Practical tips on topics that matter...
Today’s resource roundup features a piece from Joel Brooks that'll make you consider whether you're planting a church or merely a service, and includes articles on avoiding ministry burnout, the basics of branding, creating a culture of hospitality, reasons for implementing a service review rhythm, and an interesting concept for a live worship record.
Today’s resource roundup features a story of a stolen trailer, and includes articles on good listening, biblical counseling as a single pastor, leading a multi-ethnic church, advice on taking a "Schultz Hour," and a conversation with Andy Crouch on power and the techwise family.
Today’s resource roundup features an article by Mike Cosper on pastoring in a secular age. Other noteworthy resources cover topics such as the pastor's weekly work schedule, listening as a leader, how to thrive as a smaller church, how to negotiate pastoral salaries, and more.
For those who desire to help instruct and inspire your congregation for city-reaching, here is a biblical theology of the city, a list of 13 passages to help you in creating a sermon series on the city, 5 questions crucial to learning your city, and a community group discussion guide that coincides with my previous post on developing and preaching a theology of the city. Use the guide, share it with your friends, and go love the neighbors in your city for Christ' sake!
If you desire to help instruct and inspire your congregation for city-reaching, I offer you thirteen passages to preach (and a community group guide for four of those texts). You can use these passages as the backbone of a biblical theology of the city.
In order to contextualize the gospel to your city, you need to know your city. These five questions, illustrated by Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY, can help you become more familiar with your city as you seek to bring the gospel to it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. A recent survey by LifeWay Research shows that 50 years later, not much has changed.
In light of this reality, we thought it would be appropriate and helpful to release a clip from an interview between Dave Harvey and Jamaal Williams, in which they discuss racial diversity and reconciliation in the church.
Many ministry wives put enormous pressure on themselves to "have it all together." But the reality of our desperation for the Lord squelches the appearance and of and striving for perfection.
We go to the doctor on a routine basis to preserve health. We have our cars inspected and maintained throughout the year. Retail stores take inventory to determine how sales are trending. Some of us go through annual job reviews to evaluate work performance. So doesn’t it make sense that we stop at least once a year to take spiritual inventory?
The typical XP operates almost as an appendage of the lead pastor (LP). The XP engages strategically and tactically. They are the “junk drawer” of the church organization. Many XP's suffer from daily attacks from the enemy regarding their inadequacies to live up to these expectations. Success in this role looks like XP’s and Pastors/Directors of Operations knowing they were called and uniquely gifted to serve in their role.
Reformed evangelicals like those of us in Sojourn Network love to embody this identity as Christ’s ambassadors. We fully resonate with this missionary impulse until it comes to children. How can we confidently encourage kids to respond to the gospel call while avoiding false assurances and manipulative techniques?
One of my greatest challenges of pastoral ministry has been how to best care for folks who have experienced the collateral damage of relational losses that take place when spouses, friends, children, or family members go spiritually dark. To effectively lead people through such situations might mean that pastors and ministry leaders will have to help wayward sufferers redefine the very nature of love.
When it comes to thinking through and writing liturgy, we can all get stuck. One of the graces of our modern age is that resources are everywhere, and here are three essential tools when thinking through planning a Sunday worship gathering.
As I recently led a Ph.D. seminar for the Rome Scholars Network, then again as I Skyped with one of Sojourn Church’s missionaries, a key issue came to light: just how far can church plants and existing churches engaged in mission cooperate with other church plants, churches, and other Christian organizations? In Europe in particular (though not confined there), where progress in church planting and advancement in gospel ministry is so hard and slow, the desire for having others with whom to relate for encouragement, strategizing, accountability, and prayer is keenly felt. The same is true in the North American context for isolated church planters.
So, should we join forces and cooperate with other Christians and churches? If so, how?
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Most lead pastors have learned to abhor them for a multitude of reasons. They don’t want to care or even think about them.
However, it seems like this is the season for revising Bylaws. So...what are you going to do about it?
If I could think of one aching desire within the heart of almost every pastor, every elder, every local church leader who sees the calamitous killings of African American men over the recent months, it would be to join the Sons of Isaachar; to be pastors who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do”.
Everything we do in life reflects what we believe (or don’t believe) about who God is and who we are. And when I mean everything, I’ll even include the way that we, as a church planters, interact with our prayer partners and financial supporters.
Here are three — I’m sure there are more — attributes of God’s nature that fuel and inform the way I connect with the networks, churches, family, and friends who support the work God is doing at Renaissance.
Ministry encompasses so many facets and disciplines that it can be mind boggling and tiresome to even consider some of them. The years of preparation at seminary and serving as an intern or resident most often won’t prepare a lead pastor or church planter for the world of work a typical executive pastor handles or oversees.
In this article you'll find 5 things lead pastors and church pastors should care about, but often don't have the capacity to tackle well or effectively. You'll also be introduced to a new coaching cohort that may help alleviate some of these concerns.
This is part 2 of a blog series on continuationism, spiritual gifts, and true spirituality. To read the first post, click here.
This post is published in recognition of Pentecost Sunday, and is part 1 of a blog series on continuationism, spiritual gifts, and true spirituality. Pentecost is not as well-known or as popular to many Christians as Christmas and Easter, but it does commemorate a watershed event in Christian history — the the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension. It many ways, Pentecost is the birthday of the church.
When I first started serving in children’s ministry at Sojourn, we’d put all of our training materials into manuals. We had a 40-page policy book that included our vision, general procedures, and safety policies. Then a young intern serving in the children’s ministry suggested that we transition our policy book into a series of checklists. Using checklists has had the advantage of making our training more individual and personal as well as more efficient. Now I’m excited to offer a couple of our best checklists as Sojourn Network field guides