Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sundays at All Hallows (Sunday, June 23, 2024) Is Now Online

 

Welcome to Sundays at All Hallows.

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is Mark’s account of Jesus’ calming of the storm. This Sunday’s message considers an important way that it applies to Christians and would-be Christians.

With the exception of “Lord, Have Mercy,” “Glory to God,” and ““Give Thanks to the Lord,” all music selections for this Sunday come from Common Praise (1998) or its supplement, Sing a New Creation (2022).

It is recommended that after reading or hearing each lesson to take time to reflect on what you read or heard during the period of silence which follows each lesson. It is also recommended that you do the same thing after reading or hearing the message.

Readings: Job 38:1–11, 2 Corinthians 6:1–13 and Mark 4:35–41

Message: Who Is This Man?

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/sundays-at-all-hallows-sunday-june-23.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Sundays at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Sundays at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Saturday's Laniappe: 'The Weight of the BCP at General Convention' And More


The Weight of the BCP at General Convention
The 2024 General Convention will consider a second reading of a revision to Article X of the Constitution, which governs the establishment and revision of the Book of Common Prayer in Resolution 2024-A072. For the reasons that he outlines in this article, Matthew S.C. Olver is convinced that it would be very unwise for the General Convention to pass this revision to Article X and he urges the General Convention to reject it.

What the Future Looks Like for Multisite Churches
"When it comes to making predictions, I study the past, observe the present, extrapolate into the future … and anticipate surprises!"Jim Tomberlin explains why.

9 Obstacles When Planting a Church
Like any movement, challenges exist that threaten the vitality and longevity of church planting. We must consider how to address them. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but I’ve identified 9 challenges that could hinder the forward advance of church planting.
Among the obstacles to church planting that I have encountered is the lack of interest of clergy not just in my deanery but in the entire diocese in church planting. In the opening decade of this century the parish (county or local government district) in which I lived was experiencing an explosion in in the growth of its population and could have easily supported one or more Episcopal churches in addition to the three which existed in the parish at that time. However, the rector of my parish, which had been planted as a mission in the 1980s, and the rectors of the other two churches in the parish showed no interest in planting new churches. Indeed, one of them asked that the bishop not plant a new church in his part of the parish, fearing that it would not only attract newcomrs to the area but members and attendees of his own church. The bishop acquiesced to his request, only to change his mind when the Anglican Mission in America announced its plans to plant a church in the parish. He authorized the planting of a new church at the other end of the parish. Both of the rectors of the churches at that end of the parish refused to have anything to do with the new congregation. The bishop appointed the rector of a church in Baton Rouge, almost 80 odd mile drive from the parish, to oversee the new work. The new congregation thrived until the events of 2003, which had a negative impact upon church attendance across the diocese, resulting in the shutting down of the diocese's other church plant and the reversion of the diocese's newest parish to mission status. The congregation eventually disbanded after maintaining a shadow existence for a number of years. It never recovered from the effects of the events of 2003.
‘Live My Truth’: The Gospel in an Age of Privatized Faith
True evangelism announces the good news that cannot be reduced to personal preference or private spirituality.

Opinion: Gov. Landry and the new Ten Commandments
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry seemed quite smug with himself, surrounded by similarly adoring fans as he proudly — yes, even regally — signed into law his dangerous bill to place the Ten Commandments in every classroom in every public educational institution in Louisiana.

Christian Reformed synod tells LGBTQ-affirming churches to repent or disaffiliate
At its national synod this week, the Christian Reformed Church in North America voted to put congregational leaders on 'limited suspension' if their churches publicly welcome LGBTQ+ members, violating the CRCNA's official stance on same-sex relationships.
Also see: Synod Sets a Course of Discipline for CRC Churches Acting Contrary to CRC Teachings
People Give to People
People give to people. This is a fundamental principle that most in the church have failed to grasp. The belief in the mission of the nonprofit may be the number one reason why people say they chose to give to something, but in most cases they also had some relationship with the person who was leading the mission. It was the degree of confidence they had in that person that would often make the difference in the degree of support.

How the Church Can Support Families Going Through a Medical Crisis
More often than not, a medical crisis isn’t planned or anticipated. And even if we have some heads-up and some time to plan, we can still be surprised by feelings and needs that might arise that we didn’t see coming.

The Disciple Making Movement Urban Settings Calls for New Methods
The Disciple Making Movement (DMM) that is sweeping around the globe began among unreached people groups in remote, rural areas. Today there is growing interest in multiplying disciple makers in urban centers. But how do the simple, Biblical principles that propel the Disciple Making Movement in out-of-the-way places work in today’s growing urban centers?

Image Credit: Daily Office Anchor Society

Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday's Catch: '3 Clues for Reaching New Believers' And More


3 Clues for Reaching New Believers
Lovett H. Weems Jr. shares metrics for gauging your church’s effectiveness in bringing new people to faith. He also outlines three clues that can help churches of all sizes reach new believers. 

The Great Omission
Michael Adam Beck and Stephanie Moore Hand say that if we take from Jesus’s Great Commission only the call to “make disciples” we are omitting one small but important word. GO! The Great Commission isn’t about bringing people into the church building and properly Christianizing them. It’s about a community of learners, going out together, becoming, and making disciples as they journey through the normal trials and joys of life.

Why Isn't Your Church Reaching the Unchurched?
In a day when almost every church would say they want to reach the unchurched, why isn’t it happening more often? Why are churches better known for their rhetoric about reaching the unchurched than the reality of actually doing it?

When Christian Groups Subvert Religious Liberty of Christians
The Italian Supreme Court’s harassment of an evangelical church serves as a stark reminder that the ongoing threats to religious liberty often come from those who identify as Christians.

5 Steps for Creating a Crisis Communication Plan for a Church
For pastors of congregations of all sizes, creating an effective crisis communication plan isn’t just a necessity; it’s a responsibility.

