Resources by Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley, a Regular Contributor to For The Church, is a husband and father of three who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he serves as the Director of Groups Ministry for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is also the author of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God and Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life. Follow him on Twitter at @_michaelkelley or read more content like this at michaelkelley.co.

Sep 23, 2015

Work and Worship by Michael Kelley

If Adam had a business card, it would have read “Gardener.” Nothing exciting there. And yet the words God used to describe his job are anything but ordinary.

May 11, 2015

When To Stop Chasing Your Dream by Michael Kelley

Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.

May 19, 2015

When Self-Awareness Matures Into Self-Forgetfulness by Michael Kelley

By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.

Feb 3, 2016

When Joy and Sorrow Erupt in the Same Refrain by Michael Kelley

We live in the dual realities of what God has done and what He’s going to do; of the joy of salvation and the longing for redemption; of what is and what will be.

Dec 29, 2015

The Subtle Pride of Self-Condemnation by Michael Kelley

While self-condemnation might come off as holy in our churchified contexts, the truth is that self-condemnation is more than a bad character trait; it’s sin in and of itself.

May 8, 2015

The Seductive Song of Self-Pity by Michael Kelley

I feel her scratch my itching ears with her words, saying just what I wish I heard from the people around me. And here’s what she sounds like . . .

Jul 27, 2015

The Responsibility of Suffering by Michael Kelley

Suffering is the gift that no one wants, and yet God chooses to give sometimes nonetheless.

Jun 29, 2015

The One Phrase That Will Help You Embrace The Cost of Relationships by Michael Kelley

Relationships are costly endeavors, and if you’re like me, it’s a battle many times to get passed that cost. But there is a phrase you can say to yourself that will help you embrace that cost, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.

Oct 6, 2015

The Lion Roars, and We Are Free by Michael Kelley

Let me take you back to Narnia for a second . . .

Nov 30, 2016

The Gloriously Interruptable Jesus by Michael Kelley

Let us not think that we can inconvenience Jesus with our cares and needs.

Apr 22, 2015

The Glorious Freedom of Not Mattering by Michael Kelley

When I feel small, there is the gospel that reminds me that my size and worth is determined by that which was sacrificed for me.

May 10, 2016

The Freedom to Be Happy (For Someone Else) by Michael Kelley

Comparison makes it difficult to truly rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. The gospel renews our minds and frees us up to truly love one another.

May 4, 2015

The Courageous Choice to Stay by Michael Kelley

Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to stay right where you are.

Oct 27, 2016

The Bread Looks Different Today Than It Did Yesterday by Michael Kelley

We ask God for daily bread, always trusting that He knows what the bread for tomorrow will need to look like as well.

Sep 27, 2016

Starting a Family Devotion Time by Michael Kelley

Every family devotion time isn’t a home run. Sometimes it’s a sacrifice bunt that you believe God will somehow use in the story of their lives. So we choose, by faith, not to be discouraged, but instead to believe in a God who is drawing our kids’ hearts to Himself.

Feb 16, 2016

Past Faithfulness Fills the Reservoir of the Soul by Michael Kelley

Our worry isn’t about our circumstances; it’s about our hearts.

Jun 15, 2015

One Thing: Michael Kelley

What is the one thing pastors who write ought to remember?

Series: One Thing

What is the one thing pastors who write ought to remember?

Jun 13, 2016

One Thing: Michael Kelley

What is the one thing the local church needs to get right in the 21st century?

Series: One Thing

What is the one thing the local church needs to get right in the 21st century?

Apr 11

Michael Kelley on What Many Churches Get Wrong About Discipleship by Michael Kelley

We ask Michael Kelley, "What do too many churches get wrong about discipleship?"

Feb 28

Michael Kelley on the Writing Process by Michael Kelley

We ask Michael Kelley to describe his writing process.

Jun 15, 2015

Michael Kelley On Our Fear of The Boring by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

Why shouldn't we be afraid of mundane or boring things?

Jun 13, 2016

Michael Kelley on Marriage as Sanctification

Why is marriage such a vital crucible for discipleship?

Series: Conversations

Why is marriage such a vital crucible for discipleship?

Jun 15, 2015

Michael Kelley on His Child and Cancer by Michael Kelley

We sat down to ask Michael Kelley, "What did you learn about God while your son Joshua was battling cancer?"

Oct 13, 2016

Making Decisions in Light of God's Sovereignty by Michael Kelley

Confidence in God's sovereignty doesn't always mean hesitancy in moving forward. We wait, we trust, and sometimes, we move.

Dec 8, 2016

Lord, Help Me Raise My Children With a Backbone by Michael Kelley

Their mettle will be tested. Their faith will be challenged. They will be pressured to succumb on any number of fronts.

