|Why Your Bivocational Church Must Share Responsibility|
By: Dennis Bickers
Too many bivocational pastors burn out because they try to do it all. Pastors must learn to take care of themselves by allowing the rest of the church to share in ministry tasks. Read More ...
|"Is the God of Mohammed the God of Christianity?"|
By: Richard Wilson
When we focus on a doctrine of exclusion, Christians and Muslims miss the important opportunities to focus on common issues, such as attention to the poor and the quest for spiritual maturity. Read More ...
|Phases of Jesus' Ministry Reflect Our Own Lives|
By: Sam Chaise
Reflecting on the seasons of the liturgical worship calendar brings to mind the different phases of ministry that Jesus had, from popularity to struggle. It's a lot like our own lives. Read More ...
|Your Church Doesn't Need Gov't Approval to Fulfill Mission|
By: Rob Hewell
More than half of all Americans and 70 percent of Protestant senior pastors believe religious liberty is waning. However, the church doesn't need government protection to be faithful to God. Read More ...
|After Hardship, Algeria's Christian Churches Bloom|
By: Terry Smith
Following a horrific civil war in the 1990s, Algeria has seen Christian churches grow and blossom under a government that has become increasingly tolerant of non-Islamic religious movements. Read More ...
|God as Sister, God and Sister|
By: Martin Marty (The Martin Marty Center: Sightings)
In a world where indifference usually keeps believers from making a difference, Sister Rosemary Connelly doesn't mind a little theological overreach if it helps the less fortunate. Read More ...
Martin Marty (The Martin Marty Center: Sightings)
|The Church Addiction: Satisfying Our Own Egos|
By: Bill Wilson
For many, the U.S. church experience is akin to an addiction to a poor substitute for the gospel of Jesus. All of us crave a church that will cater to us. It's time to break the addictive cycle. Read More ...
|What Awaits Us After Death? Words Can't Describe|
By: Keith Herron
What awaits us after this life? Mostly we don't know. Not even the Bible gives us much to work on. What is ahead is too great to imagine, certainly too much for words. Read More ...
|7 Steps to Increase Your Self-Discipline in Ministry|
By: Mark Tidsworth
One of the nice benefits of serving as a pastor or church staff member is the control you have over your schedule, but it's also a contributing factor to the need for high levels of self-discipline. Read More ...
|Servant Leadership – Is It Inherently Biblical?|
By: Andrey Shirin
Christians have embraced wholeheartedly servant leadership. The concept, however, didn't originate from the Bible but rather from the writings of an AT&T executive. Surprised? Read More ...
|Why Your Church Benefits When You Build Consensus|
By: Nick Lear
While it may be easier to ask for forgiveness than seek permission, it's not a good leadership model for churches. It's worth the time to explain decisions and let people suggest alternatives. Read More ...
|Attendance Alone Doesn't Reflect Your Church's Vitality|
By: Bill Wilson
When a church's weekly average attendance drops, leaders look for someone to blame. Rather than scapegoating, churches must rethink how they connect with people. Read More ...
|What Happens When Our Tithe Neglects the Poor?|
By: Larry Eubanks
While the Lord is happy when we give generously to support the church, the message of Malachi reminds us that we cannot forget the poor when we give our tithe to the Lord. Read More ...
|Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor|
By: Dennis Bickers
When searching for a new pastor, many churches automatically exclude older candidates. It's a huge mistake to believe that all older pastors cannot effectively lead a church in today's society. Read More ...
|Building Interfaith Relationships – A Theology of Life|
By: Martin Accad
The Syrian conflict has provoked a growing fear of Islam and Muslims among Christians in Syria, the region and, to some extent, throughout the world. Interfaith relationships can turn that around. Read More ...
|3 Advantages to Going Online for Your Daily Devotional|
By: Barry Howard
Many people have relied upon Bible reading plans or devotional books for their daily devotionals. However, online resources can be a practical source of material, too. Read More ...
|Why I'm Opposed to Fundamentalist Calvinism – Part 2|
By: Roger Olson
Today's new Calvinism is infected with fundamentalist elitism, exclusivism and even, at times, separatism. It's often intolerant of differences about secondary doctrinal matters. Read More ...