What Effective Pastors Must Prioritize
I’ve been a pastor over 40 years and I’ve made lots of mistakes. But as I’ve grown wiser, I’ve learned that if I prioritize a few key choices, my life and leadership dramatically improve and my ministry becomes more effective. Here are three key choices I encourage every pastor to prioritize.

Mastering the Art of Communication: How to Leave Your Audience Wanting More
If you communicate on any level, what’s your goal? What do you hope happens during and, more importantly, after you speak?

Preaching Transformation: The Change We Need
Ed Stetzer discusses the importance of transformation in the life of a Christian and offers points to assist the preacher in helping their congregation see it through.

Three Root Causes Of Stalled Spiritual Transformation
Why does spiritual growth sometimes stall out in believers? Thom Rainer offers his view and solutions from a study of the Corinthian church.

A Caution For Expository Preaching
Dr. Iain Murray discusses why a number of circles today consider “expository preaching” in vogue, but warns against exclusively preaching that way for a number of reasons.

7 Marks Of Great Preaching
When a sermon includes the following seven central elements, and when the Holy Spirit is present, something happens—the Word comes alive and people come to faith.

Growing in Jesus (Yourself) This Summer
In ministry we do many things that help us learn about God and tell others about him. We spend time with the Lord so we can get ready to teach someone else. Yet, we have to start with asking ourselves with honesty, “Is it easier to go through the motions than to press in and be near him?” Do I want to live with this knot or learn to trust the Lord more?

Sunday School Curriculum: How to Choose Materials for Children
Choosing Sunday school curriculum for your church is an important decision. Class materials greatly impact your children’s ministry. And these days, solid options abound!

3 Activities to Try in Your Church Nursery This Summer
Check out these fresh ideas for your church nursery!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday Evenings at All Hallows (Thursday, June 20, 2024) Is Now Online


Welcome to Thursday evenings at All Hallows.

John Wesley, an Anglican priest, a leading figure of the eighteenth century Evangelical Revival, and the founder of the Methodist movement rose every day before the cock crowed and devoted the early morning hours to reading, studying, and mediating on the Holy Scriptures and praying. He recognized that these activities were God’s gift to us, means of God’s grace by which God strengthened and confirmed our faith, two of the many ways that God shows his love for us.

In this evening’s message we look at the model for prayer that Jesus gave us.

Reading: Matthew 6: 7-15

Message: A Model for Prayer

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/thursday-evenings-at-all-hallows_20.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Thursday Evenings at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Thursday Evenings at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Thursday's Catch: '‘Been So Long Praying’: 4 Reasons Why I Observe Juneteenth' And More


‘Been So Long Praying’: 4 Reasons Why I Observe Juneteenth
If we don’t hesitate to say we put a man on the moon and we won WWII, then we shouldn’t hesitate to say we enslaved an entire class of image-bearers based on their skin color.
Also see: What, to the white American, is the 19th of June?
Louisiana becomes first state to require Ten Commandments display in public school classrooms
Louisiana became the first state to require public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments through a Republican-backed bill signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday.
The claims of the proponents of this measure are weak. The basis of Louisiana's legal code is not the Ten Commandments as they maintain, but the Code Napoleon, a collection of laws codified in France in the wake of the French Revolution, at a time when France was in a very anti-religious mood. The legal codes of other states have their basis in English common law, whose origins predates the evangelization of the Germanic tribes that invaded the British Isles in fifth century AD.
4 Behaviors of a Thriving Worship Ministry
Over the past 18 months, I have served 50-plus churches as a worship team trainer and guest worship leader. I’ve noticed some interesting trends in thriving worship ministries that are healthy, growing and happy. This post has little to do with the quality of liturgy or congregational worship experience, but it’s more a peek under the administrative hood. It is not exhaustive, it’s just a list of markers I have noticed.

What Children’s Ministry Will Look like in 10 Years
Children’s ministry: What will it look like in 10 years? Here are my thoughts.

Social Media Guide - Free from Church Fuel
In this guide, the folks at Church Fuel have crafted posts for you to share on your church's social media to encourage people, increase connection and engagement, and inspire spiritual growth.

Small Group Can Be Scary for Visitors
Showing up to a small group for the first time can be a scary experience. Small group members can help replace this scary experience with an enjoyable one for visitors. To do this, group members need to be intentional in creating the enjoyable experience.

Summer Is for Family (And That Includes Your Small Group)
For a lot of us, summer means more time with family. Kids are home from school and family vacations are the norm. We also tend to have a bit more margin than during the hectic other seasons. As small group leaders, that extra time spent with family should also include our group members. Your small group should be looked at as a family, not a function. With a function, we can take breaks and come back to it when we feel like it. With family, there is no such thing as extended breaks.

Do You Envy the Wicked?
You can be a Christian for many years and still find your heart instinctually swayed toward what you once loved and what once drew your heart.

12 Ways To Respond in a Spiritual Rut
I wrote yesterday about signs to see if you’re in currently in a spiritual rut. Today, here are some options for getting out of the rut....

Wednesday's Catch: 'What Should Pastors Do When They Must Lead People They Don’t Trust' And More


As a church leader, you will face situations where you must lead people you can’t completely trust. Typically, time will reveal the truth, but it could take a while. How should a pastor operate in the meantime?

The Man Who Introduced American Evangelicals to C. S. Lewis
Clyde S. Kilby played a key role in introducing evangelicals and fundamentalists and Americans in general to C.S.Lewis.

Lying does count!
These days, ‘alternative facts’ have morphed into ‘alternative truth,’ which, when all’s said and done, is simply lying.

LGBTQ+ Population Grows, Especially Among Gen Z
Around 1 in 13 U.S. adults (7.6%) identify as LGBTQ+, including 22.3% of Generation Z, according to the latest Gallup survey.

Did Jesus say 'love is love?'
Over the past decade or so, marriage and sexual identity definitions have been under attack in our world. And as we rub shoulders with people we know and love, who are in the process of redefining their sexuality or marriage or maybe even gender, we must each try to find a way to navigate these re-definements.

