's…
  • 4 Problems with the Funnel of Youth Ministry

    21 Apr 2015 | 7:50 am
    Photo Credit: C X 2 (Creative Commons)The funnel of youth ministry is dead.If you're a youth worker, you've probably seen or heard of this funnel diagram. I've used it before in training volunteers, and heard many use it as the model for describing their philosophy of youth ministry.This funnel is the primary metaphor and model for how evangelical youth workers commonly do ministry in North America. I'll make a bold statement here: I believe the model is inherently flawed, and does more harm than good to our views and practices of Christian spirituality.The funnel begins with the pool of…
  • The Authenticity Spectrum

    15 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The language of "authenticity" has become ubiquitous in evangelical church circles. To be authentic is to be Christian. I almost included it as #9 on the list of 8 cliche youth ministry phrases, but this word goes beyond youth ministry into the larger church culture. More than just a common church term, it's a key value to the millennial generation, almost more than any other word or phrase:Be real.Be true to yourself.Be genuine.This is just who I am, take it or leave it.If you're going to be anything in this world, be authentic.Here's the thing: there is no Biblical command for…
  • Movie Review: The Babadook

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:31 am
    I have a love/hate relationship with the horror genre. I've argued for a theology of horror films, recognizing spiritual themes and beautiful truths within the horrific images and narratives of these movies. However, I have a confession to make: horror movies scare me. Like, keep-a-pillow-nearby-to-cover-my-eyes scared. Yeah, I know: that's the whole point. A non-scary horror film isn't really fulfilling what it intended to accomplish. To confront the things that scare us, to open ourselves up to the fear and enter into it, wading into the terror and anxiety until we pass through the other…
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    The BIGBible Project

  • Knowing the Lord (Ed Mackenzie)

    Ed Mackenzie
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    By Hans Bernhard (Schnobby) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons If nothing else, we know where a good prophet stands. There’s little ambiguity in their assertion of God’s voice for the situation, little greyness in their declaration of ‘thus says the Lord’, little equivocation about the right way forward for those who care to stop and listen. Such is certainly true for Hosea. We learn from him a clear diagnosis of what’s gone wrong in eight century Israel. People have turned…
  • Hosea: The Holy Habit of Obedience (@longingtobeholy)

    Nick Parish
    18 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    “Niederdeutsches Bibelzentrum St. Jürgen 06 2014 13″ by Concord – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Niederdeutsches_Bibelzentrum_St._J%C3%BCrgen_06_2014_13.JPG#/media/File:Niederdeutsches_Bibelzentrum_St._J%C3%BCrgen_06_2014_13.JPG I know we’re sometimes cautioned against having favourites.  But I have to declare at the outset that, as far as books of the Bible go, Hosea is probably mine.  I couldn’t even say for sure why.  It’s bitter pain, laced with hope.  It encapsulates the…
  • Hosea – the Prophet that makes me quake in my boots! (@nicolahwriter)

    Nicola Hulks
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Reading the book of the prophet Hosea is not a very comfortable task. Any book that has the word ‘whoredom’ in the second sentence is likely to be pretty colourful and Hosea’s message doesn’t really lighten as you progress through the book. The Bible has many good things, frankly astounding things, to say about humanity even going so far as to say we bear in our nature the image of God. But it also has some pretty scathing assessments of the world and how we live in it. Hosea certainly has some hard things to say to his contemporaries. He walks in, wielding words…
  • Come and see our exhibition! – @tim_hutchings

    Tim Hutchings
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:03 am
    Over the last year or so, I’ve been blogging about the “Digital Pilgrimage Project”, inviting you to think about pilgrimage and join in with workshops. The project is now finished, and we would love to show you what we’ve done! The Digital Pilgrimage Project has been a study of what pilgrimage is, and what it could be in a digital environment. Churches around Newcastle and Gateshead have created art inspired by the themes of “hope” and “journey”, responding to different aspects of the idea of pilgrimage. We have created an app, too, so you…
  • Hosea (@Paulblakey)

    paulblakey
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Hosea.jpg public domain Hosea – written in the eighth century BC – a record of Hosea’s life and Hosea’s messages. Hosea was a prophet to Israel prior to its fall in 722BC ad his ministry spanned around 40 years. During this time the nation went rapidly downhill – rejection of God and pagan practices bought a moral and political landslide. Hosea’s wife left him to become a prostitute and through this Hosea saw how Israel had left God – Hosea continued to love his wife and she eventually returned…
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    Children's Ministry Online

  • Career advice for an aspiring Children’s Pastor

    Kenny
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:29 pm
    I’m kinda working on an ebook. I have been for the past 18 months. When I say working on it, I mean mostly in my head. I’ve written an outline and several posts on this blog from over the years will be turned into chapters. The inspiration comes from the hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes that have come across my desk over the years. I feel like I’m usually hiring someone every year and I’m often frustrated by the quality of most of the resumes sent my way. I’m frustrated because of my time wasted by unqualified applicants but also frustrated for many of the…
  • Who is more important than what

