January 2016

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Women, Calling, and Guilt

Is seminary a waste of time?
Women, Calling, and Guilt

For the first year and a half that Marcy* was in seminary, she struggled with guilt. Marcy was a full-time student at an evangelical seminary, but she was also a staff person at a para-church ministry. She worried her financial supporters wouldn’t understand, and she described their skepticism this way, “They think I’m wasting my time frivolously doing ...

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Four Steps to Form a Personal Support Group

As you minister to others, don't neglect your own need for challenge and encouragement.
Four Steps to Form a Personal Support Group

When my husband and I planted a church, our entire focus was on what we could do for others. We wanted to win people to Christ, disciple them, and send them out to do the same. We became single-minded, and we worked harder than I ever thought possible.

This was all good, but somewhere along the line, I lost perspective on what I needed. I was so consumed in what others ...

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Young Mom Turned Evangelist

Aimee Semple McPherson encourages us to be creative, compassionate, and courageous.
Young Mom Turned Evangelist

On a street corner in Ontario in 1915, a young woman jumped onto a chair, raised her arms to heaven, closed her eyes, and stood motionless for a time. The crowd around her grew, along with taunts, questions, and jeers. After a while, a man reached up to touch her arm, seeing if he could cause the “statue” to move. The young woman opened her brown eyes, glanced ...

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Passion Is Not Enough

Why you need a clear vision and mission for your ministry
Passion Is Not Enough
Image: Teresa Robinson/Flickr

Many leaders mistake mission and vison, but they’re not the same. Martin Luther King Jr. had a vision—a dream—to end segregation. His mission involved various methods like marches, speeches, and boycotts to help make that vision a reality. The mission is the work to be done in order to reach the vision. Does your church or ministry have a clear vision ...

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Diagnosing and Changing Church Culture

What you need to know about your past to move forward
Diagnosing and Changing Church Culture
Image: Kevin Labianco/Flickr

What do you do when you realize your church talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk? It’s an all-too-common realization, and one I’ve had myself. I agreed with all the church’s stated values, I affirmed their mission, but in reality, those written statements weren’t backed up by any action. And that made ministry effectiveness very difficult. ...

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The Root of Ministry Effectiveness

What every church leader should know about organizational culture
The Root of Ministry Effectiveness

The job description was a good fit. Looking over the church’s literature and noticing the symbols around the building, she felt comfortable as she walked into the interview. She agreed wholeheartedly with the values communicated during the interview, plus the vision was inspiring. Impressive, she thought.

But as this newly minted seminary grad set about the work ...

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Step Out of Fear into Your Calling

How to overcome insecurity in ministry
Step Out of Fear into Your Calling

The non-denominational church I started wasn’t even a year old when a successful church-planter declared: “Your church will never make it!”

“Why do you say that?” I asked, feeling instantly wounded.

“Because you’re way too insecure!” He thoughtlessly replied.

Ouch. All these years later, I still feel the sting from his words.

On ...

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No Need to Downplay Your Leadership

God calls us to both humility and confidence.
No Need to Downplay Your Leadership

You've heard these phrases. Maybe you've said them:

  • It's not me—it's all God.
  • I'm nothing. Any talent I have comes right from God.
  • Oh thank you, but to God be all the glory!

They sound good, humble, even biblical. But are they?

And why do Christian women, in particular, tend to dismiss commendation and demean their own competence? Why can't we simply ...

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