Ministry Life

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Study Reveals Missing Influence of Women among Nonprofit Leaders

An interview with researchers Dr. Janel Curry and Dr. Amy Reynolds
Study Reveals Missing Influence of Women among Nonprofit Leaders
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The Women in Leadership National Study, funded by the Imago Dei Fund of Boston, has completed two phases of a three-part study that examines institutional leadership among evangelical nonprofit organizations. Researchers have studied a number of organizations that include World Vision US, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, ...

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Did Jesus Say to Welcome Only the Documented Stranger?

I am firmly convinced that I am obligated to love
Did Jesus Say to Welcome Only the Documented Stranger?
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When my former boss sent a link to preview the new film The Stranger, I grabbed a pen and a journal, ready to take notes. I was so eager to learn more about immigration from a Christian worldview. I desired to become more educated about immigration reform, so I couldn’t wait to download the film. As I began to become engrossed in the picture, I had no idea it would ...

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What I’ve learned from Working with Young Immigrants

Children often feel as if they are straddling two worlds
What I’ve learned from Working with Young Immigrants
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She was petite, with softly colored brown skin, brown eyes, and long brown hair. This tenderhearted young Latina of 15 was weeping, torn between obeying her father, full of machismo, or blending in with the American culture of her adolescence. Straddling two worlds, she sought me out for help. As a school therapist for at-risk adolescent girls in Southwest Florida, this ...

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5 Good Ways to Welcome Strangers

It’s not illegal to care for immigrants, whatever their status
5 Good Ways to Welcome Strangers
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Like many congregations, my church struggles with how to welcome strangers into our midst. We have visitor cards and welcome badges and the greeters at every door, but we stop short of translating information into another language or specifically serving the large immigrant population in our city.

There are obstacles churches face when trying to find effective ways to ...

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Faithful through the Ages

A case for intergenerational communities
Faithful through the Ages
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Several years ago, we were invited to join a small group which met weekly on Friday nights. We arrived the first night with our young kids in tow, eager to connect with other couples in a similar age and stage. What we found was a much more blended group of couples, ranging in age from their thirties to their seventies. My first thought? Awkward! This is not what I expected. ...

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Can I Follow You As I Follow Christ?

People don’t want to hear your words; they want to see your actions
Can I Follow You As I Follow Christ?
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It is a privilege to serve as a leader in the kingdom of God. It is an honor to be entrusted with the gift to teach and disciple the people of God. Yet with this gift, leaders are held to a higher standard. James 3:1 warns us, “Not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

It is important that we teach ...

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Build True Community through Service

Let’s live as if we belong to each other
Build True Community through Service
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What would it look like to build community with servanthood as the foundation, to shift from an independent mindset to interdependence?

Our culture values community with words, but individualism with actions. When the rubber hits the road, it’s often not about “we”; it’s about “me first.” If “we” becomes the end result it’s ...

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We Are Better Together

Co-leadership really can work
We Are Better Together
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Are two heads really better than one? Does anything with two heads really resemble a monster? It all depends on how we look at it.

English writer John Heywood actually coined "Two heads are better than one" in 1546. I am sure he did not realize he was speaking prophetically. But two heads together can work only when God is at the center. King Solomon, the wisest ...

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One Reason People Won’t Join Your Church

Remember hurt can make commitment scary

The book of Hebrews urges us not to forsake assembling together with fellow Christians, but it does not say I have to be a member of your church (Hebrews 10:25). We have all heard the phrase "Church hurt is the worst hurt." I don't know if it's true for everyone, but it has been true for me. The world is a dark place, so many seek to find light in the body of Christ. People ...

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How to Really Address Declining Attendance

Reviving the committed in a low-commitment culture

When I was growing up in the Bible Belt, Sundays consisted of church, fried chicken, an afternoon nap, and then another dose of church in the evening. My childhood memories are full of handbells, youth choir, discipleship training, visitation, and potlucks. Fast-forward 20 years and Sundays look very different around town. No longer is the church the center of the family's ...

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