    Kenny
    13 Apr 2015 | 7:53 am
    I’m about two weeks out from my annual trek to the Orange Conference and I’ve been busy getting ready. I usually have responsibilities at Orange (this year I’m leading/hosting the NextGen Leaders track), but even before my friends at Orange gave me work to do, it’s been a long time since I simply “attended” a conference. Whether you’re getting ready to come to Orange or any of the other amazing conferences out there, I think there’s something important you should know about the conference experience. This idea should frame your thinking about…
  • Writing a winning resume

    Kenny
    11 Mar 2015 | 1:33 pm
    I had so much fun with Monday’s resume post, I decided that I would do another one. In that post I wrote about tips to make your resume 10,000 times better. Most of them are small things. Tweaks and adjustments. However, there’s a bigger issue that I didn’t really address. What if you don’t have awesome content for your resume… meaning, your experience is less than exciting. Maybe you’ve been a volunteer at a church and you just don’t have enough experience to put much down on a resume. Perhaps you’re at a church that’s been in significant…
  • Your resume is awful

    Kenny
    9 Mar 2015 | 7:38 am
    Every month I have people send me resumes. It’s smart actually. On average, I have a position come available every year. I have a position coming available in a few months that I haven’t started promoting yet. I often know people who are hiring as well. I admire those who take a risk and send their resume like that – it shows initiative. Unfortunately though, most resumes I receive are junk. This weekend someone sent me a resume and I was prompted to write back immediately. I actually wrote a long response because I truly wanted to help. However, my first paragraph contained…
  • Understanding your volunteers

    Kenny
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:31 am
    This is bigger than just a volunteer thing, but since this is a Children’s Ministry blog, I figured I’d position this idea from that perspective. You’ll never truly see life through the eyes of someone different from you. You may get a glimpse every now and again, but you’ll never get it. I have many friends who are introverts and I try my best to wrap my mind around why they do what they do and I’ve found that the best I can do is appreciate their difference and that’s a good step. A few weeks ago I had my good friend Jonathan Cliff speak at our Winter…
 
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    Art Lessons From God

  • Mom Removes Makeup from Bratz Dolls

    tsnipes
    20 Apr 2015 | 8:22 pm
    Being the father of 3 girls, I’ve never liked the look of those “Bratz” dolls. Take a look at this quick video of how Australian mom, Sonia Singh gives these discarded dolls a new lease on life: Related posts: Stay At Home Mom Launches T-Shirt Business About Being ‘Happy’ Take a look at how a stay at home mom... 3 Ways to Make Money From Your Book Concept …Without Selling the Book This video was done quick and on the fly because... Dream Big Even If They Say Something’s Wrong With It “Mrs. Snipes, we just can’t let his imagination run…
  • What Happens When We Tell God “Be Quiet”?

    tsnipes
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:30 pm
    As a creative person, you are wired with a need to hear from God. You are His mouthpiece, and He speaks to others via your creativity. So, what happens when you call unto God for insight and direction…and He gives you an answer you did NOT expect and just aren’t open to? What if when … Continue Reading → Related posts: Your Best Work Is Connected To Your Time Alone With God I’ll be honest. The busier I get, the more I... 5 Ways to Tell God’s Plan Versus Any Other Plan Creative People: How do you know when a decision you’re... Poll: Has God Spoken to…
  • Q&A: What to Do When I’m Out of Creative Ideas

    tsnipes
    13 Apr 2015 | 8:10 pm
    Here’s a question my Facebook friend India sent my way: QUESTION: “I am creative but I’ve spent the last 9 years working in a very dry, finance job and I did not like it at all. It pretty much drained all of the life and creativity out of me. I’ve recently gotten a new job … Continue Reading → Related posts: Creative Questions: Trademark? Websites? Biz Licenses for Freelancers? I’ve recently gotten quite a few great questions from many... Q: Burlesque and The Christian Entertainer? Recently I asked the following question to many of you:... Your Best…
  • Q: Are Art Galleries Still Relevant?

    tsnipes
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:31 pm
    There was a time where having your art in a gallery was synonymous with success…but is that the case now? Now with the ability to reach the entire WORLD through the internet and social media, do brick and mortar galleries have a purpose any more? Take the poll below and share your voice: Related posts: Poll: Has God Spoken to You About Your Talent for 2015? Many of you have expressed a need for knowing what... Poll: Is It Wrong for Christian Artists to Create Tattoos? 20 years ago, a person with tattoos would have been... Word Of Mouth Promotion On Steroids Are You Using the Medium to…
  • Q &A: Trouble Staying Focused…Not Getting Anything DONE!

