Resources by Theme: Practical

Jun 8, 2015

Church Planter, Act Your Age by Jeff Lawrence

We miss out when we fail to act our age. So, take a long range perspective of your church’s journey, and fight for the joy of this particular season in the life of your church.

Jun 6, 2015

How To Pace Yourself

The Art of Rest

Since rest is part of God’s good plan for us, I want to be obedient in an overflow of my love for Him. After all, he’s already lived the life I can’t live and paid the price I couldn’t pay for my sin. The culture around us says, “Go work, gain merit, and prove yourself worthy.” The gospel, though, says, “Rest in Christ.”

Jun 5, 2015

4 Reasons to Beware the Goodness Gospel by Christine Hoover

For many of my formative years, the overarching and consistent message I received at church was, “Be good." I attempted with everything in me to be good, but my efforts only reinforced what I knew deep inside: I wasn’t good enough and could never be.

Jun 5, 2015

How Do I Know When I Should Plant A Church?

5 Components for Chasing Your Vision

Discerning a call to plant a church presents a great challenge. I have been blessed to network with church planters and coach them through discerning their call. The conversation inevitably arrives at a question very similar to this: “I've got this vision that I know God has given me, but I keep asking ‘How do I know when it is time to go?’"

Jun 4, 2015

7 Words of Advice For The First-Time Pastor by John Powell

When a minister assumes his first pastorate, it can be an exciting time for everyone. There is so much hope and anticipation. But there is also so much that is mysterious and fraught with difficulty. The following are some bits of advice from some lessons I've learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

Jun 2, 2015

Confronting The Sins We Tolerate by Casey Lewis

We overlook “respectable sins” not only because they are pervasive, but also because they don't seem as bad as others that get more press. But when we turn a blind eye to these "ordinary" sins, they begin to fester. 

Jun 1, 2015

Evangelical Engagement In Evil Times by Drew Griffin

Above all, preach unceasingly the glory of the Kingdom that is here and is to come; it is the only hope we have in these “last days.” We must all “do the work of an evangelist.”

May 30, 2015

Organization To The Glory of God by Jason Kees

We have been given a set, predetermined number of days to walk this earth. We should, by God’s grace, make every one of them count.

May 29, 2015

4 Disciplines of a Healthy Identity by Tish Hedger

"Pastor’s wife" became foundational to my identity instead of solely my calling. These impossible expectations personified into an inner coach who barked orders and criticized when demands where unmet. This inner voice was my constant companion choking out truth.

May 29, 2015

Why Your Church Should Pray For Revival by David McLemore

We need a category for revival in all of our churches. Without it, we may miss out on the great blessing that God offers. Without it, we may spend our lives toiling for the wrong things, and we may shortchange the future generations.

May 25, 2015

Three Rhythms For Family Devotions by Ryan Huguley

We’ve struggled to find the right manner and method. It’s hard work and requires constant attention. But in our house, we’ve found that effective family devotions are made up of three basic rhythms…

May 23, 2015

How To Repair A Plane in Mid-Air

Making Major Changes While Church Planting

The best place to repair an airplane is on the ground. This minimizes moving parts, leaves less room for error, and removes the almost certain fatal result if the repair goes wrong. But mission never stops and in the real world this is often not an option.

May 22, 2015

A Panacea and A Punk

How To Keep Apologetics in Perspective

I love apologetics for what it can do for you, but I hate apologetics because of what it can do to you.

May 22, 2015

Why Your Children’s Ministry Should Take a Break by Miles Morrison

I’m not saying that’s wrong or that children’s ministry is bad – I love and serve in the children’s ministry in my church – I’m merely making the observation that while this ministry can and should serve the church, it will never replace it. Regardless of what curriculum or structure or teaching style your children’s ministry uses, here are some reasons why it’s healthy from time to time to take…

May 22, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Four by Joe Thorn

My wife and I once attended a small church that had no worship leader. No choir. No instruments. No overhead projection. No cool lights. The building was plain-Jane. Yet their gathering was powerful. Why?

May 21, 2015

Encourage One Another

Giving Grace With Our Words

God commanded that His people encourage each other because He knew we would need it.