5 Steps to Finding Closure: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Changing Appointments
This is appointment season in my home denomination, the United Methodist Church. When that new appointment is made, it’s natural to feel a rollercoaster of emotions. Excitement for the future mixes with pangs of grief at the thought of leaving those with whom you’ve built loving relationships. Or perhaps, there’s more than a little bit of relief at leaving a church that wasn’t a great fit.
In the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church, and the various other Anglican tradition churches in Canada and the United States, this is an experience to which vicars and deacons appointed by their bishop to one or more mission churches can relate.
The Uselessness of Prayer
You will never think prayer is a good use of your time if you’re thinking of prayer in terms of usefulness. That is the wrong starting point.

United Church of Christ (NY) condemns violence against Indian religious minorities
At its June 1, 2024 meeting in Binghampton, NY, the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ unanimously passed a resolution condemning violence against religious minorities in India, which include Christian organizations and individuals as well as other religious minorities, including Muslims.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday's Catch: 'The Church and Mission in Europe Today: Changing the Narrative' And More


The Church and Mission in Europe Today: Changing the Narrative
An extraordinary re-evangelization of Europe is underway. I think we can identify three primary dimensions of that re-evangelization. What follows is a summary but you can read much more in my Europe 2021 report.

Evangelical Identity
When is an evangelical not an evangelical? Research released from Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts shows people with evangelical beliefs often do not use the word “evangelical” to describe themselves.

Karl Vaters: De-Size the Church
Where did our obsession with “bigness” in relationship to church size come from? It’s a relatively new thing. And yet, when you pastor within a culture that is obsessed with bigness, you don’t even recognize the water you’re swimming in. The Church Growth Movement has been around for about 40 years. We now have enough distance from it and enough time in it to be able to step back and make a proper assessment of it.

I Don’t Want My Church to Be Small. But It Is. Now What?
Don't let your desire for church growth stop you from appreciating the importance of doing great ministry right here, right now, at your current size.
Also see: Church Growth And The Myth Of Inevitability, I Don’t Want Churches To Be Small; I Want Small Churches To Be Great, and 7 Dangers Of Romanticizing The Small Church
Who Can Lead a Dinner Church? with Jeremy Veninga
Who starts a Dinner Church? In this episode, Verlon reconnects with Jeremy Veninga, who leads two Dinner Churches in St. Louis. Jeremy describes his sense of calling, and how he overcame his lack of formal education. Listen and learn how God is using everyday people to do extraordinary things.

3 Benefits of Being the Pastor
Despite the universal challenges faced by simply being a pastor, Hispanic congregations in the U.S. have unique dynamics.

Dear Parent… Yours in Christ, Youth Worker 
Part of a series ‘Raising the Bar on Youth Ministry,’foundational exhortations and fresh thinking from Australian youth ministry leaders.

From Negative to Positive
What would happen if you simply changed your language from a negative posture to an opportunistic posture? Leaders who position a volunteer opportunity as laying up treasure in heaven and making an influence in the kingdom of God go significantly further than those who come to the conversation with an attitude of sorrow and burden. You are not a burden to those you lead.

5 Reasons Your Church Should Check Out Google Ad Grant
Did you know that Google gives qualifying nonprofits up to $10,000 monthly in free advertising money? It can feel like a gimmick or that there’s some string attached, but the reality is that when someone in your community searches for “things to do with special needs kids,” “local events,” “loneliness” or any other keywords you target, your church’s ad can show up at or near the top of their search results. It’s a powerful tool that can turn into your church’s automatic invite system. Here are five reasons why the Google Ad Grant is worth your time to look into....

Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday's Catch: 'A Quick Overview of the Triple Nones' And More


A Quick Overview of the Triple Nones
Only eight percent of Americans are triple nones, meaning that they never attend church; they have no beliefs about God; and they claim no religious affiliation or preference.

What Does it Mean to be 'Religious'? Behavior, Belief, Belonging and the Problem of Religiosity
Consider this post as a little mini-lecture about how academics think about the measurement of religiosity. And also check out this module from the ARDA with a bunch more information about measuring religiosity.

Beware Social Myths: Why Memes Offer Symbol Over Substance in the Culture Wars
The problem with social myths is they distract us from the core issues, seducing us into meaningless identity signaling that doesn’t advance our causes or the gospel.

Gospel Hope for a Culture Fixated on Getting Even
A particular theme percolates through pop culture these days, so commonplace we’ve almost called it normal: the desire for revenge.
It is also a theme antithetical to what Jesus taught and modeled.
How to Become a Do-Something Preacher (Part 1)
Jesus was a do-something preacher. He didn’t want people to just listen to what he said. He wanted them to do something as a result of what he taught them.

Becoming a Do-Something Preacher (Part 2)
As a preacher, it’s never enough just to communicate information. God didn’t call us to be seminary professors or entertainers. God called us to be do-something preachers. He expects us to preach for transformation.

The Once and Future Prayer Book
"The Book of Common Prayer, although mutable and equivocal, is the measuring-stick of Anglophone piety—and ever shall be, world without end."

7 Questions for Creating a Fall Training Event for Group Leaders
Fall isn’t far away. It’s time to make a commitment to support your group leaders by introducing a regular rhythm of training.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sundays at All Hallows (Sunday, June 16, 2024) Is Now Online

 

Welcome to Sundays at All Hallows.

Jesus often taught in parables, short, simple stories which illustrated what he was saying. He drew upon things with which his listeners were familiar—young wheat growing in a field or the bushy plants of black mustard growing on the banks of the River Jordan. He used these stories to make his point.

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus uses two parables to draw his listener attention to two characteristics of the Kingdom of God, which he proclaimed. In today’s message we will take a look at what he was proclaiming.

Readings: Ezekiel 17:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17 and Mark 4:26-34

Message: The Kingdom of God

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/sundays-at-all-hallows-sunday-june-16.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Sundays at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Sundays at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Saturday Lagniappe: 'Southern Baptists Do Not Adopt Nicene Creed at Annual Meeting' And More


Southern Baptists Do Not Adopt Nicene Creed at Annual Meeting
While most expected the battles over women’s ordination and sexual abuse reform to continue at this year’s meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), another debate emerged, revealing mixed feelings among the denomination’s ranks about the Nicene Creed.

