3 essential ingredients for life

I spent a bit of time this week engaging someone on social media. Most of us probably have the major outlets that open opportunities beyond our own circles. This particular person took offense at my message from 1 John 2:1-2 stating the believers can and will sin. Normally, I would ...
February 12, 2016   Jeff Klick

Book review: Faith alone - the doctrine of justification

Many of us have a couple of “book lobbyists” in our lives.  There’s the guy who says we ought to be reading theology instead of all that modern pragmatic stuff.  Then there’s the other guy who says we shouldn’t be wasting our time on theology when we could be reading ...
February 11, 2016   Brian Thorstad

Writing and the art of rest

I will never forget the time I sat down to write a cover story for a national magazine. Nor the day: Aug. 20. That’s because the deadline was Aug. 21. As my fingers flew over the keyboard, I kept telling myself, “Don’t think. Just write.” Of course, that wasn’t the ...
February 10, 2016   Ken Walker

Trading your comfort zone for your sweet spot

I have heard it and said it. Likely you have too: “We need to get out of our comfort zone.” To echo leadership guru Michael Hyatt: “Nothing good happens in the comfort zone.” But where, exactly, are we supposed to go when we leave our comfort zone? Is it simply ...
February 09, 2016   Gerry Lewis

Let's not hustle for a moment

I’m constantly watching friends like Carlos Whittaker and others, including Jon Acuff encourage others to hustle. I have no problem with that. I’m extremely driven, ambitious and have a stong work ethic. As a matter of fact, I just purchased and began reading my friend, Brad Lomenick’s book H3 Leadership: ...
February 08, 2016   Greg Atkinson

Putting "pastor" back into "missions pastor"

You’ve heard the moving reports of God at work around the world. You’ve hailed the spiritual heroes that have been sent out by your church when they return from furlough. You may have even seen old-school slideshows of remote and exotic locales. Truly, God’s Kingdom is moving around the world. But ...
February 06, 2016   Allen Hamlin

7 lessons from Peyton Manning for church leaders

Sunday night I, like many of you, watched Peyton Manning (quarterback of the Denver Broncos) make history. Not only did Peyton win the AFC Championship, he becomes the first QB in the NFL to go to multiple Super Bowls with multiple teams. Not only that, he has been to four ...
February 05, 2016   Greg Atkinson

5 reasons why all Christians should observe Lent

The Church Lenten season begins next Wednesday. Lent is a period of 40 days. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (before Easter). Lent was designed as a time of reflection, repentance, prayer, fasting, and meditation on Scripture. It became a time when new believers prepared for ...
February 04, 2016   Matthew Fretwell

Senior pastors are workplace leaders too

As a consultant and minister to workplace leaders, I have noticed an unfortunate disconnect; a self-imposed separation between church leadership and leaders in other areas of society.  Business, government and education leaders see senior pastors as, well, pastors. Most of the senior pastors I know struggle with the same identity limitations. ...
February 03, 2016   Rob Streetman

4 strategies to help leaders develop critical thinking skills

Are you a critical thinker? Think about it. Leaders need to cultivate and practice critical thinking skills. I was in a meeting and heard the chairman say, “I wish we had thought about that before committing to this project.” Ouch! Something unforeseen had happened and it was a surprise to ...
February 02, 2016   Paul Greasley

God has a valentine for you...

  There are over 700 references to the heart in the Bible, but only a few times does it actually refer to the physical organ. The word for heart is rendered mind in some translations, or understanding, judgment, or intention.  David writes, “Let the words of my mouth and the ...
February 11, 2016   Phillip Foster

Six early warning signs of church dropouts

If everyone who had dropped out of our congregations in the past decade returned, the typical church would triple in worship attendance. Read that previous sentence carefully. One of the most significant reasons for stagnating and declining attendance is church dropouts. The most challenging problem is that church dropouts rarely ...
February 11, 2016   Thom Rainer

Transform your leadership with these 12 vision templates

Think of the 12 templates as a vision typology. When believers sit together and dream about the impact they want to have in the world, I believe any dream can be ultimately defined by one of the templates. It’s church vision made that simple.
February 09, 2016   Will Mancini

Reducing tithe when money is tight

Once a month I conduct mentoring retreats for pastors we call “A Time of Refreshing.” Its intent is to provide a time of encouragement and renewal for ministers. Participants occasionally email me seeking counsel on ministry issues. Below is an edited version of an email exchange with a pastor that ...
February 09, 2016   Bob Russell

Take 2 to reduce evangelism anxiety

Pastor, chances are your pleas for active participation in the church’s evangelism fall on deaf ears. Why? Because they fear two things: feeling stupid and rejection. Laying on a burden of “duty” and “obedience” and “mission” will not help. They prefer guilt over fear. So why not take those two show stoppers off ...
February 08, 2016   Bud Brown

Four critical details for multisite preaching

The MultiSite Guy, Jim Tomberlin, recently said “The multisite movement began as a radical idea, became the cool idea and now is the mainstream idea.” Indeed, multisite is quickly becoming the new norm for growing churches. And video venues are becoming a well-defined, but often misunderstood strategy in today’s church. ...
February 06, 2016   Mark Lenz

Why bring in a secret shopper or mystery worshiper?

A lot of people have heard or read that I'm regularly doing secret shopper or mystery worshiper visits to churches around the country. The question has been raised (and it's a valid one): Do you need a secret shopper? As someone who takes the mission to reach the lost and ...
February 05, 2016   Greg Atkinson

Book review: The secret of pastoral care; it’s not just for the pastor

Marvin McMickle has written a remarkable book for pastors in Caring Pastors, Caring People: Equipping your Church for Pastoral Care (Judson). McMickle defines pastoral care much more broadly than we usually do. He doesn’t view it as one responsibility among many, but as an overarching model for ministry.  He uses ...
February 03, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

4 potent prayers to invigorate evangelism

These four, simple prayers will help solve a pastor’s most enduring and most important problem: motivating church folks to evangelism. They are more compelling than harangue, more persuasive than sermons, more energizing than admonition, and more biblical than any motivational gimmick you can imagine. If you teach your church these ...
February 03, 2016   Bud Brown

Preaching patriotic holidays

Many pastors refrain from preaching about “national” topics on these holidays. But isn’t it part of our calling to provide biblical perspective to our current culture? When pastors ignore patriotic observances on the calendar, their congregations may find them to be “out-of-touch” or to have a “tin ear.” To be ...
February 02, 2016   Jim Farrer
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How do you respond to suffering?

Ajai Lall asks this poignant question and shows how we can respond to suffering while revealing our most important asset. As Founder and Director of Central India Christian Mission, Ajai teaches us how to turn every suffering moment into an opportunity.

Video: The value of a survey

Jim Barber gives ideas for how to ask the important questions during a church reorganization. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)

Bad karma

In April 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal killing more than 9,000 people. As Ajai Lall and Central India Christian Mission helped the Nepalese people, they wondered why someone would help them.

How to lead change

Jim Barber discusses how to lead well through transition.

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