May 20, 2015

Preaching Christ From Judges by Jared Bumpers

I was twelve or thirteen, and my dad, who is a pastor, gave me the opportunity to preach a five-minute sermon (what was he thinking?). I selected Judges 3:12-30 as my text and delivered a sermon on Ehud and Eglon that I had titled “When Lefty Stabbed Fatty."

May 19, 2015

How To Correct Your Opponents Like Paul by Derek Rishmawy

All too often, those who are keenly aware of the call to defend the gospel from damaging distortions, since they're not afraid to back down from a fight, are often the quickest to fight dirty.

May 17, 2015

How To Stay Healthy in Ministry by Won S. Kwak

Without question, church planting and pastoral ministry demand a faithful “pouring out as a drink offering” self-sacrificing life of commitment to God and His people. However, this call to pastoral ministry does not mean we should live a life of self-neglect for the sake of Christ.

May 15, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Three by Joe Thorn

Smaller churches are no less hindered from doing what God has called his people to do than are larger churches. Having more people does not maker it easier.

May 12, 2015

Preaching When Distressed by Adam McClendon

Distractions of all forms hit pastors. These distractions are circumstances that burden the pastor’s heart to such an extent that it threatens their ability to properly prepare for preaching the Bible faithfully.

May 12, 2015

Why Is Listening to a Sermon So Hard? by Nathan Lino

If we know this is God’s plan for us and we are going to spend countless hours doing it, why wouldn’t we want to get really good at it?

May 11, 2015

Fuel for a Long Theological Journey by Sam Bierig

Theological training is as important to the call of ministry as the call itself. But we can resent this training. Or we can be shaped by it.

May 11, 2015

Nine Statements That Will Destroy Your Small Group by Ben Reed

You don’t want people to dread your small group every week. To feel like they just have to come. To view it as a waste of time. To be the group of which they say, “Don’t join a small group. Mine is terrible.”

May 10, 2015

Eight Biblical Responses to Worry by David Roach

Anxiety can feel uncontrollable when finances are tight, when relationships are strained, and when there doesn’t seem to be enough time to fulfill all of life’s obligations. Does the Bible provide any specific strategies for avoiding worry?

May 8, 2015

The Value of Responsive Readings in Worship by Jim Fowler

Responsive readings not only assist in the reading and praying of Scripture, but also are of value in that they are biblical, historical, participatory, and instructional for the life of the church. 

May 8, 2015

Ten Reasons to Know a Little Bit of Church History by David Roach

The study of church history has fallen on hard times. But here are 10 reasons why the average believer’s walk with Christ would be enriched by learning a bit from our hallowed past.

May 8, 2015

Lead Your Team Meeting Like a Great Teacher by Jared Musgrove

Many of us were never trained in our formal education, internships, or perhaps even our associate roles how to lead a great ministry team meeting. This was something that became apparent to me as I stepped into lead a burgeoning team of strong leaders at my church. What follows here are hard knocks and necessary considerations, I believe, for a great ministry meeting.

May 7, 2015

Resurrecting Your Quiet Time by Sam Bierig

Does your "devo life" need a spiritual steroid shot? Consider this approach to Bible reading.

May 7, 2015

You'll Play How You Practice by Mike Leake

When our work and ministry is laid bare before the Lord we want it to withstand the fire.

May 5, 2015

Turning Opposition Into Opportunity by Jonathan Shradar

I don’t know what your opposition looks like. It might be a senior leader that prefers you preach four points to a better job rather than freedom in Christ. It might be a church member that can’t stand the songs you sing on Sundays. Or it might be the elder that spends more time thinking about "what could have been" instead of "what can be." But I do know this…

May 5, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Two by Joe Thorn

Two things smaller churches can do is opt out of a couple of things they often end up doing that they shouldn't.

May 4, 2015

5 Reasons There Are No Millennials in Your Church by Chris Martin

In the end, reaching Millennials is about understanding them and being willing to participate in their world. It takes conscious decisions; you’re not going to accidentally attract them.

May 2, 2015

Supporting Your Lead Pastor by Jared Bumpers

The shepherd leads the sheep, and the sheep follow the shepherd. It is a simple concept to understand, but it is a difficult concept to practice. Why? Because the sheep don’t always want to follow the shepherd!