The Episcopal Church reveals clergy misconduct cases involving nominees for presiding bishop 
The announcement comes less than two weeks before the election of the denomination’s next leader.
Also see: Title IV Revelations Scramble Presiding Bishop Race
7 Benefits of Planting Churches
I have become more convinced each year that the Great Commission is a call to plant churches. It started with observing firsthand the blessing it had on Clint Clifton, the man who taught me to see it this way. My conviction has only been strengthened by observing firsthand the blessings it has had in the life of the church I planted several years ago. Let me list seven ways church planting will bless your congregation....

Six Ways to Support Your Youth Minister
Now, this is an article for ministry leaders—church council members, elders, senior pastors—who consider Christ-like church culture to mean caring for one another; and are asking, “How can we support our youth minister?” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). But if you’re not in one of those categories, don’t close the tab! Though they’re the primary audience, there are plenty of suggestions here where you can get involved.

The Danger of Half a Small Group Strategy
Half a strategy just doesn’t cut it. Yes, take initiative and try new things. But, also realize that most strategies have a history and a few secrets to success.

A New Small Group Method for Making Disciples Who Make Disciples
A simple but revolutionary way of doing evangelism and small groups is sweeping the globe. It started in India but it’s rocking the world. In suburbs of San Francisco, slums of South America, and Muslim tribes of Africa, the lost are being won, disciples are being mobilized, and churches are multiplying. It’s called the “Disciple-Making Movement” (DMM). Although it’s a 21st century phenomena, it’s just a return to principles taught by Jesus 2000 years ago.
Also see: Discovery Group Format 2.0
How to End Your Small Group
How do you end your small group? How do you celebrate the cool things that God did in it? How do you bring closure?

5 Tips Toward a Disciplined Life
The Christian life is meant to be a disciplined life. Consider just a couple of passages that bring this out....

Friday, June 14, 2024

Friday's Catch: ' Is Your Congregation Shrinking? 6 Questions to Understand and Stop Unnecessary Attrition' And More


Is Your Congregation Shrinking? 6 Questions to Understand and Stop Unnecessary Attrition
When people leave your church because there is another church that better suits them, we should kindly encourage their exit, especially if they plan to immediately engage in the life and mission of their next church. But many people leave churches for all the wrong reasons.

The Reformed Church in America to vote on restructuring
After losing nearly half its membership in just five years, the RCA’s General Synod will consider 10 proposals aimed at charting a path forward.

Baptist Women in Ministry praise failed SBC ban on female pastors as Mike Law vows to fight on
While the majority of Southern Baptist messengers were left disappointed Wednesday by the failure of a proposed amendment to the Southern Baptist Convention's constitution to permanently ban women from serving as pastors "as qualified by Scripture," groups like Baptist Women in Ministry applauded.
Also see: What my grandparents would think of the Southern Baptist Convention today and Mike Law Urges Churches Not To Leave SBC Following Failure To Pass Amendment Barring Women Pastors.
Worship Space Design 101
How we design the physical space of our worship gatherings matters. That’s why we need Worship Space Design 101. How does our gathering space shape us for mission? How does it shape us for community? We already ask interrogating questions in relation to preaching since we are so intensely an information-transaction-culture. Yet we often forget to inspect the media we are using to communicate those messages. What if the medium we use has a message of its own?
The way many contemporary sanctuaries and worship centers are set up conveys the message that the congregation are not participants but spectators, not a worshiping assembly but a audience. This is also true of a number of traditional sanctuaries and worship centers and may be attributed to the influence of the nineteenth century Catholic Revival and the Sandy Creek Revival of the same period.
Navigating Adolescence: Faith-Based Guidance for Teens
Navigating adolescence has never been more challenging. The teen years are a time of profound change and discovery. Kids must adjust to new social dynamics and complex emotions. They are working to form identities. And they must do so in a me-focused culture that often belittles religious belief and practice. For many teens, faith serves as a guide for navigating adolescence. Let’s explore practical ways youth leaders and parents can assist.

Little Disciples: Teaching Children the Path of Discipleship
Guiding little disciples on the faith journey is a privilege. It’s also a huge responsibility. God uses parents, pastors, and children’s ministry workers to point children to him. By introducing kids to Jesus and God’s Word, you set a strong foundation for a lifelong relationship with God. Looking for encouragement as you grow little disciples of Christ? Then read on to explore this role. Plus, learn how God supports you as you serve!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday's Catch: 'Attendance Is Dying: Church Attendance Trends You Need to Know' And More


Attendance Is Dying: Church Attendance Trends You Need to Know
What church attendance trends are important right now? There’s one main trend: Attendance is dying. Big time. It’s not just reflected in the size of the decline, it’s reflected in the quality and nuances of those numbers.
See also: 7 Church Trends That Will Disrupt 2024
Southern Baptists don’t get votes to add ‘only men’ pastors language to constitution It is rare for Southern Baptists to not affirm a measure with a second consecutive vote.
See also: SBC amendment to permanently ban women pastors falls short, Don’t be lulled by the failure of the Law Amendment, and Dear Baptist women:‘We see God’s image in you’
Keep It Simple: Don’t Waste Your Efforts on the Disinterested
Have you ever wondered what life would look like if you were far away from the responsibilities of the pulpit? If so, then you are not alone. The question “Is it worth it to … ?” seems to be on the lips of many pastors and church leaders today.

Explaining the Bible to Our Culture
There is much about the Bible that our post-Christian culture does not understand, which is not it’s fault. It is, after all, post-Christian. But when talking with people about the Christian faith, it is helpful to be able to quickly and concisely convey the significance of the Bible to the Christian faith, and to overcome some common misconceptions about it.

Were the Earliest Christians Illiterate?
How do we reconcile the fact that early Christianity was a textually-oriented religion with the reality that most Christians couldn’t read? Michael J.Kruger offers some considerations that might help us.

