Church Life

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Witnessing from Weakness at Work

One of the greatest shames of my life is that never once during my first job out of college did I share the Gospel with any of the people I worked with. While my friends there certainly knew I graduated from a Christian college, went to church, and believed in God, in several years of working together that was all they knew about faith in my life. At the time, my focus ...

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Climbing the Corporate Web

Sally Helgeson wrote The Female Advantage in the 1990s. This was a classic, paradigm-changing book about how women's leadership styles and gifts are changing the face of organizations. Her subsequent work, The Web of Inclusion, continued the conversation, exploring how women leaders prefer to work in flattened, inter-woven organizational structures - literally, webs ...

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The 'Sin' of Humility

Theologians tell us that the quintessential sin is rebellion against God - or pride. The 16th century reformer Martin Luther described pride as "man bent in upon himself." Not unlike the little child who prayed: "Dear God: My dad thinks he's you. Please straighten him out." The sin of pride is thinking too much of ourselves, of thinking we're ...

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Designed for Diversity

"I thought planning women's programs would be easier," sighs the leader of women's ministries as she sits down in the pastor's office.

"What seems to be the problem?" he asks.

"Well, the women in our church are so different. There's Barb, who runs her own company. We designed an evening Bible study for her and some others, but ...

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Do We Need a Space to Serve?

This week, I spoke to a woman who has been given a large degree of influence in an evangelical megachurch. Lately, this influence is increasing. Terry spends most of her time in hands-on direction of eight of the most visible, crucial ministry teams in the congregation. And you guessed it. She's so good at what she does, her "superiors" can give her the toughest ...

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Gifts, not Guilt

Having spent the majority of my working life in professional ministry, I can testify heartily to its rewards. Of course, the benefits of working in ministry don't come in the form of the hefty pay packages my friends in the "secular" world enjoy. The true payoff - at least for me - in ministry work has been the opportunity to use and sharpen my God-given passions, ...

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Redefining Singles Ministry

When I moved to New York, I visited churches for a year. One of the reasons I settled at the church I joined is that it doesn't have a singles ministry. No one asked me to serve on the worship team of the singles service or teach in the singles Sunday-school class; my pastor instead asked me to serve on the education committee. And no one invited me to a singles mixer; ...

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Too Busy Serving?

It was interesting to me that in the passage about the feeding of the five thousand, we have absolutely no record of the disciples eating. All it tells us is that they picked up the leftovers. The disciples were doing good thing by serving, but they were so busy picking up the leftovers of everybody else's blessing that they missed on being filled.

Now I don't ...

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Character Leading

Almost all of us agree that good character is the centerpiece of authentic first-rate leadership. Good character is the key to good leadership because people tend to follow whatever standard the leader sets. Recent studies in moral intelligence show that the level of morality exercised by a company's character consistently affects the bottom line. It takes good character ...

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Working Well with Men

It's almost impossible to talk about gender issues without crashing into all the stereotypes about work-obsessed men, overly sensitive women, and the nasty label that gets attached to assertive women in the workplace. So let me say this from the get go: Each sex has its strengths and weak spots, and the issues we face when we work together are the result of these strengths ...

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