July 2013

God Is on Facebook

Experience has assured me that he uses social media—and we can do ministry there
God Is on Facebook

The first day of the conference, I checked in on Facebook: "@Synergy Women's Network Conference, Orlando! Keynote: Sheryl WuDunn of Half The Sky! Yah!" It's what we leader-types do to get the word out for the organizations we support. (And in my case, a ton of obnoxious exclamation marks are needed.)

After I pressed "post," I got the hoped-for 23 ...

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My Facebook Mentoring Ministry

I found a way to reach out to young people who have drifted from the faith

Robin (name changed) posted on Facebook one day: "I am bored out of my mind. Someone please talk to me!" I didn't know Robin that well. Her parents had been in a Bible study in our home when she was just a little girl. But that Bible study ended when Robin was about 10, and I hadn't had much contact with her since then. During her middle school and high school years, I saw ...

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Seeing in the Dark, Part 2

An interview with Michelle Tessendorf, Executive Director of Orchard: Africa

What are some challenges the African church is facing now which we may not be facing in the Western church?

Africa is facing the greatest humanitarian crisis that the world has known. We see all these earthquakes and natural disasters, and clearly the church responds to that and should respond to that. But on a daily basis we having that disaster play out in Africa, and I think ...

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Controversial Verdict, Exodus Ends, and an Author’s Secret

Three recent events that matter to your ministry

Consider these recent events and how they might affect your ministry.

Just Listen: Responding to the Trayvon Martin Case

This is the big one. Even if you haven't been following the months of public trial, you couldn't avoid the fallout from Saturday's verdict on the very public and very contentious George Zimmerman trial. Since the jury found him "not guilty" of second-degree ...

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Seeing in the Dark, Part 1

An interview with Michelle Tessendorf, Executive Director of Orchard: Africa

What's the mission of Orchard: Africa, and what do you do?

The ministry work in Africa is to empower the church in the Western world and in Africa to respond to the AIDS and orphans crisis that is in Africa at the moment, and it's a twofold ministry. On the one hand, we are empowering local, rural African church pastors to become community leaders and to speak up in their communities ...

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We Need a Better Response to Mental Illness

We can either bless or curse people who need us

For some Christians, every problem—and every solution—is spiritual. In this environment, mental illness is obvious evidence of a lack of faith. Medical and psychiatric interventions are suspect, while more prayer and more faith are the prescriptions of choice. While nothing is wrong with more prayer or more faith—mental illness or not—there is not a lot of wisdom in treating ...

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Real Pastors’ Wives

A picture of healthy relationship between ministry spouses

Flipping through TV channels, we can see shows like The Housewives of Wherever, depicting women as backbiting, gossiping liars with a proclivity toward physical altercations. Now more than ever, women in church leadership have an opportunity to model healthy female relationships worth imitating.

Debbie Altman is one such woman. She works in a world that can be filled with ...

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Team Building: Beyond the Basics

It’s not just about finding warm bodies and putting them to work

Recruiting, training, deploying, and supporting volunteers can occasionally feel like a full-time job. But as leaders, we all understand that without these volunteers, church as we know it would come to a screeching halt. For nearly 20 years, my husband (Christopher) and I have mobilized hundreds of men and women to serve on the various teams that we lead. I hope this overview ...

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Trapped in the Church

I feel caught between legalism and cheap grace

Over the past few years I've found myself caught in a web of legalism and cheap grace. I grew up in a small Baptist church in South Carolina. It was a small, loving church, where everyone knew everybody. I loved it. It is where I received my foundation.

So why do I feel trapped? I'm trapped because although I have had many positive experiences in many churches, I have also ...

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