Ministry Today magazine cover

Life

Created on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 / Adversity
Tags: Thom Rainer, adversity, dying, church, life, autopsy, hard data, health, help, significance, influence, guilt, dependence, community, love, control, miracle
I have written another article that presented the findings of my "autopsy" on a church that recently closed its doors and died. I knew the church well because I had been their leadership's consultant 10 ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Greg Atkinson, super hero, leader, boundaries, life, time, career, health, marriage, excellence, obedience, pastor, unhealthy practice, late nights
I know what you're thinking. What's wrong with excellence and trying my best at leadership? Nothing. We should strive to lead with excellence. What I'm referring to is going to an extreme where we try ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 / Discipleship
Tags: Mark Howell, ingredients, discipleship, groups, followers, Jesus, example, life change, curriculum, unforced, unassuming, intentionality, gathering, inclusion, others first, attitude
I recently asked the question, "What have you designed your groups to make?" Answering my own question, I said, "Our small groups are designed to make followers of Jesus."  And I must admit that ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 07 July 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Alpha USA, Gerard Long, millennials, life, questions, Rebecca Long, Tumblr, rebranding, relatable, relational, prayer, resist, evil
"I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, struggling with bacterial and viral meningitis, pancreatitis and encephalitis. One night, I see the window open and this figure comes in, walks right next ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 / Youth
Tags: Greg Stier, full-time, ministry, youth leaders, stars, longevity, burn out, prayer, fitness, physical, mental, lifestyle, cardio, weight training, marathon, intentionality, mission, planning, excellence, ...
Over the last 25 years of full-time ministry (as a church planter, youth guy and para-church director), I have seen all sorts of youth leaders. Some are like falling stars; a bright streak of light that ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 / Vision
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, church, autopsy, death, caution, pessimism, optimism, reality, leaders, prayer movements, church planting, revitalization, theology, practical ministry
I know. I have been a spokesman for gloom and doom of the local church. I've even written a book about church autopsies—not necessarily a topic of hope and joy. There have, however, been reasons ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 / Church Growth
Tags: Kristy Rutter, Ed Stetzer, LifeWay, Thom Rainer, churches, multi-site, merger, strategy, success, The Chapel, Chicago, Kingdom, church plants
I have had the privilege of working with the Chapel, a multisite church in the Chicago land area for the last 4 years. I started with them in 2009 to spearhead this "experiment" to see if we could launch ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay Christian Resources, pastors, church members, human, family member, criticize, bad days, sermons, home runs, sensitive, salary, church numbers, true friend, preaching, good people, ...
In a recent article, I noted nine things church members would like to say to their pastors. In this article, I represent the pastors. Please hear me clearly. Most pastors love church members dearly. They ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: LifeChurch.tv, Oklahoma, Craig Groeschel, online, global, Life Groups, YouVersion Bible App, Church Online, Church Metrics, creativity
Technology and Innovation The church isn't contained to a building, and no one better exemplifies this than LifeChurch.tv, a church that meets weekly in locations across the U.S. and globally online. Following ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 02 June 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Gateway Church, Texas, Pastor Robert Morris, generous living, Lawrence Swicegood, Holy Spirit, multi-site campuses, The Blessed Life, Israel, Great Commission
... as lives are being changed and large numbers of people are being saved and baptized. Gateway, a multicampus church listed as the 24th fastest-growing church in America, began in 2000. It has since grown ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 / Communication
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastors, church members, LifeWay Christian Resources, care, visit, teach, Bible, Word, preaching, change
I am among the most blessed men in the world. God has graciously saved me and sustained me. I have an incredible family. The place and ministry where I serve vocationally is a gift from God. And then, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 29 May 2014 / Church Growth
Tags: ARC, Greg Surratt, church planting, affiliates, multi-site churches, kingdom impact, Billy Hornsby, Chris Hodges, Bethany World Prayer Center, Rick Bezet, Ed Stetzer, LifeWay Research
Church Planting Although Greg Surratt didn't start out with many specifics in mind, his vision of starting 2,000 churches has created one of the most fruitful church-planting networks in the nation. The ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 / Ministry Leadership
Tags: Ron Edmondson, crises, trials, tribulations, response, leaders, George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life, outset, slow down, don't panic, composure, plan, navigation, recovery
How do you respond when crisis comes to the team you lead? I love the leadership displayed during a scene in It's a Wonderful Life where George Bailey is about to leave for his honeymoon and panic ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 25 April 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Steve Stewart, Impact Nations, House Church Movement, disciples, hospitality, church, poor, outcast, New Testament, Paul, Romans, lifestyle, stranger, love, Jesus, powerful
As part of our travels to India, Impact Nations has been experiencing the House Church Movement first hand. This is a movement that is baptizing over a million new disciples a year and is now the largest ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, criticism, leadership, unrealistic expectations, ministry, blessed, calling, Jonah, love, unconditionally, eyes, resurrected Lord, gospel, focus
By my warped standards, it was not a good day. After nearly nine years serving as president and CEO of LifeWay, I have learned that criticisms are a part of the life and leadership I have. But the critics ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Neil Eskelin, LifeBridge Books, Christian, sermon, pastors, mistakes, personality, personal stories, thesaurus, vision, faith, synonyms, shout, speak, long passages, Benny Hinn, Holy Spirit
Editor's Note: After ghostwriting and editing more than 300 Christian books, Neil Eskelin, president of LifeBridge Books, offers his advice to ministers who have a sermon series they want to see published ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 14 April 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Rick Warren, Easter, purpose-driven church, evangelism, growth, eggs, Billy Graham, fruit, decision, relationship, acceptance, approval, love, lifestyle
Easter is one of the two biggest weekends for most churches in terms of attendance. I see this as a great opportunity for evangelism to begin and for a relationship to start between your church and all ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 / Worship
Tags: Thom Rainer, Lifeway Research, Millennials, Texas, data, worship style, blended styles, war, paradigm, rich content, theological truths
... had the opportunity to speak on the subject on many occasions. We reminded this audience in Dallas of the birthdates of this generation, 1980 to 2000, and then proceeded to share our research. We had commissioned ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 27 March 2014 / Culture
Tags: Bob Smietana, LifeWay Research, Ed Stetzer, religious liberty, decline, United States, Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court, preachers, uneasy, evangelical, Christian leaders, war
Americans have always had mixed feelings about religious liberty. Most say it’s important, but they don’t always agree how much liberty is enough or too much. That’s the issue at the heart of the Supreme ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 / Preaching
Tags: John Burke, gospel, heart, God, Erwin McManus, church planting, leaders, Jesus, evangelism, communication, New Testament, God, life
Erwin McManus and I did a one-day event for church planters talking about creating "Come as U R" churches that help people far from God actually grow into future leaders for God. (Check out stories on ... [ +++ ]
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