Monday, April 30, 2012

michaelbayne.net: The week after a conference...make a plan!

When we attend a conference we choose breakouts, set up meetings, and circle the main sessions we know we don't want to miss. We have a plan! You need a plan coming off a conference to make sure you are able to squeeze as much as possible out of the experience without letting what you learned push you off course or bring you discouragement because you can't implement things as fast as you want. Here are few ideas to help you move forward...

Read more @ michaelbayne.net: The week after a conference...make a plan!

Four Keys to Long-haul Leadership - ThomRainer.com

He was once regarded as one of the best business leaders in the world. At the end of his career, he was disgraced and, by some measures, considered one of the worst business leaders of all time.

Al Dunlap believed that the primary goal of a company was to make money for its shareholders. To that end, he would lead an organization to massive layoffs and plant closings. The short-term profits would soar, and so would the value of the company.

Read more @ Four Keys to Long-haul Leadership - ThomRainer.com

In South Sudan, a connection between conflict and hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG

Currently, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is causing food shortages affecting millions, leaving children most vulnerable. While it is easy to see the role that a natural disaster or drought plays in hunger, the connection between conflict and hunger can be complicated.

Read more @ In South Sudan, a connection between conflict and hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG

Called to Volunteer | Samaritan's Purse

Karol Hunt has been volunteering with Samaritan's Purse since 2006. She brought a group of college students from Tabor College to work on our rebuilding project in Tuscaloosa. “I want to pass on some of the things I’ve been able to do and teach them about disasters and to help people who will never repay them,” she said.

Read more @ Samaritan's Purse

4 Things I Want to Know about My Staff | The Resurgence

People in ministry have a tendency to run until they collapse. It is important to take care of staff members individually so they are continually sustained in all areas of life.

Read more @ 4 Things I Want to Know about My Staff | The Resurgence

5 Keys to Building Healthy Volunteer Teams | TonyMorganLive.com

In my session last week, we talked about building healthy volunteer teams. You’d think in volunteer intensive ministries like we engage in churches, that there would be more written and talked about on this topic. Yet, Simply Strategic Volunteers is still one of the few books I’m aware of that’s focused on engaging volunteers in the Church.

Read more @ 5 Keys to Building Healthy Volunteer Teams | TonyMorganLive.com

Belonging: We Fight the System, Not Each Other | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

I used to fight for contemporary worship songs at the various churches I attended.

It was a stupid fight because it was also an unnecessary fight.

Read more @ Belonging: We Fight the System, Not Each Other | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry Possibilities - "Freshen Up" Your Vacation Bible School!

Okay, Vacation Bible School is almost a "given" for many, if not most, churches when they think about Summer Ministry Possibilities . . . but there is a very good reason for this! VBS is one of the most effective outreaches - and for many churches - their only outreach of the year, so as we consider Summer Ministry Possibilities, we need to first of all take a good look at Vacation Bible School.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry Possibilities - "Freshen Up" Your Vacation Bible School!

About the Children's Department: 2012 Best Buys Curriculum Side-By-Side Comparison Chart

For the past month I've been reviewing Sunday school curriculum and have posted a number of reviews along with side-by-side comparison charts. This past week I focused my reviews on those resources which are most affordable, making them my "best buys". Today I'm posting my third side-by-side comparison chart of the curriculum "Best Buys"; these are the curriculum resources which are Biblically sound and offer excellent "tools" to help you engage children so they remember, understand and live God's word and are affordable.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: 2012 Best Buys Curriculum Side-By-Side Comparison Chart

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Special Buddies from LifeWay!

Special Buddies is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from LifeWay which is designed to be a, "Sunday School curriculum resource for special kids with special needs." While you might think a specialty curriculum such as Special Buddies would be too expensive, it is, in reality, one of my "best buys" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Special Buddies from LifeWay!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Bible Teaching for Kids from LifeWay!

Bible Teaching for Kids is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum from LifeWay with a strong focus on "providing a balanced approach to central Bible concepts, essential Bible skills, and foundational Bible stories for babies through preteens" Bible Teaching for Kids is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Bible Teaching for Kids from LifeWay!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

HeartShaper is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Standard Publishing with a strong focus on "helping you shape young hearts to bring them closer to God!" HeartShaper is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Rock Solid from Cokesbury!

Rock Solid is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Cokesbury with a strong focus on inviting children "from each age level on every Sunday to a faith experience"! Rock Solid is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Rock Solid from Cokesbury!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BLESSINGS IN THE STORM | Samaritan's Purse

It’s been a year since the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but many areas are still destroyed. In Sharon Delbridge’s neighborhood, no structure is standing except her new home.

On April, 27, 2011, Delbridge was napping on her couch. She woke up to see a tornado looming outside. She quickly grabbed a motorcycle helmet and took cover in the corner of her hallway. As insulation and bricks from her neighbor’s house flew around her, she prayed. Nothing hit her, and after a few minutes, she was able to stand up in the pile of debris.

Read more @ BLESSINGS IN THE STORM | Samaritan's Purse

Crossing Burning Coals on the Road to Salvation – The Gospel Coalition Blog

The road to Calvary is rarely straight. A host of detours, excursions, and u-turns often attend our steps before God brings us to the cross. Such unexpected twists fill conversion narratives with color and texture and bring the greatness of redemption into sharper focus.

Read more @ Crossing Burning Coals on the Road to Salvation – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Friday, April 27, 2012

All The Right Answers: Reasons It’s Difficult to Share Our Faith | Gospel Centered Discipleship

I’ve often heard people say the reason they find it difficult to share their faith is because they don’t have all the right answers. “What if someone suggests all paths lead to the same God, making Jesus irrelevant?” they say. Or “What if a co-worker claims she could never be a Christian because the Bible has too many errors?” These are serious questions that deserve thoughtful responses. As Christians, we should have reasons for our hope. However, I wonder if we often put our hope in having right answers instead of hoping in the reason for our faith? Let’s consider the role of “right answers” in the difficulty of sharing our faith.

Read more @ All The Right Answers: Reasons It’s Difficult to Share Our Faith | Gospel Centered Discipleship

30 Hour Famine: A crash course in global hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG

This year was the third time my husband and I led a Famine at our church. It has become our teens’ favorite event of the year. When people ask me why, I shrug and say, “Well, we lock them in the church for 30 hours with no food. We even take their cell phones…they love it!” I get a kick out of the reactions!

Read more @ 30 Hour Famine: A crash course in global hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Most Intimidating Place to Lead | Refine Us

When Trisha and I separated in 2005 due to my affair, one of the first things I realized was how easy it was for me to lead a growing church and how intimidating it was for me to lead my family. Because being a spiritual leader at home was so intimidating, I just didn’t do it. At this point of my life, I had no church to lead and no people to pastor, but by God’s grace I received a second chance with my wife and kids. I was desperate to get it right and be the spiritual leader that God called me to be. But what did that look like?

Read more @ The Most Intimidating Place to Lead | Refine Us

Pastors: keep your "gray" areas to yourself | Life and Theology

I was visiting a church recently (which I encourage anyone on a church staff to do periodically…you’ll learn so much), and I got called out from stage.

I was minding my own business, when the theological hammer came crashing down on my head.

Read more @ Pastors: keep your "gray" areas to yourself | Life and Theology

When Collective Vision is Critical in a Crisis « Church Forward

One of the most difficult calls in leadership is deciding how many people to pull into important, timely decisions during a crisis. Decisive leaders tend to react swiftly, making unilateral decisions. Some leaders are made to guide people through emergencies, taking the bull by the horns (or the bull horn) and charging forward so everyone else can follow.

