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Thanks to the Churches of the Baptist Missionary Association of America

I've just returned from Little Rock where the Baptist Missionary Association of America had its annual meeting. With the exception of the one year I spent at Saddleback Church, I've pastored churches associated with the BMA since I was 19 years old and I attended Central Baptist College, a BMA college (one of the best liberal arts colleges on the planet, by the way). Many of my close friends are associated with other denominations and still others don't like the very idea …

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Let’s Make Disciples of All the Nations… Today!

Jesus told us plainly, don't talk about a harvest happening someday. Look at the fields that are white for the harvest today. As long as we see the Great Commission as some far off, unreachable goal, we will remain far off from reaching our goal. Earlier today, 175 people gathered in a movie theater in northwest Arkansas as Grace Hills Church. We're less than two years old with a modest budget and a long way to go toward being a "grown up" church. But we're serious about …

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Whatever It Takes, Short of Sin

At Grace Hills, we will do whatever it takes, short of sin, to find people far from God and lead them to life in Jesus. That's one of our core values, and it's the one that probably creates the most tension for Christians. It's a value that is drawn straight from Scripture: I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. - 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV) Paul …

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Planting Churches and Popping Bubbles

When we started planting Grace Hills Church, we moved fast. We had our first public information meeting in July of 2011 and launched in January of 2012. Some planting strategists would make the assumption that we were all about getting to the weekend show and not enough about making disciples. Nothing could be further from the truth. We moved fast because we wanted to pop bubbles as quickly as possible. Let me explain. One of the reasons so many churches are plateaued at …

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Everybody Belongs In the Church, Including You

I'm white. So when I die, I'll go to white heaven, right? Actually, a Jewish man named John once had a God-given vision of what heaven would look like, and what he saw was more like "a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9 NLT) Heaven is God's ideal - the ultimate restoration and renovation of the earth and universe into what He has envisioned as perfection …

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Last Night, 5,000 Children Died

Not in a flood. Not in an earthquake. Not in a wave of tornadoes or a political coups. But from hunger. Hunger. It's that feeling that gnaws at our bellies in the morning because we haven't had our cheerios yet. But for millions, hunger is a lifestyle with no hope. Today is World Food Day. It's a good day to become aware of some things... And once you know, it's time to do something. I leave it to your own conscience and God's leading as to what your next …

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The Church Planting Journey Is Rather Personal

According to Brian and Amy Bloye, the two toughest jobs in the world are raising kids, and raising a church. And both tasks are deeply personal. I'm a better church planter for having read It's Personal. It's now one of the books I'll be pushing at every potential church planter. Why? Several reasons. Calling is key, and while many books talk about church planting models and methods, few focus on the foundation, which is what matters when the going gets tough. They …

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How Churches Can Partner to Plant New Churches

Denominations don't plant churches.  Churches plant churches. This is why churches should be proactive about church planting rather than waiting for denominational boards and agencies to get the job done. Having said that, most churches don't have the resources to plant another church on their own, so they need to partner together with other multiplication-minded churches to expand the kingdom. Denominations can and do serve a vital place in the grand scheme of church …

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I Am a Foreigner

I don't like that word. I don't like to hear people called "foreigners" on American soil. And frankly, I just don't care that much about the politics of immigration. I'm a Christian, a stranger and a foreigner in this culture. My citizenship is in another kingdom, so I'm odd and strange because of my beliefs and values. Right now, I'm a foreigner in a more real sense. I'm writing this in my hotel room in the Dominican Republic. I'm on a mission trip, visiting Pastor Aridio …

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An Interview with Rick Warren on Muslims, Evangelism, and Missions

Pastor Rick Warren has often said that “you never win your enemies to Christ, only your friends.” And he’s gone far past the limits most believers are willing to broach in order to form friendships and love a world in need of Jesus. Because of this, he’s often the target of unfair criticism and unfounded rumors. If you’ve longed for Pastor Rick to clear the air with boldness and clarity, keep reading. Along with another article I wrote about how Rick is a bridge-builder, …

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