Archives For Books & Media

A Righteous BroodBottom Line: You won’t have a missional church unless the families in your church learn to go on mission together.

Most parents have huge hopes for their children. Peace, safety, ample provision, happiness and the American Dream. But God has a bigger dream for your family that should make you rethink everything. People are leaving the church in droves. Three out four children will also choose to opt out Americanized Christian religion. Why? It doesn’t capture the heart, stretch the mind, or call for any substance. Fortunately, God’s story is big enough and the “Family” remains His best way to inspire, include and disciple the missional life in our children. A Righteous Brood is a prophetic call, but also a practical guide to making the home the front line of mission.

Inside A Righteous Brood, Hugh Halter will take you behind the scenes of this family as they planted two churches. With a severely disabled son, a 50 hour-a-week job as a house painter, and two other children in hockey six days a week, Hugh will get beyond the fluff and help you see God’s power behind a family that…

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Spectrum-of-InvolvementA supplemental eBook for Missional Moves (Exponential Series, Zondervan)

As church leaders, we know people won’t become disciples by sitting through services or just studying the Bible in classrooms. Jesus showed us that mission is the context for making disciples who can make disciples. Every church leader faces huge barriers like busyness and fear, keeping our people away from mission.

They don’t teach you this stuff in seminary. You only learn this through blood, sweat and tears on the frontlines. Granger Community Church has seen thousands move out on mission, culminating in redemptive movements locally and globally. From Monroe Circle Community Center, a hub for neighborhood renewal in the inner city, to a movement of more than 1.000 reproducing churches in India that includes more than 120,000 people.

Practical Help to Help People Move Deeper Into Mission
In this eBook, through the story of Granger Community Church, you’ll discover practical help in mobilizing people toward mission in incremental steps. People need a series of steps into deeper engagement with mission. You’ll discover hard-fought lessons like:

  • How to develop a spectrum of involvement across local, regional, cross-cultural and global engagement.
  • How to include people from all…

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SwitchOne of the books that has been on my reading list for two years is Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. I read it over the Christmas break, and wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s one of the best books on change that I have ever read.

The Heath brothers draw from an extensive set of research studies, mostly in the field of psychology, to explain why people act in certain ways when confronted with the need to change. This sounds very dry, but the genius of Switch is that the Heaths have created a simple and memorable framework that is easy to read and captivating. They deal with both the emotional and logical issues that can cripple change efforts both at the personal or organizational levels.

One thing that makes Switch so captivating is the stories of change. As I’m writing this review, I’m remembering that the size of the bucket doesn’t affect the amount of popcorn eaten by a movie-goer and the implications this has for change efforts. I’m thinking about a community revitalization effort in rural North Dakota that was started by teens, a…

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There are certain things that I write about and talk about that are harder than others. The most difficult things to discuss for me are the personal, intentional decisions that I made to have an affair. Selfish. Cruel. Mean. Dark.

There are some things in life we can chalk up to circumstances. There are some things that we can attribute to someone else’s choices. But then there are the things in life that we choose that cause tremendous hurt and damage and have severe consequences. Those are what haunt me the most. My thoughts are typically “If I would have just chosen to do that one thing differently.” “Things could have been so much different if I would have done this…” Haunting.

I heard someone say one time in reference to making mistakes “You can stub your toe a hundred times, but you can only cut your throat once.” For me, I had two decision points…one that was near fatal, and one that decimated not only my family, but also another family and an entire church.

About eight weeks before the affair started,…

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I Woke Up In HeavenHeaven is near. Triggered by the recent passing of his mother, pastor/author David Putman has been on an all-out search for glimpses of heaven and eternity. As he read books and studied Scripture, and reflected on life situations (such as the joyous homecoming of his son from military deployment), Putman says he has begun to understand the full depth of Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

“I am convinced that heaven is closer than we think, that the abundant life has already begun,” Putman writes. While we will all walk through trials in this life, Putman shows us that we can all learn to look for those moments of heaven breaking through.

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By Jeff Brawner

If you’ve traveled most anywhere in the United States recently, you’ve likely had contact with a follower of Hinduism, a religion that is becoming a major factor on the American religious landscape.

Witnessing to Hindus can be daunting. A seminary student described his effort to reach out to a Hindu, saying, “They have all of those gods. I just felt … helpless.”

With 330 million gods, a Hindu’s simple response can be, “How can we be wrong, if we accept that everyone is at least partially right?”

Still, increasing numbers of Hindus around the world are trusting Christ. The church in India now encompasses more than 70-million people, the world’s eighth-largest Christian population.

To initiate sharing Christ with a Hindu, consider these four steps:

1. Befriend a Hindu. Invite your new Hindu friend to coffee or tea. Invest time in your new friend.

2. Avoid the urge just to be the person’s friend. Take a leap of faith and talk about spiritual ideas as soon as possible. Mention how God has blessed you, so the person will know that you are a spiritual person.