    tsnipes
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:33 pm
    This week’s question is from Brikko and she wrestles with an opponent we’re all familiar with. Brikko says: How can I control my enthusiasm enough to stay focused on each project throughout completion? Watch how I address her issue her: What’s YOUR take on this issue? Post acomment below: Related posts: Q: Burlesque and The Christian Entertainer? Recently I asked the following question to many of you:... New Practice Sketch: Images and Video Here’s another sketch I did to keep the skills sharp:... Could Your Hectic Schedule Be a Demonic Attack? (FREE slide share…
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    samluce.com

  • New curriculum you need to check out!

    samluce
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:44 am
    Go! Curriculum Review Go! is a new player in the kids curriculum scene. (Go! will release fully this August.) They have what looks like a great mix of what you would expect from a “Large Group/Small Group” curriculum and fresh ideas. Here is how they describe themselves. GO! lessons, you’ll probably notice that every section of the lesson is designed to help kids engage with God through their minds, hearts or hands.  Some sections are designed to help kids learn about God and His Word.  Some sections are designed to help kids experience, reflect on and respond to the love and…
  • The 10 Best Free Stock Photo Sites

    samluce
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:39 am
    One of the things I never have enough of is good stock photos. Photo sites like iStock Photo started out cheap but is now no longer affordable. When you are making a website or flier promoting your church great stock photos make all the difference. Below are 10 of the best stock photo sites that give you quality photos for free. Hope these help. If I have missed one you use please leave the link in the comment section. http://www.pexels.com/ https://unsplash.com/ http://pixabay.com/en/ http://nos.twnsnd.co/ http://PicJumo http://skitterphoto.com/ http://join.deathtothestockphoto.com/…
  • 3 Actions you must take to lead under insecure leaders

    samluce
    9 Apr 2015 | 5:12 am
    Leading under an insecure leader is just plain difficult. It’s difficult because you often times don’t know where the land mines are. You end up leading carefully and timidly. The irony of leading under an insecure leader is that it can produce in you the very thing you see in them. Leading up is never easy and in the case of an insecure leader it can be nearly impossible. Another reason insecure leaders are challenging to work for because everything takes twice as long because you have to clarify, explain and garner their support before anything can move forward. It can, quite…
  • What every family needs what every pastor wants!

    samluce
    8 Apr 2015 | 5:02 am
    In about 4 weeks I will be in sunny Southern California. As someone from the chilly northeast this excites me. Why I am excited may surprise you. Yes this winter was brutal, but I am most excited about being at The Gathering again this year because of my experience at the conference last year and what David C. Cook is trying to accomplish in this event. There are many conference that talk about the need for family ministry and this emphasis is well founded. The family in America needs every ounce of prayer, strength and support we can give it. What I appreciated about The Gathering was the…
  • 5 signs you might be an insecure leader

    samluce
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:12 am
    Leadership is not easy. The reality is that every person leads at some level. The question is not are you a leader as much as how well are you leading. Growing up in the church I saw one insecure leader after another. I never saw them as insecure leaders until I started to work at Redeemer 18 years ago. I began serving Mike Servello Sr. as his kids Pastor and currently serve his son Mike Servello Jr. as his campus pastor. Mike and his father are by far the most secure leaders I have ever met. It was only through their confident yet humble Christ centered leadership that came to see those…
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    What Christians Want To Know

  • Where Should A Christian Addicted To Drugs Turn?

    Dr. Michael L. Williams
    24 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    In all the years I have worked with drug and alcohol addicts, I have never met anyone who told me that when they first started using that they wanted to destroy their life. When they took their first... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How Does The Bible Define A Fool?

    Jack Wellman
    23 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    The Bible speaks about the fool many times.  What is the context and how do you define a fool according to the Scriptures? The Fool Says There is no God The word fool is used 71 times in the Book of... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • What Is Leprosy and Why Does The Bible Refer To It So Much?

    Dr. Michael L. Williams
    22 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    One of the things that most westerners have never experienced is the disease of leprosy. In recent times, leprosy has begun to show up in new locations and in some cases, it does not respond to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Is The Idea Of Having A Soul Mate Biblical?

    Jack Wellman
    21 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Is the idea of having a soul mate biblical?  Are there Bible verses that speak about such a thing? Friends Souls Knitted Together Do you have a very special friend that is like no other in your... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Biography And Character Profile Of Joshua From The Bible

    Dr. Michael L. Williams
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    Many Christians have learned and sung the song, “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” when they were younger. Although the song tells of the famous battle, what many people do not know is that Joshua... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    Matthew Starner

  • Holy Week: The Gospel in Real Time

    Matthew Starner
    31 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Holy Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday (also known as Passion Sunday) and Easter Sunday, is a unique time in the church. The rest of the year, we move quite quickly through the life and ministry of Jesus. In December, we spend 4 weeks leading up to Christmas and Christ’s birth. A couple of weeks later, we’re at Epiphany and we move right into Jesus’ life and ministry. In a matter of a few weeks, we cover a span of 30+ years of time. After Easter, we move to Pentecost and then again to the ministry of Jesus, often moving around in the timeline of Scripture. But in…
  • Modern Worship Resources: Holy Week

