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Spiritual formation is the key to the survival of our faith. There is an urgent need today for church services that are substantive and purposeful. Stigmatized by scandal, the church in North America and throughout Europe has been branded as useless and irrelevant. To stem the tide of nominal Christianity, we need to get serious about making disciples who can make other disciples. Rory Noland is a worship leader who has led in contexts ranging from megachurches to small retreat settings such as the Transforming Center with Ruth Haley Barton. Combining discipleship and worship-what Noland calls transforming worship-he offers a vision for worship as spiritual formation. We need to reclaim our worship services as a formative space, and through that we will become the light of Christ in a dark world.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, a fascinating look at the world of Christian women celebrities Since the 1970s, an important new figure has appeared on the center stage of American evangelicalism-the celebrity preacher's wife. Although most evangelical traditions bar women from ordained ministry, many women have carved out unofficial positions of power in their husbands' spiritual empires or their own ministries. The biggest stars-such as Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and Victoria Osteen-write bestselling books, grab high ratings on Christian television, and even preach. In this engaging book, Kate Bowler, an acclaimed historian of religion and the author of the bestselling memoir Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, offers a sympathetic and revealing portrait of megachurch women celebrities, showing how they must balance the demands of celebrity culture and conservative, male-dominated faiths. Whether standing alone or next to their husbands, the leading women of megaministry play many parts: the preacher, the homemaker, the talent, the counselor, and the beauty. Boxed in by the high expectations of modern Christian womanhood, they follow and occasionally subvert the visible and invisible rules that govern the lives of evangelical women, earning handsome rewards or incurring harsh penalties. They must be pretty, but not immodest; exemplary, but not fake; vulnerable to sin, but not deviant. And black celebrity preachers' wives carry a special burden of respectability. But despite their influence and wealth, these women are denied the most important symbol of spiritual power-the pulpit. The story of women who most often started off as somebody's wife and ended up as everyone's almost-pastor, The Preacher's Wife is a compelling account of women's search for spiritual authority in the age of celebrity.
Developing and fine-tuning a thriving men s ministry takes perseverance, but it will pay huge dividends in the health of your church and its families. Effective Men s Ministry gives you the tools you need to start smart and stay strong. Here is information you can really use---right away and in years to come. Created by the National Coalition of Ministry to Men, this comprehensive handbook takes you through the five stages of building a powerful, life-changing men s ministry in your church. Prominent pastors and men s leaders such as Pat Morley, Ed Cole, Haman Cross, Phil Downer, Steven Farrar, Jack Hayford, and Willie Richardson share their knowledge and experience. Here is your indispensable toolkit for bringing men together and helping them bond in purpose, heart, and spirit. It includes worksheets, exercises, and sidebars. Some of the twenty-six topics covered are: Getting Things Right---the First Time; The Pastor s Role; Building a Leadership Team; Upside-Down Leadership; Getting Men to Jesus; Teaching Men to Pray; Encouraging Vital Relationships; Working with Men Who Fail; Men of All Colors---Unity in Diversity; Becoming Irresistible Husbands; Fathers and Sons; Successful Men s Retreats."
"This book is such a valuable resource--not just for leaders but for
anyone longing to make a difference in the world." - DAVE RAMSEY
Is it time for your church to go multisite? It seems everybody is doing it these days, so how do you know if it is the right solution for your congregation? MultiChurch brings clarity to the multisite movement and assembles the lessons it has learned over the past fifteen years. It explores the opportunities presented by the various forms of multi-site church, identifies areas of concern, and concludes that multisite is not only a biblically sound ecclesiological model, but also a model that provides a compelling solution to contemporary reductionism in the church.
On 28 February 2013, a 600-year-old tradition was shattered: the conservative Pope Benedict XVI made a startling announcement. He would resign. Reeling from the news, the College of Cardinals rushed to Rome to congregate in the Sistine Chapel to pick his successor. Their unlikely choice? Francis, the first non-European pope in 1,200 years, a one time tango club bouncer, a passionate football fan, a man with the common touch.
From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour, this is a fascinating, revealing and often funny tale of two very different men whose destinies converge with each other - they both live in the Vatican - and the wider world.
How did these two men become two of the most powerful people on Earth? What's it like to be the Pope? What does the future hold for the Catholic Church and its 1 billion followers?
The Two Popes is a dual biography that masterfully combines these two popes' lives into one gripping narrative. From Benedict and Francis' experiences of war in their homelands - when they were still Joseph and Jorge - and the sexual abuse scandal that continues to rock the Church to its foundations, to the intrigue and the occasional comedy of life in the Vatican, The Pope glitters with the darker and the lighter details of life inside one of the world's most opaque but significant institutions.
