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August 2017

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Oct 25, 2017
election, republican, democrat, church, unity, division

The Great Divide (in the Church) in 2016, and Why It Still Matters

It seems we cast more blame than light.
The Great Divide (in the Church) in 2016, and Why It Still Matters
Image: pixabay

It’s been eleven months since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. And even as I reflect on the 2016 election now, I still believe it will be remembered for many reasons, including the fact that it was arguably the most divisive election in recent times. ...

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Sep 10, 2017
missions, EMQ

Missions Sunday: Enhancing Character Development through Soul Care (Part One)

Soul Care is a lifestyle of regular, ongoing, non-crisis activity that promotes growth and development of the whole person into maturity.
Missions Sunday: Enhancing Character Development through Soul Care (Part One)

As Richard stood staring out his office window, he knew something was wrong. His enthusiasm for ministry that had accompanied him for nearly thirty years was gone. He was tired, spiritually dry, and growing bitter about his situation.

Soon after making the move to the home office ...

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Sep 7, 2017
religion, christianity, evangelical

One-on-One with Scholar and Researcher Mark Silk on the Future of Religion, Especially Evangelicalism, in America (Part Two)

Evangelicalism is now the normative form of non-Catholic Christianity in America.
One-on-One with Scholar and Researcher Mark Silk on the Future of Religion, Especially Evangelicalism, in America (Part Two)
Image: Wikimedia

In Part One of this interview, Mark began to answer the following question. Today, he discusses Evangelicals.

Ed: So the generational cohort replacement idea—that we will see them become more religious over time as they get older—seems to be breaking down in a lot ...

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Sep 1, 2017
prayer, confession, repentance

A Prayer and Confession of the Church in America During These Days

A prayer of Daniel as a model of repentance.

As I write this, I am reflecting on what took place two weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. My heart breaks over the division, hatred, and strife that we face in this country over the issue of race. I freely confess that I’m no expert or wise sage who can speak profound ...

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Aug 31, 2017

Want to Help During Disaster? Here's a Few Dos and Don'ts

The world has a growing need for well-informed, thoughtful engagement with natural disaster relief work.
Want to Help During Disaster? Here's a Few Dos and Don'ts
Image: Lakeview Images / Shutterstock.com

This morning in USATODAY, I wrote on the role of faith-based organizations in disaster relief. I explained:

Government is essential in the rescue stage — they have the equipment and means to move that equipment. The Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency ...
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Aug 30, 2017
missional, attractional, incarnational, church, evangelism

Missional or Attractional? The Value of Embracing a Both/And Mentality

Every Christian should be missional and every church should be attractional.
Missional or Attractional? The Value of Embracing a Both/And Mentality
Image: Nylandmarks

Much has been said and written to help today’s churches become more missional. Organizations, parachurch communities, and conferences abound in trying to move the Church in this direction. This emphasis is certainly justified in light of how many Evangelical churches are ...

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Aug 29, 2017
joel osteen, lakewood church, houston, hurricane harvey

Some Christians Hate Joel Osteen More Than They Love The Truth. And That's Wrong.

Be silent until there is something to say.
Some Christians Hate Joel Osteen More Than They Love The Truth. And That's Wrong.

So, I never thought I’d write a post defending Joel Osteen….

But, seriously, the floodgates of media unleashed against Joel Osteen, based on an unclear church statement and fanned by agenda-driven social media, tells me that we have a cultural problem. The fact that ...

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Aug 29, 2017
church planting, rural church, small town

Five Things Small Town Church Planters Wish Their Denominational Leaders Knew

Planters in rural America feel misunderstood and ignored.
Five Things Small Town Church Planters Wish Their Denominational Leaders Knew
Image: Joseph

The last night of our 2 1/2 day conference was coming to an end. I was feeling pretty good that we had pulled off our first Multiply Vineyard Small Town USA church planting conference. Our two presenters did a fantastic job giving the nuts and bolts of planting and doing multisite ...

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Aug 28, 2017
evangelism, podcast

The BGC Gospel Life Podcast (Ep. 28)

Start each week with this encouragement to show and share the love of Jesus.
The BGC Gospel Life Podcast (Ep. 28)

Episode Twenty-Eight | If God Answered Every Prayer You Prayed, Would There Be Anyone New in the Kingdom?

Jerry Root, Wheaton College Evangelism Professor and Director of the Evangelism Initiative at the Billy Graham Center, talks about prayer in evangelism. It opens doors to ...

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Aug 28, 2017
houston, harvey, flooding, disaster

Hurricane Harvey & Our Response to Pray and Help

Here are some practical ways you can help right now.

We’ve all been watching with concern these past few days as Hurricane Harvey ravages the countless communities and cities in South Texas. News reports continue to indicate that the storm’s heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding are unprecedented and exceeding expectations. ...

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Aug 25, 2017
abny, north america, missions, evangelism, church planting

3 ABNY Social Realities Shaping North American Missions

The New Testament Church was birthed in the messiness of a religiously pluralistic society.
3 ABNY Social Realities Shaping North American Missions
Image: NASA

“Already but not yet” (ABNY) is a phrase which arises out of a system of Christian thought called kingdom theology. It captures the notion that God’s kingdom was inaugurated in Jesus’ death and resurrection and that this kingdom is already here on earth, ...

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Aug 24, 2017
southern baptist, history, church planting, evangelism

The Southern Baptist (Re-)Emergence in Church Planting

Church planting accelerates and advances the kingdom in exponential ways.
The Southern Baptist (Re-)Emergence in Church Planting
Image: pixabay

In the last few years, Southern Baptists have made a significant turnaround in their church planting efforts. It’s something I’m excited about and care about, and as such I’ve been reflecting on what has happened and how we need to move forward.

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Aug 23, 2017
church, mission, multicultural

Challenges to Becoming a Multicultural Church

Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America.
Challenges to Becoming a Multicultural Church
Image: hepingting

One of the biggest issues in our culture is race relations. I write about it often, and the latest #Charlottesville incident reminds us of the brokenness we face in this area.

One of the biggest knocks on the Church is that 11:00 on Sunday morning is still the most segregated ...

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Aug 22, 2017
small town, rural church, church planting, evangelism

Don’t Despise Small Town Living: Jesus Didn’t

Capernaum was home to about 1,500 people.
Don’t Despise Small Town Living: Jesus Didn’t
Image: pixabay

There are advantages to growing up in a small town. Everyone knows where you live, what you drive, and what you did last night. You grow up with great trust in humanity and knowing no stranger. You truly learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Friendships are forged for life. ...

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Aug 21, 2017
church, theology, knowledge

One-on-One with David Hatcher on Theological Education for All

The Church in Brazil is growing through reproducible training.
One-on-One with David Hatcher on Theological Education for All
Image: NIB

Ed Stetzer: Tell me a little about your burden for theological education in Brazil. How did that come about?

David Hatcher: Jesus created the Church to be His school, from pre-school to PhD. Unfortunately, Christian education—Bible education and knowledge—is really ...

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