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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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Serving Others Is a Win For Everyone

Don't read what I've written until you watch this video... Once you dry your eyes, think about some of the huge implications of this story for people who serve in Christian ministry, personally or vocationally. Lots of teams win games (50% actually) but THIS kind of win gets celebrated virally. Sometimes the role of the pros is to serve up the big moment for the big-hearted volunteer. We're all selfish, until a few of us are not, and the rest of us get swept up …

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A 4-Part Definition of Ministry

Here it is: Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God. - Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God According to Warren Wiersbe, one of America's long-term leading thinkers on ministry issues, this definition consists of four vital parts. Our church staff just walked through his definition of ministry this morning, which includes... Getting to know the divine resources God has made …

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Discipleship Is a Catch-and-Release Process

Jesus stopped a few fishermen one day in the Sea of Galilee and challenged them to turn the world upside down by issuing a simple call... "Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people." (Matthew 4:19, NIV) Many have taught about how the disciples left their careers behind to follow Jesus into full-time ministry that day, but they forget the other instances of the disciples fishing for fish later in the gospels. It wasn't a career change or the sacrifice of a …

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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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Chuck Swindoll: Serve God By Serving People

Men like Chuck Swindoll have a way of articulating profound truths in rather simple statements. In my own mind, I've struggled to figure out how to get the idea across that we need to serve people in order to serve God. In today's insight for living Chuck had this to say... We find it encouraging to think of ourselves as God's servants. I mean, who wouldn't want to be a servant of the King? But when it comes to serving other people, we begin to question the consequences. …

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How To Discover Your Spiritual Gifts

Every believer in Jesus has been granted abilities that are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are all born with various talents, but spiritual gifts are given to us when we become a Christian. The seeds of those gifts are often evident from birth, but the Holy Spirit empowers believers for ministry in supernatural ways. In one sense, spiritual gifts are overrated. What I mean is that we often fail to examine the other aspects of how God has shaped us for His purposes. He …

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7 Promises We Should Make (and Keep) to Volunteers

We pastors often struggle to ask people to give their time and talent to Jesus. Perhaps we've been rejected before and don't like to hear someone say "no." Perhaps we don't like volunteering ourselves and we transfer our own rebellious attitudes to others. Or perhaps we know, when we make "the big ask," that we're going to exhaust another servant. If the latter is true, we need to change our volunteer culture. Creating an environment in which people will gladly and readily …

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Love Means Being Interested In Others

When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin immediately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ's interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. ~ Oswald Chambers It stings me, at times, to realize just how much I think of myself - my needs, my agenda, my schedule - and how much Jesus though of others. I want to be more like Him. I want to think of others before self, and Him first of …

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7 Ways to Outlive Your Life

I've just finished reading Max Lucado'snewest book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference, and I feel... challenged! The premise of the book is that we have a choice to do things that will make an impact that outlasts us. Life is a temporary assignment, but the effects of our lives are permanent. Lucado begs the question over and over again, what are you doing to outlive your life? What are you doing that matters in eternity? How are you investing yourself …

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