    Matthew Starner
    30 Mar 2015 | 10:40 am
    Even though the church I’m at now doesn’t strictly follow the Church Calendar, preaching on the specific readings prescribed for each Sunday, there’s one aspect of the Church Calendar that I really appreciate. It begins with Advent, moving swiftly from prophecy, to announcement, to the birth of Christ on Christmas. Then from Christmas through the season of Epiphany in a few weeks as we begin Lent. From Christmas to Lent, we cover a time span of over 30 years. But then at the end of Lent comes Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter, and things slow down. I’ve always…
  • You’re Not Too Cool for Traditional or Too Mature for Contemporary

    Matthew Starner
    19 Mar 2015 | 9:36 am
    I’ll be honest. I stole curated that title from a post over at The Worship Community. The post itself was fine, but the title put into words what I have been feeling for a long time: the polarity between “traditional” and “contemporary” is tired and unnecessary. Before I get too far into this though, what I want to speak to is not style but content. You can take the same lyrics and tune and accompany it with an organ, a worship team, or sing it acapella. There are many possible styles for the same piece. Instead, what I want to focus on is content. You’re…
  • Worship Leader: You Shouldn’t Play that Song

    Matthew Starner
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:12 pm
    A few months ago, I spent some time with another worship leader here in Grand Rapids evaluating our worship song libraries. I revamped my library in Planning Center a couple years ago, but it was due for a revision. There were categories were missing, categories that needed to be split up, and songs that needed to be reevaluated. I recently read through Constance Cherry’s “Selecting Songs for Worship” and used some of her criteria to come up with categories. I use the categories not only to find songs in the library each week, but to evaluate songs as they’re added…
  • Christmas Carols and God in the Flesh

    Matthew Starner
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    With Christmas less than a week away, we’re about to be bombarded by a bunch of songs that we only hear once a year. Classic Christmas carols, some of which the church has been singing for centuries, are going to be a part of every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services – not to mention all the airplay they’ll get on radio stations too. The celebration of Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation – when God became flesh. That baby lying in the manger is the very Son of God. He is the Word who was present at creation, through whom all things were made.
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    The Fine Print

  • The greatest thing about succeeding

    Justin Long
    25 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    is that it tells you generally how not to fail. If all you do is fail, you will either (1) learn how to fail or (2) run out of experiments. Success can be replicated. So our goal, in experimenting, is not to “fail fast and fail often,” but to “finish with failure” and get to the success idea–and then replicate it, scale it up, as fast as we can.
  • The biggest problem with our failures

    Justin Long
    24 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    Is that they often aren’t intentional. When you run an experiment and you don’t get the result you want, you might call that a failure. But it’s an instructive failure. You set up a test, you had specific measures, and you received a result–and not only that, but you have some indication (hopefully) from the conditions of the test and the individual data points about why the result was received. With that data, you can set up yet another experiment–and, key point: this experiment will be different from the last. Edison didn’t randomly try lots of…
  • The importance of a vision and mission

    Justin Long
    23 Apr 2015 | 7:02 am
    Many organizations have vision and mission statements. These aren’t just “corporatese.” It’s important to have them, even down to the team and individual level. A simple way of looking at it is helpful. A vision statement defines and describes a problem you want to do something about. Most vision statements are written as the ‘after’ of a “Before & After” problem (some call it a “dream statement”): Oxfam: a just world without poverty Habitat for Humanity: a world where everyone has a decent place to live National Multiple…
  • An ekklesia for every person

    Justin Long
    22 Apr 2015 | 9:25 am
    What can be done to get to a church for every people will not necessarily get us to the Gospel for every person. The most obvious challenge to ‘the Gospel for every person’ is the roughly 93 million new children born to non-Christian homes per year (most to Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist homes). What we do to achieve “the Gospel for every person” today in x place, will not necessarily achieve “the Gospel for every person” five years from now. Campaigns will have to be rerun, attrited missionaries will have to be replaced… To get to “the Gospel…
  • When we have to tear apart the boxes we are standing on

    Justin Long
    21 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    When we have a lot of responsibilities – or, at the very least, a lot of activities – we have a tendency to use different methods for reducing the number of decisions we have to make. Sometimes we will eat roughly the same things for breakfast, or we will have a way of quickly choosing the clothes we will wear. We create ‘routines’ that take on the force of habit. These things are ‘pre-approved actions’ which will (generally) always work, so they free up mental space for other things. We built soapboxes to stand on, so to speak, so we could do other things.
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    RevTrev.com | RSS Feed

