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June 2018

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Jul 4, 2018
preferences

Four Ways to Put Preferences in Their Proper Place, Part 1

If we are really considering others as more significant than ourselves, then we will not insist on our own preferences.
Four Ways to Put Preferences in Their Proper Place, Part 1
Image: via Creative Commons

Everyone has their own personal preferences.

I am an 80’s guy. In fact, I like 80’s music so much so that a worship leader at a church I planted in Tennessee called me “80’s Ed.” But some people prefer music from the 90’s, or music that has ...

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Jul 3, 2018
Revitalization

Renewing Your Church: Church Revitalization as a Humbling Experience

God works through people and churches who depend on him.
Renewing Your Church: Church Revitalization as a Humbling Experience
Image: via Creative Commons

I accepted my first pastorate in 2004 at First Baptist Church in Castroville, TX as a 25-year-old recent seminary graduate. I had not given much thought to leading revitalization throughout my studies, but I found myself leading a church that was still in the process of healing ...

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Jul 2, 2018
humor

#StuffChurchpeopleSay: The Funniest Sermon Responses

Let's get a laugh or two, or even a raised eyebrow, from our fellow well-intentioned congregants.
#StuffChurchpeopleSay: The Funniest Sermon Responses
Image: By Artur Szczybylo via shutterstock

EAP @eadampeek: “You told too many circumcision jokes, so we are leaving the church. If we wanted to hear a comedy routine, we would have just watched a Will Ferrell movie.”

Jeremiah Clements @JremiahClements: “Early in my first pastorate I had a guy stop me ...

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Jun 30, 2018
Holy Spirit

On African Children, Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit’s Indwelling

The heart of this community and its message is their emphasis on the person, gifting, and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
On African Children, Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit’s Indwelling

There is nothing like a children’s choir to warm the heart. It was the day before Pentecost Sunday and the last day of a conference of African Pentecostals and Charismatics. A choir of South African children, bodies moving in rhythm to a Zulu tune, reminded us of the remarkable ...

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Jun 29, 2018
Revitalization

Renewing Your Church: Removing Barriers for New Life

We need to remove the personal and corporate barriers that keep God from moving freely in and through us.
Renewing Your Church: Removing Barriers for New Life
Image: via Creative Commons

We live in an ever-changing world in which the church seems to be struggling to keep up. Our churches are aging and losing their relevance in our post-Christian, postmodern, and pluralistic world. Our children grow up and leave our churches. Churches are moving away from the ...

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Jun 29, 2018
juvenile justice

Juveniles Stuck in the Justice System: How Can the Church Respond?

YFC JJM stands ready to equip, enable, and empower the local church to make a long-term impact for high-risk teens in local communities.
Juveniles Stuck in the Justice System: How Can the Church Respond?
Image: by Martin Dörsch on Unsplash

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” This is the classic question to young, aspiring, and hope-filled teenagers.

However, for a high-risk young person this question feels foreign, perhaps even outrageous.

For these teens, their focus is on the next 24 hours. ...

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Jun 27, 2018
Evangelism

One-on-One with Nick Hall on Faith in the Next Generation, Part 2

The more we can mobilize our young people, the better.
One-on-One with Nick Hall on Faith in the Next Generation, Part 2
Image: via Creative Commons

Ed:Tell us more about Together 2018. What is it, and how can people get involved?

Nick: We believe there's a generation, with 18-20-year-olds at its center, that is experiencing a new movement of Jesus. So, we started to call Together the “Together Generation.” ...

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Jun 26, 2018
Abortion, free speech

Stopping Government Overreach: SCOTUS Rules Against California and for the Free Speech of Pro-Life Alternatives

One of the central rights of the constitution is freedom of expression, particularly as it relates to religion.
Stopping Government Overreach: SCOTUS Rules Against California and for the Free Speech of Pro-Life Alternatives
Image: By West ga obgyn (Baby) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) in a case likely to have significant impact in debates on abortion and free speech. The Court agreed with NIFLA that a California law requiring license pro-life pregnancy centers ...

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Jun 26, 2018
Evangelism

One-on-One with Nick Hall on Faith in the Next Generation, Part 1

God has been stirring and the church has been uniting.
One-on-One with Nick Hall on Faith in the Next Generation, Part 1
Image: via Creative Commons

Ed: Nick, tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing lately.

Nick Hall: For the last several years, we’ve been in the middle of a city-wide movement in the Twin Cities. Churches and leaders have been coming together across the Twin Cities. We've been meeting ...

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Jun 23, 2018
change

One-on-One with Caleb Kaltenbach on ‘God of Tomorrow’

Our current and future circumstances don’t negate God’s power, plan, or promises.
One-on-One with Caleb Kaltenbach on ‘God of Tomorrow’

Ed: A lot of believers feel like everything is changing, often for the worst. Why do you think there is so much fear?

Caleb: We’re usually afraid of circumstances and people that we don’t understand or cause us feel out of control. Fear launches us into uncertainty ...

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Jun 22, 2018
prison ministry

Does Your Church Have Enough Samaritans?

Samaria has always been as fruitful a venue for the gospel as it has been a repulsive place for God’s people to initially consider engaging.
Does Your Church Have Enough Samaritans?
Image: via Creative Commons

Jesus’ final words on earth are in Acts 1:8: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

I think most churches do reasonably well in equipping ...

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Jun 21, 2018
interview

One-on-One with Pastor Choco DeJesus on ‘Move into More: Limitless Surprises of a Faithful God’

We settle for less because there is a challenge that comes with seeking more.
One-on-One with Pastor Choco DeJesus on ‘Move into More: Limitless Surprises of a Faithful God’

Ed: When you write about being marked by God for more, what kind of more are we talking about here?

Pastor Choco: The more that I'm talking about is not materialism. The more I'm talking about is what the Bible says in Corinthians that eyes have not seen, ear have not ...

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Jun 20, 2018
Evangelism

Stewarding a Gospel Movement in Chicago

We long to see the power of the Holy Spirit energizing the Church.
Stewarding a Gospel Movement in Chicago

I am excited to be a part of a new event, making its debut in Chicago this October, The Gospel and Our Cities: Chicago 2018. This new conference will bring together thought leaders and practitioners on key topics around urban ministry: justice, mercy, faith and work, church ...

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Jun 19, 2018
Rest

One-on-One with Adam Mabry on ‘The Art of Rest’

Rest or Ruined: A conversation with a serial achiever on the importance of rest.
One-on-One with Adam Mabry on ‘The Art of Rest’

Ed: Adam, we’ve known each other for a while, so when I heard that you were writing a book on rest, I was surprised. You’re the embodiment of an East Coast, busy, constantly moving person. How did you end up writing this book?

Adam: Yeah, it made my wife laugh, too. ...

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Jun 18, 2018
Violent Extremism

The Increase of Women’s Involvement in Violent Extremism

Christians must reach out to their Muslims neighbors and together prevent extremist abuse and violence.
The Increase of Women’s Involvement in Violent Extremism

While there is growing interest in the #METOO and #TIMESUP movements, and rightly so, we must not forget the women who are subjected to religious-based violence every day of their lives. Gender equality is not only defined by glass ceilings, pay raises, and workplace sexual ...

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