Read more @ When Collective Vision is Critical in a Crisis « Church Forward

Building the best shelter for the displaced | WORLD VISION BLOG

As a part of the World Vision team that responds to emergency situations, I have firsthand knowledge of the importance of temporary shelters and was called upon to judge the student’s designs.

Students were challenged to design a structure that would accommodate a family of four for at least a year. The structure design needed to be cost-effective (under $1,500 to produce) and lightweight, preferably under 330 pounds. Students were also judged on the structure’s ability to be set up quickly and easily, using only simple tools.

Read more @ Building the best shelter for the displaced | WORLD VISION BLOG

Developing a Welcoming Church Culture - churchthought.com

Several years ago, I was involved in a conversation where a local church was considering spending a significant amount of money on television commercials.  As the conversation went on, the question was asked about the prudence of making that kind of investment in advertising when members of the congregation were reluctant to invite their friends and neighbors to the church.  The church ultimately decided to move forward with the purchase, and little changed.

Read more @ Developing a Welcoming Church Culture - churchthought.com

Ed Stetzer - Halim Suh - Thursday is for Thinkers

Head, Heart, & Hands

When Man fell in the garden, all the faculties of man fell. Simply put: our head, heart, and hands fell. Our minds, instead of being fixated on the wisdom and knowledge of God, now reject it and embrace our own ability to think and reason. Our hearts, instead of being captivated by the goodness and beauty of God, now doubt His goodness and seek to find beauty in creation rather than the Creator. Our hands, instead of working to serve and achieve God's calling on our lives, now works desperately to build our own kingdoms and accomplish our own agendas. The work of the Cross restores our fallen faculties to love God once again. The Cross of Jesus enables us to obey the Greatest Commandment, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength.

Read more @ Ed Stetzer - Halim Suh - Thursday is for Thinkers

The Strength of Meekness | The Resurgence

Sadly, weakness and meekness are largely misunderstood ideas and are often associated with “needy,” “fearful,” and “cowardly.” Even for me, I have filed these words under the “what I don’t want to be like” category.

Aspiring to either seems strange, yet the Bible speaks to both meekness and weakness as admirable qualities. For the Christian to accept weakness reveals a heart that has acknowledged both human frailty and the need to be saved from sin by ultimately relying on Christ’s power.

Read more @ The Strength of Meekness | The Resurgence

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Adventure Kids and Explorers from D6!

Adventure Kids and Explorers are Traditional Sunday School curriculum resources from D6 - Randall House Publishers and are "best buys" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Adventure Kids and Explorers from D6!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Bible in Life from David C. Cook!

Bible in Life is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum from David C. Cook with, as they put it, "sound, easy-to-teach lessons designed to impact every student entrusted to your care-from the littlest ones to the most mature!"  Bible in Life is a "best buy" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Bible in Life from David C. Cook!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Regular Baptist Press!

Regular Baptist Press is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum which has long been know to provide Biblically solid resources with a strong focus on teaching God's Word and is a "best buy" for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Regular Baptist Press!

Malaria: Battling the plague of the poor | WORLD VISION BLOG

A few years ago, I traveled to Mozambique to gather stories of lives that have been deeply affected by malaria. It wasn’t hard to find people there who have had malaria. They’re everywhere — including among World Vision staff.

Read more @ Malaria: Battling the plague of the poor | WORLD VISION BLOG

Belonging: Hate the System, Love the People | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

Some of the most important people in my life have been my pastors. They have provided timely wisdom and guidance that has changed my life. However, some of my deepest wounds have also originated from pastors.

Read more @ Belonging: Hate the System, Love the People | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

How Grace Motivates | The Resurgence

Many leaders have it all wrong. Rather than trying to motivate the people they lead, they just need to stop demotivating them.

Read more @ How Grace Motivates | The Resurgence

May Series…Hot Topics in Children’s Mental Health | Church4EveryChild

If kids and teens affected by mental illness and their families are to be successfully welcomed and fully included in our churches, the church will need to make great strides in its’ understanding of mental illness. That’s where I hope we can help.

Read more @ May Series…Hot Topics in Children’s Mental Health | Church4EveryChild

Ed Stetzer - The Exiles of Israel: A Closer Look

We are continuing through our series from the HCSB Study Bible. It is often missed that, to understand the Bible well, you do have to understand the people, context, and story. A big part of that story is The Exiles of Israel.

Read more @ Ed Stetzer - The Exiles of Israel: A Closer Look

Messy Discipleship | Gospel Centered Discipleship | Resources to Make, Mature, & Multiply disciples of Jesus

In our house, we used to have a beautiful set of drinking glasses that were made of translucent artsy green glass. Notice I said we “used to”…

A few weeks ago our house was full of the life, laughter, and mess of sharing our home and table with our community; after everyone left and my wife and I were cleaning up, we noticed one of our beautiful green glasses had a huge chip off the top. We now officially have only three of these nice glasses. They’ve moved from the threatened dishes list to the full-fledged endangered dishes list. I don’t have much hope for their survival either as they have yet to breed.

Read more @ Messy Discipleship | Gospel Centered Discipleship | Resources to Make, Mature, & Multiply disciples of Jesus

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - elements kids worship From D6!

As we look at the "Best Buys" for curriculum, once again I'm delighted to share with you elements kids worship!
elements kids worship curriculum is a Large Group/Small Group curriculum from D6 and is a best buy for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - elements kids worship From D6!

Church Staff – a Totem Pole or Bicycle Wheel? | Ron Edmondson

Guest post by Linda Gillis.

In doing research for my new book, Preachin’ to the Pastor … and anyone else who will listen, I am interviewing church support staff around the United States. My first interview began with Pam (name changed to protect her position), a seasoned secretary in a mid-size congregation in an upper-middle class community. She serves alone in the office as the office manager/secretary and support to two pastors, a music director, financial secretary, and a part-time janitor.

Read more @ Church Staff – a Totem Pole or Bicycle Wheel? | Ron Edmondson

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Live B.I.G. from Cokesbury!

As we look at the "Best Buys" for curriculum, once again I'm delighted to share with you Live B.I.G. from Cokesbury! Live B.I.G. is a large group/small group curriculum and is a best buy for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Live B.I.G. from Cokesbury!

Leadership and Entitlement - ThomRainer.com

Frankly, I am embarrassed to admit that I have yielded to the temptation of entitlement myself. I am president of a large organization with thousands of employees under my leadership. Without going into detail, I admit that I have caught myself thinking that I deserve a benefit or a perk just because I have this position. I have to remind myself that the leadership given to me is a gift for which I have a huge stewardship responsibility. I should be giving and not expecting. I am stupid when I think I deserve something because of my position.

Read more @ Leadership and Entitlement - ThomRainer.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - KidTrek!

As we look at the "Best Buys" for curriculum, once again I'm delighted to share with you a curriculum, written by Wanda Parker. KidTrek - Sunday Plus is a best buy for the following reasons -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - KidTrek!

10 Words to RECOVER from a Broken Dream | Ron Edmondson

Have you ever lost your way?  Are there any dreams you’ve given up on? Would you like to begin again?

Here are 10 words of hope to help you recover from a broken dream:

Read more @ 10 Words to RECOVER from a Broken Dream | Ron Edmondson

Forward Progress » Blog Archive » Dad, You’re a Dead Man Walking

“Behind every fruitful church is a dying pastor.”
He made this statement while preaching on 2 Corinthians 4, a chapter in which Paul exhorted his readers to not lose heart. The idea behind the statement is one that is pervasive in lots of other texts as well:
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
Something has to die in order for something else to live.

