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Have you ever wrestled with how to respond to a boss or leader when you disagree?
Do you ever wonder why you should listen to them in the first place?
In this newly revised and updated edition, bestselling author John Bevere reemphasizes for a new generation the protective boundaries God provides through authority figures. John reveals how the enemy tricks us into believing our true destinies can be found away from divine leadership by distorting our ability to recognize God's inherent authority and His delegated authority. By teaching us how to properly relate to leadership, John shows why living under authority provides a place where there is provision, protection, and hope for the future.
Under Cover will also help you discover: how to avoid being entirely right yet somehow wrong the biblical way to respond to and overcome unfair treatment Complete with a brand-new chapter, discussion questions, and highlighted themes, Under Cover is a practical, life-transforming book that reveals the importance of submission to God's authority and how to respond to the leaders in our lives.
Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2015 Hearts Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, For Church Leaders ProdigalThought.net's Top Reads of 2015 Englewood Review of Books Best Books of 2015, Praxis Leadership Journal's Best Ministry Books of the Year Often as pastors we feel like we need to project strength and competency in order to minister effectively. That's why we go to conferences and emulate the latest superstars. But we know we can never live up to those images. Deep down, we know our own limitations, our weaknesses, our faults. We fear that if people knew who we really are, we'd be disqualified from ministry. Not so. Mandy Smith unpacks the biblical paradox that God's strength is revealed through our human weakness. Transparently describing her pastoral journey, Smith shows how vulnerability shapes ministry, through our spiritual practices and relationships, influencing our preaching, teaching and even the nuts and bolts of the daily schedule. Understanding our human constraints makes our ministry more sustainable and guards us against disillusionment and burnout. We don't have to have it all together. Recognizing our weakness makes us rely on God, so our weakness can become a ministry resource. God has called you to lead not as a demigod, but as a human, so the world can see that the church is a place for humans like them.
As a pastor, do you feel like you're wearing too many hats?
If you're a pastor, you know the tension of balancing (or trying to) the many roles and expectations that come with leading a church. But are you able to distinguish which roles are truly essential? And can you measure how you're fulfilling them?
Portraits of a Pastor features contributions from evangelical leaders like Jason Allen, Jared Wilson, Daniel Akin, and Owen Strachan on the essential roles and aspects of pastoral ministry. Together the book answers three important questions:
- What does it mean for the pastor to hold all nine roles?
- Why should the pastor fulfill these roles?
- How can the pastor most faithfully fulfill them?
A pastor must be a preacher, shepherd, missionary, evangelist, church historian, theologian, man of God, leader of his household, and leader of others--a tall order! After reading Portraits of a Pastor, you'll:
- Have a clearer vision of the roles you should fulfill in the life of your congregation
- Be inspired to fulfill your calling by growing in new areas of leadership
- Know the unbiblical visions of pastoral leadership that may distract you from your core calling
It's true: much is demanded of pastors. But it's also true that too much is demanded of most pastors. Know what God has called you to, how to fulfill that calling, and what may be distracting you from it.
This book brings the best of leadership theory and research together with biblical reflection and examples of leadership in action to offer a practical guide to Christian leaders. Combining expertise in leadership studies and biblical studies, Justin Irving and Mark Strauss explore how leadership models have moved from autocratic and paternalistic leader-centered models toward an increased focus on followers. The authors show how contemporary theories such as transformational leadership, authentic leadership, and servant leadership take an important step toward prioritizing and empowering followers who work with leaders to accomplish organizational goals. Irving and Strauss organize their book around "nine empowering practices," making it accessible to students, church leaders, and business leaders. Integrating solid research in leadership studies with biblical and theological reflection on the leadership ideas that are most compatible with Christian faith, this book is an important resource for all Christian students of leadership.
Once upon a time there existed a version of our faith worth living and dying for, something the world found irresistible. Men and women pursued it at the risk of persecution, job loss, and eviction from their homes, temples, and society. What if we actually followed their lead? Perhaps it would change how we read the Bible? Perhaps it would help us understand our own faith and what we believe? Perhaps we would change the world again? In Irresistible, pastor and author Andy Stanley shows how distortions of the gospel have left us with an anemic version of Christianity that undermines our credibility and our evangelistic effectiveness. He takes readers on a fascinating journey back in time to recover a faith so rich, so dynamic, so disruptive, that it could not be ignored, marginalized, or eradicated. Rather than working harder to make Christianity more interesting, we need to recover what once made faith in Jesus irresistible to the world.