  • 9 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 3

    revtrev
    25 Apr 2015 | 2:23 pm
    These are images we’ve taken on our 20th Anniversary trip to Maui in April 2015. We took them to use in our own design projects like backdrops, marketing, viral images and viral videos. My wife and I want to these available for your projects as well, so we put the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA […] The post 9 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 3 appeared first on RevTrev.com.
  • 9 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 2

    revtrev
    25 Apr 2015 | 12:10 pm
    These are images we’ve taken on our 20th Anniversary trip to Maui in April 2015. We took them to use in our own design projects like backdrops, marketing, viral images and viral videos. My wife and I want to these available for your projects as well, so we put the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA […] The post 9 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 2 appeared first on RevTrev.com.
  • 10 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 1

    revtrev
    25 Apr 2015 | 8:04 am
    These are images we’ve taken on our 20th Anniversary trip to Maui in April 2015. We took them to use in our own design projects like backdrops, marketing, viral images and viral videos. My wife and I want to these available for your projects as well, so we put the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA […] The post 10 free images from Maui – Waterfalls – Set 1 appeared first on RevTrev.com.
  • 10 free images from Maui – Vegetation – Set 3

    revtrev
    24 Apr 2015 | 2:45 pm
    These are images we’ve taken on our 20th Anniversary trip to Maui in April 2015. We took them to use in our own design projects like backdrops, marketing, viral images and viral videos. My wife and I want to these available for your projects as well, so we put the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA […] The post 10 free images from Maui – Vegetation – Set 3 appeared first on RevTrev.com.
  • 10 free images from Maui – Vegetation – Set 2

    revtrev
    24 Apr 2015 | 12:39 pm
    These are images we’ve taken on our 20th Anniversary trip to Maui in April 2015. We took them to use in our own design projects like backdrops, marketing, viral images and viral videos. My wife and I want to these available for your projects as well, so we put the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA […] The post 10 free images from Maui – Vegetation – Set 2 appeared first on RevTrev.com.
 
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    ResonateOrDie

  • It’s Resonate’s birthday!

    Ruben Nunez
    1 Apr 2015 | 3:43 pm
    Who in their right mind starts a business on April Fool’s day? That would be us! Even though we launched on that day as a counter intuitive move, it’s no joke! Every day, we help ministries, nonprofits, schools, churches and leaders all over the country learn the art of resonance and expand their footprint. Sure, we’re thankful for six years of ministry impact. But, we’re most thankful for you and the opportunity to serve you. We are still incredibly passionate about helping ministries Resonate and look forward to many more years to come. Thank you friends, family, clients and…
  • 9 Steps to Slingshot Your Ministry, Church or Nonprofit to the Next Level

    Kerry Bural
    16 Feb 2015 | 1:55 pm
    Every ministry, nonprofit or church leader I know is consumed with growing their organization, and rightly so. They are under tremendous pressure to expand their footprint, enlarge their volunteer base and increase donations. They often expend significant energy wrestling with questions of growth—and finding the answers can be burdensome. This is the reality and nature of the work. Sure, for most leaders it really is “all about the Kingdom,” but it’s also all about the realities of feeding the beast. So, I thought it might be helpful to offer a few key thoughts to help you slingshot…
  • 10 Short Ministry and Church Branding Tips

    Kerry Bural
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:07 am
    You are always building or eroding your brand, even if you don’t intend to do so. Branding is much more than a logo, tag line or website. These are merely identity assets. A primary goal of branding should be to initiate, cultivate, facilitate and influence conversations. Actually having vision is much more important than having a vision statement. Great brand-building requires seriously hard work. No shortcuts. Ultimately, your brand is determined by others, more than by what you think or say it is. Brand leadership is about discerning and articulating your unique DNA. Let the…
  • 20 Ways to Cultivate Resonance in Your Connections and Relationships

    Kerry Bural
    20 Jan 2015 | 8:14 am
    Today I’m thinking about connections and relationships . . . Unfortunately, the nostalgia of neighborly conversations on the porch has rapidly transformed into real-time, efficient, digital “communication.” Our connections with other people and the building of meaningful relationships appears to be dwindling under the weight of a quicker, more tech-based, social media era. I’m not losing heart though! With social media as the norm, with text messages (and status updates and re-tweets and pins) on the rise, people are becoming more aware of the negative impact these…
  • Merry Christmas and an exceptional 2015

    Kerry Bural
    23 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    We hope you’ve had a wonderful year.  As we wind down 2014, we also wish you have a Merry Christmas and an exceptional 2015. May grace abound and may you be a blessing to everyone you encounter in 2015. Thanks for all you do to impact the Kingdom for His glory. Resonate
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    Ramblings on the Way