Read more @ Forward Progress » Blog Archive » Dad, You’re a Dead Man Walking

Extreme Leadership | The Resurgence

Popular evangelical literature on leadership tends to fall into one of two extremes. The first extreme focuses on those who lead the church positionally (elders and deacons). The second extreme focuses on leadership from a business or personality model.

Both extremes fall short of how Scripture speaks of leadership. Both extremes, when they become the primary lens for defining and implementing leadership, have severe adverse effects on the local church.

Read more @ Extreme Leadership | The Resurgence

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - kidz Connection!

This week I'm closing my 2012 Curriculum Reviews with a look at curriculum resources which are both excellent and easy on the budget! I will focus on a couple curriculum lines each day and then I'll release my Best Buys Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart. There are some really well designed curriculum resources available, but they are expensive. I understand the need for companies to make a profit so they are able to stay in business, however; what good is it if you have a truly excellent curriculum, but churches aren't able to afford it? I once had someone from a curriculum company tell me, "If churches really cared about the children in their ministry, they would be willing to pay whatever it cost to have the best curriculum available." I disagree.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - kidz Connection!

About the Children's Department: Best Buys Curriculum Reviews!

All month I've been posting my reviews of Large Group/Small Group, Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Sunday school curriculum along with Side-by-Side comparison charts. This coming week I'll be sharing posts about those curriculum resources which are excellent and affordable and then will release my third and final Sunday School Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart. In this economy cost really does matter for many, if not most, churches.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Best Buys Curriculum Reviews!

Helping Up-and-Outers Take Their Next Steps in the Church | TonyMorganLive.com

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with a group of marketplace leaders. These guys have been successful climbing the corporate ladder. Now, they’re reaping both the leadership and financial rewards of years of hard work.

Read more @ Helping Up-and-Outers Take Their Next Steps in the Church | TonyMorganLive.com

What Makes A Welcoming Church? - churchthought.com

In the church world we spend a great deal of time talking about being “welcoming”.  Every Sunday morning we try our hardest to put our best foot forward in order to present an image of our churches that makes visitors, and regular attenders, feel at ease. Over the last couple of decades there have been too many conferences, books, and seminars to count on this topic… yet churches are still struggling to do this well.

Read more @ What Makes A Welcoming Church? - churchthought.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Strength in God - Samson | Devotions for the Youth Workers Soul | Life In Student Ministry

When I was in middle school, I was in my Metallica/Black Sabbath phase and really wanted long hair. My mother always threatened that she would cut it off in the middle of the night if I tried, so it really never happened. When I started going to church in high school, and I heard that there was a guy who got his strength from his hair, I was pretty much hooked. That was the Bible guy for me.

Read more @ Strength in God - Samson | Devotions for the Youth Workers Soul | Life In Student Ministry

michaelbayne.net: Relationships or Information

All small group leaders sign up to lead with one goal and that is to help their group become more like Christ. We sign up and have dreams of our kids or teens sitting around listening to us talk about the great truths of the Bible, asking deep questions, and walking out every week telling their parents how incredible their group leader is. That lasts until that first week we meet as a group and we wonder where these creatures came from.

Read more @ michaelbayne.net: Relationships or Information

Stop Holding Capital Stewardship Campaigns » The Charis Group

I recently told a client that my goal for them as they entered the second year of their capital stewardship campaign was to get them out of capital stewardship campaigns.  That got their attention and their interest.  They have had multiple campaigns and not only are they tired of them their members are tired too.  You might be thinking that I have either lost my mind or like many stewardship firms I am talking sales talk.  I am not simply giving a sales talk  and I am pretty sure that I have not lost my mind.  I simply believe that most churches only have one good capital stewardship campaign in them a decade.

Read more @ Stop Holding Capital Stewardship Campaigns » The Charis Group

Who Killed Ahithophel? | The Resurgence

Ahithophel was an adviser to King David, whose life took a horrific turn.

It’s a tragic story, but that teaches us that, while offering forgiveness in life in general and marriage in particular is not complicated, it is seldom easy for at least three reasons:

Read more @ Who Killed Ahithophel? | The Resurgence

Does Belonging Also Mean Serving? | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

As our church in Connecticut sorted out its future, one of the church’s new leaders started to share her vision that children needed to become a higher priority in our community. As a church in a college town, it was easy to overlook the 5-6 kids who showed up each week. However, she was absolutely right. Part of our calling as a community was to support the spiritual growth of our children.

Read more @ Does Belonging Also Mean Serving? | :: In.a.Mirror.Dimly ::

The Five Cs of a Healthy Vision Statement - ThomRainer.com

There is no shortage of literature about leadership. Similarly, there is a plethora of material of why leaders must have a vision. It is with some reticence, then, that I offer any attempt to add a meaningful contribution to the discussion. What I am offering is more of an abbreviated synthesis of the existing literature plus a modest dose of my own experience. We know the critical importance of vision to the health of an organization, and it is possible to look at the components that comprise a healthy vision. For simplicity, I have noted five components that begin with the letter "C."

Read more @ The Five Cs of a Healthy Vision Statement - ThomRainer.com

About the Children's Department: Special Needs Children and Making Your Curriculum Work!

For the past month I've been posting reviews of Sunday School curriculum - check this link to find my reviews and Side-by-Side Comparison Charts. While I included a review of Special Buddies from LifeWay - there are very few curriculum resources available specifically for children with special needs. I'm very happy to say Special Buddies is well written and an excellent tool well worth taking a look at, but if your church does not have a specific class for children with special needs, allow me to give you a few ideas on how you might use the materials you have chosen for your children's ministry and "tweek" them to be a great "fit" for the special needs children in your ministry.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Special Needs Children and Making Your Curriculum Work!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Special Needs - Special Buddies from LifeWay!

Special Buddies is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from LifeWay which is designed to be a, "Sunday School curriculum resource for special kids with special needs." Allow me to share with you some information about Special Buddies!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Special Needs - Special Buddies from LifeWay!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Song that Can Change Your Marriage | Ron Edmondson

I was listening to “She Believes in Me” written by Steve Gibb and sung by Kenny Rogers the other day. I was on the treadmill, had my iPod on shuffle, and it was the song that played. Years ago I used to share that song on marriage retreats I led. Contained within it is one secret…one principle…that can dramatically change, maybe even save, a marriage.

I know, one song right?  But, I’m fully convinced it can.

Read more @ One Song that Can Change Your Marriage | Ron Edmondson

RELEVANT Magazine - "Do You Want to Be Healed?"

We've all heard it said, "There's no such thing as a dumb question."

I'm not so sure that's really the case. I have heard some dumb questions in my 28 years so far. (For example, "Do you know you're short?" I can't begin to tell you how many times I heard that one growing up.)

Read more @ RELEVANT Magazine - "Do You Want to Be Healed?"

Caring for God’s creation on Earth Day | WORLD VISION BLOG

Today is Earth Day, an opportunity to step back and appreciate the care and detail God put into creating our universe. God is an amazing artist, and He has set creation before us to show us His glory and remind us of His love.

Psalm 95:3-5 tells us: “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”

Read more @ Caring for God’s creation on Earth Day | WORLD VISION BLOG

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional PreTeen - Flyte from LifeWay!

Flyte is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from LifeWay which is designed for preteens specifically to be, "all theirs, one which speaks to what they're dealing with right now - not what's past or in their future." Allow me to share with you some information about Flyte!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional PreTeen - Flyte from LifeWay!