Edmund Campion: A Scholarly Life is the response, at long last, to Evelyn Waugh's call, in 1935, for a 'scholarly biography' to replace Richard Simpson's Edmund Campion (1867). Whereas early accounts of his life focused on the execution of the Jesuit priest, this new biography presents a more balanced assessment, placing equal weight on Campion's London upbringing among printers and preachers, and on his growing stature as an orator in an Oxford riven with religious divisions. Ireland, chosen by Campion as a haven from religious conflict, is shown, paradoxically, to have determined his life and his death. Gerard Kilroy here draws on newly discovered manuscript sources to reveal Campion as a charismatic and affectionate scholar who was finding fulfilment as priest and teacher in Prague when he was summoned to lead the first Jesuit mission to England. The book argues that the delays in his long journey suggest reluctant acceptance, even before he was told that Dr Nicholas Sander had brought 'holy war' to Ireland, so that Campion landed in an England that was preparing for papal invasion. The book offers fresh insights into the dramatic search for Campion, the populist nature of the disputations in the Tower, and the legal issues raised by his torture. It was the monarchical republic itself that, in pursuit of the Anjou marriage, made him the beloved 'champion' of the English Catholic community. Edmund Campion: A Scholarly Life presents the most detailed and comprehensive picture to date of an historical figure whose loyalty and courage, in the trial and on the scaffold, swiftly became legendary across Europe.
Jong Hun Joo offers a model of how both solid biblical understanding and effective practice of worship can be realised in churches today by exploring the theology and practice of Matthew Henry (1662-1714). Matthew Henry is one of the most famous biblical commentators in the English-speaking world. He was, however, also a pastor who was liturgical in negotiating the political and religious landmines of his day. This all but overlooked aspect of Henry's biography and writings is both a window into his life and times, and an insightful view into the pastoral dimensions of Christian rituals and practices in the home and church. Joo discerns how Henry understood and practised English Presbyterian worship as an example of Reformed worship in his context and suggests how contemporary churches can appropriately develop and articulate their own worship in their own contexts, making the case for worship renewal.
The Latest Cultural, Religious, and Political Trends--All in One Resource We live in a complex and changing world. Even with an overwhelming barrage of daily information, articles, and op-ed pieces of every aspect of life, it can be difficult to cut through the hype and understand the facts. Yet, anyone in a position of leadership or influence cannot afford to be ignorant of the trends that shape us. For thirty years, Barna Group has been a trusted guide to sorting out those facts. Presenting a year's worth of their major research findings, the Barna Trends 2017 puts essential information at our fingertips by consolidating and interpreting the raw data behind cultural, religious, and political shifts. Writers, speakers, pastors, and leaders will find this collection of infographics, analysis, and expert commentary indispensable as they prepare to engage audiences, whether on paper, in person, or with pixels.
Online churches are Internet-based Christian communities, pursuing worship, discussion, friendship, support, proselytization, and other key religious goals through computer-mediated communication. The first examples appeared in the mid-1980s, but this genre of online activity has been revolutionized over the last decade by considerable institutional investment and the rise of new low-cost social media platforms. Hundreds of thousands of people are now involved with online congregations, generating new kinds of ritual, leadership, and community as well as new networks of global influence.
Creating Church Online is the first large-scale sociological investigation of this area, offering a significant and timely advance in the study of religion, media, and culture. Five ethnographic case studies are presented, based primarily in the UK, USA, and Australasia, providing levels of detail, scope, and variety previously unexplored by researchers in this field. Comparative analysis of these case studies demonstrates the emergence of intriguing new hybrids of digital, local, and institutional religion, reflecting major shifts in contemporary patterns of religious commitment. Author Tim Hutchings constructs a rich account of the culture and practice of five online churches, emphasizing worship, leadership, and community and the relationship between online and everyday life. Through such in-depth analysis, this book explores the significance and impact of online churchgoing in the religious and social lives of participants, as well as the relationship between online and everyday life, in search of a new theoretical framework to map religious users engagement with new media."
This book examines the potential of conducting studies in comparative hagiology, through parallel literary and historical analyses of spiritual life writings pertaining to distinct religious contexts. In particular, it focuses on a comparative analysis of the early sources on the medieval Christian Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and the Tibetan Buddhist Milarepa (c. 1052-1135), up to and including the so-called `standard versions' of their life stories written by Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1221-1274) and Tsangnyoen Heruka (1452-1507) respectively. The book thus demonstrates how in the social and religious contexts of both 1200s Italy and 1400s Tibet, narratives of the lives, deeds and teachings of two individuals recognized as spiritual champions were seen as the most effective means to promote spiritual, doctrinal and political agendas. Therefore, as well being highly relevant to those studying hagiographical sources, this book will be of interest to scholars working across the fields of religion and the comparative study of religious phenomena, as well as history and literature in the pre-modern period.
How to More Effectively Leverage the Leadership Gifts and Abilities of Women in Your Church What would your church look like in the future if it were to maximize the dormant gifts of the women God has brought there? In Developing Female Leaders, Kadi Cole, twenty-year veteran in leadership and people development, offers a practical strategy to help church and organizational leaders craft cultures that facilitate the development of women as volunteer and staff leaders. Using interviews and surveys of more than one thousand women in key church and organizational roles, combined with current research, the author has created eight easy-to-implement "best practices" that help accelerate a woman's organizational contribution. Thorough appendices and references add even more guidance for setting vision, milestones, and goals. Developing Female Leaders is a one-of-a-kind resource for identifying what is missing today in your church to help it flourish in the future.