Thursday Evenings at All Hallows (Thursday, June 13, 2024) Is Now Online

 

Welcome to Thursday Evenings at All Hallows.

Our spiritual growth is not something to leave to chance. Taking stock of our spiritual progress at regular intervals can help us to identify both our strengths and weaknesses. We can build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses. Being methodical in our spiritual life can help us to grow as a Christian.

In this evening’s message we look at the part that grace plays in the faith and life of a Christian.

Readings: Ecclesiastes 11: 1-8; Galatians 5: 16-24

Message: What Does Grace Got to Do with It?!

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/thursday-evenings-at-all-hallows_13.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Thursday Evenings at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Thursday Evenings at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Wednesday's Catch: 'Why Making Your Church Multigenerational Is Worth the Effort' And More


Why Making Your Church Multigenerational Is Worth the Effort
Chuck Lawless says it is hard to be a multigenerational church, but it is worth the effort. He outlines some of the benefits of multigenerational ministry as well as the obstacles that prevent many congregations from embodying this ideal.

Reaching the Aging Population in Your Neighborhood
Reaching the aging population in your neighborhood is a vital investment in the well-being and cohesion of the entire faith community.

Simple Ways Your Church Can Be a Heatwave Haven
When temps soar to dangerous levels, we have homes to find comfort in. With a flip of a switch we can turn on the AC and grab a glass of ice water. But what about our unhoused community members who have no shelter? Or those who do, but can’t afford the luxuries most of us take for granted?

5 Ways to Overcome Barriers to Affordable Housing Development on Church Property
Richard Reinhard says pairing the surplus of faith properties with the deficit of affordable housing appears to be a match made in heaven. Yet common barriers often stand in the way. He suggests five adjustments that faith institutions, municipalities, and the real estate industry can make to realize this opportunity.

Love (All) Your Neighbors: A Surprising Test of True Faith
“Love God” is the first and greatest commandment, the crown of God’s good law. But such love never stands alone, Jesus says — nor is it chiefly known by outward acts of worship. Rather, love for God appears (or not) in how a person treats his neighbors. So, if you want to see someone’s spiritual sincerity more clearly, don’t mainly watch him in church. Watch him with his children. Watch him at work. Watch him in traffic. Watch him when offended. For you will know him by his neighbor-love.

Fire Guts Art-Rich Toronto Anglican Church
A Sunday-morning fire has destroyed one of the most beautiful churches in Canada. A four-alarm blaze early on June 9 gutted St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Toronto.

Can the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans chase the snakes out of the Anglican Communion?
Yesterday, in a monastery in the Egyptian desert, the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA) met for their first Assembly, under their new covenantal structures. Their purpose? To reset the Anglican Communion.

SBC Disfellowships Historic Baptist Church for Position on Ordaining Women as Pastors
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ended its cooperative relationship with First Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday (June 11) for ordaining women as pastors. The decision was upheld by SBC delegates, called messengers, at the annual meeting of the convention after First Baptist Alexandria appealed the recommendation of the SBC’s Credentials Committee.
See also: Day before voting on Law Amendment, SBC removes church that is Mike Law’s neighbor
Why I Lead a Sinner’s Prayer Every Sunday (Though I Haven’t Yet Seen Conversions)
Nothing is more tragic than unbelievers sitting through a worship service where no one tells them how to be saved and calls them to respond in faith.

“Clergy Health and Wellness in the Post-Pandemic Era” featuring Allison Norton
What is the state of clergy health and wellbeing coming out of the pandemic? What factors and practices influence the emotional wellbeing of clergy? Allison Norton describes new research that reveals growing discontentment even though clergy health and wellbeing tends to be better than that of the general public.

Go for a Walk
Need a physical, spiritual, mental, social, and emotional boost? Here’s your answer.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday's Catch: 'The Local Church Is a Sandbox' And More


The Local Church Is a Sandbox
When we participate in the local church, the Holy Spirit changes us to resemble Jesus more. Think of church as a sandbox where we practice and experience the reality of our faith. Whether you picture a sandbox where children play and develop cognitive skills, or a sandbox in engineering terms where a product is tested and refined, the local church fosters growth and endurance. The church is filled with people like you and me who wrestle with pride and selfish motives, similar to the child who grapples for possession of the nearest shovel or bucket. Yet God refines us, sanctifying and transforming us, often as we interact. Have you considered how God’s process of transformation relates to your involvement with God’s people in the local church?

Church at the Opry
What do you do when you know there are people in your small town who need a community and a place to learn about Jesus, but they aren’t coming to your church? Sharon White led her church through a process of listening for needs and opportunities in their small town of Waco, Ga. When they discovered a shared passion for Bluegrass music they prayed for God’s help to start something new. Today, in their town of barely 500, 100 people show up for the West Georgia Opry every weekend. Listen to hear the full story.
Also see Placing Hope in God: Blessing Seeds at Arthur UMC and Church revives itself with community engagement. Both articles describe how a local UMC church engages with its community. In rural parishes in the United Kindom it was common practice at one time to bless the plows on Plow Sunday at the beginning of the agricutural year. Blessing the seeds and the tractors each year at Arthur United Methodist Church carries on that tradition. One of the things tnat I found interesting in the article about Bethany United Methodist Church is its removal of several front pews to create a "prayground"in the sanctuary for the younger children. This idea is not a new one. It was suggested in an article or book on how to make Sunday worship more child friendly I first read in the 1980s.
Americans growing more socially liberal but remain economically conservative, Gallup says
Americans continue to grow more liberal in their social views but remain more conservative on economic issues, according to Gallup. Since 2015 — coincidentally the year the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage after a sea change of public opinion on the matter — Americans have been almost equally divided on saying they have liberal or conservative social views. That was a departure from the previous decade when Americans were about 50% more likely to identify as socially conservative than socially liberal. At the same time, Americans have remained more conservative on economic issues, although the percentage leaning more liberal has been growing.

