Effective Leadership

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How to Really Serve a Community

It begins with listening
How to Really Serve a Community
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Have you ever experienced someone trying to help you in a way that wasn’t all that helpful? As a new mom, this is something I experience often. Someone gives advice that’s more discouraging than helpful. Another person offers to pick me up for lunch—not realizing that having to transfer all the baby gear to her car really is more work than help. I know ...

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Leading to the Ends of the Earth

How to reach beyond your church by investing within your church
Leading to the Ends of the Earth
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According to Acts 1:8, the last promise Jesus gave his disciples was that “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

That promise was meant to comfort, but it can also be overwhelming at first glance. I recently heard ...

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Finding Communal Joy in Lament

Let’s sing the Lord’s song in a strange and troubled land
Finding Communal Joy in Lament
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ISIS. Ebola in West Africa. Syria. The recent Middle East conflagration. Flight MH17. I stand in front of the congregation. How does my denomination’s expression of Christian worship and life together, teased out over 90 minutes every Sunday morning, mean anything really, in the face of these problems that seem epic? Avoidance isn’t the answer. I wonder how ...

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Saying Goodbye to Volunteer Leaders

How to do it well—in youth ministry and elsewhere
Saying Goodbye to Volunteer Leaders
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Leaders naturally cycle in and out of ministry. When it’s a positive parting of ways, create an environment where the leader is honored for their service and students, parents, and other leaders have a chance to voice their thanks. Make this a consistent ritual for all positive departures. It’s a great way to respect someone’s legacy, to help students ...

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Dare Mighty Things

A Book Review
Dare Mighty Things
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The book:

Dare Mighty Things: Mapping the Challenges of Leadership for Christian Women

By Halee Gray Scott

Published by Zondervan

Why I picked up this book:

Simply put, there is no other book on the market like it! Author and Ph.D. Halee Gray Scott has done her research and clearly presents her case with theological reflection, without defense, and through humbly sharing ...

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A Voice for the Sinned-Against, Part 2

Ministry to survivors of sexual abuse
A Voice for the Sinned-Against, Part 2
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Childhood sexual abuse victims experience lifelong battles to gain understanding of what happened to them and why. Statistics show that 1 out of 20 boys are sexually abused as children, and the number is much higher for young girls: one out of five girls is sexually abused, 60 percent by someone they are familiar with and 30 percent by a family member. The abuse young girls ...

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A Voice for the Sinned-Against, Part 1

Ministry to survivors of sexual abuse
A Voice for the Sinned-Against, Part 1
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I walked into church in December 2007 as a 32-year old new Christian, full of anger, hurt, and bitterness. I spent much of my life feeling like a failure and did not see a purpose for myself. My father left when I was very young. My mother was searching for her own self-worth and didn't have much time for me or my sister. My stepfather did not treat us like his own. ...

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Why Avoid Talking about Gender?

It’s more important than our discomfort
Why Avoid Talking about Gender?
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Despite the reality that gender issues are trending in culture and on social media, many in the church seem to equate talking about this polemic topic with swimming in a shark tank: too dangerous and not worth the thrill.

My husband and I have been leading long-term healing and discipleship programs in New England area churches for more than 20 years. We frequently—and ...

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Engaging Women and Men in Worship

A balanced approach to planning
Engaging Women and Men in Worship
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Crafting worship is a relentless task. Meet, pray, plan, finesse, download, upload, sing and praise, then feel a sense of relief when Sunday is over. With 52 Sundays a year, every week we do this. Worship planners and liturgists constantly ask, “How can worship transform the heart of God’s people?” “What can we do to move people toward Kingdom action?” ...

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The Secret to Volunteer Retention

Just say thanks
The Secret to Volunteer Retention
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A sign loomed outside my son's Sunday school class: "Room closed (unless someone wants to jump in and help today)." Fortunately, it was propped near a door but wasn't yet pulled out into the main area of the hallway. Apparently there were enough volunteers to staff that at that point in time, but if too many kids came and ratios were exceeded, the doors ...

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