Strategies For Promoting Spiritual Growth in Kids With Asperger’s Disorder | Church4EveryChild

If a parent of one of my patients with Asperger’s were to ask me about what they could do to promote their child’s faith development, aside from the activities that influence spiritual growth among kids in general, some of the ideas I’d share would include:

Read more @ Strategies For Promoting Spiritual Growth in Kids With Asperger’s Disorder | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional PreTeen - SuperStart from Christ in Youth and Standard Publishing!

SuperStart is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum especially for Preteens from Christ in Youth and Standard Publishing! SuperStart is designed to help preteens "get a super start living the rest of their lives for Jesus." Allow me to share with you some information about SuperStart!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional PreTeen - SuperStart from Christ in Youth and Standard Publishing!

The Words We Use Matter | Church4EveryChild

Most parents of a child with a mental health condition wouldn’t conclude a church had anything to offer their family if they were to see a wheelchair symbol on a church website or find a link offering “special needs ministry.” In my experience, the kids who come to a practice like ours desperately want to be seen as normal.

Read more @ The Words We Use Matter | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - FaithWeaver from Group Publishing!

FaithWeaver is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Group Publishing with a strong focus on " encouraging family development with a unified scope and sequence." Allow me to share with you some information about FaithWeaver!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - FaithWeaver from Group Publishing!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Buzz from Group Publishing!

Buzz is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Group Publishing with a strong focus on intentionally engaging children from the time they walk in the doors on Sunday morning! Allow me to share with you some information about Buzz!

Read more @  About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Buzz from Group Publishing!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Christianity the Only Means of Eternal Life? Some Pastors Disagree

A recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research found that while a majority of Protestant pastors believe Christianity is the only way to obtain eternal life, there is a small percentage who strongly feel other religions offer eternal salvation as well.

Read more @ Christianity the Only Means of Eternal Life? Some Pastors Disagree

The Faces of Tuscaloosa | Samaritan's Purse

April 27 is the one-year anniversary of the day a massive tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Samaritan's Purse responded in the immediate aftermath of the storm. We are still there, rebuilding or repairing homes for tornado victims. Watch the video below to see some of the people impacted by the storm, and how Samaritan's Purse has helped.

Read more @ The Faces of Tuscaloosa | Samaritan's Purse

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Hands-On Bible from Group Publishing!

Hands-On Bible is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Group Publishing with a strong focus on " teaching as Jesus taught"! Allow me to share with you some information about Hands-On Bible!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Hands-On Bible from Group Publishing!

RELEVANT Magazine - God's Ugly, Broken, Beautiful Church

Being a mid-twenties, lifelong Christian is a funny thing. We’ve waded through the weak theology and emotional highs of youth groups. We’ve forged and fought our way through college, which stretched and tested and renewed our faith in both spiritual and academic ways.

Read more @ RELEVANT Magazine - God's Ugly, Broken, Beautiful Church

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

HeartShaper is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Standard Publishing with a strong focus on "helping you shape young hearts to bring them closer to God!" Allow me to share with you some information about HeartShaper!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

Make Giving Easy and Fun » The Charis Group

How do you increase giving to your church?  Two key ways, make it easy to give to your church and above all make it fun.

Read more @ Make Giving Easy and Fun » The Charis Group

Finance Fridays: Best Practices in the Church - churchthought.com

Regardless of where your church is geographically, culturally, or theologically; whether you’ve been in the community for a hundred years or are a brand new church plant, 50 people or 5000, EVERY church is looking for ways to increase giving.

Read more @ Finance Fridays: Best Practices in the Church - churchthought.com

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What KidMin Wish There Lead Pastors Knew | The Blitz Way

There is some stuff about children’s ministry that Lead Pastors often don’t understand. Here are some examples.

Read more @ What KidMin Wish There Lead Pastors Knew | The Blitz Way

RELEVANT Magazine - Did Jesus Really Go to Hell?

A few years ago, some friends of mine and I were mulling over the death of Jesus. We talked for what seemed like hours about the agony He had experienced in his flesh: the beatings He took, the slaps and spits to the face He received and His thorny crown. We all remembered movies we had seen depicting the humble teacher’s abuse and public murder, but we wanted to talk about more than a good man suffering—we wanted to talk about the mental and spiritual agony of the God-Man from the garden of Gethsemane to His garden-tomb resurrection. We were talking in circles, trying to get to the point.

Read more @ RELEVANT Magazine - Did Jesus Really Go to Hell?

AN ORPHAN'S PLAYGROUND | Samaritan's Purse

The joyful laughter of children greeted us as we walked up to the orphanage gate. We were visiting the Lai Chau Orphanage in Vietnam where we had funded the construction of a new playground for the 100 boys and girls who live there.

The children ran over to greet us saying, “Hello...hello...how are you!”

Read more @ AN ORPHAN'S PLAYGROUND | Samaritan's Purse

Forward Progress » Blog Archive » A Challenge for Dads on the Way Home Today

20 minutes. Maybe less, maybe more, but that seems like a reasonable estimation of the amount of time an average dad has between the time when he leaves work and arrives at home. There’s a myriad of different ways you might spend that time, some more profitable than others. You can break the law and text. You can listen to the radio or a podcast. You could continue to work and make phone calls until the very moment your feet cross the threshold of your home.
But let me, if I could, challenge you to try something else with your 20 minutes:

Read more @ Forward Progress » Blog Archive » A Challenge for Dads on the Way Home Today

7 Dangers of the Proud Leader | Ron Edmondson

I kept thinking about places I see pride creep into leadership; even my own leadership. If we are not careful, our attempt at good leadership will be derailed by the pride of our hearts.

Remember, “Pride goes before destruction”. (Proverbs 16:18)

Have you ever known (or been) a proud leader?

Read more @ 7 Dangers of the Proud Leader | Ron Edmondson

Uganda: Visible progress for children | WORLD VISION BLOG

Uganda is one of 16 poor countries that are considered “trailblazers” for the progress they’ve made toward eliminating poverty and improving health. The nation is on track to meet at least half of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Progress is hard-won, but encouraging. Here are some accomplishments to celebrate.

Read more @ Uganda: Visible progress for children | WORLD VISION BLOG

Two essential questions to ask when using technology in ministry | Life In Student Ministry

Earlier this week I posted a video on the Life In Student Ministry YouTube Channel for a fellow youth pastor’s ministry network meeting. He asked me to shoot a quick video for them talking about technology in youth ministry. I encouraged youth workers to remember that technology is literally a tool and not just a “cool factor” for ministry. I also offered a couple questions we should ask in evaluating the technology tools we use in ministry.

Read more @ Two essential questions to ask when using technology in ministry | Life In Student Ministry

Guest Post: A Parable for Church Leaders - churchthought.com

I remember the first time I joined a health club. It was a “health club” not a “gym,” because depending on the water temperature on any given day, it had either a small swimming pool or a large hot tub adjacent to the locker room.

They gave me the MVP treatment the day I signed up. I was single and convinced that the mesmerizingly fit young woman showing me around the facility was going to give me her number at the end of the tour. Instead she asked for mine; my credit card number that is. She said it was the most convenient way to handle monthly billing.

Read more @ Guest Post: A Parable for Church Leaders - churchthought.com

Prayer . . . a Wide Road and a Narrow Road Approach in Kidmin | Children's Ministry, Family Ministry, and Youth Ministry, and Kidmin Resources

When it comes to our children’s ministries, we all know we need to pray, but there is a “wide road approach” which leads to a shallow walk and a “narrow road approach” which leads us to a deeper walk with God. This week I’ll look at the wide road approach and “post” a couple “warning signs” for us to consider and then next week I’ll look at the narrow road approach and post a few “mile marker” signs for us to consider.

