Archives For Pastors.com Staff

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Op-ed from Dr. Jamie Aten, Founder and Co-director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College and Ed Stetzer, director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism

Lessons on Hurricane Katrina’s 11th anniversary on preventing clergy burnout from those that have been there…

Dear Louisiana Pastors,

On this day, the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we want to share one of the most important ministry lessons we learned from experience, serving in the midst of disasters, and clergy interviews conducted in the aftermath of the worse natural disaster to ever strike our nation. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as you care for others.

For some of you the current La. flood is your first experience with disaster ministry. Others likely pastored congregations that were affected by Katrina in some way. If not by the winds and rain then by the flood of people who evacuated to your communities in need of shelter. Today you are experiencing a different kind of flood. Regardless of your experience, you need to read this, because you are at risk of compassion fatigue and burnout.

Your church and community need your help now. But they are also going to…

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By Rachel Baker

It’s been nearly six months since the people of South Sudan have had government supplied electricity, only those with generators have access to this resource. Farmers are not farming and businesses are dying, as a baby country groans in its infancy amid tribal and political conflict. Africa’s 55th nation became its own in 2011, but quickly after its birth has experienced threat of failure and famine.

Currently the country, which is primarily composed of former refugees, faces staggering statistics. A mere 27% of the population aged 15 years and above is literate, with two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30. The infant mortality rate is 105 in 1000 and only 17% of South Sudan’s children are fully immunized. Roughly 38% percent of the population walks an hour round trip for drinking water and nearly 80% of the nation does not have access to any toilet facility.

Political tension keeps the country ravaged, as President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar are at war with each other, a feud that has resulted in 50,000 deaths, as guesstimated by the United Nations and ICG (International Crisis Group), though…

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Screenshot 2015-12-17 11.44.53Tony Morgan and the Unstuck Group have just released a great new ebook, Reaching and Leading Millennials: Practical Conversations to Get You Unstuck. From the introduction:

Churches have to understand:

  • Writing off a generation because they have diferent issues is a stubborn and unproductive approach.
  • Millennials were born into a very different world, and it is essential that they learn to live out their faith differently than their parents’ generation.
  • Fulfilling God’s purposes requires guring out how to speak the language of all of the different generations.

To borrow from Shaw, we have to start having the right conversations. Too many churches get hung up on talking about why young people won’t come to their church. Instead, they need to be talking about what they are willing to do differently.

Check it out!

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Screenshot 2015-10-08 21.13.53If you’re exploring the world of church planting, you’ve probably realized calling is a big deal. Because church planting is difficult, it’s important to know that the God of the universe has called you to do it.

But calling can be a tricky business, can’t it?

I was in my dorm room the first time I sensed a call to reach lost people, but it was 1:30 in the morning, so I didn’t think much about it. Besides, the only form of ministry I’d ever seen involved dingy fellowship halls and out of touch sermons – not a very compelling picture to a nineteen year old college football player.

Fast-forward a few years, after a summer workout, a thought hit me that coaching football was a great way to marry by burden for the lost with something that involved more Dri-FIT than flannelgraph. However, two years into my dream coaching job, all I wanted to do was listen to sermons and read blogs about church planting. I couldn’t shake the sense that I was created to do something else. I found myself caring more about our team chapel service than the conference…

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The United States is rapidly becoming multiethnic. Within ten years we will probably no longer have a majority race. Every facet of our American culture is transitioning to multiethnic . . . except the church. The church remains the most segregated institution in America. It will take multiethnic churches to reach a multiethnic America.

So how can your church transform into a gospel-centered, mission-shaped, multiethnic local church?

In The High-Definition Leader author, Derwin Gray, issues an invitation for church leaders to help their congregations embrace Christ’s call to the early church—a call that crosses ethnic and socioeconomic barriers to create heavenly colonies of love, reconciliation, and unity.

THE HIGH-DEFINITION LEADER WILL HELP READERS . .

  • understand that planting and transforming churches into multiethnic groups is a biblical calling church leaders must encourage
  • identify and implement the best practices to help leaders build multiethnic churches
  • recognize that reconciliation between ethnic groups in the church is not just a social issue but a theological issue church leaders cannot ignore

The apostle Paul built multiethnic, socioeconomic diverse local churches of Jews and Gentiles. We must follow his godly wisdom and leadership if we want to be the church for which…

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Lobby

We’ve all been to church conferences or seminars where great speakers dispense great information. But we have noticed that most of the practical learnings and best practices are shared “in the lobby” with other Small Group Ministry leaders like you. The Small Group Network is gathering the sharpest, brightest, and most innovative 20s/30s small group practitioners from around the world for the purpose of exchanging ministry strategies, learnings, and best practices in a peer-to-peer environment.

Learn More or Register Now!

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Gaining by LosingPeople are leaving the church J.D. Greear pastors. Big givers. Key volunteers. Some of his best leaders and friends. And that’s exactly how he wants it to be.

When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.

But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s.

In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches…

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Mental Health Gathering

Half of all adults will develop mental illness in their lifetime…
But there’s HOPE.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50% of adults will develop depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, or some other mental illness in their lifetime. This means that someone you know and love is affected by mental illness. This staggering reality can feel daunting, but there is HOPE for mental health.

You are invited to share the HOPE by participating in The Gathering on Mental Health and The Church on October 7-9, 2015 at Saddleback Church. The Gathering will be packed with practical help and hope for individuals affected by mental illness, their loved ones, church leaders, and mental health professionals.

The Gathering will feature over 40 speakers, including best-selling author Sheila Walsh, who will share her story of finding hope in mental illness, United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who founded the Kennedy Forum out of his experience with substance abuse and mental illness. Other speakers will offer presentations on the intersection of mental illness and veterans, substance abuse, law enforcement,…

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Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in North Texas, will lead the country in prayer as Honorary Chairman for the 2015 National Day of Prayer next month.

A minister for more than four decades, Dr. Graham leads the nearly 40,000-member Prestonwood Baptist Church, which includes three locations in the Dallas area. He is also the voice of PowerPoint Ministries, a radio and television broadcast ministry that shares the message of the Gospel proclaimed from the Prestonwood pulpit throughout the world.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force, led by Shirley Dobson, named Dr. Graham as chair for the 64th annual prayer event on Thursday, May 7, in Washington, D.C.

“I’m so pleased to have Pastor Jack Graham serving with me as our 2015 Honorary Chairman,” Mrs. Dobson said. “And together, we are calling our great nation to repentance and prayer.”

Mrs. Dobson said the theme this year is Lord, Hear Our Cry, drawn from 1 Kings 8:28.

“We would like to invite all Christians to cry out together with us on May 7,” she said, “asking God to bring us spiritual awakening in…

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Building Strong Worship Leaders

One of the greatest needs of the church today is gifted, godly worship leaders who will not only pour themselves into the weekly corporate gathering but who will, behind the scenes and off the stage, pour their very lives into discipling and training a whole new generation of worship leaders. That’s why I’m so excited about the work of Dwayne Moore and the Asaph Generation. Worship leaders from various backgrounds are coming together to see a generation of people giving authentic praise to God as never before.

From Nehemiah to the apostolic era, from the Renaissance to Azusa Street, great movements of God have always been fueled by heartfelt repentance and passionate worship. When God’s name is glorified, great things begin to happen. Please read this book slowly. Soak in its wisdom. Hear and heed the call, first to be a worshipper, but also to determine how you can invest your life into seeing God’s name magnified and glorified in our culture.

– From the Foreword, by Brandon Cox

Grab your free copy here!

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