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(RNS) Don’t look for children’s Sunday school classes at Ridgewood Church in Port Arthur, Texas. And forget about scavenger hunts and water park trips: the youth ministry is no more. Sound like a dying church? No, it’s a family-integrated congregation, whose leaders wanted parents—rather than Sunday school teachers and youth ministers—to spiritually train their children. […] Read More


A sermon delivered by Wendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Church, Little Rock, Ark., on July 10, 2011. Matthew 13:3-9 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds […] Read More

I was recently talking to a friend, Jim Stovall, who teaches journalism at the University of Tennessee and is a pioneer in developing and teaching web journalism. In our conversation about how the internet is changing newspapers and journalism, Jim said: “I tell my students to start now, to become entrepreneur journalists, by using the […] Read More

The term “blue-haired lady” brings a knowing smile to most ministers’ faces. We know her well! She has been in the church since Moses was pastor. She is faithful in her tithe, Sunday school class and criticism of all things 21st century. She wants to know, “What is wrong with the hymnal?” She can easily tell her […] Read More

Resolve to better supervise others. It is part of a minister’s work. In many ministry settings, this involves keeping up with a couple of part-time employees. While this surely involves keeping up with their performance, it also means keeping up with them: their experience, their ideas, their hopes and dreams for the church. Time invested […] Read More

(RNS) Jesus left his followers with precious few commands: love thy neighbor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the prisoner among them. So why do so many churches have such a hard time with that last one? Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, for one, is waiting for a good answer. In her recent film, […] Read More

I’ve had the same “house plant” since 1981; it is one of those easy-growing plants that are hard to kill. I water it, fertilize it and change pots when the spirit moves. I bought it the year I moved into my first pastor’s office – a small room with one window. I bought it for two reasons: to […] Read More

At the recent D.C. Baptist Convention, I witnessed what happens when individuals and churches allow God to use them for his greater glory. With all the craziness I have read or heard lately about what some churches and church leaders are doing, it is inspiring to see God’s hand at work among churches in the Washington, […] Read More

I couldn’t tell if he was making a confession or if he was bragging. The man looked up from the computer screen from where he was surfing the net and announced very matter-of-factly, “I manage this bookstore but I don’t read.” Why would you tell that to an author? I try my best to be […] Read More

Did you see Jim Furyk’s $11 million golf shot? The man with a golf swing like “an octopus falling out of a tree” made a great shot out of a wet sand bunker, leaving a two-and-a-half foot putt to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup playoff. His win was especially sweet because of […] Read More