Church Life

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What Are You Leading People to Expect from Jesus?

God may not be interested in satisfying every one of our desires.
What Are You Leading People to Expect from Jesus?
Image: Fidelis Simanjuntak/Getty

I was away from home with my husband and children, celebrating Christmas with extended family. Before the big family gathering on Christmas Eve, we attended an area church service. The focus of the service was on the ways Jesus’ birth had disrupted the lives of specific biblical people, Mary and Joseph among them. One common element in their stories stood out—Jesus’ ...

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There's Something in the Water

How second-generation gender bias makes it difficult for women leaders to thrive
There's Something in the Water
Image: mel-nik/Getty

A few years ago, my husband and I moved from Missouri to Idaho to pastor a church. Having spent approximately 48 hours of my life in the state—and only for the interview process—I fully expected Idaho to be true to the stereotype: potato fields as far the eye could see. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that while Idaho does, of course, have field upon field ...

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Pastoring the Victims of #MeToo

Four steps your church can take to minister well
Pastoring the Victims of #MeToo
Image: David McNew/Getty Images

In the 24 hours after #MeToo first appeared on Twitter, more than 4.7 million women (and some men) engaged with the thread. Many were admitting for the first time that they had been victims of rape, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment. Any of these individuals who desire healing and closure will need infinitely more than what the camaraderie of a trending hashtag can provide. ...

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Bearing the Word

Preachers carry on a tradition Mary exemplified.
Bearing the Word
Image: Lightstock

I was tired—the kind of tired that only a six-month pregnant mama can be, with a 3-year-old at home and a church to shepherd through the season of Advent to boot. I was grateful, of course, for the baby I was carrying, for the promise of new life after a long difficult season in our family. But I was tired, worn out by the juggling act of the preacher-mama: studying, ...

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Make Your Voice Heard at the Table

3 ways to help get your ideas across when you’re working with men
Make Your Voice Heard at the Table
Image: Lightstock

Admittedly, I am small in stature, have a high-pitched voice, and appear very feminine. As a result, I often go into meetings with men—especially powerful men—with a persistent fear that I will not be heard. Or, a fear that if I am heard, my ideas will be dismissed as unimportant—or even childish—because of my demeanor.

Early in life, I adopted the description ...

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Poured Out for the Church

Releasing the desire to be right, even when you’ve been wronged
Poured Out for the Church
Image: Lightstock

It’s one of those days that becomes etched in your memory―completely against your will. Try as I might to focus on the chubby legs of my two-year-old toddler scurrying around my ankles as we navigated the petting zoo, my mind was racing. My breath felt short and my heart beat erratically.

I felt the need to scratch a nagging itch―an odd sensation―relentlessly screaming ...

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Mean Girls in the Church

How to become women who embolden rather than undermine
Mean Girls in the Church
Image: Lightstock

Several years ago I endeavored to write a Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount for several hundred women. The Bible study was a labor of love, passion, and joy. When the books arrived for us to distribute to our three hundred or so women, it felt like Christmas morning. Almost all of the women were just as excited as I was because many were on the editing and writing journey ...

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Changing the Conversation about Holiness

Jess Connolly on calling, co-leading a church, and challenging people to be more in awe of God
Changing the Conversation about Holiness
Image: Provided by Jess Connolly

If you’re not familiar with Jess Connolly’s name, you may be familiar with her work. She started Naptime Diaries (now All Good Things Collective) in 2011, cofounded SheReadsTruth in 2012, and cofounded The Influence Network in 2013. She also co-wrote Wild and Free (2016) and her second book, Dance, Stand, Run, releases today. She and her husband, Nick, co-lead ...

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Personal Branding, Platform, and Pride-Management

Promoting the message of Christ―rather than ourselves.
Personal Branding, Platform, and Pride-Management
Image: iStock

The topics of personal branding and platform building permeated the conversations of a recent conference I attended, including concepts by which Christian leaders can promote their ministry and message. The advent of social media now allows people to engage in ministry faster and with more people than ever before.

When I first started in student ministry, Facebook hardly was ...

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