  • The real reason you lead

    25 Apr 2015 | 12:47 am
    Mark 10:45 - For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.You can do it to have power.You can do it to remain cool.You can do it to "feel young."You can do it for the prestige.You can do it because "that's the thing people your age do."There are a lot of reasons to become a leader, especially with young people, at church.But, the real reason - which should be the focus when making the ask and the one which closer reflects Christ - is to serve God and others.It's to put the interests of others first, no…
  • The ministry of advocacy

    22 Apr 2015 | 2:49 am
    I wrote here, ripping off an anonymous conference speaker, that advocacy wasn't speaking for someone but merely amplifying the voice of an ill-heard group/person.But, as a church worker who specializes in children and youth, who are the people I should advocate for?Obviously, children and youth themselves and their needs for Permission, Space, Validity and cost of ministry met by the church.Ditto for the families of young people in the church.Young adults who are just exploring church leadership and governance for the first time and are still "finding their voice."Depending on…
  • Why I give the teens weird food every week

    18 Apr 2015 | 9:48 pm
    Just one of the reasons we lost money last year in youth group is that I buy weird food for the teens to eat when they arrive. Every. Single. Week.It's not because I want to develop their palette or that I have a sick desire for them to have their tastebuds tortured titillated by food of my childhood and far away nations.The reasons are simple...Food, even especially weird food, breaks the ice.It's far easier for me to welcome teens and have them sign in with a potentially tasty treat when they walk through the door.Furthermore, it's far easier for one of my…
  • Are you stronger in communication or theology?

    16 Apr 2015 | 10:02 pm
    I read a lot of blogs. Everyday. On my feedly page there are 559 blogs which I follow, 47 on the topics of speaking, communication and preaching.This means I'm, at least aware, of WAY too much information on making speeches or giving presentations.I know about the 10/20/30 rule.I know about the rule of thirds.In fact, I know way more than I do, or even could, put into practice.Would I be alone if I said that I'm more up-to-date in the area of communication than I am in theology?Sure, on feedly I also follow hundreds of blogs about church, religion and faith, but, I wonder if…
  • Eulogising 101

    14 Apr 2015 | 7:10 pm
    Working at numerous churches, I've been to my fair share of funerals. Some were for people I know. Some were to show support for others. Some were to be the random techie guy up the back.With this being the case, I've heard plenty of eulogies. Some great. The majority good. Others... not so good.But I've only, personally, given one eulogy in my life.When thinking about the words that are shared about someone at their funeral, I think there are three things which make up a solid eulogy.What your fondest memory was with that person...What words/character traits you…
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    Fr. Peter Michael Preble

  • Christ is Risen! Now What?

    Fr. Peter
    24 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    For me, the day after Easter is a lot like the day after Christmas, lots to clean up.  Our modern culture tends to treat these big holidays as one-day events and once it is over we move on to the next thing.  This year was especially difficult for Orthodox Christians as our Easter came a […] The post Christ is Risen! Now What? appeared first on Fr. Peter Michael Preble.
  • Is Capital Punishment Justice

    Fr. Peter
    22 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    My opposition to capital punishment is no secret.  In September of 2010 I wrote an essay Orthodoxy and Capital Punishment, where I presented my argument from a Scriptural as well as a theological standpoint for why the continued use of capital punishment is wrong.  I quoted Jesus own words from the 5th chapter of the […] The post Is Capital Punishment Justice appeared first on Fr. Peter Michael Preble.
  • … And Peter

    Fr. Peter
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
      I will admit that I have had a long fascination with the Apostle Peter.  When I was entering the novitiate at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham Massachusetts, I was asked by the Abbot to select three names one of which I would be given on the night I entered.  Now I could have chosen my […] The post … And Peter appeared first on Fr. Peter Michael Preble.
  • What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

    Fr. Peter
    15 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    Fr. Peter discusses the sacrifice of Abraham in light of what we are asked to do as Christians. The post What Are You Willing to Sacrifice? appeared first on Fr. Peter Michael Preble.
  • Pastoral Vision

    Fr. Peter
    13 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
      I was asked recently to share what my vision was for pastoral ministry in the 21st century world we live in.  Pastors have many responsibilities and casting a vision is one of those responsibilities.  We can cast the vision, we can even sell it, but there has to be a community of believers willing […] The post Pastoral Vision appeared first on Fr. Peter Michael Preble.
 
