Church Life

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Following a Tough Call

Do you have a passion that burns deep in your core? A drive like a pile of red, hot, fiery coals that you just can't contain? I don't mean a strong desire to go shopping or an intense craving for chocolate. I'm talking about a passion to make a difference, to change the world, to impact a life, to fight for a cause. Do you feel that kind of drive?

If so, what ...

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Developing a Vision When You're Not a Visionary (Part 2)

In my previous post, I listed three ways to develop a vision when you're not a visionary. Here are three more:

4. Listen to the people you want to help. You don't have to be great at coming up with vision, if you're willing to listen to the people you want to help. If you listen well, people will tell you what they really need. In other words, the people you want ...

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Work Is a Sacred Trust

The summer I was 15, I locked myself in the bathroom. Not for the typical reasons. There was no fight with my parents or disappointing love interest. I wasn't trying to hide tears or cool down a temper. I had just received my first paycheck.

It wasn't just the paycheck I loved. That was just symbolic. It was work I loved. I loved the feeling of doing something ...

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Developing a Vision When You're Not a Visionary (Part 1)

My wife, Karen, and I are both in leadership at our church. So dinner-table discussions often come back to how to help other Christians step into leadership. Volunteers tell us, "I might be willing to facilitate, but I'm not sure I'm a leader." People don't consider themselves leaders, because when they say leader, they think of only one type: a strong, ...

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Picture-Perfect Leadership

A leader's life can be lonely. Whether we get paid to lead or not, our role as influencers sets us apart. For better or worse, there is a distance between us and those we supervise. And it is a gap that can dictate everything from our circle of friends, whether or not we seek marital counseling in the same town, to a higher (maybe even impossible) standard of behavior ...

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Leading with One Voice

Back in 2004, I found myself in a remarkable place: sitting with a group of doctors in the government offices of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on an AIDS fact-finding trip. As a stay-at-home mom of three, this was not my usual stomping ground.

But several years ago Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, came through the Midwest on his Heart of America Tour. While it was ...

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3 Temptations of Leadership, Part 1

About 12 years ago, when my husband was in seminary, he read Henri Nouwen's book In the Name of Jesus for one of his classes. This book dramatically affected my husband, and he encouraged me to read it. So I did, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

This little book (one of Nouwen's many) presents a powerful summary of what it means to be servant leaders. ...

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Help for a Woman in Ministry

Gifted Women:

This morning I spoke with Donna, a church administrator and gifted leader, about a struggle she's facing. God has given her a passion for helping her church develop stronger leaders and mobilize them for ministry. She has taken the initiative to read, attend training workshops, and spend countless hours thinking about what her church might do to elevate ...

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Women’s Ministry that Works

Several years ago, my close friend "Sally" began her journey toward knowing Jesus - on that same well-worn path where so many of us have met God. When she became a Christian, I was thrilled that my brave, sassy friend understood what it meant to be loved by God.

But as Sally began to know Jesus and get more deeply involved at church, I noticed something happening. ...

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Fulfilling God-Sized Dreams

I remember my husband saying to me one day, "It must be tiring to be you!" He was observing my intensity, and just watching me in action made him tired. Over the years, God has taught me that even though he wants us to make our moments count, what he doesn't want is for us to think that we can make life happen. The fact is, fallen humanity could not possibly ...

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