Archives For Books & Media

Subversive KingdomSome people talk as if the church isn’t necessary to this endeavor anymore, that it no longer applies to his plan and mission to the same degree it once did. They say, “God is at work outside the church”–and, yes, he is. They say, “The kingdom is bigger than the church”–and, yes, it is. They say, “The kingdom of God is not the church”–and no, it isn’t.

But the missionary purpose that forges our identity, placed within us by a missional God, continues to draw us into the core of his kingdom activity. The ministry of his gospel has been designed “so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church” (Eph. 3:10, italics added). And so that through us, he receives glory.

The church, therefore, remains his central tool for accomplishing the subversive kingdom’s agenda. No, we are not the means of reconciliation any more than the misinformed modern citizen is the potential conduit to heaven on earth. God does the saving, not the church. But just as he sent Jesus here to establish a beachhead for the kingdom, and just as Jesus dispatched his first disciples…

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By Dwayne Hastings

TheBibleSeriesThe Hollywood mogul best known for producing reality television programs is behind a new production of the ultimate “reality” story — the Bible.

Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, who played the angel Monica on the hit CBS show “Touched by an Angel,” are executive producers of “The Bible,” a 10-part miniseries that will air Sunday, March 3, on the History Channel.

Burnett, a four time Emmy Award winner, is responsible for the popular network programs “Survivor” (CBS), “The Voice” (NBC), “Shark Tank (ABC),” and the upcoming “The Job” on CBS.

“We know we couldn’t tell the whole Bible in 10 hours — we wish we could have had 1,000 hours — but we have done our best to make these stories come to life with fresh visual imagery on the screen in ways that will deeply and emotionally connect with an audience,” Downey said in an interview with For Faith & Family.

The series has been nearly four years in the making, she noted. It will air in two-hour segments over five Sundays and conclude on Easter, March 31.

The miniseries has more value than anything he has produced…

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By Phil Boatwright

TheBibleSeries“Just think about all the people who don’t know the Bible,” said Roma Downey, co-executive producer of the miniseries “The Bible,” which will air on the History Channel beginning Sunday (March 3).

“The Bible,” a 10-episode special, was the dream child of Downey (star of “Touched by an Angel”) and her husband, Mark Burnett (producer of “Survivor”). At a press interview in New York last November, I found the husband-and-wife producing team enthusiastic, nearly giddy as they neared the completion of the production.

“It’s hard to imagine, I know,” began Downey in a recent phone interview, “but there are those who have never heard the accounts of Noah, or Abraham, or Moses — or, even Jesus. What we hope will happen from viewing the series is that people, believers and those who are not yet, will gain a renewed interest in God’s Word.

“Sadly, there’s a real Bible illiteracy in today’s world. There are people who simply don’t know stories we take for granted. You think everyone knows the account of Adam and Eve or Samson and Delilah or the significance of the temptation of Christ by Satan,” the…

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The Bible - Help Your Church & Community See The Bible In A Whole New Way

The Bible miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, The Apprentice) and Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel), is coming to television and for two hours every Sunday night for five weeks, from March 3rd through Easter Sunday on March 31st, millions of viewers will see the Bible come to life in a whole new way. Make the most of this opportunity to reach out to the people in your community who will be watching the series but may not attend church—plan a sermon series, small group and outreach campaign and help viewers go deeper and learn even more about the Bible!

Empower Your Members to Invite Friends to Watch The Bible!

The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook and Study GuideEncourage Members to Download a FREE Bible Viewing Party Kit
and to host a party for their friends, coworkers and family in their homes. The Viewing Party Kit includes a Host Guide with ideas and helps for planning and inviting friends to come watch the miniseries along with:

  • Invitation Template – just print, complete the party details and give to your…

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This free eBook is an excerpt (six chapters) from Granger Community Church’s Tim Stevens’ 2012 book, Vision: Lost and Found: The Story of a Church That Got Stuck but Didn’t Stay There (Exponential Series).

In this excerpt, Stevens focuses on the evolution in thinking that he and other Granger Community Church leaders went through as they evaluated both missional and attractional approaches to doing and being the church. Stevens shares that in February 2010, Granger leaders looked at each other and asked a hard question: Is the sheer number of “unchurched” people in our area any less than it was 25 years ago before Granger existed? That question–and this excerpt–set the stage for what would eventually define the church’s well-known transition to “both/and,” choosing to be both attractional and missional. Stevens’ story-telling compels readers to download the full book to discover the rest of Granger’s unstuck story still being written today. Stevens offers an in-depth look at both missional and attractional approaches and gives us an insider look at why and how he and Granger leaders wrestled with both. He also includes a mini glossary of terms central to the missional movement. Download…

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UnleashedThere’s a growing tension to find answers to the question “How do I find meaning in the Sacred and connect it to my life?” Research highlights a widening gap between how we’ve lived out our faith and how we develop meaning through those practices. Unleashed! is a beginning conversation to a more thoughtful and fulfilling walk.