|Why I'm Opposed to Fundamentalist Calvinism – Part 1|
By: Roger Olson
The author of "Against Calvinism" explains that not all of Calvinism is objectionable. It's the rise and influence of aggressive, fundamentalist Calvinism in contemporary evangelicalism that concerns him. Read More ...
|Wake Up! How to Know When Your Church Veers Off Course|
By: Bill Wilson
Has your church drifted off the path that God intended for you to travel? Maybe what your congregation needs is a rumble strip to get you back on course. Read More ...
|Most Churches Welcome Anyone – Except This Group|
By: Chris Smith
Many churches say they welcome anyone, but it's a different story when it comes to released prisoners. They fear that if they open themselves to these citizens, they could do them harm. Read More ...
|Does Your Church's Music Reflect the Lenten Spirit?|
By: Preston Clegg
Does your church observe Lent in the songs you sing during worship? In a season that calls us into a deeper reality, we should be intentional about the music we employ in worship. Read More ...
|Lent – A Journey From Pew to Pulpit to the Cross|
By: Greg DeLoach
If your church isn't well grounded in an understanding of Lent, you can begin to teach and offer creative ways to worship, observe and serve. Here's how to begin the journey together. Read More ...
|Power Can Be Poison in Big and Little Doses|
By: Colin Harris
Local churches aren't immune from the corrupting influence of power. When focused on narrow goals to the benefit of self or at the expense of others, power can be most destructive. Read More ...
|Ash Wednesday Serves to Remind Us of Our Mortality|
By: Stephen Cook
Standing as a stark reminder of our mortality, Ash Wednesday affords us the opportunity to remember. The dust of the ashes serves to remind us both of where and from whom we have come. Read More ...
|The Needs Are Overwhelming, But You Can't Do It All|
By: Zach Dawes
Our world is filled with needs. We can't respond to all of them. But some of us fall into the trap of believing that we're not doing anything worthwhile because we're not doing everything. Read More ...
|What's the Connection Between Morality and Intellect?|
By: Vinoth Ramachandra
Ethics doesn't live in a different realm than knowledge. A preacher's political stance and what he does with his fees says more about his Christianity than any of his theological arguments. Read More ...
|Three Years after the Arab Spring|
By: Terence Ascott
When the Arab Spring began three years ago, many in the Arab world had high expectations for new freedoms and prosperity. Fast forward to today, the disappointment and frustration are palpable. Read More ...
|If We Believe Jesus is the Way, Why Don't We Show It?|
By: Jim Hill
Baptists are often fond of saying "Jesus is the way." If we truly believe this, perhaps it's time to incorporate his teachings into our daily lives, rather than simply saying we believe it. Read More ...
|The Greatest Church That Never Was|
By: Doug Jackson
Plenty of consultants are quick to sell you the perfect scheme to fix your church. Before you take that deal to turn your congregation into a perfect New Testament church, just remember: There isn't one. Read More ...
|Churches Struggling with Headwinds are Ready to Fly|
By: Bill Wilson
Resistance from headwinds helps airplanes generate the lift needed to take off. When your church encounters struggles, it's ready to take off and fly as it works through the difficulties. Read More ...
|3 Confessions from a Former Charismatic|
By: Darian Duckworth
Some folks associate charismatic churches with TV preacher scandals, but these three traditions from the charismatic church have shaped this former charismatic into the person she is today. Read More ...
|King's Dreams Changed What the Civil War Couldn't|
By: Preston Clegg
Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee cared passionately for their causes. However, one sought to bring about change through proclamation and the other sought to prevent change through force. Read More ...
|Providing Aid as Christian Witness: Manipulation or Act of Mercy?|
By: Rupen Das
Too often we presume that the only method of Christian witness is verbal proclamation. In the Middle East, however, acts of unconditional love and compassion are powerful communicators. Read More ...
|Taking Evil Seriously in Our Broken World|
By: Gordon King
While many of us can have high standards of personal morality, we can simultaneously be perpetrators of social evil in this broken world. How will the church help the wounded? Read More ...
