Resources by Theme: Practical

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.

Apr 22, 2015

Building a Church Planting Culture in Your Church by Lane Harrison

Building a culture of church planting begins by making it personal to your people. When planting becomes personal, your people will pray for it, give to it, talk about it and celebrate it. These priorities will build a culture of planting in your church.

Apr 22, 2015

Enduring Motivation for Ministry as a Pastor's Wife by Christine Hoover

I’d been a pastor’s wife for less than a year when I began preparing my exit strategy . . .

Apr 22, 2015

The Challenge of Contending by Aaron Armstrong

How do we contend for the faith and guard the gospel without being argumentative, judgmental, or cantakerous?

Apr 22, 2015

The Vital Importance of Spiritual Friendship by Darrin Patrick

Most people tend to have foes and fans but very few people have friends. Too few people enjoy true relationships with other people.

Mar 27, 2015

God, the Gospel, and Getting Things Done

Panel Discussion with Matt Perman, Jason Allen, and Charles Smith

Midwestern Seminary's President Jason K. Allen and Vice President for Institutional Relations Charles Smith discuss the practicalities of gospel-centered productivity with Matt Perman, leadership coach and author of What's Best Next?

Nov 30, 2014

Everyday Evangelism by Casey Lewis

Every other year I try to go to a conference hosted by Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY Together for the Gospel. Not only is a great time to hear the Word preached and fellowship with folks I haven't seen in years, but it is a great opportunity to pick up a lot of books. Every year I go, I come back with at least 40-50 books. Most of those are…

Nov 14, 2014

The 21st Century Missionary by Robin D. Hadaway

What is it really like on the mission field? What is it that a missionary actually does (or should do) on the mission field? Sometimes we have a mistaken idea of missionary life. We might think missionary families are surrounded by wild animals or are in danger from hostile tribes. This is not usually the case but… We were in language school in Kenya in preparation to go to Tanzania…

Nov 13, 2014

Simplified Evangelism by Erik Raymond

“It's not that complicated.” How many times have you said this to someone? How many times has someone said it to you? If we're honesttoo many to count (on both accounts). Our ability to overthink and over-complicate our tasks is like spam for our productivity. Consider how free you feel when a task is simplified, steps are outlined, and a plan is in place.

Let's remember that our…

Oct 31, 2014

Growth in Christ Takes Effort by Casey Lewis


When I was in seminary, I had to take two language classes Greek and Hebrew. The first language class I took was turbo Greek. They call it turbo Greek because they squished two semesters worth of Greek into two months. I took these two classes over the summer and they were the only classes I took.

One thing I realized quickly was that if I was going…

Sep 2, 2014

The Purpose of Work You're Missing by Darrin Patrick

We rarely say this out loud, but functionally, most of us believe that our responsibility is to just take of ourselves and our family. And if we do that, it's all good. If we do that, we've responded rightly to God's plan for our work and resources. So, it doesn't really matter what's happening in our neighborhood. It doesn't really matter what's happening in our city. Unless, of course, the…

Apr 4, 2014

What's Wrong With Producing a "Worship Experience"? by Jared C. Wilson

"The only thing of value the church has to offer is the gospel."

Mar 23, 2014

3 Steps to Overcoming Mistakes by Darrin Patrick

A good leader is… 1. Humble enough to admit his mistakes
Surrender your self-righteousness. Refuse to shift blame onto people and circumstances.

2. Wise enough to profit from them
Surrender your self-protection. Open yourself to the correction and insight of others.

3. Courageous enough to correct them
Surrender your comfort. Pour yourself into the mission.

The experience of failing does not…

Feb 25, 2014

Overcoming Anger by Joe Thorn

In my assessment for church planting with the SBC back in 2000 I was told by one of the assessors that I had an anger problem. I argued that I did not. A lot. Half way through the conversation let's just say my anger decided to join the conversation. I spent many years being angry—from my youth to well into adulthood. Before my conversion it could be violent. After my…

Jan 26, 2014

Redeeming Practice by Darrin Patrick

Unless you're Allen Iverson (the 90s version), you can't just flip a switch. You're not going to be dominant in the game if you're not deliberate in practice. You're not going to be able to sit on your hands for weeks and months and still manage to accomplish your goals.

Time is not going to be your friend, but it doesn't have to be your constant enemy.

Aug 25, 2013

Two Keys to Better Recreation by Joe Thorn

Today is my first day back from two weeks of vacation. The time off was great, and because the vacation was a real success I'm eager to get back to the regular life God has called me to. This is the real end (goal) of all our recreation: to fit us to do what God has called us to. Richard Baxter says it well:

No doubt but…