Unleashed! encourages living in the paradox, practicing faith beyond a to-do list, and connecting the whole of life with the Sacred. In our internet, macro/micro connected world we search for ways to weave the practices of our faith throughout life. Unleashed! journeys through the conundrum of practicing the traditional Christian disciplines while living in the everyday. It’s less about becoming something and more about losing ourselves … to find ourselves Unleashed!

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CraveableJesus was irresistible. Yes it’s true that the Jewish leaders stirred the crowds to demand his crucifixion. But why? A big part of their motivation was jealousy. They no longer had a monopoly on the religious devotion of the people because this Jesus guy had come along and was stealing the show… and the crowds.

There was something different about Jesus. He was the life of every party He attended. He was always the giver, the encourager, the healer. And as a result of His character, people wanted to be around Him. The disciples left their old lives behind to follow Him and He taught them to live lives much the same as His, to make Jesus irresistible to their friends.

My friend, Artie Davis, is an irresistible guy. His enthusiasm is contagious. His love is deep, his vision is big, and his heart for people is huge. He’s highly qualified to have written and just released his new book, Craveable: The irresistible Jesus in me. My endorsement appears on the cover and says,

Artie Davis has written an excellent book about a much-needed subject—how to…

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Unpacking in our new home in a new state far from our families, I opened a box marked Fragile in big black letters. Inside, buried under bubble wrap, I found my framed wedding vows. While I searched the master bedroom for the perfect spot where the frame could hang, I read what I had committed to Kyle on our wedding day. Just as it had when I had first written the words, my heart stopped on one line.

I vow to support the ministry that God gives you.

An Overarching Willingness

When I wrote those vows in the weeks leading up to our wedding, I read them several times, each time imagining myself speaking them on our wedding day and, each time, hesitating at the promise to support Kyle’s calling into ministry. Although they were weighty, the other lines about faithfulness and commitment felt right to me; I could confidently make those promises to Kyle. I considered scratching the ministry line because it seemed out of place for wedding vows, but my heart felt unsettled at that prospect, too. I couldn’t pinpoint the difficulty surrounding this…

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CallingWe all wrestle with the same daunting questions about our lives: Why am I here? Do I have a unique, God-created role to play in His Kingdom during my lifetime? If so, how do I discover what it is? Calling’s Way charts out the process one goes through to fully discover, experience and optimize their God-given calling in their lifetime. It’s written to leaders in the church who have a desire to understand this process and guide others through it. If any organization should creatively integrate this kind of understanding and guidance into helping people, it’s the church. Calling’s Way is written from the author’s experience of facilitating more than 600 one-on-one, two-day LifePlan sessions over the past 20 years.

Download from Exponential

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Cant We All Just Get AlongFamilies are complicated. Just think of your own extended family. It’s a mess, right? Churches are made up of multiple messy families. Worse yet, those families are expected to work together as a great big extended family. And the pastor is supposed to preside over it all. Oh yeah, and the pastor’s own nuclear family is a part of this great big family. So should we be surprised when there are problems? This book will explain how to navigate the treacherous waters of family systems and make your church stronger in the process.

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Who Do You Think YOU Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? is an exploration of the issue of identity and an encouraging examination of what it means to be “in Christ.”

Drawing from nearly two decades of pastoring, Mark Driscoll knows that underlying most individuals’ struggles in life is the issue of their identity. “The fundamental problem we have in this world,” he says, “is that we don’t understand who we truly are—children of God made in his image—and define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus. Only by knowing our false identity apart from Christ, in comparison to our true identity in him, can we finally deal with and overcome the issues in our lives.”

Here’s what Pastor Rick Warren has to say about this book…

The key to understanding your true identity is shaped by your relationship with Jesus Christ. ‘In Christ’ you are completely acceptable, extremely valuable, eternally loved, totally forgiven, and fully capable. Pick up a copy of Who Do You Think You Are? and learn the truth about who you really are.

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MoveMove. A word that captures the discipleship passion all pastors share: to help move their people’s hearts and lives to a deeper love of God and others. Now MOVE For Church Planters provides a powerful, condensed summary of how any church—and, in particular, newly established churches—can be more effective at discipleship. This concisely written eBook is based on the top findings for church planters to emerge from REVEAL, an unprecedented survey launched by Willow Creek Community Church in 2004 that now represents the input of close to half a million people in 1,500 churches. And it includes a never-before-available bonus: an interview with Willow Creek’s senior pastor, Bill Hybels, who—based on nearly four decades of ministry experience—shares what he would do, the same and differently, if he were starting a church today. Bill’s counsel, plus the insights provided by churches of every size, denomination, and geographic area, make MOVE For Church Planters a must-read for those dreaming about the promise of the new churches they are in the process of planning, launching or growing to their greatest potential.

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