|4 Truths to Respond to Criticism with Grace|
By: Nick Lear
If you serve in a church long enough, you're going to receive criticism. When it comes your way, remember these four truths to reply with a response filled with grace. Read More ...
|Lebanese Baptists Reach Out to Syrian Neighbors|
By: Nabil Costa
An estimated 2 million Syrians have fled the war in their country by seeking refuge in neighboring countries like Lebanon. The response of Lebanese Baptists to their new neighbors has been amazing. Read More ...
|Are You Spiritual But Not Religious? It Isn't Enough|
By: Chuck Queen
Some folks eschew church, claiming they're spiritual but not religious. But authentic spirituality requires community. For Christians that means learning how to be the body of Christ. Read More ...
|What Does the Future Look Like for Smaller Churches?|
By: Dennis Bickers
Whether you like it or not, changes are coming for your smaller church. The wise congregation will weigh the options and pick the model that makes the most sense for them. Read More ...
|How No New Clothes Will Help Me Support Syrian Refugees|
By: Lynne Hybels
Not buying new clothes for a year helped me support people affected by the civil war in the Congo and will now help me support Syrian refugees. What can you do to help you support a crucial human need? Read More ...
|Why God Isn't As Close as a Text Message|
By: Seth Vopat
We instantly connect with friends wherever they are with a simple text, so why can't our relationship with God be as close? Perhaps it's time to look again at those Scriptures that talk about God's distance. Read More ...
|Baptism's Fruit? Pursuit of Righteousness, Justice|
By: Larry Greenfield
Before Jesus' baptism, John the Baptist spoke about bearing fruit. And what fruit should our baptism produce? The start of our pursuit for righteousness and justice. Read More ...
|Do You Need a Fresh Start or Conversion Experience?|
By: Joe LaGuardia
Unlike a New Year's resolution, in which we make commitments to better ourselves, conversion is much more than a one-time event. It's a continual cycle with which God is never finished. Read More ...
|3 Activities That Will Revive Your Faith|
By: Keith Herron
We live in a society that's spinning like an out-of-control merry-go-round. How do we stand firm? These 3 activities will help you to stay grounded in our fast-paced world. Read More ...
|For Effective Change, Leaders Must Walk the Talk|
By: Dennis Bickers
When a church goes through change, it's vital for pastors and lay leaders to model that change. Failure to do so means others in the church are not going to change either. Read More ...
|Do You Settle for the Familiar or Risk Being Shattered?|
By: James Gordon
We anxiously cling to the familiar. We must choose between insulated safety with the familiar or risk exposure by being open to that which might shatter us. The latter is the path of grace and faith. Read More ...
|Interfaith Dialogue is Key to Peace, Pope Urges|
By: Arthur Brown
Pope Francis suggests that dialogue between those of differing faiths, particularly Christians and Muslims, is a necessary condition for peace in the world and is the duty of people of faith. Read More ...
|Why Your Ministry Should Behave Like a Lava Lamp|
By: Greg Mamula
As churches respond to the leading of the Spirit, they're much like the wax in a lava lamp. As they are heated and cooled on the teachings of Christ, they are flexible and fluid. Read More ...
|What's Out? What's In? 5 Evangelical Trends for 2014|
By: Chuck Warnock
What trends are going to influence the church in 2014? Check out one columnist's take on what 5 trends are going to be in and what 5 trends are going to be out this year. Read More ...
|Magi's Visit Reminds Us Rulers Must Rule with Justice|
By: Drew Smith
The Magi's visit reminds us that the rulers of this world are not the true authorities over God's cosmos, particularly if they seek to rule with illegitimate, unjust and oppressive power. Read More ...
|Epiphany Signals the Coming Light of God's Justice|
Coming roughly 12 days after Christmas, Epiphany Sunday reminds us that the darkness will not yield easily to the manifestation of a new order. Each of us must seek the light of God's justice. Read More ...
|Why Many Pastors Will Need to Reinvent Themselves|
More churches in all denominations are turning to bivocational pastors. While pastors could once assume that they could secure a fully funded ministry position, that's no longer a safe assumption. Read More ...
|What We Don't Understand About the Mysterious Magi|
The magi have been called many things, but most of us don't understand who they are. As Epiphany Sunday approaches, here's why their appearance was so troubling to Herod. Read More ...