Ed Stetzer: A Higher Allegiance
...how do we prepare for what promises to be a challenging year? Well, I think that remembering we are both exiles and ambassadors might help.

The Gospel, Public Policy, and Coercion
It used to be said that the Episcopal Church was “the Republican Party at prayer.” Those days are long gone. The public policy resolutions passed by General Convention will be painted a deep blue. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends largely on one’s political leanings. If your views run to the right, it’s at least an annoyance and, for some, a significant incitement to frustration. If one leans leftward, the response is more like, “So what’s the problem?”

Worship and the Christian's True Identity
The whole of the Christian life can be summed up in these two little words (favorites of the Apostle Paul): "in Him." Our union with Christ is the definitive aspect of our salvation and our status before God and others, and therefore our identity must be found in Christ.

Parents, You Aren’t Wrong About the Dangers of Transitioning
It turns out that objecting to allowing children or young people to make irrevocable medical changes to their bodies was exactly the right decision. In her report, Cass put research behind what many already knew to be true.

To, For, With: A Brief History of Children’s Sunday School Curriculum
Scottie May, professor emerita of Christian formation and ministry at Wheaton, maps American children’s ministry through three major phases. Though her study doesn’t engage with curricula explicitly, it’s not hard to notice how each phase has influenced the prepackaged lessons children in evangelical Sunday school classes work through each weekend. Let’s look at each of May’s phases and consider its influence on evangelical Sunday school broadly, then on Sunday school lessons taught in Reformed churches in particular. As we do, we’ll discover that the future of biblical children’s curricula is both global and rooted in the church’s past.

4 Needs Churches Should Meet for Men Going on Mission
Before men go to the mission field, they need character development, theological convictions, church examples, and ministry experience.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Monday's Catch: 'Defy the Decay Rate for Worship in the Church' And More


Defy the Decay Rate for Worship in the Church
Rightly understood, Christian worship is the opposite of a shortening decay rate. We don’t compress time into the present by riding the wave of novelty or looking for the next best thing. Christian worship extends and lengthens time by helping us reach backward and forward.

4 Dangers for Church Planters There were real dangers lurking among the crowds that Jesus was feeding, healing and teaching. These same dangers still exist in modern churches, but some are unique to church plants. Here are four dangers that I navigated in my experience as a church planter.

JD Greear warns SBC could lose minority churches with permanent ban on women pastors
As Southern Baptist Convention messengers prepare to vote on an amendment in their constitution, known as the Law Amendment, that would permanently ban women from serving as pastors “as qualified by Scripture,” the denomination’s former president J.D. Greear has called it “unwise” and “unnecessary” and said it could lead to a hemorrhaging of minority churches.

Gardening and God: nurturing plants has been a spiritual practice from the beginning
For many enthusiasts, tending flower beds and growing vegetables is a spiritual activity that helps them grow closer to God. It has been this way throughout Christian history, perhaps inspired by the story of the very beginning of humankind in the perfect paradise of Eden. Then from the earliest days of monasticism, to modern smallholders and homesteaders, faith and working on the land have been deeply associated with one another.

Fifteen Questions to Ask of Every Sermon Before Preaching
These questions are designed to help you quickly review your sermons before you deliver them. Use this checklist to evaluate your sermon’s content, tone, and application.

10 Things Parents Want From Youth Ministry<br/> Here are 10 things you are probably already doing that parents want from youth ministry....

Thank You, Parents, for Your Sunday Faithfulness
Gathering with the church on Sunday morning is one of the most important things a Christian does. But if you’re a fellow parent of young children, it may also be one of the hardest things you do.

Growing Up on the Inside, Forever
Physical growth happens on a curve. We grow fast, reach adulthood, and then stop growing taller. We’ll keep producing new cells as long as we’re alive, but we’ll never get bigger. Spiritual growth, on the other hand, begins during this life on earth and continues onward into eternity. You can keep growing up on the inside forever and ever.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Sundays at All Hallows (Sunday, June 9, 2024) Is Now Online

 

Welcome to Sundays at All Hallows.

In this world all kinds of people and things vie for our loyalty. For those who have responded to Jesus’ call to follow him, they have one loyalty above all others. That loyalty is to Jesus, their King and Lord.

In this Sunday’s message we look at what the implications are for those who have responded to his call.

Readings: 1 Samuel 8: 4-20, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:5 and Mark 3: 20-35

Message: Jesus, King and Lord

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/sundays-at-all-hallows-sunday-june-9.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Sundays at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Sundays at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Saturday Lagniappe: 'Nearly 300 ACNA clergy and a Texas diocese call for male-only priesthood' And More


Nearly 300 ACNA clergy and a Texas diocese call for male-only priesthood
On June 6, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (ACNA) published a resolution calling for a moratorium on ordaining women.
This is a simmering issue in the Anglican Church in North America. What concerns me is that those opposed to women's ordination are urging the denomination's bishops to ignore its governing documents. The ACNA bishops have already shown a proclivity to do just that and to arrogate to themselves authority that these documents neither grant them or recognize as inherent in their office. The governing documents are essentially a contract between all the parties forming the ACNA and they are urging the bishops to do is unilaterally break the terms of the contract. Such action would tacitly dissolve the denomination.
As Ivory Coast Methodists depart UMC over LGBTQ+ issues, Africa’s other Methodists take stock
‘You don’t throw away the relationship of your sibling because you do not agree on an issue,’ said a former bishop in the autonomous Methodist Church in Kenya.
Also see: United Methodists in the Ivory Coast: One Vote, One Million Departures, Many Questions
Southern Baptists mull second vote to amend constitution to exclude women pastors
Three of the six candidates expected to be nominated for the SBC presidency favor the so-called ‘Law Amendment,’ and three do not.
Also see: The Law Amendment may not be the most important action taken at next week’s SBC annual meeting and A call for state AG investigations of sexual abuse in the SBC
Selina Hastings - The Meanings of Doing Much Good
George Whitefield and John Wesley are well known as the primary human instruments used of God to spark the great evangelical revival in eighteenth century England and Wales. Far fewer Christians today are familiar with Selina Hastings (1707-1791), the English noblewoman who played a key role in supporting and promoting that same revival.