3. Look for “spiritual clues” –…

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By Jon D. Wilke

LifeWay Christian Resources has launched a new ebookstore at LifeWay.com and a new mobile ebook reader, making it more convenient for customers to take their favorite books with them wherever they go.

The LifeWay Reader app is now available as a free download from the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Android devices. LifeWay’s new app allows users to build a personal library from a growing list of ebooks and resources from the same Christian publishers found in LifeWay Christian Stores and at LifeWay.com. The LifeWay.com ebookstore currently offers more than 8,000 titles.

The LifeWay Reader app comes with a free pre-loaded copy of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Other free content also is available online.

“The Bible features in the LifeWay Reader app make it stand apart in the market,” said Tim Vineyard, president of LifeWay Christian Stores.

All ebooks with Scripture references are automatically linked to the related Bible passage. Users can click on the link to display a pop-up window in the app without having to switch apps or wait for a new browser program to…

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To Trust and Follow JesusMost local churches try to do too many things. They seek to worship God, serve the poor, reach lost people, proclaim justice, support one another and on and on. In this eBook, Founding and Lead Pastor Bob Harrington pursues the assertion that discipleship is the core purpose of the church. True disciples learn how to worship God, serve the poor, reach lost people, proclaim justice, support their members, etc. But if we try to “do all these things” without seeing them through our core focus of discipleship, people will lack direction and clarity.

Every book in the New Testament was written to help people trust and follow Jesus Christ–a.k.a.  discipleship. Every New Testament leader sought to help people become true disciples. And God’s desire is that every human He created would trust and follow Jesus Christ into eternity– the result of discipleship. It is the underlying purpose of the church.

When a church upholds this core purpose, it pushes everything back to Jesus. Jesus called people to be His disciples. He had a specific method for making disciples, and we are best off…

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“When you hear the word disciple, what comes to mind?  Maybe you think of the twelve disciples who tramped along behind Jesus through the Judean wilderness and the dusty streets of Jerusalem?  Maybe you visualize their faces in a stained glass church window or in some old painting with little halos over their heads?

“But here’s the real question:  When you hear the word disciple, do you think of yourself?  Do you consider yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ?  Do you know what it means to be one (p. 7, Start to Follow).”

If you’re looking for a discipleship resource, you need to take a look at Start to Follow by Greg Laurie.  The pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Laurie is the author of over 30 books and the founder and featured speaker for Harvest Crusades.  One of America’s best known evangelists, it’s hardly a surprise that he’d have a well thought out resource for making disciples.

A short 125 pages, I can see Start to Follow being used to equip and encourage disciple-makers….

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Transformational RelationshipsA supplemental eBook for Missional Moves (Exponential Signature Series, Zondervan) by Rob Wegner & Jack Magruder

Making disciples is a team sport. If a local church wants to disciple a neighborhood, community or city, they can’t do it alone. That kind of community transformation will require the local church to partner with players from every domain of society, including parachurch organizations, NGO’s, business, school corporations, healthcare providers and government. If your church has a vision big enough to believe the Kingdom impacts all these areas, then high levels of partnership skills will be required.

They don’t teach you this stuff in seminary. You only learn this through blood, sweat and tears on the frontlines. Granger Community Church has seen thousands move out on mission, culminating in redemptive movements both locally and globally. From Monroe Circle Community Center, a hub for neighborhood renewal in Granger’s inner city, to a movement of more than 1,000 reproducing churches in India that include more than 120,000 people.

Practical Help for Partnership with Organizations, Businesses and Government. In this eBook, you’ll discover hard-fought lessons like:

  • How to define shared mission with players from every domain of…

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For years I have dreamed of providing a best of class and totally free book summary service to church leaders. Now its time! And it’s called SUMS.  Imagine getting 26 summaries a year absolutely free!

What got me thinking about SUMS?

I love reading, and I appreciate book summaries like most church leaders. But I wished a team would get serious about selection of books for church leaders, design of something great to look at, and application for the ChurchWorld context.

How have we selected books?

There are three kinds of books we are focusing on. 1) Classic leadership texts that are worth revisiting, 2) Books targeted for church leaders, 3) Current business and leadership releases. To the left  is the first one in our series and and example of that the cover looks like.

Who is behind SUMS and actually writing the material?

Bob Adams is the SUMS team leader and the Vision Room curator. One time when I was eating lunch with Bob, years before he was on the Auxano team, he showed me the trunk of his car- it was filled with books.

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Measuring the OrchardMeasuring The Orchard examines the emptiness of a ministry focused almost entirely on growing a single church, describes the natural life cycle all churches go through, and offers a better scorecard for defining success in ministry. Geoff Surratt lays out a “begin with the end in mind” view of church health and growth that leads to maximum Kingdom impact and ministry fulfillment.

Download from Exponential

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