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    Jonathan Herron

  • Post-Mortems on Mars Hill Church from former Executive Pastor

    Jonathan Herron
    23 Apr 2015 | 11:00 am
    Full Disclosure: I am a former member and church planter assessor with the Acts 29 Network.  In fact, as the first Ohio church planter admitted into A29 back in 2006, I had friends at Mars Hill Church in Seattle and when we merged our church plant with another great church in 2009, one discussion at that time involved me possibly taking a position at Mars Hill. A few years later in 2012 when we were in the launch stages of Life Church here in the Great Lakes Bay Region, some of my A29 friends tried to persuade me to plant Life Church with A29 (I politely declined). I was in Jerusalem…
  • The Empty Tomb of Jesus Christ

    Jonathan Herron
    8 Apr 2015 | 10:22 am
    History of the Empty Tomb of Christ from Life Church on Vimeo. The post The Empty Tomb of Jesus Christ appeared first on Jonathan Herron.
  • Photo Essay: Easter Egg Helicopter Drop 2015 Recap

    Jonathan Herron
    7 Apr 2015 | 6:01 am
    Easter weekend 2015 was one for the history books at Life Church. We welcomed nearly five thousand people to our 3rd Annual Great Big Egg Drop!  With 50,000 eggs showered from a helicopter onto three different age groups, every kid left with at least 15-20 plastic eggs! We’ve learned a TON over the years and because we are always striving to improve in all we do at Life Church, this year’s event was absolutely flawless and we encountered ZERO chaos — that’s a success in my book! We saw people from all over descend on our church campus… We even met one family who…
  • Life Church’s 3rd Annual Easter Egg Helicopter Drop

    Jonathan Herron
    31 Mar 2015 | 8:01 am
    One of the craziest and best events we host each year at the church I love is the Great Big Egg Drop. It’s a completely free event sponsored by our friends at The Lighthouse that accomplishes 5 goals for Life Church: it brings families together literally thousands of guests are welcomed onto our church campus community leaders appreciate our church bringing value to the region it’s a fantastic memory-maker for our church volunteers and after making a connection to Life Church, we have seen many, many guests give church a shot! This year’s Great Big Egg Drop promises to…
  • Talking about The Walking Dead, Easter, and Helicopters on Live Radio

    Jonathan Herron
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:38 pm
    I had a BLAST on the Mix 106.3 Morning Show today.  Here’s in-studio video of the two live segments:   Life Church on Mix 106.3 from Life Church on Vimeo. The post Talking about The Walking Dead, Easter, and Helicopters on Live Radio appeared first on Jonathan Herron.
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    Proclaim Blog

  • 4 Reasons to Choose Proclaim

    Andre Kazadayev
    22 Apr 2015 | 11:50 am
    Today’s guest post comes from Kevin Bradford. Kevin serves as creative director and worship leader at Ridge Church in Oak Ridge, TN and has been leading worship and creative teams for 20 years. He is the father of four amazing kids, avid coffee drinker, and writer. You can connect with Kevin on Twitter @kevinpbradford or follow his blog at www.thebradfordblog.me. As a creative director and worship leader, what is displayed on screen is very important to me. I want to have confidence in what’s being projected, and know that when the inevitable glitch happens, the support staff will…
  • Proclaim Charts: Top 10 Worship Songs on April 19

    Kayla Philp
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:40 pm
    Each week, we publish the top 10 most-played songs from weekend services around the world and point out tracks that are rising fast on the charts. Check back every week to learn which worship tracks are hot right now. “Nothing But the Blood” “How Great Is Our God” “10000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” “Mighty To Save” “Doxology” “In Christ Alone” “This Is Amazing Grace” “Our God” “Blessed Be Your Name” “Lord I Need You” You can find chord charts, lead sheets, click tracks, and…
  • Introducing: Proclaim Freebie of the Month

    Andre Kazadayev
    17 Apr 2015 | 10:55 am
    We are beyond excited to announce the Proclaim Freebie of the Month! Each month, beginning today, Proclaim will be releasing a few pieces of our custom new media, for free! See below just one of our free designs you’ll get by signing up today! Try Proclaim for Free Proclaim Church Presentation Software allows you to collaborate with your team from wherever they work best. No more emailing large files or fumbling with flash drives. Best of all, it connects with many of the tools you already use, like Planning Center Online, CCLI SongSelect, and Graceway Media. Try it for free at…
  • Proclaim Charts: Top 10 Worship Songs on April 12

    Kayla Philp
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:36 am
    Each week, we publish the top 10 most-played songs from weekend services around the world and point out tracks that are rising fast on the charts. Check back every week to learn which worship tracks are hot right now. “In Christ Alone” “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today” “Nothing But the Blood” “Because He Lives (Amen)” “This Is Amazing Grace” “Christ Is Risen He Is Risen Indeed” “Jesus Paid It All” “Happy Day” “O Praise Him (with Doxology)”
  • April Pro Media is Here

    Kayla Philp
    7 Apr 2015 | 12:04 pm
    April is here, and Pro Media is full of beautiful new imagery for your next presentation. This month there are 13 new series and 3 new motion backgrounds. The bright new Selfie series is great for connecting with Millennials and Baby Boomers alike—because let’s be honest, who hasn’t taken a selfie? You can also provide powerful imagery with the new Sermon on the Mount pack. This new series will help you discuss one of the most powerful messages in an elegant, effective way. If you haven’t yet subscribed to Pro Media, this is certainly the month to do it! If you want to use Pro…
 