Vetting Staff
There are at least six red flags to watch out for as you evaluate them as staff in terms of whether you can build around them for the future.

Surrendering to the Lordship of Christ
The Lordship of Christ is a concept that goes beyond just acknowledging Jesus as a historical figure or a wise leader. It's about recognizing His divine authority and submitting to Him as the ultimate ruler of all creation—over all things at all times!

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Children's MinistryIf you have served in children's ministry for very long, there are days that you have considered quitting. But before you quit, whether it's from a staff role or a volunteer role, there are some questions you need to ask yourself. Let's look at 10 questions you should ask yourself before quitting children's ministry.

Choosing a Curriculum: Don’t Go It Alone!
Choosing a curriculum can be tough! If you’re in any children’s ministry groups on social media, chances are you see this question often: What curriculum do you use? People want advice! There are so many options out there, and weighing the pros and cons of buying a curriculum, using a free option, or even writing your own can be daunting. This article will give you tools that will help you evaluate curriculum, plus give you recommendations from other children’s ministry directors.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Friday's Catch: 'Should a Church Close?' And More


Should a Church Close?
Sustainability is increasingly difficult for the ever increasing number of churches worshipping small numbers each week. Lovett Weems captures the dilemma for church leaders and draws from Carey Nieuwhof some reasons why a church may need to close.

John Stott’s Dream Church
In a time of upheaval, when the church’s weaknesses and sins have been exposed, it’s good to remind ourselves what the church has been and can still be when we’re marked by faith, hope, and love. Here is Stott’s fivefold dream for the church, as later published in The Living Church.

Bridging the Generation(al) Gap
Bridging the generation(al) gap can make a world of difference to both ends of your congregation’s age spectrum. And not only for them, but for the health, growth, and transformation of your ministry and congregation.

A Church Plant Can Be a Sending Church
Pastors and churches are recognizing there’s more to God’s mission than “Pay, pray, and stay out of the way.”

4 Steps to Becoming a Cultural Detective
Thinking of yourself as a “cultural detective” is a way to expand your appreciation, sensitivity, and respect for others and build bridges that span human diversity. Lucia Ann McSpadden, one of the authors of Building Lasting Bridges: An Updated Handbook for Intercultural Ministries, outlines four tools for analyzing intercultural interactions.

Critical Dynamics of Criticism
It is probably fair to draw the conclusion that there is a universal dislike for personal criticism and correction. Nothing reveals the pride that resides in each one of our hearts so much as being on the receiving end of criticism. Giving or receiving criticism is one of the most difficult yet most necessary parts of a believer's life in a fallen world. It is also one of the difficult aspects of Gospel-ministry.

The Holy Spirit: Go On Being Filled
Our filling with the Holy Spirit is not just a one-time experience.

The Way You Walk
The way we walk is a visible portrayal of who we are, of what we are like, and of who we claim to be.

8 Scriptural Personal Accountability Questions to Ask This Week
Following God requires us to look in the mirror of God’s Word. That process can be what I call “joyously painful” – painful because we see ourselves as we really are, but joyous because there’s great relief when we turn to God and find Him gracious. So, here are some questions to ask in the mirror this week....

Oh, Be Careful Little Tongue...
...whatever is in our hearts always makes its way to our mouths. You can tell a lot about a person’s character by merely listening to his or her words.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Thursday Evenings at All Hallows (Thursday, June 6, 2024) Is Now Online


Welcome to Thursday evenings at All Hallows.

Jesus did not promise his followers that the life of a disciple would be a easy one. In this evening’s message, we look at the difference between suffering for one’s faith and suffering for one’s misdeeds.

Reading: 1Samuel 4: 1-22; 1 Peter 4: 7-19

Message: A Lesson in Suffering

Link: https://allhallowsmurray.blogspot.com/2024/06/thursday-evenings-at-all-hallows.html

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested.

If you are new to Thursday Evenings at All Hallows, you may find these directions helpful:

-When you open the link to a video in a new tab, check auto-play to make sure it is in the off position. Otherwise, a second video with a different song will follow the first.

-If an ad plays when you open a link to a video in a new tab, click the refresh icon of your browser until the song appears.

-If a song begins partway through the video, click pause, move the slider to the beginning, and then click play.

-An ad may follow a song so as soon as the song is finished, close the tab.

May Thursday Evenings at All Hallows be a blessing to you.

Thursday's Catch: 'God Is Dead. Long Live the Gods." And More


The age of the Caesars is, once again, upon us. Like in a Percy Jackson novel, the pagan gods have taken up residence in our world, becoming the spiritual thread uniting our society and informing its moral imagination. As Christians look for ways to live faithfully in the world, the ancient church provides a helpful model for living in a world that seems increasingly pagan.

Most Protestant pastors oppose gay marriage, mainline support stalling: survey
Most Protestant pastors in the United States continue to oppose same-sex marriage, with the previously growing trend of support stalling, according to a recent report by Lifeway Research. In a report released Tuesday, Lifeway found that, in 2023, 21% of surveyed Protestant pastors said that they saw “nothing wrong” with same-sex marriages, which was a slight decrease compared to the 24% of pastors who said the same in 2019.

What Does It Mean to Walk in the Spirit?
Learning to walk in the Spirit is essential for the individual Christian and for the local church. As J. I. Packer wrote in Keeping in Step with the Spirit, “Apart from [the Spirit], not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all. But in fact the church continues to live and grow, for the Spirit’s ministry has not failed, nor ever will, with the passage of time.” We need to be willing to engage the Bible and see its vision for a truly supernatural lifestyle—a “walk by the Spirit” kind of life (see Gal. 5:25).

The Strict Father model is killing us
George Lakoff has given the world one of the most helpful and depressing models of understanding the differences between liberals and conservatives and how we think — what he calls the moral mind. His book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think is must reading for anyone trying to make sense of the times in which we live. I quote him all the time. Seriously, this is essential reading.