What was revolutionary, in Francis, was his belief that one could remain in the world and yet be holy.' Piers Paul Read, from the Introduction Francis de Sales was born in France and became Bishop of Geneva in the early seventeenth century. Famed for his patience, he was known as a preacher, evangelist and spiritual director. Together with Jane de Chantal, he founded the congregation of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Written to help lay people to live in the world without being influenced by its spirit, Introduction to the Devout Life is a timeless classic on spiritual growth. It provides a series of practical meditations that can enrich the reader's prayer life. In short, pithy chapters, Francis de Sales gives advice on such topics as humility, patience and poverty of spirit. His aim is to guide anyone with courage and determination to live a life of true devotion.
Marco Politi takes us deep inside the power struggle roiling the Roman Curia and the Catholic Church worldwide, beginning with Benedict XVI, the pope who famously resigned in 2013, and intensifying with the contested and unexpected election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Pope Francis. Politi's account balances the perspectives of Pope Francis's supporters, Benedict's sympathizers, and those disappointed members of the Catholic laity who feel alienated by the institution's secrecy, financial corruption, and refusal to modernize. Politi dramatically recounts the sexual scandals that have rocked the church and the accusations of money laundering and other financial misdeeds swirling around the Vatican and the Italian Catholic establishment. Pope Francis has tried to shine a light on these crimes, but his work has been met with resistance from entrenched factions. Politi writes of the decline in church attendance and vocations to the priesthood throughout the world as the church continues to prohibit divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving the communion wafer. He visits European parishes where women now perform the functions of missing male priests-and where the remaining parishioners would welcome the admission of women to the priesthood, if the church would allow it. Pope Francis's emphasis on pastoral compassion for all who struggle with the burden of family life has also provoked the ire of traditionalists in the Roman Curia and elsewhere. He knows from personal experience what life is like for the poor in Buenos Aires and other metropolises of the globalized world, and highlights the contrast between the vital, vibrant faith of these parishioners and the disillusionment of European Catholics. Pope Francis and his supporters are locked in a battle with the defenders of the traditional hard line and with ecclesiastical corruption. In this conflict, the future of Catholicism is at stake-and it is far from certain Francis will succeed in saving the institution from decline.
The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager of a hotel, a store, a restaurant, or an attraction knows, the key to getting guests to come back is not actually the rooms or the product or the food itself; it's how guests feel when they're there. It's about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellence--stirring worship time, inspiring sermons, a good coffee blend in the foyer--what our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood. Written by a church consultant and a hospitality expert, The Come Back Effect shows church, ministry, and even business leaders the secret to helping a first-time guest return again and again. Through an engaging, story-driven approach, they explain how service and hospitality are two different things, show how Jesus practiced hospitality, and invite leaders to develop and implement changes that lead to repeat visits and, eventually, to sustained growth.
As the church continues to hear and heed Christ's call to reflect the multiethnic character of his people, pastors and lay leaders need to gain skills and competencies to serve in those contexts. The multicultural team of Juan Martinez and Mark Branson has written this book to equip such leaders to create environments that make God's reconciling initiatives apparent in church life and in our missional engagement with neighborhoods and cities. Generated by courses they teach at Fuller Theological Seminary, Branson and Martinez take an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church. Case studies, Bible studies and exercises for personal reflection and classroom use connect the real life and everyday challenges that inevitably arise in multi-ethnic contexts. Martinez and Branson offer not static model but a praxis of "paying attention," reflection and study that can lead to a genuine reconciliation and shared life empowered by the gospel that is personal, interpersonal, cultural and structural.
If I had known the Enneagram earlier in my ministry, I would have been a much better pastor. When this thought came to Todd Wilson, he had already served as a pastor in several churches for the better part of fifteen years and was successfully leading a large, historic, and diverse congregation. He'd started out in ministry with a strong education in everything from biblical exegesis and homiletics to organizational development and Christian education. However, at its root, pastoral ministry is about shepherding, serving, leading, and loving people, and Todd realized that what he lacked was wisdom about how people work. He says, "When it came to empathetically shepherding people and sensitively engaging their manifold personalities and diverse ways of seeing the world, I was an amateur." Whether you are on a church staff or leading a small group, you will find that the insights from the Enneagram that have helped many grow in self-awareness can be applied to life in our faith communities. The Enneagram can help us to become better teachers. It can influence how we develop worship and Christian education. And it can guide us in building and leading teams. It's time to take the Enneagram to church-and to allow it to shape our life together.
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