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2014

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Jul 29, 2014
Pastors

Learning How to Fail: An Interview with J.R. Briggs

People who do ministry are going to fail. The question is: "What are you going to do about it?"
Learning How to Fail: An Interview with J.R. Briggs

J.R., what made you want to write a book about a topic nobody likes to talk about: failure?

The book came out of a series of events we've hosted called Epic Fail Pastors' Conferences. In these events we attempt to provide and facilitate a safe space for pastors to ...

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Jul 29, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/29/14

Seminary Debt; Confusing Emails; Grand Narrative
Morning Roundup 7/29/14
ALAMY

Is Seminary Debt Killing the Clergy?Leadership Journal

The answer to the question is yes.

I am intrigued, however, by one thing. When seminary students have their schooling paid for (and have no skin in the game), they are often of a lower quality. Yet, when they ...

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Jul 28, 2014
Missiology

Why Defining Missional Matters

What you think of when you hear the word "missional" matters to how you seek to be missional yourself.
Why Defining Missional Matters

A few months ago, progressive mission-thinker Steve Knight critiqued a post I wrote here on The Exchange.

I like Steve. He's smart and engaging. And, I like the name of his blog, Missional Shift (particularly since David Hesselgrave and I edited a book called MissionShift). ...

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Jul 28, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/28/14

African American Characters; Gender Violence; Auschwitz Selfie
Morning Roundup 7/28/14
EmyAugustus / Flickr

Thirteen Books For Kids With African American CharactersAmy Julia Becker

I thought this important not just because it is a list of African American characters, but because it is published by an Anglo woman in an evangelical publication, Christianity Today.

I hope ...

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Jul 25, 2014
Youth Ministry

Connecting Students to God's Mission (Part 2): Sending Students

When connecting students to mission, we must first point them to Jesus, then encourage them to own their mission.
Connecting Students to God's Mission (Part 2): Sending Students

Pointing Students Toward Jesus' Mission

Student ministry must be more than a four-year holding tank with pizza. Kids may be happy and at church when they're younger, but unless they are shown how Christ is significant and His mission matters, they will leave in ...

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Jul 25, 2014
Humor

Church Signs of the Week: July 25, 2014

Borrow Church Sign; Wait Jesus; Tech Support
Church Signs of the Week: July 25, 2014

Keep your dirty mitts off our church sign.

Come on Jesus, just wait a wee bit longer.

Get your heart fixed and your Dell fixed.

Thanks to Art Snead, Tim Challies, and John Mehn for sending these in. As always, send me your signs via Twitter to @EdStetzer.

Want to ...

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Jul 24, 2014
Youth Ministry

Connecting Students to God's Mission (Part 1): Look to Jesus

Connecting students to God's mission first requires us to know the mission of the Son of God.
Connecting Students to God's Mission (Part 1): Look to Jesus
Johnny Vulkan / flickr

When we begin talking about mission, many people think of mission trips. That's not a bad thing. One of my most formative experiences was a youth mission trip among the poor in Prestonburg, Kentucky.

Mission trips can be helpful to us in considering the mission of God ...

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Jul 24, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/24/14

Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights?; New Calvinism; Charismatic Catholics
Morning Roundup 7/24/14
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More ComplicatedJohn D. Inazu

This is a very important article and I exhort you to take the time to read it.

Naming the New CalvinismTimothy Paul Jones

This is helpful to understand more about New Calvinism.

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Jul 23, 2014
Politics

Faith and Politics: Living the Golden Rule

At the intersection of faith and politics, Christians must consider the Golden Rule.
Faith and Politics: Living the Golden Rule
Citypeek / Wikimedia

The political atmosphere at this moment in history in the United States, and around the world, is a tumultuous one. As tensions mount in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, foreign policy within American politics is being more hotly debated than it has in the last few years. We're ...

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Jul 23, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/23/14

Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage; Glory Days; Retro Report
Morning Roundup 7/23/14
Shutterstock

Big news report card: Oklahoma same-sex marriage rulingBobby Ross Jr.

I increasingly think that it is important to look at HOW news outlets cover news. This helpful post from Bobby Ross (of Oklahoma hat-wearing fame) takes a look at some solid reporting.

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Jul 22, 2014
Transformation

Stories of Transformation: Making Disciples

Churches must assess themselves in an effort to be more effective at making disciples.
Stories of Transformation: Making Disciples

Most churches do a good job of measuring what Micah Fries calls the "three B's"— budgets, buildings, and baptisms.

Those are helpful, he said. But they don't always show whether a church is fulfilling its mission to make disciples.

"Every ...

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Jul 22, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/22/14

America's First Churches; Church, Youth, and Sex; "Evangelicals"
Morning Roundup 7/22/14
Shutterstock

These Are America's First Churches — and They're Still WorshippingCorrie Mitchell

Ok, some historic nerd stuff… and I want to preach at one of these churches… so help me out!

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Jul 21, 2014
Missiology

Strategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation

Our God pursues the lost and so should we.
Strategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation
Laura Glover / FreeImages

The church is to be on mission with God. The God of the Bible is a missionary God who graciously pursues people.

...

The church exists to proclaim the gospel and demonstrate the kingdom of God in a lost and dying world. In being faithful to her calling, the church should ...

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Jul 21, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/21/14

Literal Bible; How Americans View Religions; Camps Built on Rich Heritage
Morning Roundup 7/21/14
Shutterstock

Meet the Non-Christians Who Take the Bible Literally, Word for WordTed Olsen and Ruth Moon

Good analysis of some confusing questions and conclusions from a recent Gallup poll.

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Jul 19, 2014
Seminars

Saturday is for Seminars: Coast to Coast, from Rhode Island to California (plus Boston, Orlando, Grand Rapids)

I'll be speaking in a number of places across the U.S. the next couple of weeks.
Saturday is for Seminars: Coast to Coast, from Rhode Island to California (plus Boston, Orlando, Grand Rapids)
Nick Aldwin / flickr

One of the privileges I have working at LifeWay Research is the opportunity to travel and speak to a variety of denominations about a variety of topics. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll be going from coast to coast in the U.S., meeting with everyone from ...

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