Read more @ Prayer . . . a Wide Road and a Narrow Road Approach in Kidmin | Children's Ministry, Family Ministry, and Youth Ministry, and Kidmin Resources

Mike Woods: Giving Unconditional Worth to Children on the Autism Spectrum | Church4EveryChild

Unconditional worth refers to any action on the part of the special needs staff/volunteer that recognizes and expresses the dignity, worth, and value of the child.

Read more @Mike Woods: Giving Unconditional Worth to Children on the Autism Spectrum | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Give Me Jesus from Gospel Light!

Give Me Jesus is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Gospel Light with a strong focus on "helping your kids grow closer to Jesus and discover how to love their world as Jesus did"! Allow me to share with you some information about Give Me Jesus!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Give Me Jesus from Gospel Light!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Rock Solid from Cokesbury!

Rock Solid is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Cokesbury with a strong focus on inviting children "from each age level on every Sunday to a faith experience. It is during this time that they can come to a better understanding of God and what God calls them to do and be"! Allow me to share with you some information about Rock Solid!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - Rock Solid from Cokesbury!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reservoir Project Gains Speed | Samaritan's Purse

Approximately 8,000 gallons of water is needed daily to provide water to Egbe Hospital, the Nurses Training School, Midwifery School and the George Campion Academy.

Read more @ Reservoir Project Gains Speed | Samaritan's Purse

Seven Common Traits of Breakout Churches - ThomRainer.com

I have been a student of American churches for thirty years. That statement really means two things: I’m old, and I’m a slow learner.

Read more @ Seven Common Traits of Breakout Churches - ThomRainer.com

michaelbayne.net: Do you really empower teens?

Empowering a teen means we get behind them. We empower teens when we give opportunities but also when we push their ideas and help make them a reality. We empower when we lead them to significant leadership roles but also allow them to lead us to creative ideas. When a group of teens have a idea here is what we try to do...

Read more @ michaelbayne.net: Do you really empower teens?

3 Reasons You Should Mentor Others | TonyMorganLive.com

If you’re a ministry leader, you’re a mentor. If people are under your charge then you are charged with mentoring them. In the church world, this is typically called “leadership development” and the words are usually translated as “send people to conferences when they ask to go.” This is not really mentoring.

Read more @ 3 Reasons You Should Mentor Others | TonyMorganLive.com

About the Children's Department: Check My Fun Give-Aways . . .

In addition to writing About the Children's Department, I also write another blog, grandma's cookie jar. The month of May I'll be celebrating grandma's cookie jar's first year with great give-aways all month long! I'm giving away the following things . . . so far (more give-aways to come!) . . .

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Check My Fun Give-Aways . . .

Guest Post: 6 Ways To Survive Shifting Theology - churchthought.com

In 2005, while pastoring my first church, I collided with a wall theologically and/or doctrinally. I mean, I hit it hard. I began questioning aspects of what I held as my sacred foundation of Christ. These fundamentals were so connected to my salvation that the mere idea that I would dare to question such foundational pieces was to admit that I might be “backsliding”. What’s more, I could possibly be walking toward the eternal fiery abyss.

Read more @ Guest Post: 6 Ways To Survive Shifting Theology - churchthought.com

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Bridge Curriculum - Gospel Light!

Gospel Light offers a Bridge Sunday School curriculum for Preschool and Preteens (they have their Give Me Jesus and More Jesus resources for Elementary age children) which is known for featuring solid resources with a strong focus on helping "you confidently teach the Bible in relevant and creative ways which engage the imagination of children, lead them to Jesus, transform their lives and ultimately change the world for the better." Allow me to share with you some information about Gospel Light!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Bridge Curriculum - Gospel Light!

Review: The Eric Trap…A Leadership Fable | Church4EveryChild

I’m honored to have been invited to review “The Eric Trap”…A Leadership Fable… written by three of the heaviest hitters in the world of Children’s Ministry…Jim Wideman, Sam Luce and Kenny Conley. All three are well-known bloggers and conference speakers.

Read more @ Review: The Eric Trap…A Leadership Fable | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Bridge Curriculum - Rio from Cook!

Rio is a Bridge Sunday School curriculum from David C. Cook. Rio features solid resources with a strong focus on teaching God's Word - they say they want to " help kids see the Bible isn't just a collection of cool stories—it's a cohesive story of God's plan for them." Allow me to share with you some information about Rio!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Bridge Curriculum - Rio from Cook!

Youth Ministry’s Tendency Toward Legalism – The Gospel Coalition Blog

I have walked for ten years with Allen, who was my closest Christian friend in high school. During our senior year we were "on fire" for God and set out to walk with Christ throughout college. After our freshman year, I watched my poor friend weep often about why he did not experience Christ in a real way. His youth ministry had sold him a message that faithful obedience before God would yield an experiential intimacy and spiritual euphoria, which he failed to encounter. In spite of tireless religious striving, Allen felt as if his pursuits resulted in a tumbling spiral into a deep, dark void.

Read more @ Youth Ministry’s Tendency Toward Legalism – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ed Stetzer - How to Know Whether Your Church's Leadership Team Is a True Team

It seems like every church has caught onto the idea that church leadership works best through teams rather than solo players. According to Dr. Ryan T. Hartwig, a practical academic and researcher at Azusa Pacific University, a senior leadership team is:

Read more @ Ed Stetzer - How to Know Whether Your Church's Leadership Team Is a True Team

Teaching Tools: Church Discipline - ThomRainer.com

Church Discipline in this week's edition of Teaching Tools. A subject far more enjoyable to read about and study than to experience, church discipline is an integral part of maintaining a healthy local church. Left ignored, problems and sin within a congregation can decimate a local body of believers.

Read more @ Teaching Tools: Church Discipline - ThomRainer.com

The Power of the Negative - ThomRainer.com

The principle is simple but profound: Negative reinforcement has 20 times or more power than positive reinforcement.  At first glance, a leader may conclude that speaking and leading negatively is the best path since it is so powerful. To the contrary, unless used wisely, negative words and leadership can demoralize, demotivate, and destroy because of its very power.

Read more @ The Power of the Negative - ThomRainer.com

Malaria: The source of a mother’s torment | WORLD VISION BLOG

In a span of six years, Elizabeth lost two of her daughters — Kaman Napokol, 17, and Silale Napokol, 13 — to the angry pangs of malaria. Silale, her fourth-born daughter, just died this past September after struggling with bouts of the disease for about one month.

“Malaria is a bad disease,” she says. “I could not spare my children even after struggling to treat them.”

Read more @ Malaria: The source of a mother’s torment | WORLD VISION BLOG

The Fight Against Hunger | Samaritan's Purse

Samrith Thon went to sleep hungry many nights after her husband died in 1982, leaving her and their five children without any income.

“My family has had a hard life for a long time,” she said. “When my husband died, we did not have enough food, so we had to eat wild potatoes mixed with rice. I was unable to earn an income, so I had to go to sleep hungry each night under a leaky roof.”

Read more @ The Fight Against Hunger | Samaritan's Purse

Power Questions: Are You Asking the Right Questions? » The Charis Group

What questions are you asking of yourself today?  What questions are you asking of your ministry?  Are you even asking any questions at all or are the questions you ask the right ones?  I find that many pastors and Christian leaders never like to question themselves or their ministries.  If they do ask questions often they ask the wrong question.

Read more @ Power Questions: Are You Asking the Right Questions? » The Charis Group

Dealing with Doubt | The Resurgence

Doubts creep into our minds and are capable of doing a lot of damage. But there is a healthy way to treat doubt so that we can learn and grow from the experience.

