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

Jul 24, 2018

You Can't Pick Up the Cross While Holding Your Nets by Michael Kelley

When they dropped their nets, the disciples broke with the past and fully embraced the future with Jesus.

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.

Sep 5, 2017

What To Do When You're Stuck in Doubt by Michael Kelley

Don’t stop showing up, Christian. In fact, if you are doubting today, it’s the best time to show up again.

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.

Apr 18

The Slow and Steady Pace of Discipleship by Michael Kelley

We don’t need something new. We need something old. We need to do the same things that saints of old have been doing in order to deepen our understanding and apprehension of the greatness of God.

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.

Nov 15, 2017

There is No "Just" in the Body of Christ by Michael Kelley

I have a sneaking suspicion that people like this, the ones that serve quietly and without fanfare, but with great faithfulness, are the true heroes in the kingdom of heaven.

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.

Sep 21, 2017

The Long Way Is Not The Wrong Way by Michael Kelley

There’s a funny thing that happens when God takes you on the long way – you actually become something, rather than just end up somewhere.

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.

Jan 31

The Beautiful Question the Gospel Compels Us to Ask by Michael Kelley

When you get a little grace, you start asking, “Who else?” Because there must be someone.

May 31, 2017

Stop Using Your Personality Test as a Crutch by Michael Kelley

If you’re a Christian, knowing your personality is not your end game.

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.

May 17, 2018

One Word Christian Leaders Should Stop Using by Michael Kelley

Christian leaders, consider this: you have been given stewardship, not ownership

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?

Jul 18, 2017

Misusing Your Spiritual Disciplines by Michael Kelley

Rather than backing God into a corner, the spiritual disciplines position us into a kneeling position.

Apr 11, 2017

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, 2017

Michael Kelley on the Writing Process by Michael Kelley

We ask Michael Kelley to describe his writing process.

Oct 19, 2018

Michael Kelley On Taking Discipleship Seriously by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

Why don’t more churches take the process of discipleship seriously?

Mar 1

Michael Kelley on Passion Without Legalism by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

How do I become passionate about the things of God without becoming a legalist?

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?

Dec 4, 2018

Michael Kelley on Mistakes We Make When Thinking About Discipleship by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations asks Michael Kelley, Director of Discipleship at Lifeway Christian Resources, "What are some mistakes we make in thinking about discipleship?"

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?"

Jun 22, 2018

Michael Kelley on Difficult Things In Life by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

What difficult thing in your life taught you the most?

Aug 24, 2018

Michael Kelley on Christians Not Being Discipled by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

What should a new Christian who isn't being discipled do?

Mar 2, 2018

Michael Kelley on Books Christians Read by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

Why do the books Christians buy the most tend to not be the best for them?

Jan 30

Michael Kelley on Adults and our Relationship to Jesus by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

What are some patterns of adulthood that frustrate our relationship with Jesus?

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, 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

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.​