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Dec 26, 2016
mission, missions, missional

Towards Missional Effectiveness: The Message of God’s Mission (Part 2)

God is on mission to glorify Himself.

In the first post I explained that missional effectiveness is embracing the totality of the missio Dei—including its message, movement, and marks—and enacting it in the life of a local church.

I don’t know about you, but I have been on many honey-do runs in ...

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Dec 20, 2016
mission, missions, missional

Towards Missional Effectiveness: An Introduction (Part 1)

What is mission? What is missions? What is missional?

Like most people, I want what I buy to work and be effective at what it was created to do.

For instance, I have a smartphone that keeps track of my life. I call, text, surf the web, tweet, Facebook, use Maps to get directions, make calendar appointments, etc. It helps me to function ...

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Dec 14, 2016
worship, spirit and truth

Worship Matters

We were created for worship.

Worship is one of those fascinating topics that can both unite and divide the church. I've heard it said that “worship matters most” - seemingly a bit of a strong statement, but is it true?

John Piper, in his well-known book Let the Nations Be Glad, wrote this ...

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Oct 27, 2016
missions, tentmaking, seminary

3 Growing Needs in Missionary Education

Missionaries need a biblical, theological, and missiological foundation.
3 Growing Needs in Missionary Education

Any conversation around an exponential increase in the global missionary force must include methods for missionary education and training. When we think about those things, our gut reaction is often to rely solely on seminaries and missions agencies to fulfill educational needs. ...

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Sep 24, 2016
evangelism, missions

How Can The Church Thrive In A Non-Christian World?

If our churches have to be a little more uncomfortable to us insiders in order to reach even one lost soul for Christ, that’s a sacrifice we should all be willing to make.
How Can The Church Thrive In A Non-Christian World?

As we all know, it’s election season. This isn’t ever a rosy time for America, filled with rainbows and warm hugs. But if the political season of 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that the United States is culturally confused. Competing narratives vie for attention, ...

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Aug 29, 2016
black church, culture, evangelism

What We Can Learn From The Black Church When We Are Pushed To The Margins

The powerful, painful history of the Black Church has much to teach us as our culture continues to push the church to the margins of society.
What We Can Learn From The Black Church When We Are Pushed To The Margins

At dinner the other night, our family sat in earshot of a group of people discussing presidential politics. They were older, Caucasian, and rather conservative in their political leanings. It was clear that they, like many Americans, are uninspired and—in their words—disheartened ...

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Aug 6, 2016

Saturday Is For Seminars: Gideons Gospel Impact Conference and Missio Nexus

Join me at the Gideons Gospel Impact Conference and/or the Missio Nexus annual mission leaders conference.
Saturday Is For Seminars: Gideons Gospel Impact Conference and Missio Nexus

It’s been a whirlwind of a week as the movers brought all of our things up to Wheaton and we are getting settled in. There’s a lot of change for us and I’d value your prayers during this time. Also, please pray for the events below and consider joining me at ...

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Jul 27, 2016
Research

Why You Should Use Stats in Ministry

Facts are our friends, and so are stats.
Why You Should Use Stats in Ministry
Yahoo Movies / Sony

Those of you who know me know my tentative relationship with all things sports. But, with our move to Wheaton I wanted to approach our new home missionally, so, I took in a Chicago Cubs game.

It isn’t that I know nothing of sports; I just haven’t kept up much. Going ...

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Jul 22, 2016
Church

Trends in Church Architecture, Part 5

Can a church building be culturally engaged?
Trends in Church Architecture, Part 5
Visioneering Studios

"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan. This means “the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.” To say it another way, buildings, ...

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Jul 21, 2016
Church

Trends in Church Architecture, Part 4

Here are seven "Third Places" churches have built in and for their communities.
Trends in Church Architecture, Part 4

It has been noted that third places serve as postmodern wells churches create to cross paths with the community.

Given that broad description, third places could include: cafes, coffee shops, bookstores, shopping centers, bars, hair salons, community centers, workout facilities, ...

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Jul 20, 2016
Church

Trends in Church Architecture, Part 3

Third Places are the new multi-purpose building.
Trends in Church Architecture, Part 3

At one point in the church growth era, there was a trend in constructing multipurpose buildings. For the most part these could be used for a variety of purposes—an auditorium, gymnasium, or fellowship hall.

Later, the space was used in attempts to reach the community during ...

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Jul 19, 2016
Church

Trends in Church Architecture, Part 2

Larger churches building smaller buildings with community areas are a growing trend.
Trends in Church Architecture, Part 2
Woodstock City Church

Following building trends isn’t necessarily a hobby of mine, but it is quite interesting. For instance, micro-housing or tiny houses have become increasingly popular, particularly among millennials, and in urban areas with a high cost of living.

But what about church buildings? ...

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Jul 1, 2016
Church

Patriotic Worship is Coming to a Church Near You

Pastors and churches mix patriotism and worship around July 4th.
Patriotic Worship is Coming to a Church Near You

Doubtless most Americans believe America has a special relationship to God. Last year LifeWay Research found:

Despite headlines lamenting the global decline of the United States since the Cold War, 54 percent of Americans believe the nation is on the upswing, according to a September ...
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Jun 29, 2016
Church

Issues in the Future of Evangelicalism

The future of evangelicalism includes harsh realities for churches.
Issues in the Future of Evangelicalism

The enduring question for the church is this: how do we fulfill the Great Commission in a rapidly changing world?

We—the church of the West—receive no exception from the question.

But it appears that despite our best efforts to keep up with the ever-morphing values ...

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Jun 28, 2016
Church

3 Challenges in Urban Ministry

Urban ministry engages depravity, longevity and community.
3 Challenges in Urban Ministry

While cities are an excellent place for gospel advancement, urban ministry is not without its challenges. Some of these challenges can be better explained by three words: depravity, longevity and community.

Depravity is everywhere, not just cities

Quite a few Christians view cities ...

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