3 ways to take stupid out of your worship

If you believe that worship is a verb but often becomes a perfunctory noun, then you might want to read further. We should probably make some adjustments before we lose sight of why we gather.    My last contribution to ChurchCentral.com spoke to the often conspicuous excesses of “modern-ish" worship. ...
January 24, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Troublemaker Memoir (Part 5): Are you naïve about your leader skills?

“Naïve leadership,” consultant Mike Bonem called it in his blog today (Jan. 22), and I had to smile at the term. For it pretty well describes me as I take on my first board meeting of our congregation next Thursday.
January 22, 2015   Ronald Keener

5 ways to de-professionalize your worship

The primary complaint that I hear from congregants in many churches is that the worship service is too much of a show, and you may believe that to be true yourself. In an effort to have excellence in our worship experiences we may have overstepped. Here are some ways to ...
January 16, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Your denomination doesn’t have to die

Mainline denominations are mostly on the skids, with declining member numbers, and closing congregations no longer able to pay the bills. Good books have been written about transforming churches, but they do no good if there isn’t the courage to put the advice into action.
January 16, 2015   Ronald Keener

A concern for legacy

Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting older, or maybe it’s because I talked recently with an old friend whose wife had stage four cancer and passed away less than a week after we talked.
January 15, 2015   Ken Walker

Ten areas where pastors need training for the 21st century

Any pastor or other church staff member should be prepared in biblical truths, as well as theology. Indeed, you shouldn’t forsake any of the classical disciplines. Nor any of the practical disciplines, such as missions, evangelism, or church planting. Still, American culture has shifted dramatically in a relatively short period ...
January 15, 2015   Thom Rainer

New Bible translation gives hope to Iranian Christians

The political, economic, and spiritual situation in Iran has resulted in a deep spiritual hunger for truth.
January 14, 2015  

Unbroken: The true story of Louis Zamperini

The movie, Unbroken, opened in theaters the week of Christmas. It is still playing in many areas. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Unbroken relates the story of the amazing life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track champion and World War II veteran who survived a plane ...
January 13, 2015   Bob Russell

The Most Important Trend of Church Trends in 2015 and What to Do About It

I like reading about trends and I like thinking about the long lists of church trends. Two of my most widely read posts on church trends include: 5 Trends in Retail that Matter the Church (2013) 11 Church Vision and Strategy Trends (2011) This year I want to do something ...
January 09, 2015   Will Mancini

Troublemaker Memoir (Part 3): We ‘hired’ 101 consultants

Yep, we took on our church staff, at The Brethren Fellowship in Chambersburg, Pa., “101 new consultants” as we look in the year ahead at transforming our congregation. And the amazing part is that it cost us only $17.99 plus tax.
January 09, 2015   Ronald Keener

Finally learning to accept His will

I admit that I can be a control freak. I also know that's a character flaw. Recently, a situation in my life pleasantly surprised me as I discovered a peace I did not know existed.
January 08, 2015   Kent Evans

Why I am studying apologetics in 2015: Avoiding the sin of misrepresentation

To take advantage of Newsweek’s title “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.”—it so misrepresents the truth, it’s a sin.” I thought we had buried Newsweek, but, as my former mother-in-law used to say, “it keeps coming back like a bad penny.”
January 06, 2015   Ronald Keener

3 reasons why Christmas didn't fix everything

Every pastor loves Christmas. Increased attendance is like crack cocaine for most church leaders—euphoria naturally accompanies all those Bs in the Ps. Taken on the whole, though, there are many things to consider when evaluating a church’s momentary success in festival seasons. Take for example…
January 01, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Ten dangers of denial in a declining church

When it comes to churches, the word “declining” can have different connotations. We often think of numerical decline, but the meaning is much broader. It can mean declining influence in the community, decline in effective preaching, or decline in evangelistic impact. The list could continue. Still, most of the time ...
December 30, 2014   Thom Rainer

Hands up; don't shoot

My son has served as a Louisville (Kentucky) Metro police officer for the past 12 years. So I admit it’s difficult for me to be unbiased concerning the anti-police demonstrations that have taken place across the country lately.  I pray daily that God will protect Phil from harm because I’ve ridden with ...
December 30, 2014   Bob Russell

Thank you, Lord; why I need God’s "escape clause"

At the riveting close of The Godfather (Part 1), where the christening of Michael Corelone’s sister’s child is intercut with revenge killings of rival mobsters, while the cathedral organ adds to the drama, the officiating priest asks of Michael: "Michael Francis Rizzi, do you renounce Satan?" "I do renounce him," ...
December 23, 2014   Ronald Keener

Eight implications of aging boomer pastors and church staff

On January 1, 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. On that day, 10,000 boomers reached that milestone. In fact, 10,000 boomers are turning 65 every day, and will continue to do so for a total of 19 consecutive years. The implications are staggering for our nation, our economy, and ...
December 18, 2014   Thom Rainer

Live with margin

Living with more space in life’s margins became more meaningful to me this year. Thanks to scheduling my time more effectively, I became more productive in my writing and editing. This took trial and error. Initially, I scheduled a nine-hour work routine most days, until I discovered that I better ...
December 17, 2014   Ken Walker

Four principles to guide a wealthy Christian

Rose Greenhow, a Confederate spy during the Civil War, tried to evade capture and the loss of her fortune by sewing her gold into the seams of her dress. However, when the ship she boarded sank, the weight of the gold made it impossible for the life-preserver to support her. ...
December 16, 2014   Bob Russell

Ready for the 1950s? Let’s get real

Now and then one reads a passage that leaves you thinking, “That’s good! That’s really intelligent. The writer leaves us with a truth we cannot, should not, ignore. That was smartly said.”
December 16, 2014   Ronald Keener

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