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Mar 25, 2015
Urban Ministry

Finding the Mosaic in the Mess: The Reality of Urban Ministry

Doing ministry in the city can be messy, but there's beauty in the mess. Know and love your cities.
Finding the Mosaic in the Mess: The Reality of Urban Ministry
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

In my work at LifeWay Research and through my blog, I regularly attempt to call the Church’s attention to cultural trends that affect the ways in which we share the gospel and accomplish the Great Commission in our local churches and our personal walks with Christ. ...

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Mar 19, 2015
Adoption

Building Families and Baby Boxes: A Response to a Recent Her.meneutics Post

Kelly Rosati and I address the criticism of The Drop Box film.
Building Families and Baby Boxes: A Response to a Recent Her.meneutics Post

I’m grateful to my good friend Ed Stetzer for allowing me space here to respond to Melanie Springer Mock’s article on Her.meneutics earlier this week, Build Families Not Baby Boxes. This is an important conversation for the pro-life and adoption communities and ...

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Mar 18, 2015
Work

What Does it Mean to Have an Abundant Life? Some Thoughts on Prosperity

We talk about "abundant life" in our churches regularly. What does it actually mean?
What Does it Mean to Have an Abundant Life? Some Thoughts on Prosperity
neufal54 / pixabay

When Christians talk about abundant life in Christ, they share some common beliefs and have points where their ideas diverge, as a Wikipedia article attests! But Scripture is clear that our new life is a reality. Second Corinthians 5:17 talks about this life when it says, ...

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Mar 6, 2015
Culture

3 Ways Christians Will Address Cultural Issues in the Coming Years

The way we engage culture as Christ followers matters. It matters a lot.
3 Ways Christians Will Address Cultural Issues in the Coming Years
Jean-Christophe BENOIST / Wikipedia

At some point during the 1980s and 90s, a desire birthed among politically conservative Christians to begin to stand for things that mattered to them culturally in more active ways than before.

What followed was a ground swell of support for what would become known as the ...

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Feb 11, 2015
Culture

Facing the Critical Distance

Kylee Pastore on art, Scripture, and the hermeneutic of patience.
Facing the Critical Distance
Ryan McGuire / Pixabay

Finding the Cultural Distance

The cluster of curious college students gathered before me in the vestibule of the Chicago Art Institute. This small group of bible college and seminary students had each expressed to me a desire to “learn how to look at art.” They ...

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Feb 10, 2015
Social Media

Why Your Church Should Be On Social Media Right Now

Social media is the new town square. Study the culture, and connect your church with your community.
Why Your Church Should Be On Social Media Right Now
LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay

My mother-in-law is on Facebook, which can be, well, fun. The same is true for my teenage daughter.

Actually, about three-fourths of online adults are on some form of social networking.

This means that for the sake of the gospel and the mission, your church needs to have ...

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Jan 21, 2015
Worship Services

Segregation and the Church: From Where We've Come

Pastor Mark DeYmaz shares his thoughts on new LifeWay Research data on segregation and the church.
Segregation and the Church: From Where We've Come
Peter Pettus / Wikipedia

On January 15, 2015, Christianity Today published an article on its blog, Gleanings, entitled, “Sunday Morning Segregation: Most Worshipers Feel Their Church Has Enough Diversity.” The article written by my friend, Bob Smietana, of Facts & Trends, cited recent ...

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Jan 20, 2015
Worship Services

Luke 19 and the Segregation of the Church

More reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. day and the segregation of the church from Bryan Loritts.
Luke 19 and the Segregation of the Church
James Tissot / Wikipedia

The Effect of "Kneel-Ins"

It’s a tragedy of history that many of us are not familiar with one of the necessary arteries of the civil right’s movement, known simply as "kneel-ins." On Sunday mornings throughout the South, black and white college ...

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Dec 30, 2014
Year in Review

The Top 10 Exchange Blog Posts of 2014

Here are the top 10 most viewed blog posts on the Exchange in the last year.
The Top 10 Exchange Blog Posts of 2014

We are in the final days of 2014, which means blogland is chocked full of year-end "Top Blog Posts" lists. We've got our own list here at The Exchange, and there is a pretty clear theme: controversy.

Every one of our top 10 blog posts of 2014 has some element ...

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Dec 22, 2014
New York City Police Department

Police Matter: Some Reflections on the NYC Police Murders

We can support the police and talk about how to make policing better at the same time.
Police Matter: Some Reflections on the NYC Police Murders

My uncle was a New York City police officer. My grandfather was a battalion chief with the NYFD-- and his brother was also a NYC cop. Those are some of their badges at the top of this article.

They were the Bannons, my mother’s side of the family, and a key part of ...

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Dec 13, 2014
Race

A Time to Speak, a Live Broadcast from Memphis

Watch a panel discussion on race and the church on Tuesday, December 16th at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN.
A Time to Speak, a Live Broadcast from Memphis

We just finished the broadcast. You can watch it now, in DVR format (rewind, fast forward, etc.), by clicking here.

A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Bryan Loritts contacted me about moderating a panel on race and the church, following the events that have taken place over the ...

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Nov 27, 2014
Thanksgiving

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Prayers of thanksgiving are an overflow of a renewed heart.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Ben Franske / Wikipedia

I'm home today, after spending far too much time on the road this fall.

I just spent a week with Kaitlyn on her 10-year-old trip. (I describe that family tradition here.) Kristen, her older sister, joined us for a day to tour Biola University-- and she is well on her ...

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Nov 25, 2014
Ferguson

Why You Should Still Care about Ferguson Despite the Facts

Regardless of what the grand jury's decision means or what the facts say, we should still care about the people of Ferguson.
Why You Should Still Care about Ferguson Despite the Facts
Jamelle Bouie / Wikipedia

The grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri has decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson following the death of Michael Brown. Last night, after the grand jury's announcement, peaceful protests quickly turned into violence, arson, and looting.

It breaks my heart ...

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Nov 24, 2014
Ferguson

A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?

The grand jury has made a decision in Ferguson, now we have to make ours. How will we respond?
A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?

In light of the grand jury decision handed down tonight in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, MO, I think it is of utmost importance that all Christians, but specifically white evangelicals, talk a little less and listen a little more.

Or, put another ...

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Nov 16, 2014
Millennials

Sunday is For Series: Reaching the Younger Generation

How can churches reach and retain students and millenials?
Sunday is For Series: Reaching the Younger Generation
Tulane Public Relations / Wikipedia

One of the greatest challenges for the church in the 21st century remains to be how to engage and mobilize millennials and students, who, to some, often appear indifferent to the gospel.

This Sunday I am going to focus on a series of posts that I have written dealing with ...

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