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Jun 22, 2015
Missiology

Defining the Church as Evangelicals

Have we become so generous with the definition of “church” that the word has lost meaning?
Defining the Church as Evangelicals
Susan Lloyd / Flickr

I think we need to have a conversation about ecclesiology (the theological doctrine relating to the church), because in many evangelical circles there’s not a lot of clarity about what church is and why that matters.

Everyone has their own way of identifying a church. ...

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Jun 17, 2015
Ministry

Am I My City’s Keeper?

Jesus served people he came to save. We should join him in that mission.
Am I My City’s Keeper?
Jimmy Dominico / Pixabay

There is much talk today about “seeking the welfare of the city.” To various people it means different things. As a biblical phrase, it has serious missional connotations. I want to look at what that phrase means to us in the church today, and also tease out what ...

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Jun 15, 2015
Missiology

Can a Failed Church Planter Plant Again?

Is church planter reassessment necessary after failure?
Can a Failed Church Planter Plant Again?
maura24 / pixabay

Failure can be a factor for reassessment of a church planter, but it is not the deciding factor.

I am a big believer in the value of assessment. We have learned much about what works (and doesn’t work) in ministry over the years through vast amounts of research. So ...

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Jun 12, 2015
Denominations

The Rapid Rise of Nondenominational Christianity: My Most Recent Piece at CNN

Membership, baptism, and weekly attendance numbers are down in the largest evangelical denomination, but evangelicalism is a different story.
The Rapid Rise of Nondenominational Christianity: My Most Recent Piece at CNN
Courtesy of the General Sociological Survey

CNN has posted a story I wrote describing the drastic rise of nondenominationalism among those whose religious preference is "Protestant." Here is the chart that tells the story visually, that we describe there verbally.

Using a baseline average from 1972–1976, ...

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Jun 8, 2015
Missiology

Involving Large Church Pastors in Multiplication

Uniting small and large churches around the mission of the denomination is important.
Involving Large Church Pastors in Multiplication
FitimSalimi / Wikipedia

One of the common struggles denominations often face is a difficulty relating to the largest, most innovative, and the most “Antiochish” of their churches. These churches and their leaders are often creative and/or proprietary in their approach to, well, everything, ...

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Jun 1, 2015
Canada

The State of Evangelicalism in Canada

What do Canadian evangelicals believe, and how are they viewed by Canada as a whole? Some new stats provide insight.
The State of Evangelicalism in Canada
tpsdave / pixabay

A study on religion and faith in Canada conducted by the Angus Reid Institute was released a few weeks ago detailing the views of various faiths in Canada and how Canadians perceive faith and religion as a whole. It is a fascinating study, and I think some of its data is ...

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May 29, 2015
Books

20 Truths from A Field Guild to Everyday Mission

What does it look like to live on mission in the routine of everyday life?
20 Truths from A Field Guild to Everyday Mission

1. Fix broken things: Jesus saw blindness and other disabilities as symbolic of spiritual brokenness; we can to. Pick up trash, paint fences, help a neighbor with rehab, or clean a park.

2. Be generous: Sacrifice your time, money, and resources for the good of others. This ...

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May 27, 2015
Australia

Australian Christianity: An Interview with the Australian Bible Society

Recent Pew data revealed Christianity's place in America. What is Christianity like in Australia?
Australian Christianity: An Interview with the Australian Bible Society
wikipedia

I was in Australia recently, on a bit of a tour, working with several schools and organizations, including Christian Media Australia, Ridley College, St. Phillips York Street Anglican, Mentone Baptist Church, The Geneva Push, Moore Theological College, and Queensland Theological ...

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May 19, 2015
Missiology

Help Me Write Planting Missional Churches (3rd Edition)

Share your church planting story and you might end up in the newest edition of Planting Missional Churches.
Help Me Write Planting Missional Churches (3rd Edition)

I have some exciting news! This next year we are going to be releasing the third version of Planting Missional Churches. This time it’s going to be with my coauthor, Daniel Im, who is the Church Multiplication Specialist at LifeWay.

It’s been 10 years since ...

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May 11, 2015
Missiology

How the Church Can Reach Nominals and Seculars

Regardless of the groups we are trying to reach, we need evangelism strategies.
How the Church Can Reach Nominals and Seculars

Evangelism requires a strategy.

Whether you’re reaching out to Muslims, bikers, students, business people, previously unreached people—it doesn’t matter—there’s a unique way to go about it, ending in the same gospel. The mission is always the ...

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May 4, 2015
Missiology

Missional Angst and Western Church Norms

We need to be willing to do church differently than we may feel is comfortable and easy.
Missional Angst and Western Church Norms
NCinDC / Flickr

Consumer-driven forms of Christianity are creating much angst.

The prevailing model of how we do church in our Western context has been called into question, and many are proposing alternative expressions of church life.

Sharing much of that angst, I have been writing ...

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Apr 13, 2015
Missiology

Missions, Denominations, and Honest Questions

What role do denominations play in the work of the local church and the broader mission of God?
Missions, Denominations, and Honest Questions
Clément Bucco-Lechat / Wikipedia

One of the great, untapped resources in nearly every denomination is younger leaders and pastors. They are part of every denominational family, yet sometimes that inclusion is tenuous. Denominations are often seen a bureaucratic, inefficient, and unengaged. Yet, those same ...

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Mar 30, 2015
Missiology

4 Reasons Small Groups are Vital to Your Church’s Health

Small groups are important for your church because they foster discipleship and friendship:
4 Reasons Small Groups are Vital to Your Church’s Health
SMBCollege / flickr

...

For the book Transformational Groups, which I co-authored with Eric Geiger, we conducted a survey of churchgoers in the United States and Canada. The results were telling.

Almost 8-in-10 (79 percent) of those surveyed agreed that small groups are very important in the ...

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Mar 23, 2015
Missiology

3 Historical Streams of the Missional Church Stream Part 3: The Missio Dei Stream

What is the missio dei movement and what are its tragic downfalls?
3 Historical Streams of the Missional Church Stream Part 3: The Missio Dei Stream
Pixabay

As we have looked previously at the historical streams of the missional church, we saw the missionary stream and the mission stream. Today, we will look at how the next stream, missio Dei, ends badly.

In 1952, the International Missionary Conference in Willingen, Germany, ...

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Mar 16, 2015
Missiology

3 Historical Streams of the Missional Church Part 2: The Mission Stream

Your church can become a missionary in your community.
3 Historical Streams of the Missional Church Part 2: The Mission Stream
UpstateNYer / Wikipedia

The Western missionary movement focused on the two-thirds world and contributed to the first historical stream of the missional church. However, as the national churches in the rest of the world began to assume the role of evangelism and mission and a new stream, mission, ...

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