Church Life

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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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Aren't We Always at Church?

My sister is a very busy woman. She has four kids (ranging from infancy to 10 years old), works part-time from home, maintains a spotless house, and manages to follow the Holy Spirit through an active and ongoing ministry to people around her.

She and her family are actively involved in their church, and she serves where she can. God has given her obvious spiritual gifts ...

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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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