Wednesday, December 23, 2015

MIdweek Roundup: Sixteen Article

Strong Churches Work Like a Healthy Team

I first began to understand the importance of teams as a seminary student when I did a study of the 100 largest churches in the United States. I asked them a series of questions related to staff and ministry, and the study showed strong churches have a strong team spirit. Read more

5 Common Security Questions Churches Ask

And answers to them. Read More

What Do Old Testament prophets Have to Say about Jesus' Birth?

More than 2,000 years ago a baby was born in a stable. We still celebrate his birthday today. But just as we look back and commemorate his birth there were people who, before his birth, looked forward to it. Read More

Is Christmas Really a Pagan Festival?

Christmas starts with Christ – or does it? Read More

No Mince Pies, by Order: When Parliament Banned Christmas

is the most wonderful time of the year, as everyone knows. But there was a time in England's history when it was banned altogether. Read More

5 Suggestions for Finding More Joy at Christmas

How do we find the joy of Chrismas? Read More

Five Huge Stressors on Pastors: A Christmas Request

You probably won’t find your pastor complaining about these stressors. Most of them are selfless and serving individuals.Read More

4 Reasons to Plan a Year of Preaching

’ve spent the last month or so mapping out the next year of preaching. That doesn’t mean I’m preparing a year’s worth of sermons in detail or that I won’t make changes along the way. Sometimes a congregation experiences unexpected transitions or cultural events, and sometimes God just makes it clear that what was planned isn’t the best message for the moment. So I’m flexible, but I want to think ahead. I believe annual sermon planning is vital for several reasons. Read More

How Expository Preaching Meets Your Needs

Need-sensitive preaching is imperative. The Bible is God’s Word to humanity, and we are needy—sinful, alienated, and dying. If a preacher fails to show how God addresses and solves our needs, he has delivered a lecture, not a sermon. Read More

Engage Your Small Group in ANY Bible Passage: 4 Powerful Questions

There are four key questions that will guide your group to encounter and respond to God’s word no matter what Bible passage you are studying. Give all four of them sufficient time, perhaps asking a couple of them in different ways. Taking more time on fewer questions takes your group deeper into the Scripture and allows your introverts enough time to gather their courage and step into the conversation with their insights and struggles. Read More

7 Tips for Leading Worship in Small Groups

Here are some practical tips for leading worship with music in the small group gathering. Read More

Colorado Congregation Known for Bicycle Outreach

Trinity Lutheran Church has distinguished itself in Fort Collins, Colorado, by embracing the city’s famed bicycle culture. Located near a popular bike trail, the church not only launched a bicycle ministry that encourages worshipers to bike to events but also supports the city’s twice yearly Bike to Work Day by offering massages and breakfast to cyclists. Read More
What is distinct about your community? How might this knowledge be used to help your church make a better connection with your community? Be creative. The Journey here in Murray, Kentucky takes part in a number of community events such as the annual Ice Cream Festival, the Annual Freedom Fest on Fourth of July, and the annual Trail for Treats at Halloween. It also sponsors or co-sponsors a number of events on the campus of Murray State University.
Do Jews need Jesus/Yeshua?

Earlier this month the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews issued a document (“The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable”) that stated Jews do not need to believe in Jesus to be saved. As a Jewish Christian, I beg to differ. So does the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE), which is part of the broader worldwide Lausanne Movement. Read More

Missions: Adding Wisdom to Zeal

The Fall 2015 edition of 9Marks Journal is on the Internet. The focus of this issue is missions. Read Online or Download

Christianity and Islam: Evangelicals and Americans Are Not on the Same Page About the "Same God"

A lot of debate has swirled around the similarity (or dissimilarity) of Christianity and Islam lately. What do people think? Read More
What interests me is why Americans believe what they do. Is it in part because the belief that all religions are alike has gained currency in the US particularly among the younger generations? Is it in part because those who see no dissimilarity between Christianity and Islam are really not familiar with the teaching and practices of the two religions and are basing their conclusions on a stereotypical view of religion in general?
Disagreement, Charity, and Islam

Accusations of bigotry aren't helping. Read More

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