Apr 29, 2015

Busting 12 Myths About Productivity by Matt Perman

Do you understand productivity in the right way? Is your approach to "getting things done" rooted in the gospel and its implications?

Apr 28, 2015

Church Growth Methodologies Are Beside the Point by Staff

Our goal is not to grow churches, but to make disciples.

Apr 28, 2015

How To Choose a Seminary

Ten Things to Investigate as You Seek God's Will

If you’ve sensed God’s call on your life to Christian ministry, then one of the most crucial decisions you’ll need to make is where – not if – you’ll receive training for ministry. Whatever your situation, your first step needs to be to commit the next season of your life to getting theologically equipped to do ministry effectively and long-term.

Apr 27, 2015

Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars in the Church by Charles Smith

Are you a leader who wants to unify your church and dismantle the silos, politics, and turf wars that frustrate real ministry and mission? Then labor to help your people see beyond their own cardboard kingdoms and embrace the greater kingdom of God.

Apr 27, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part One by Joe Thorn

As I have seen several churches in my area continue to dwindle in size I have watched the leadership of many of these churches settle into into one of three dangerous mentalities . . .

Apr 26, 2015

The Importance of Memorizing Scripture by Radu Gheorghita

Why memorize the Scriptures? What would be the benefits of this practice that most people would consider obsolete today, in an age in which the digital revolution has all but made it redundant?

Apr 26, 2015

Four Evangelism Myths by Erik Raymond

In order to combat this we need to speak truth to our hearts. We need to remind ourselves of the truth of Scripture. This is no less important in the area of evangelism. We need to debunk the myths that are too easily believed and cling instead to what God has said and done.

Apr 25, 2015

How to Deal with Persistent Guilt by Staff

When guilt persists, remember where Jesus is and where he's been.

Apr 25, 2015

Pummeling Pastoral Pride by Staff

Three practical tips to help pastors squash pride and cultivate humility

Apr 24, 2015

What's Wrong With Buying Your Way Onto the Bestseller List? by Jared C. Wilson

… or buying Twitter followers or gaming the analytics to inflate website stats, etc.

At least 5 things:

1. It's dishonest.

No, it's not illegal. But neither are lots of unethical, dishonest things. The asumption that people make when they see "Bestseller" labeled on a book or 600,000 followers on your Twitter page is that you came by those accomplishments the straightforward way: attracting…

Apr 24, 2015

Inning by Inning

Helping New Believers Follow Along

How often are we great at making an invitation or giving information, but unwilling to be in it for the long haul? How often do we simply expect people to know things they aren't supposed to know? Helping new believers and those curious about the faith requires not just an invitation to the game, but nine innings of investment.

Apr 24, 2015

Six Guardrails for Multisite Churches by John Mark Yeats

This isn't simply a "megachurch problem." The heart of the issue is found in congregations of 80 people as well as those with attendance in excess of 8,000. Many churches of all sizes struggle with this same issue: pastors who build a strong vision tied only to themselves leave congregations with significant challenges when the eventual change of leadership occurs. So what’s to be done?

Apr 23, 2015

Gospel Affection by Joe Thorn

There are many ways in which we should be loving one another in the church, and most of these practical steps might seem like no-brainers, but it's always a spiritually healthy and Christ-honoring exercise to work through how we might flesh out 1 John 3:18: "Let us love not in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

Apr 23, 2015

How to Get Your Small Group to Like You by Ben Reed

While you may not have "get my small group to like me" written out as an explicit goal in your community efforts, it’s still in the back of your mind, whether you’re a leader or a group member. Nearly everybody wants to be liked. That's not a terrible thing. Caring what others think (while not being dominated by that) shapes our responses, and helps us become more loving and generous.

Apr 22, 2015

Learning from Conflict by Mike Ayers

In truth, we often experience conflict in our lives and leadership because of our own actions, insecurities, and ill-motivated decisions. Since this is true, it is important for leaders to learn to ponder the hardships they face by first looking internally at what might be driving conflict with others—including their own lack of character and/or competence.