Read more @ Dealing with Doubt | The Resurgence

RELEVANT Magazine - Why Christians Need to Care About Autism

A few weeks ago, my 6 year old daughter, Elle, drew all over her forehead with a marker. As her class was walking down the school hallway, the Vice Principle pulled her out of line and pointing to her forehead, asked her “What’s all this?” Elle looked at him for a moment, then stuck her finger in his belly and said, “What’s all this!?”

Read more @ RELEVANT Magazine - Why Christians Need to Care About Autism

Make sure you tell a story. | TonyMorganLive.com

I remember one time as I was getting ready to share a few announcements in one of our services, Mark was standing beside me. As I was preparing to go up on the platform, Mark leaned over to me and told me to “Make sure you tell a story.”

Read more @ Make sure you tell a story. | TonyMorganLive.com

When Belonging Feels Impossible - churchthought.com

When Belonging in Church Feels Impossible

Stepping into the car one Sunday morning three years ago, I had no desire to go to church. It was the last place I wanted to go in fact.

To my mind, back then, church was where you went to be ignored. And if you weren’t ignored, you’d be worked to death, made to jump through hoops called “discipleship,” and discarded when you failed prove yourself useful or willing to play the game.

Read more @ When Belonging Feels Impossible - churchthought.com

Mike Woods: Human Engagement and Children on the Autism Spectrum | Church4EveryChild

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world…Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
John 1:9,12
For me these passages share two important truths.  One, Jesus turned on a light for us spiritually.  Two,  He built a bridge for us relationally.  As you read  through the Gospels it becomes apparent that Jesus often established a pattern of establishing relationships and then sharing truth…building a bridge, then turning on a light.

Read more @ Mike Woods: Human Engagement and Children on the Autism Spectrum | Church4EveryChild

Amazing people {who happen to have autism}: Conversations with Carlyle | Diving for Pearls

Over the past several months, Carlyle and I have worked together, through phone conversations, email and Facebook, to do some planning; he wanted help in starting an inclusion ministry at his local church. He is uniquely qualified to do this; Carlyle himself is on the autism spectrum.

Read more @ Amazing people {who happen to have autism}: Conversations with Carlyle | Diving for Pearls

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Adventure Kids & Explorers from D6!

Adventure Kids and Explorers are Traditional Sunday School curriculum resources from D6 - Randall House Publishers . They developed these curriculum resources with the goal of providing the opportunity, "for learning at church and spiritual discipleship at home. With D6 Curriculum, the entire family studies the same Bible theme at the same time." Allow me to share with you some information about D6's Adventure and Explorers curriculum!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Adventure Kids & Explorers from D6!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Uganda: Invisible child killers beyond Kony | WORLD VISION BLOG

For the past month or so, Uganda has seen attention in the media and among the American public that it hasn’t experienced in several years, thanks to the viral video phenomenon “Kony2012.”

But this story was no surprise to those of us who have worked at World Vision for a while.

Read more @ Uganda: Invisible child killers beyond Kony | WORLD VISION BLOG

Loving My Neighbors | Samaritan's Purse

I have a terrible confession to make.

Working at a Christian ministry should give me a sense of purpose, of fulfillment, of gratitude that God has given me a job where I can use the gifts He’s bestowed to serve Him.

Read more @ Loving My Neighbors | Samaritan's Purse

The Recipe for a Successful Pastor – The Gospel Coalition Blog

I am convinced that many of the problems in pastoral culture result from an unbiblical definition of the essential ingredients of ministry success. Sure, most candidate profiles expect a "vibrant walk with the Lord," but these words are often weakened by a process that asks few questions in this area and makes grand assumptions.

Read more @ The Recipe for a Successful Pastor – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Guest Post: Simultaneous Comfort and Discontent - churchthought.com

Something happens as Rookie Pastors settle into their first ministry. Over those first few months or a few years we get comfortable.

Paychecks tend to do that.

The interesting thing is what tends to follow: discontentment.

Read more @ Guest Post: Simultaneous Comfort and Discontent - churchthought.com

10 Statements that Shape My Personal Mission | TonyMorganLive.com

In working on another project, I just compiled the ten key statements that have shaped my ministry to leaders and churches. It’s possible that everything I write and teach boils down to these key thoughts:

Read more @ 10 Statements that Shape My Personal Mission | TonyMorganLive.com

About the Children's Department: Put Feet to Their Faith - blood:water mission - Water Walk

How far do you walk each day to have access to clean, safe water? 50 steps? More, less? If you are like me - and I have a feeling most of you are, you measure the distance between you and safe water by steps, not miles. This, however; is not the case for so many of people who live in Africa.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Put Feet to Their Faith - blood:water mission - Water Walk

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Bible in Life from David C. Cook!

Bible in Life is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum from David C. Cook with, as they put it, "sound, easy-to-teach lessons designed to impact every student entrusted to your care-from the littlest ones to the most mature! And as the name implies Bible-in-Life helps each student put Bible truths to work where it counts - in their everyday life." Allow me to share with you some information about Bible in Life! About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Bible in Life from David C. Cook!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Regular Baptist Press!

Regular Baptist Press is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum which has long been know to provide Biblically solid resources with a strong focus on teaching God's Word! In the past few years they have updated their lessons and added some excellent features.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Traditional - Regular Baptist Press!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Samaritan's Purse | Sudan | Emergency Relief | Dire Conditions in the Nuba Mountains

Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham is visiting the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan, where the government is carrying out a campaign of violence that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Read more @ Samaritan's Purse | Sudan | Emergency Relief | Dire Conditions in the Nuba Mountains

Why Does The Offering Take a Back Seat? » The Charis Group

”I did not see where you could give,” she said.  I remarked that she walked right by the offering boxes that were located inside the doors to the worship center.  I wonder how many others missed seeing where to give and thus walked out without giving?

Read more @ Why Does The Offering Take a Back Seat? » The Charis Group

Tips for Church Staff and Volunteers Serving Kids With Asperger’s Disorder | Church4EveryChild

In our current blog series we’ve looked at some of the common characteristics of kids with Asperger’s Disorder, outlined impediments they face to spiritual growth and obstacles families of kids with Asperger’s face when attempting to “do church.” Today, we’ll get very practical and examine some helpful hints for church staff and volunteers involved in serving kids with Asperger’s.

Read more @ Tips for Church Staff and Volunteers Serving Kids With Asperger’s Disorder | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Tomorrow is the Start of My Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Curriculum Reviews!

My 2012 Curriculum reviews continue tomorrow with the start of my Traditional Curriculum Reviews! All week I'll be reviewing curriculum - Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Curriculum. Just a few things to keep in mind -

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Tomorrow is the Start of My Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Curriculum Reviews!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Forward Progress » Blog Archive » 5 Things the Gospel Has to Say About Disappointment

Disappointment is almost a daily part of life. You know the feeling – at its core level, disappointment is about unmet expectations. You have in your mind the way a relationship, a situation, an interview, a meeting, a conversation – pretty much anything – should go, and then it goes differently from that. You walk out of that situation feeling wronged somehow. Slighted.

Read more @ Forward Progress » Blog Archive » 5 Things the Gospel Has to Say About Disappointment

10 Ways for Moms to Respect Their Sons | The Resurgence

It is never too early to start showing that you respect your sons. I know as a young mom I was so concerned about discipline—when, where, why and how to discipline. I wanted this bundle of boy contained into a well-behaved, manageable package. Is that offense punishable by swat? Is he disrespecting me? Why is he so loud and messy? While those are fine questions to ask, looking back, I would rather have spent more time asking myself if I was treating my boys with respect.