|Let's Remember Those Persecuted for Christ's Sake|
U.S. Christians typically don't appreciate the religious freedom we enjoy. While we celebrated Christmas openly, many Christians around the world had to observe the day in secret. Read More ...
|7 Discerning Questions to Help You Navigate 2014|
It's been a sobering year on many fronts in 2013. What will hold 2014 hold? Consider these seven questions to help you discern the events and news that clamor for your attention and support in the new year. Read More ...
|Why You Should Weigh Your Words Before You Say Them|
Words have tremendous power – for harm or for good. Your words can give direction to the lost, encouragement to the broken or hope to the desperate. Think before you speak. Read More ...
|What Are You Watching This Christmas?|
Many things in this busy season can take our eyes off the focus of Christmas. Maybe we should be like the shepherds or wise men and spend a few moments focusing on creation. Read More ...
|For Struggling Millennials, 14 Christmas Truths|
Many millennials have trouble connecting to church. They want – but don't often find – honesty and transparency. Here are 14 truths about Christmas for millennials and others seeking truth. Read More ...
|How You Can Help Create a World of Forgiveness|
Lasting peace and forgiveness seem unlikely in our win-at-any-cost world of harbored grudges and continuous striving. But forgiveness requires us to take the first step of "no vengeance." Read More ...
|4 Ways That You Serve as a Priest|
Protestants emphasize the priesthood of all believers, but how does that play out in our daily lives? These four functions of priests in biblical times can also apply to you. Read More ...
|Why Your Church's Youth Ministry Matters|
While some question the value of youth ministry, but churches with these ministries play an imperative role in helping to develop the faith of young adults. Read More ...
|Mary's Song Gives Voice to True Christmas Message|
Mary was a lowly peasant girl. Most of us wouldn't have trusted her to babysit our kids. Yet her song, the Magnificat, reads, not like a normal Christmas carol, but like a song of social subversion and reversal. Read More ...
|Reverse Mission: Is It Rhetoric or Reality?|
Reverse mission – missionaries and pastors from former mission fields now ministering in Europe and North America – has attracted academic and media attention. But is it rhetoric or reality? Read More ...
|Church Closings Bring Sadness, Can Also Bring New Hope|
When a church building must close, the decision must not be taken lightly. Church members are losing a part of their identity. Think about ways to find hope amid the grief and honor the legacy. Read More ...
|Asking Questions: It's Crucial to Your Faith Development|
Good people who do good work can completely miss what God is doing. Are you willing to challenge your religious certitudes by asking weightier and more honest questions? Read More ...
|Waiting Has Negative Impact on Humans, Positive Impact on God|
Waiting is an inevitable part of life. No one really enjoys it, and it doesn't often elicit our best qualities. Still, the Bible presents waiting as something God enjoys. Read More ...
|Why Your Church Should Deep-Six Those Sign-Up Sheets|
Finding volunteers by posting a sign-up sheet on the church bulletin board has seen its day. Let's stop depending on volunteers and become more intentional about developing leaders. Read More ...
|Why We Are So Quick to Condemn|
When we are quick to condemn, we only see the faceless institutions or the objects of our anger, never the people whom God loves. Jesus taught us to look at the person. Read More ...
|What Can Birthdays Teach Us About Advent?|
As we move through Advent's preparation for the church's celebration of that first birthday we call Christmas, we look forward to reliving the joy of the new life that has changed the world in so many ways. Read More ...
|Lessons Learned from Singing about Peace Amid Hostility|
In our world torn by war and dysfunction and stress, peace seems to be an elusive prize. Jesus offers a peace to us that can't be shaken by storms or enemies or crisis or even death. Read More ...
|2 Incredible Things You Need to Know About Mary|
Mary was given an incredible message that as a Hebrew woman certainly meant shame and ridicule, yet she had two incredible reactions. May each of us follow her example. Read More ...
|How Christians Remove Christ from Christmas|
Many Christians are thankful at Christmas that their personal sins have been taken care, but that's only part of the story. Many don't concern themselves with the societal sins that burden the "least of these." Read More ...