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

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, 2017

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 14, 2019

Jesus: The One Who Commands and the One Who Understands by Michael Kelley

Jesus is commanding a life of faithfulness, of loyalty, and yes, in many cases, sacrifice. But He is not unaware of what He’s asking. He understands.​

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.

Feb 20, 2018

How 'Sola Fide' Empowers Your Personal Evangelism by Michael Kelley

If salvation is by faith alone, then every person we come in contact with is within a single moment of faith of being made a child of God.

May 19, 2017

How God Uses Questions in the Bible by Michael Kelley

God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts.

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.

Mar 26, 2019

Don't Stumble Over the Simplicity of Jesus by Michael Kelley

There is a blessed kind of simplicity for the Christian who is convinced of the providential love of God in Christ.​

Dec 18, 2018

Don't Reap to the Edge of Your Field by Michael Kelley

We can leave the edges of our lives unreaped because we are confident in the generous provision of God.

Jan 22, 2019

Don't Just Meet Someone's Needs by Michael Kelley

This is the lesson for us who want to do good, but don’t want to get our hands dirty.

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, 2017

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 . . .

Apr 24, 2018

A Simple Definition of Leadership by Michael Kelley

Leadership is about embracing responsibility. It’s about understanding our role as stewards and being content with where He has placed us.

Nov 29, 2017

Are You Praying the Right Thing When You Pray to Know God's Will? by Michael Kelley

His Word is full of commands that reveal the way in which we should live and how we should pray.

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.

May 28, 2019

A Mistake We Often Make When Reading the Bible by Michael Kelley

By and large, the Bible is a book written for a community.

Jul 4, 2017

A Checkpoint for Your Ambition by Michael Kelley

The Bible tells us over and over again that the way we treat others is a reflection of what’s going on inside us.

Jan 25, 2018

5 Implications for Relationships Defined by the Gospel by Michael Kelley

The gospel redefines everything. No part of our lives is untouched by God’s redemptive power, including our relationships.

Mar 20, 2018

4 Words That Will Change the Way You Lead by Michael Kelley

So confident is the Son of God. So self-assured. So much so that He holds Himself out so us, day after day, with the same invitation: "Come and you'll see."

Mar 6, 2018

4 Things to Tell Yourself When Anxiety is Overwhelming by Michael Kelley

Our anxiety is tempered by remembering that we have a Father who gives good gifts.

Mar 30, 2017

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.

May 29, 2018

4 Great "Therefore's" in the Bible by Michael Kelley

Praise the Lord that our eternity hinges not on our ability to live out a “therefore,” but on Jesus’ righteous life on our behalf.

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.

Sep 25, 2018

3 Ways the Gospel Changes the Way You Apologize by Michael Kelley

Christians, of all people in the world, should be the best apologizers.

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.

Nov 20, 2018

3 Things to Be Cautious of in a Season of Suffering by Michael Kelley

Suffering creates an avenue for ministry as it makes us able to extend the comfort we receive from the Lord to others.

Mar 12, 2019

3 Things that Keep Christians from Living with a Sense of Urgency by Michael Kelley

Christians, proclaming the gospel is an urgent matter. Let us look at our lives to see what’s keeping us from allowing it to be so.

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?

Jul 10, 2018

3 Spiritual Reasons You Should Take Control of Your Calendar by Michael Kelley

Perhaps, though, taking control of your calendar isn’t just an issue of time management. Maybe it is actually a spiritual discipline or even an act of discipleship.

Jan 11, 2018

3 Spiritual Reasons to Do Something You're Not Good At by Michael Kelley

One active way we can remind ourselves of our comparative insignificance is to do something we’re probably going to be bad at.

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.

Jun 20, 2017

3 Reasons Why Discipline is Harder Than Punishment by Michael Kelley

God is committed not to our behavior but our hearts; not just in what we do but to what we are becoming. 

Oct 18, 2018

3 Reasons We Should Pay Attention to What We Sing in Church by Michael Kelley

The fact that we are singing to and about God ought to make us pause and breathe a little deeply and at least consider the words coming out of our mouths.

Jun 12, 2018

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

Three reasons to do the very countercultural thing of actually staying in the church that’s simply not cool enough.

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 . . .

Feb 21, 2019

3 Reasons to Fight Self-Pity by Michael Kelley

You may or may not have reason for self-pity today. If you do, there is good reason to fight that impulse.

Nov 29, 2018

3 Reasons the Bible Pays So Little Attention to Your Feelings by Michael Kelley

Friends, none of us feels exactly what we ought to feel. But thank God we have a Bible that tells us the truth even if we can’t do the same thing for ourselves.

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.

Apr 30, 2019

3 Principles for Evangelism I'm Trying to Embrace by Michael Kelley

Let’s remember the people we are sharing with are not just “targets” or “hot prospects.” These are human beings, made in God’s image, who have not formed their beliefs in a vacuum.​

Sep 30, 2015

3 Pitfalls of Suffering by Michael Kelley

We can look to Jesus and see a Savior who did it the good and right way, and we can be humbled under the weight of His sacrifice and emboldened to feel deeply for others in light of His compassion.

Aug 7, 2018

3 of the Serpent's Lies We Still Believe by Michael Kelley

God has not left us wondering about His character. He has not left us without the validation of who He is and what He is like.