Read more @ 10 Ways for Moms to Respect Their Sons | The Resurgence

A Parent’s Greatest Fear | Church4EveryChild

Dr. Rosen regularly asks parents “Deep down inside, is there anything you were afraid you’d find out as a result of our meeting today?” By far and away, the most common answer he receives is “I was afraid that I did something to cause my child’s problems.

Read more @ A Parent’s Greatest Fear | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Give-Away of One Timeline Map from the Gospel Project for Kids

Earlier this week when I reviewed the new curriculum, The Gospel Project for Kids from LifeWay, I mentioned I'm giving away one Timeline Map. If you would like to be included in this give-away, please do two things . . .

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Give-Away of One Timeline Map from the Gospel Project for Kids

About the Children's Department: 2012 Large Group/Small Group Sunday School Curriculum Comparison Chart

I've been reviewing Large Group/Small Group Sunday School Curriculum for the past two weeks, so today I'm releasing my 2012 Large Group/Small Group Sunday School Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: 2012 Large Group/Small Group Sunday School Curriculum Comparison Chart

Friday, April 13, 2012

Niger: Malnourished child at clinic meets lollipop | WORLD VISION BLOG

There was a little girl seated next to her mother yesterday. She appeared to be waiting so very patiently. But I realized that it was not really patience — it was sickness and fatigue. The children here aren’t necessarily better behaved than Western kids. They’re simply too tired to misbehave and be naughty.

Read more @ Niger: Malnourished child at clinic meets lollipop | WORLD VISION BLOG

Big advocates can come in small sizes | WORLD VISION BLOG

Evan, just 7 years old, is an example of how even young children can step up to help others in a meaningful way. His idea for a lemonade stand has become a fundraiser that has provided more than 400 bed nets for children at risk from malaria.

Read more @ Big advocates can come in small sizes | WORLD VISION BLOG

New project reaches teen mothers | Samaritan's Purse

“Alive and Thrive” is a new program Samaritan’s Purse-Honduras started in January. The program aims to teach teenage mothers how to raise healthy babies by promoting breastfeeding. The new moms receive reminder text messages and are encouraged to attend breastfeeding clubs.

Read more @ New project reaches teen mothers | Samaritan's Purse

Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars – The Gospel Coalition Blog

It is the job of worship leaders to raise the affections of the people we lead to the highest possible height with the truth of the worthiness of God in our songs. And yet, while emotions are helpful handmaids of worship, the emotional and even sensual nature of music can make it difficult to know whether we are raising the affection of our hearers with the truth or simply the thrill of the song. We may go for the emotional jugular and completely fail to exalt the character, holiness, and majesty of God. The music becomes self-serving.

Read more @ Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Finance Fridays: When Opportunity Presents Itself - churchthought.com

We were in town to celebrate my nephew’s fourth birthday, and while we were in town we worshiped with a local church.

When we entered the building that morning, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

Read more @ Finance Fridays: When Opportunity Presents Itself - churchthought.com

10 Things That’ll Get You Fired : Len Evans

Is your job secure? Here’s a surprising rundown of “sins” that’ll get you the hook.

Here’s some breaking news: It’s no fun to get fired. Just ask a youth leader who’s been through it. After years in youth ministry, I’ve seen enough to know what it takes to get the hook. Avoid these mistakes, and you have a shot at enjoying a long ride at your current church.

Read more @ 10 Things That’ll Get You Fired : Len Evans

Mistakes I’ve Made When Trying To Make The Right Decision :: Perry Noble | Leadership, Vision & Creativity

As a leader I’ve made some right decisions and some wrong ones…and as I’ve reflected on the ones I’ve made that are wrong there are some things that those wrong decisions have in common.

I made the wrong decision when…

Read more @ Mistakes I’ve Made When Trying To Make The Right Decision :: Perry Noble | Leadership, Vision & Creativity

Mac Lake » Blog Archive » 5 Assumptions that Hurt Your Organizations Leadership Development Efforts

A lack of leadership development could be an early indicator that your organization is headed for serious decline.  There’s a shortage of leaders in your pipeline and you’re beginning to feel the effects organization wide:  You’re unprepared to handle additional growth; The organization as a whole is in jeopardy if you loose one or two key leaders; Potential leaders can’t break into the organization because it’s the same ole people doing the same ole jobs for years.   The need is great, you recognize it, but you’re not sure others do.  You’ve made efforts in the past to get a leadership development movement started but it didn’t stick.

Read more @ Mac Lake » Blog Archive » 5 Assumptions that Hurt Your Organizations Leadership Development Efforts

Cindi and Joe Ferrini…The Unexpected Journey of Relationships | Church4EveryChild

Cindi Ferrini was the special guest last night for SNAPPIN’ Ministries Special Needs Ministry Tweetchat…transcript available here. The discussion topic was Marriage With Special Needs Children. A number of participants had commented on the outstanding presentation Cindi and her husband (Joe) gave for last fall’s Inclusion Fusion on The Unexpected Journey of Relationships…When Special Needs Change Our Course. Here’s the video from Cindi and Joe’s presentation:

See video @ Cindi and Joe Ferrini…The Unexpected Journey of Relationships | Church4EveryChild

About the Children's Department: Side-by-Side Large Group/Small Group Curriculum Comparison Chart and More . . .

For the past two weeks I've been reviewing Large Group/Small Group Sunday school curriculum . . . tomorrow I'll post my side-by-side comparison chart which puts all the lines I've reviewed in a convenient format so you are better able to identify the curriculum with the "tools" you want for your ministry. Please feel free to download and print out this chart to use as you look for the best curriculum "fit" for your ministry. So, in the past two weeks have you learned of any Large Group/Small Group Sunday school curriculum which may be a good "fit" for your ministry?

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Side-by-Side Large Group/Small Group Curriculum Comparison Chart and More . . .

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Worship KidStyle by LifeWay!

Worship KidStyle is a Large Group/Small Group curriculum from LifeWay and while they designed it to provide a resource for Children's church, I believe it can also serve as a option for churches to consider as a Sunday School curriculum as well. Allow me to share with you some information about Worship KidStyle!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Worship KidStyle by LifeWay!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Top Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make - The Charis Group » The Charis Group

If you follow NASCAR you will know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has not won a race in a long, long time.  In May of 2011 in a NASCAR race Earnhardt was mere feet from putting an end to the longest losing streak of his career.  He had it in the bag but he ran out of fuel.  In what was a frantic finish to NASCAR’s longest race in history, Earnhardt got the lead right after the restart of a green-white-checker overtime finish to the Coca-Cola 600.  Then it happened. In the blink of an eye, Earnhardt went from ending a 104-race winless streak to paving the way for Kevin Harvick to win his series-leading third race of the Sprint Cup season.  Earnhardt lost because ran out of fuel a half mile from the finish line.

Read more @ The Top Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make - The Charis Group » The Charis Group

Forward Progress » Blog Archive » I Am Barabbas

He’s barely mentioned in the Bible, and yet his story, maybe more than any other, serves to explain the gospel. He is Barrabas.
Or rather, I am Barabbas.
Here is what we know about this man:

Read more @ Forward Progress » Blog Archive » I Am Barabbas

Discipleship Is Messy | The Resurgence

Real discipleship is messy, imperfect, and honest.

I wanted clean, “perfect,” and limited honesty. I preferred to disclose only my successes, to pass on my accumulated wisdom and knowledge while hiding my foolishness and ignorance. It’s not that I wasn’t making disciples—people gobbled up my platitudes and piety. The problem was the kind of disciples I was making: disciples who could share their faith but not their failures.