A dramatic true story of a man refined by fire, a Bruderhof pastor whose spiritual legacy continues to touch thousands. Can our wounds become our greatest gift? Bruderhof pastor J. Heinrich Arnold was a broken man. Yet those who knew him said they never met another like him. Some spoke of his humility and compassion; others of his frankness and earthy humor. In his presence, complete strangers poured out their darkest secrets and left transformed. Others met him with hatred. Writer Henri Nouwen called him a "prophetic voice" and wrote of how his words "touched me as a double-edged sword, calling me to choose between truth and lies, selflessness and selfishness. . . . Here was no pious, sentimental guide; every word came from experience." Who was this extraordinary yet simple man? In this gripping and richly spiritual book, Peter Mommsen tells the dramatic true story of the grandfather he hardly knew. Read it, and you will never look at your own life the same way again. Gold Medal Winner, 2016 IPPY Book of the Year Award in Biography, Independent Publishers Silver Medal Winner, 2016 Benjamin Franklin Award in Religion, Independent Book Publishers Association
The Professionally Religious are leaders who put on a pious spiritual veneer but in reality are inwardly bankrupt and self-serving. More tragically, where our leaders go, so go our organizations. The Church desperately needs the Professionally Religious to become the servants that Jesus boldly challenged His contemporaries to be. This only happens through a rediscovery of a personal spiritual vibrancy that eclipses any attraction to positional self-serving leadership. This book addresses the spiritual poverty in the Church in North America by addressing the spiritual poverty in its leaders. Using the book of Matthew, the author examines what Jesus said to the Professionally Religious in His day and applies that to what he believes Jesus would say to spiritual leaders today. Written to leaders and followers, the book goes on to talk about how to create environments of spiritual vibrancy that prevent or reverse the effects of professional religion. While many books focus on the skills or head knowledge for effective leadership, this book will boldly target motives and heart conditions of leaders.
TIME Magazine's Person of the Year: Pope Francis
Robert Murry M'Cheyne was a 19th century preacher who is known not only for his powerful preaching, but for his personal holiness. Jordan Stone examines the force behind this holiness - his love for and communion with Christ. M'Cheyne prayed for, preached for and pursued holiness because he understood it to be the mature expression of love to Christ. Let us allow his unrelenting passion for piety convict our contemporary complacency and help us learn how to abide in the love of Christ.
From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called and equipped individuals who would serve his community of followers. These "shepherds" are called to preach, pray, and care for the needs of God's people. But what does it mean to be a pastor? And what is the nature of this ministry, according to the Bible? In Gospel-Driven Ministry, Jared Wilson begins by looking at the qualifications for the pastorate, addressing the notion of a call to ministry and how an individual--and a church community--can best identify the marks of maturity and affirm a call. In each chapter, Wilson looks at one of the core practices of pastoral ministry, including: Preaching Sermons Developing a Vibrant Prayer Life Caring and Counseling Pastoring Married and Single Gospel-Centered Leadership Fighting Sin and Spiritual Warfare Resolving Conflict Passing on the Ministry to Others In addition, Wilson provides practical resources including theological insights on baptism and the Lord's Supper, guidance for wedding and funeral sermons, outlines for leading elder and deacon meetings, tips for interviewing new pastors, questions to ask at ordination, and advice on knowing when and how to leave a pastor role. This is a comprehensive, practical guide to pastoral ministry that prepares new pastors and equips those currently serving for long-term, healthy ministry.
What are the distinctive characteristics of Christian leaders? Too many churches and parachurch groups are blindly operating under secular leadership principles and strategies. Concerned to counter this drift, leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs 1) articulates a working definition of a Christian leader and leadership based on Scripture and his own extensive research, and 2) challenges you to define and develop leadership in your ministry. Malphurs then describes in detail the specific characteristics of leaders, such as commitment to Christ, caring, trustworthiness, a servant attitude, and having followers. Each chapter ends with helpful questions for reflection and discussion. Included in the appendices are several inventories that will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses in leadership as well as your leadership style, ideal ministry circumstances, and much more. Aubrey Malphurs is professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. A nationally recognized expert on leadership issues, he is the author of a dozen books and the president of The Malphurs Group (www.malphursgroup.com), a training and consulting organization.