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    United Faith Church

  • Word of Truth

    Kris Burke
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:30 pm
    2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. UFC, We have been given something so precious. God has entrusted us with His precious Word. What are we doing with that Word? It has the power to transform, convict, teach, reveal, cut, and expose. How are we handling the Word of God? Are we allowing it to sit unused or are we utilizing it to cause change and transformation in our hearts? The Word is a gift from God and we should be utilizing it every day. That way we can present…
  • A New Time

    Kris Burke
    10 Apr 2015 | 6:29 pm
    Isaiah 55:12-13 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” UFC, Praise God, this year is going to be a year of favor! I pray that the Lords presence would dwell among you as never before. I pray that God will dwell in you more mighty than you have ever felt Him. I pray that righteousness would…
  • Good Friday

    Kris Burke
    3 Apr 2015 | 2:18 am
    1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” UFC, As we spoke about on Sunday, let us not go through this day as just another day. As you go through your day, imagine what Jesus was experiencing at each hour. From the time He was arrested, to the time He was brought before Pilate and all the way until He was nailed to the cross. We know that each lash Jesus took, each insult that He bore, was all so that we could be free. Every minute He endured brought us one step…
  • Eyes to see

    Kris Burke
    20 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    Matthew 16:15-17 “But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. UFC, Lately, God has been showing me how so many walk in this world blinded to the truth. They are blinded to the state of their lives, blinded to their sin and blinded from seeing the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is. Jesus Christ had the same problem while He was walking this earth. Many people…
  • Light in the Dark

    Kris Burke
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:15 am
    Psalm 112:4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. UFC, Ever walk in a place that just seems dark? Maybe its your jobs or your schools but when you are there you feel as though you are surrounded by the ways of the world and there is an absence of light. We, as Christians, are supposed to be carriers of the light of Jesus Christ, light in the dark.   That light is supposed to shine from our hearts where ever we go. We are meant to bring light to the hopeless and desolate places. As you are at your jobs today, the light of…
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    Better Bible Teachers

  • Why do Sunday School teachers feel so bad all the time?

    Nathan
    19 Apr 2015 | 6:24 pm
    It’s so vivid in my memory, it’s like I’m there, right now. Recently, I was walking out of church after a lesson on God not calling us by the ‘label’ we’ve put on ourselves… And I was at a loss. I’d put my heart and soul into the lesson. I’d spent upwards of 10 hours, in my spare time, studying and getting ready for the 20 minutes of teaching. And yet, as much as I had worked, it just felt…blah. I wonder if you've ever felt this way. Whether you teach Sunday School or a Bible class elsewhere; have you ever walked away completely…
  • How Teachers Can Sleep Better, Even When You Have Allergies Like Me!

    Nathan
    12 Apr 2015 | 8:21 pm
    I’m prone to allergies. Living in Southern California I can predict very easily when I’m going to have allergy issues. Like clockwork, as soon as the weather goes back to nice after being rainy and overcast I am guaranteed to have a headache. So I did a little research on how to sleep better even during allergy season. I trust this will help you as much as it did me. 1.Did you know there are some plants that naturally purify the air? Apparently plants like aloe and English Ivy actually breathe in toxins and breathe out clean air. How amazing is that?! If you aren’t the plant…
  • 3 Pretty Cool Insights from Jesus Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem (I especially like #2)

    Nathan
    5 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    Teaching an Easter story is incredibly difficult. Why? Well, when you teach Sunday School kids about Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem it can feel like explaining Christmas to a bunch of kids. They already know what’s coming!! Heck – they could probably finish the story for you. So let me give you 3 specific ideas for making the story of Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem more interesting for the Sunday School regulars who’ve heard it many times before. 1. Don’t start with the donkey My instinct when I started to prepare to teach this lesson was to begin…
  • Fun Sunday School Lesson Idea (Jesus Calls Peter / Miraculous Catch of Fish)

    Nathan
    19 Mar 2015 | 8:54 pm
    Last week my lesson was on Peter being called by Jesus. It's the story of Peter, having fished all day, obeys Jesus and goes back out to fish again. When he puts his net down the fish come in hoards! There is a decent 'story' to this lesson, which helps. It's not like you have to keep the kids attention for 20 minutes with a lesson on Leviticus. There is a cool story to tell here. But nevertheless, 20 minutes is a long time for a kid to listen and pay attention. So I always try to insert something in the lesson that will break up all the talking and get the kids focused again.
  • Easter Bible Verses for Kids

    Nathan
    17 Mar 2015 | 8:29 pm
    Below are some good Easter verses for kids. I tried to include verses that would work for a varitey of ages, but none that would be too difficult for early elementary. Some of the verses I found 'qualified' but I felt like they just didn't fit. Needless to say this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather, a list of a few good options to choose from.    …On the third day he will be raised to life! Matthew 20:19b   Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" John 20:18a   "Why do you look for…
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