Read more @ Discipleship Is Messy | The Resurgence

Church Planting: Don't Go It Alone - churchthought.com

I began this series in February thinking that I would be writing eight posts and moving on to something else.  Eighteen posts, and eighty percent of an eBook, later and I believe that it is time to draw this series to a close.  As I finish out the series, I want to say one thing to any planters, or potential planters:

Read more @ Church Planting: Don't Go It Alone - churchthought.com

He Loved God and He Loved People - churchthought.com

Over the weekend I was struck by the obituary of James S. Herr.  Herr was the man behind Herr’s Potato Chips, a company that he founded in 1966.  Having sampled more than a few of his products through the years, the Herr name caught my eye… but what really struck me was how he was described in the obituary:

Read more @ He Loved God and He Loved People - churchthought.com

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Elements kids worship from D6!

Elements kids worship curriculum is a Large Group/Small Group curriculum from D6 and while they designed it to provide a resource to supplement and reinforce their D6 curriculum - which I will review next week - as a Children's church curriculum, I believe it can also serve as a resource for churches to consider as a Sunday School curriculum as well. Allow me to share with you some information about Elements kids worship!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Elements kids worship from D6!

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - More Jesus from Gospel Light!

This Fall Gospel Light is releasing their new Large Group/Small Group curriculum - More Jesus. While they designed it to serve as a children's church resource for the new classroom model - Give Me Jesus - which I'm reviewing next week - once again, I believe it could also be a good "fit" for churches looking for a large group/small group curriculum. Allow me to share with you some information about More Jesus!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - More Jesus from Gospel Light!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5 Most Dangerous Things a KidMin Can Do//Children's Ministry Don'ts | The Blitz Way

There are lots of ways children’s pastors can get into hot water. Any that have been leading a children’s ministry for very long can attest to this. Here are some great ways to get into BIG trouble.

Read more @ 5 Most Dangerous Things a KidMin Can Do//Children's Ministry Don'ts | The Blitz Way

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaching Tools: The Bible - ThomRainer.com

Research: From The Millennials
67% of Millennials rarely or never read the Bible
Only 21% read the Bible once a week or more
79% rarely or never study the Bible with others
Only 15% study the Bible with others at least once a week

Read more @ Teaching Tools: The Bible - ThomRainer.com

Why the Missional Church Isn’t Enough – The Gospel Coalition Blog

The missional church in the United States is not missional enough. The local focus of mission is shortsighted. If we only make disciples who make disciples in our cities, thousands of unengaged, un-discipled peoples of the earth will not hear the gospel. To be sure, many ethnic groups are migrating to cities, which brings some of the nations right into the neighborhood. However, there remain many ethnic groups that do not migrate to Western cities. Western churches must send missionaries, not only across the street, but also across the world.

Read more @ Why the Missional Church Isn’t Enough – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Ed Stetzer - Considering (and Surviving) Unhealthy Christian Organizations, part 1

In recent months, I have run across several people in unhealthy Christian churches and organizations. Having worked in some such settings myself, I have seen patterns that led me to start thinking . . . and writing. Maybe that is not such a good idea, but I think it is an important one. The issue continues to grow and, although such organizations can actually do good, the harm they cause to many others is immeasurable.

Read more @ Ed Stetzer - Considering (and Surviving) Unhealthy Christian Organizations, part 1 & Part 2

The Gospel & The Great Commandment | Gospel Centered Discipleship | Resources to Make, Mature, & Multiply disciples of Jesus

In the commissioning of his followers to make disciples, Jesus made it clear that an integral part of discipleship is “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”

If you’re going to teach someone to obey all that Jesus commanded, you might as well start with the most important commandment.

In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is engaged in a conversation with a Pharisee who asked:

Read more @ The Gospel & The Great Commandment | Gospel Centered Discipleship | Resources to Make, Mature, & Multiply disciples of Jesus

Our Greatest Resource | Samaritan's Purse

By Jeremy Statton, an orthopedic surgeon who volunteered with World Medical Mission at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.

Last month I attended the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting. One series of lectures caught my eye: Introduction to Orthopedics in the Developing World.

Read more @ Our Greatest Resource | Samaritan's Purse

Break My Plans | Samaritan's Purse

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”
(Proverbs 19:21).

I’m not a big planner, but I did have things I wanted to do for Good Friday and Easter. I even bought an Easter dress to wear to church on Sunday. Since I hate wearing dresses, that was a big deal!

Read more @ Break My Plans | Samaritan's Purse

Child trafficking is no joke | WORLD VISION BLOG

I’ve never really liked April Fools Day, because it’s possible I’m one of the most gullible people ever. I fall for every joke and prank.

Six months ago, if you had told me that by April 1, 2012, Congress still would not have reauthorized the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, I would have declared my gullibility streak over. Up until now, this bill has always been passed and reauthorized unanimously. How could it ever get so stuck?

Read more @ Child trafficking is no joke | WORLD VISION BLOG

About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Lil' K & Johnny Rogers from KidMo!

Lil' K and Johnny Rogers are another DVD based curriculum with high energy and a great deal of creativity from KidMo!  They say these curriculum are, "interactive media-based resources" and they do seem to be exactly that. Allow me to share with you some information about Lil' K and Johnny Rogers!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Curriculum Review - Large Group/Small Group - Lil' K & Johnny Rogers from KidMo!

Mike Woods: C3: COMFORT, Confirm, Challenge | Church4EveryChild

One of the primary outcomes for each team member in our Special Friends Ministry is to develop relationships with each and every child and adult with special needs that we minister to.  The process that we use to develop a relationship is called C3 (Comfort, Confirm, Challenge) and is derived from the many interactions between Jesus and people with disabilties in the Gospels.

Read more @ Guest Blogger Mike Woods: C3: COMFORT, Confirm, Challenge | Church4EveryChild

Monday, April 9, 2012

Leadership and Emotional IQ - ThomRainer.com

What distinguishes good leaders from great leaders? Why does one person excel in an area while another languishes, even though they have similar competencies and intellect? The difference, according to about twenty years of research, is the emotional IQ of a person.

The Leader in Thought

One of my favorite writings on emotional IQ is the classic “What Makes a Leader?” by Daniel Goleman, published in 1998 in Harvard Business Review. Goleman had earlier written Emotional Intelligence, a book published in 1995 on the same topic.

Read more @ Leadership and Emotional IQ - ThomRainer.com

A pig tale from Rwanda | WORLD VISION BLOG

“This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…”

Anataria Kamariza’s rather rotund pig roots around in a muddy hole near the family’s garden, the picture of a piggy in the sunshine. Reddish brown fur shines on her back and flop ears; down below and on her quivering, inquisitive snout, she’s caked with dirt.

“Ingurube!” 11-year-old Anataria calls out happily as she brings her fat friend greens to eat.

Ah, the good life for a pig.

Read more @ A pig tale from Rwanda | WORLD VISION BLOG

More Resources for Autism Awareness Month | Church4EveryChild

Our team at Key Ministry seeks to provide churches with the best possible resources for successfully including and ministering to families of kids with disabilities. We’re honored to offer you the resources of one of the church’s leading experts in ministry to children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Read more @ More Resources for Autism Awareness Month | Church4EveryChild

What are we teaching our students? | JCISONLINE

I had an opportunity to visit my sister in law’s church. I got to witness 23 young people, college students, get baptized and I heard their stories via video on why they are getting baptized and what Jesus has done in their life. A startling number of them started with this statement:

“I grew up in church”

Read more @ What are we teaching our students? | JCISONLINE