Jul 13, 2015

Loaves, Fish, and Un-Self-Conscious Little Boys by Michael Kelley

You know the feeling. It’s the one when you find yourself surrounded by people who work more interesting jobs, take more interesting vacations, and live generally more interesting lives. Suddenly, you find yourself shrinking into yourself, very conscious of your normality in light of what’s surrounding you.

Nov 9, 2015

Learning to Count by Michael Kelley

Like a kindergartner learning his numbers, so do we practice the discipline of counting . . .

Mar 2

Kids, Asparagus, and the Command of Jesus by Michael Kelley

The commands of Christ feel crushing without a new heart to help us obey.

May 29, 2015

Is There Any Hope For The Overeducated Christian? by Michael Kelley

I am, if you’ll excuse the metaphor, an intellectually fat Christian. My mind is obese with knowledge and bloated with facts. And as I loosen the belt around my heavily churchified brain more and more day by day, I wonder what would happen if my obedience kept pace with that knowledge.

Jul 27, 2016

God Doesn't Need to Be Convinced to Give You What You Need by Michael Kelley

We can freely come again and again to a Father who delights in being the best kind of giver.

Mar 10, 2016

Freedom From Getting Defensive by Michael Kelley

You know the feeling as well as I do. There is someone who brings something to us – it’s an accusation, it’s a criticism, it’s a rebuke – it’s a whatever. We. Must. Respond. Curious, though, that Jesus did not feel the same need.

Oct 27, 2015

Don't Underestimate the Importance of the Foundation by Michael Kelley

Christian, no one might know what internal fear, insecurity, or idolatry the Holy Spirit is convicting you of and walking you through. And because it’s internal, you might be tempted to put it to the side in favor of something seemingly more flashy and exciting. But don’t neglect His work. Embrace it. Because the storm is coming.

Nov 2, 2016

Don't Be Greedy With Your Pain by Michael Kelley

“I’m a private person,” we might argue. “It’s no one else’s business,” we might say. “It’s my cross to bear,” we might conclude. And yet, we cannot weep with each other if we never see or know that we are weeping.

Dec 1, 2015

Contentment Isn't Natural, But It Can Be Learned by Michael Kelley

It was a crisis of faith, born under the lights of Friday night Texas football.

Feb 14

Christians and the Realm of Desperation by Michael Kelley

If we are to follow Jesus, then we must have a growing understanding that the Christian does not operate in the realm of desperation.

Mar 24, 2016

A Simple Exercise to Determine What You Value by Michael Kelley

We know that we should value God more and above anything else, but we also know that we don’t always tell ourselves the truth. So how can we know what we truly value? I’d propose a simple exercise to find out . . .

Jun 16, 2015

An Acquired Taste by Michael Kelley

Developing new tastes take time. Instead of being frustrated by the time it takes to grow and love spiritual disciplines, think of time as your ally.

Mar 30

4 Reasons Your Work Matters Today by Michael Kelley

All of us, when the work slips into tedium and routine, are prone to ask the question of whether or not what we are doing really matters.

Aug 10, 2016

3 Ways to Steward Your Own Failure by Michael Kelley

In our failure, we actually find opportunity to be defined by Jesus, grow in gratitude, and look to others.

Jan 11, 2016

3 Warning Signs You're Drifting from Faith Into Superstition by Michael Kelley

We are more superstitious than we’d like to admit if we find that God just can’t seem to live up to our expectations.

Jul 18, 2015

3 Surprising Ways to Boast in the Lord by Michael Kelley

What does it look like to boast in the Lord? There is, of course, the most straight forward meaning – that boasting in the Lord is not being proud of your own accomplishments, but instead sharing freely and loudly what Jesus has done on the cross. But is that the only way to boast in the Lord?

Apr 14, 2016

3 Reasons You Absolutely, Positively MUST Go to Church This Weekend by Michael Kelley

There are those Sundays when you wake up with the resurrection on your mind. These are the days that you know – you know – that Jesus is alive, and because He lives, everything is different. There are those Sundays. And then there are the other ones.

Feb 29, 2016

3 Reasons to Stay in a Church That's Not Cool Enough by Michael Kelley

Before you make that visit, before you give up and cash it in, think about it. Think about staying.

Apr 1, 2016

3 Reasons to Keep Praying About the Same Thing by Michael Kelley

Pray the same thing you did yesterday. Here's why . . .

Sep 1, 2016

3 Reasons My Idols Are Better Than Jesus by Michael Kelley

Our idols convince us that the best thing we can do in life is pursue that which will satisfy us at a given moment. But Jesus? Well, Jesus will tell us the truth. He loves us too much not to.

Apr 29, 2016

3 Reasons My Idols Are Better Than Jesus by Michael Kelley

In short, these idols are just another version of my worst self.