How to Address Churchgoers Who Are “Too Busy” to Serve
We must begin to prepare people for future appeals to serve and to address the forces keeping people from saying yes.

Bible societies mount effort to revive view of Scripture as source of ancient wisdom
Bible societies are attempting to understand why, in a time when 90% of the world’s population has access to the Christian sacred text, relatively few consider it a foundation of their lives.

Why children are behaving differently at church after the pandemic
It is now June 2024, and we are four years away from the beginning of the COVID-19 experience in the United States. But the ripple effects of the pandemic are still being felt in church children’s ministries.

Pastor: Why Shouldn’t You Be on Television?
As media continues to evolve, pastors and ministry leaders are presented with more options than ever for spreading their message. While digital platforms have become increasingly popular and effective, the long-time appeal and wide-reaching impact of broadcast television still make it a strategic option for pastors looking to expand their evangelism efforts. But even in cases where a pastor feels that television is a great opportunity, that pastor is often surrounded by a team telling him that TV is dead. But after spending decades working in film, video, and digital media, here’s a handful of reasons traditional broadcast television still matters....
In some rural districts where broadband service is not available and broadcast television reception is limited, radio is also an option.
Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Build a Thriving Small Group Ministry
Want to build a thriving small group ministry in your church? It won't be easy. It will require a commitment to the long haul, major determination, a willingness to commit resources, disappoint the guardians of the status quo, and much, much more.
Also see:Top 10 Ideas to Help You Build a Thriving Small Group Ministry Post-COVID
Political Discussions in Your Small Group? Here Are 5 Ways Forward
We will need to take time to pray, plan, and prepare for the potential problems, such as political discussions, that could arise during this election season.

Fighting the "Respectable" Sins of Gossip and Slander
The problem is, in the eyes of God, in light of His holiness, these “respectable sins” are just as evil. Yet for some reason we’re comfortable with these. We aren’t bothered by them. Why is this?

Balancing Act
If we are going to be bearers of the good news of Jesus and have a voice that speaks to our culture, we must be aware of what is happening around us. To bury our head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich is never the answer. Instead, every Christian needs to become an anthropologist, studying the many cultures that exist right where we live, worship, work and play. This will mean listening both to people we agree with and those we disagree with. It means being kind and gracious with people who don’t affirm our faith, who practice other faiths or who are hostile to Christianity.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Wednesday's Catch: 3 Waves That Have Shaped Evangelical Churches (and a 4th on the Way)


3 Waves That Have Shaped Evangelical Churches (and a 4th on the Way)
Theological differences remain, but they’re less pronounced because virtually all evangelical churches have been marked by three waves that have crashed onto the shore and changed the landscape. The influence of these movements is so profound that many churchgoers don’t even notice their effects. In what follows, I want to describe these three waves and then point to the possibility of a fourth that’s picking up speed today.

5 Dangerous Ways Churches Convince Themselves They’re Growing
Let’s be honest…do you sense that you’re trying to convince yourself you’re growing when you really aren’t?

Deacons Presiding at the Altar?
Deacons did at one time preside at the altar until presbyters objected to the practice and a council of the Church supressed it. It must be noted that the United Methodist Church also permits authorized lay persons to officate at celebrations of Holy Communion, consecrating the elements as well as distributing them.

Christian media figures may face defamation trials before November election
"Thou shalt not bear false witness" is one of the moral laws that Anglicans and other Christians have historically recognized as applying to Christians.

How low will they go?
From a biblical perspective, Donald Trump fits the description of the "lawless man" and an anti-Christ rather than that of a saviour, much less Christ himself.

‘It Was Like a Movie for Us, But It Was Reality’—Ed Stetzer Visits Ukrainian Christians in Kyiv
I want to share some of the sobering and encouraging things God is doing in Ukraine and through the church and Christians there. Specifically, we can be challenged by the resilience, the ministry, and the encouragement of Ukrainian Christians.

7 Ways a Leader Sets a Bar for Followers
A leader sets a bar for followers to follow in a number of ways. If people are trying to follow you as a leader then you have the awesome responsibility of establishing the parameters by which they will be successful in the organization or on the team.

10 Most Common Church Sound Problems
Sound problems can be caused by anything from architectural defects to misguided equipment operators. Here are some of the most troublesome sound problems that churches struggle with and what can be done about them....

How to Achieve Great Sound in a Small Church
Achieving great sound in a small church is impossible, right? I mean, you have practically no budget and no one around with preexisting sound tech skills. I might have agreed with this common belief at one time…but I have proved it to be wrong. The truth is, you can achieve great sound at a small church—and it may not be as hard as you think.

8 Ways to Reach Single Adults Through Your Church
Pam and I were older when we married, so we both spent many years as a single adult. Consequently, we’re sensitive to reaching single adults through our churches. Perhaps one of these suggestions will help you as you reach this group in your community....

How Long Should You Preach to Students?
This is a common question among youth workers, especially within an American culture where attention spans matter. I wonder sometimes if ministries in foreign cultures that are used to longer church services ever have to even ask the question, but that’s perhaps another blog post for another time.

Why Vacation Bible School Is as Important Now as Ever
VBS is a local mission trip that just about any church can do. Here is why it’s important to my church, West Bradenton.

4 Practical Ideas for VBS Follow-Up
Strategic follow-up plays a huge role in making the most of your VBS. In fact, intentional follow-up should be an important part of your regular VBS planning, right from the beginning. That means as you’re rounding up supplies, handing off VBS manuals, and putting up decorations, you’re also preparing to make a strong post-event impression.

7 Proven Strategies to Launch More Small Groups
Most churches cannot launch groups fast enough to keep up with the demand for discipleship. As the worship services grow larger, the small groups ministry gets further and further behind. Well, that’s not entirely true.

Making the Most of Your Summer Mission Experience
Summer mission trips have become one of the primary platforms God uses to call out and prepare people for longer-term missionary careers.

3 Lies About Student Evangelism
Here are three lies about student evangelism that youth leaders and students should never believe.