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58 Practices Of a Healthy Church Community

It's impossible for a Pastor or even a church staff to care for the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of every individual and family in a congregation. Expecting them to do so places an unscriptural and undue burden on them and creates unrealistic and bound-to-be-unmet expectations in the minds of church members. I mentioned this in a post I wrote last weekend about how I'm sorry when I let people down. In that post, I raised a question. Who then cares for the …

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How to Bring Joy to Your City

I love that part of the story of the early church in which God allows persecution to scatter the Christians from Jerusalem like ants. The Bible says that everywhere they went, they preached the gospel (see Acts chapter 8). Phillip, in particular, headed to a city in Samaria and became the earliest cross-cultural missionary. When he preached there, the citizens listened and embraced Jesus. The Bible sums it up by saying, "So there was great joy in that city." (Acts 8:8 …

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8 Reasons to Take a Sunday to Serve Outside the Church Walls

We called ours We Love NWA because that's how people refer to our community. Whatever you call it, we're glad we took a weekend away from having a worship service in our theater to serve our neighbors. We're not the first, by any means to have a weekend to "be" the church instead of "doing" church. Other churches have cancelled their regular weekend worship time to go serve in various capacities. But why? As we geared up for our big weekend, contacted local charitable …

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Doing Discipleship Post-Resurrection Style

I've heard plenty of talk about discipleship and multiplication recently, and it usually goes something like this... If you want to make disciples the way Jesus wants, you have to do it the way Jesus did it. And Jesus, in His earthly ministry, chose only a few people, weeded out those who weren't true followers, and avoided letting crowds follow him. Therefore, discipleship is one-on-one, takes a year and a half, and doesn't involve seeing masses of people come to know …

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6 Goals of An Effective Small Group Ministry

We haven't officially launched our small group ministry at Grace Hills yet. I've done plenty of reading, researching, and consulting the minds of some of the nation's foremost small groups thinkers. What I've discovered is that there is a broad variety of approaches to small group ministry, many tempered by the experiences of individual churches. I'm sure the same will be true of us. We will adapt our approach over time as we learn what works and what doesn't. I do know, …

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Small Groups With Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities

There are, in every industry, certain books that serve as cornerstones - manuals of the trade, if you will. If you want to fix a car, you buy a Chilton's Guide. If you're working in any psychology-related field, you need a DSM-IV manual. And if you're in small group ministry, ministry leadership, or you simply want your own small group to thrive, you need to have the new industry standard manual, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities. Steve Gladen, …

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Get More Social by Listening to Your Community

Yesterday, we kicked off the first day of Saddleback's annual conference for church leaders, Radicalis. (In fact, you can still see it for free at Radicalis.com for free with the code "RADRICK11".) One of my responsibilities is monitoring the social networking streams for mentions of our conference using the #rad11 hashtag. It's been very cool to see the real-time feedback coming from our community of conference enthusiasts. …

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Social Media in Smaller Communities (via @thesticks)

I had the privilege of talking with Jonathan Pearson with The Sticks conference about utilizing social media in smaller communities... Check It Out …

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Community Managment Scenario Map

Community Managment Scenario Map Originally uploaded by David Armano This is what I do, but I often feel as though I don't do it well enough. In other words, I'm thankful I found this today as a means of reminding myself of what it is I'm supposed to be doing on behalf of Pastors.com. …

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Lessons On Community from Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach represents authentic southern California beach culture. You've got bodybuilders working out on the sand, skateboards and bikes covering the boardwalk, and street performers driving nails up their noses for tip money. My family and I visited there yesterday with the Krumm's, friends of ours here in Orange County. It was a fascinating taste of local culture for us and in the midst of that experience, I observed some of the markings of genuine community. Note …

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