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5 Reasons Why Men Just Can’t Win

Go Fight Win

I try. I fail. I try and fail again. Why can’t I just win? Why can’t I get this right?

I ask myself those questions a lot, but even as I ask them, I know the answers. They’re on the tip of my tongue and God’s spirit often reminds me of them right in the middle of my pity party, which is so inconvenient. And I think that, as a man, I’m not alone. All men struggle. All men have internal battles. And all men wonder if they’ll ever really win.

For your benefit and mine, for the sake of all men, let me just spill my guts about why I just can’t win. Or at least, why I don’t win when I don’t win. Reflect on how you see these in your own life.

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3 Ways to Try to Kill the Church In America

Old Salem Church and Cemetery

So the big news among religious leaders right now are the latest results from new research conducted by the Pew Research Center. The data reflects what I and plenty of other leaders have been anecdotally observing for a while – Christianity is losing ground while other religions are growing along with the number of unaffiliated people.

One of the most interesting statistics for me personally is this little detail:

The new survey indicates that churches in the evangelical Protestant tradition – including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church in America, 0ther evangelical denominations and many nondenominational congregations – now have a total of about 62 million adult adherents. That is an increase of roughly 2 million since 2007, though once the margins of error are taken into account, it is possible that the number of evangelicals may have risen by as many as 5 million or remained essentially unchanged.

That means two things. First, evangelicalism has more adherents than a decade ago. And second, that growth hasn’t kept up with the actual total population growth in the U.S. In other words, we’ve reached more Americans, but we’re reaching less of America as it outgrows us.

The Washington Post shared the news with a simplistic headline of Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion. Most of those commenting on the article give evidence of not having read the article. The consensus would be something along the lines of “Christianity in America is shrinking because it’s too conservative theologically.” This seems logical, but there’s a problem. It isn’t true. As I commented there,

So, evangelicalism, generally referring to those who believe in a supernatural God, a risen Jesus, and a trustworthy Bible, are doing alright, while denominations that have given up on biblical theology in an attempt to be more agreeable with the surrounding culture are shrinking. Interesting.

This is a point most people seem to miss. After pouring over Pew’s report and reflecting on some of my own observations about evangelicalism in America, I’ve come to some conclusions about what is really going on. I’ll summarize them this way – there are three ways we’re killing the church in America. They are…

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3 False Sources of Confidence in Ministry Leadership

School Kids

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.” So wrote the elder Paul to younger Timothy (1 Timothy 1:12 NLT)

Paul’s words are the introduction to the Bible’s three volume textbook on pastoral ministry (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus). And in that introduction, Paul issues a fairly stern warning to Timothy to watch out for three of the biggest false sources of security and confidence for those who lead in ministry. They were, and are, and have been for me in seasons when I’m not on guard…

1. Our preparation.

That is, we begin to rely on what we know, and we begin to assume that what we know is enough for us to coast. Here’s the thing. When God called me to ministry, I knew pretty much nothing. I was still cutting my teeth on trying to read through the New Testament for the first time. In my early years of ministry, I was a sponge. I learned enough before Bible college that I tested out of the required Old and New Testament survey classes and jumped right into some sophomore-level stuff!

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30 Great Links for Leaders, Readers, and Creatives – May 8, 2015

Links

America Needs Healing! How We Can See It Happen…, by Rick Warren

America is in its worst condition in our generation. Politically, our government has been paralyzed by partisanship. Culturally, we’re becoming more and more secular. And internationally, our reputation has never been lower. America needs healing.

The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Building An Entrepreneurial Mindset, by Faisal Hoque

We often speak of entrepreneurship within a tech or startup space, though surely the family running your neighborhood market is also entrepreneurial, and the individuals in the corporate setting practicing intrapreneurship are entrepreneurial as well…

5 Significant Attitude Differences That Separate Growing and Declining Churches, by Carey Nieuwhof

So what’s the difference between a growing church and a declining church? Well there are many, but one of the biggest differences I see is the attitude of the leaders.

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How to Grow Your Sunday Attendance Using Social Media

Blog GraphicWhen I was a kid, my grandparents owned a small, community store in Browning, Kentucky where I grew up. It was the hub of social activity a the end of each workday. Commuters from town would stop for gas and maybe an ice cream cone and would catch up on life with one another before driving on home.

That store, along with multitudes of others like it across the country, is closed now. But I’m convinced the social aspect of the community store lives on in the form of online social networking. People hang out in community with each other on Facebook, sharing about life and tuning into the lives of others, discussing news and culture, and sharing their faith.

It’s that final aspect of online social networking that intrigues me the most. When we started Grace Hills Church, we didn’t have a bunch of money to drop on mass mailers or newspaper ads. So we turned to Facebook. Most of the first 35 people who showed up at our very first public meeting heard about us through Facebook, either directly from one of our posts, or from seeing something about us on their newsfeed from a friend. And more than two thirds of the people who are now a part of us found out about us either from Facebook or Google.

Social media works. And it works because it connects us with God’s original intent for us. He always wanted us to share media (truth and information) socially (person-to-person). So for any church leader still on the fence, or who may be ready to jump in, here are my five big challenges for you…

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