Ministry Life

Don’t Navigate the Valley of Grief Alone

Sad-girl-griefThere is something about the holiday season that amplifies our feelings. When we are having a good year, we see God’s joy and blessing around every corner.

But then there are the years of loss. This season, there will be people in your church who are grieving deeply. In fact, that person might be you.

Grief has many causes; from the loss of a loved one to the loss of a job. The holiday season seems to also bring out the loss of dreams, and desperation of what might never be.

In this article, I won’t be able to help you make people feel better. Grief is a deep valley that must be traversed at different times of life. However, you should find some new tools here that will help you love the people you walk with in tangible ways and give you the insight to share God’s perspective.

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God Desire for Us: Live Right, Live Well

d-LifeScan-PastorCareGod created and gave us times of respite for a specific purpose that’s worth taking seriously

Scripture tells us that work is one of the things God created man to do. Effort and productivity are expected in every area of our lives. Parents strain to bring children into the world, and then for the next 20-plus years must midwife their proper acclimation into society. Businesspeople must produce materials and services that serve the public while making a profit. Pastors ... well, they seem to have no end to their job description! Whatever the responsibility, work seems to incessantly demand our attention. Yet, if regular moments of respite are not prioritized, both quality and quantity of life can diminish.

Craig Sawchuk, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, debunks the idea that more work necessarily means a more productive life. After thousands of hours of research, He concluded that, “If you establish a more balanced lifestyle, enjoying your leisure can in fact improve the quality and quantity of your work.”

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Who is Playing the Race Card?

michael-browndrMy article “Open Letter to My Black Evangelical Friends” elicited some very helpful comments along with words of affirmation and, unfortunately, a number of very ugly comments. The thoughts of many hearts were certainly revealed!

Is it possible that some of the readers were not aware of the great love and respect I have for my black brothers and sisters and that it was out of love and respect that I asked some pointed questions? Is it possible that some readers wrongly viewed me as some kind of white supremacist, completely misreading my words and my intent? Perhaps I assumed too much about our unity in Jesus?

Thankfully, I did receive a number of very insightful comments, and that is the best place to start. (The only comments I will be citing were those that were made, to the best of my knowledge, by my black brothers and sisters.)

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Kenny Luck Ignites Sleeping Giant Movement to Wake Up Christian Men

Kenny-Luck-Sleeping Giant-MT

For years, Kenny Luck has witnessed Men’s Ministry in local churches leaving men unengaged and unfulfilled. The best-selling author’s heart is to see that trend cease.

Luck, an ECPA platinum award-winning author of the God’s Man and Every Man Series and pastor of Men at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, has launched the definitive website for Christian men in conjunction with the Sleeping Giant Total Solution, a proven Men’s Ministry model.

EverymanMinistries.com has ignited a grassroots movement from within that equips the local church to use modern technology to create a spiritual phenomenon: Strong men of God who will look to impact their families and the culture around them.

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AG Hispanic Churches Struggle With 'Culture Shock'

Reuters-Mexicans-pray-together-photog-Tomas-BravoFor many decades, Spanish-speaking Assemblies of God churches could typically be described as predominately Mexican and Mexican-American churches where all services were held in Spanish. Today, some see Hispanic churches as resembling close-knit families who share a similar heritage and culture. For many generations, those descriptions and assumptions would have been mostly correct.

Yet now, to the surprise of even some Hispanic churches, the “melting pot” that is the United States is making itself known and providing a “culture shock” for some Hispanic churches that goes beyond the nearly inevitable clash of generations.

“Just like most churches, Hispanic churches typically minister to several generations within their congregations,” says Efraim Espinoza, director of AG Office of Hispanic Relations. “So, they have the expected generational differences to work through.”

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Christians Can Govern from the Prayer Closet

Kyle-Searcy-Prayer-Closet

Election Day ... it did it again! The results produced myriad emotions ranging from convulsive joy in some to severe depression in others.

I’m fascinated every time I see our democratic process unfold. The fact that we, the people, actually get to elect the leaders of our nation intrigues me. But we have learned to put so much hope in government that people are often crushed beyond measure if their candidate loses or relieved beyond reason when their candidate wins. Both emotional extremes are unnecessary since Scripture suggests that no matter who wins an election for office, we can still win.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people­—for kings and all those in authority—that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV).

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