Patriots. Founding Fathers. Revolutionaries. For many Americans, the colonial heroes deserve special celebratory reverence. Yet while Washington's leadership, Franklin's writings, and Revere's ride captivate us, the inspiration and influence George Whitefield instilled within the revolutionary spirits of early Americans is regrettably unknown.In this refreshing biography, Jerome Dean Mahaffey deftly moves beyond Whitefield's colonial celebrity to show how his rhetoric and ministry worked for freedom, situating Whitefield alongside the most revolutionary founders. As this Anglican revivalist traveled among the colonies, he delivered exhilarating sermons deeply saturated with political implications--freedom from oppression, civil justice, communal cooperation. Whitefield helped to encourage in his listeners a longing for a new, uniquely American nationalism.The Accidental Revolutionary tells the story of this forgotten founder, who may not have realized the repercussions of his words as he spoke them. Now, Mahaffey delicately shows that Whitefield converted colonists not just to Christianity but to a renewed sense of unification that ultimately made possible the American Revolution.
Paul Bradbury believes that a movement of the Holy Spirit is beginning to renew and reform today's church - a church marginalised and 'in exile'. Following on from Stepping into Grace, Bradbury takes the prophet's powerful image of dry skeletal human remains coming to life through the miraculous work of the Spirit of God to encourage and inspire the contemporary church to seek renewal through the Spirit. This is a compelling and prophetic book - a must-read for today's church.
What does it take to be a church planter or other ministry entrepreneur? Most leaders start out with passion, a sense of calling, and a focus on building ministry skills. Such things might get some results, but they are not enough to sustain a healthy ministry-or a healthy life. Beyond the vocational capacities every church planter needs, there's a range of capabilities more difficult to measure but even more essential: what veteran church planter Tim Morey calls spiritual competencies. Morey provides here a practical guide to spiritual formation geared to the unique needs of church planters. He helps readers answer the questions, What are the spiritual capabilities that I as a church planter need to develop? How might I lean into the work Jesus is doing in these vital areas? Spiritual competencies have to do not just with behaviors but also with the motivations, agendas, and scripts that drive behaviors. Morey explores how church planters can become people who invest in their own physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health accept limits and share responsibilities can be trusted with power are able to stay resilient and grow through difficulties can minister without being noticed find a sustainable pace that helps them avoid burnout The health of a church or any ministry organization is directly linked to the health of its leaders. Church planters may be used to improvising, but when it comes to their spiritual lives, they can't afford to just wing it. Featuring real-life stories from leaders, suggested practices, and discussion questions in each chapter, this book will equip individuals and teams (and those who coach them) to commit to an intentional plan for spiritual formation-for the good of their churches, their relationships, and their own lives as disciples of Jesus.
Published in 1998, these essays focus on Rome and the curia in the 11th and 12th centuries. Several relate to Cardinal Deusdedit and his canonical collection (1087) and to the pontificate of Paschal II (1099-1118). Both personalities and their ideas are presented within the larger setting of contemporary problems, highlighting divergent currents among ecclesiastical reformers at a time of the investiture controversies. A third common theme is formed by discussions of the organization and archival practices of the curia, which were of fundamental importance for the growth and codification of canon law, not to mention papal control of the Church.
The realities and rewards of leadership are brought to life through this illuminating and insightful look at the ancient image of shepherds. Christians will experience a wondrous opportunity to think biblically about their calling to serve Jesus Christ and the expectations that come with being a shepherd leader. They will uncover the skills necessary to truly shepherd, such as compassion, courage, commitment, guidance and leadership. Readers will take a forty-day journey and encounter a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ, the Divine Shepherd.
Something is not right. The witness of the church in North America is eroding. Many Christians are alarmed by the decline in church attendance and seek a culprit. Too often, we point the finger away from the church, make culture the enemy, and build walls between us and others. But our antagonism and enemy-making are toxins that further eat away at our witness. Is there a better way? Tara Beth Leach could easily be one of those millennials giving up on the church. Instead, she is a pastor who loves the church and is paradoxically hopeful for its future. In an era where the church has lost much of its credibility, Leach casts a radiant vision for Christians to rediscover a robust, attractive witness. We need to name the toxic soil we've grown in, repent for past wrongs, and lean into a better way to become the church that Jesus proclaimed we would be. Leach casts down idolatrous false images of God to recover a winsome picture of a kingdom of abundance and goodness. We can be sustained by practices that will tune our hearts to God's and form us into the radiant communities God intends for us and those around us.
Every ministry needs capable and reliable volunteers, but so often it feels like no one is coming forward to fill your church's needs. In reality, the people around us do want to volunteer their time and talents, but we often fail to connect potential volunteers to ministry opportunities or lose them somewhere along the way. The Volunteer Effect is your start-to-finish guide to recruiting, leading, and retaining volunteers for your ministry. Based on solid management theory delivered in an engaging narrative form, this book shows you how to - recruit people to a mission, not just a role - create low-risk entry points - build a team that evokes pride - train them for the bigger picture - and much more Your most effective volunteers are already in your church! Let this resource show you how to find--and keep--them.
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