To the modern mind, the idea of someone being raised from the dead is utterly implausible. People don’t beat death, especially after being in the grave three days. Yet, this claim is at the heart of the Christian faith–the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Is this belief a mass delusion? How could it possibly be credible? If the resurrection were true, what difference would it really make? Raised? encourages you to doubt the resurrection, but to doubt it well. It also shows how an otherworldly claim makes sense of the world we live in. Whether you are a skeptic, a believer, or somewhere in between, this book will help you question and appreciate the resurrection.Continue Reading
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The resurrection changes everything. Can I get an Amen?
This incredible video by one of WorshipHouse Media’s top producers tells the story of an empty tomb that offers hope and life to all, and is a great introduction to your service, worship set, or sermon this Easter Season.Continue Reading
Sometimes the simplest things can get lost in tradition or become over complicated due to confusion or lack of practice. Sometimes we are just too smart for our own good. The reality of who we are as Christians, the Church and as disciples, while having historical and eternal importance, has become somewhat muddled in our modern understanding and dialogue.
As the conversation around being “missional” has come front and center within certain church circles in recent years, it seems that many of us struggle to grasp and/or explain the basics to others. This short book of simple pictures and conversations is meant to offer a starting point–a way to get, or keep, the dialogue going around some of the key issues surrounding who we are as the Church and what our mission really is.
This book includes drawings from Seth McBee’s Napkin Theology. You can use this free resource to understand, explain and illustrate the simplicity of discipleship and mission.
Download the free eBook here.Continue Reading
Years ago, while reading one of my dozens of books by Andrew Murray, I learned that our modern posture of prayer (kneeling with hands clasped with head bowed) didn’t come from Judaism but from a medieval ceremony. I undertook a study of that ceremony while writing a booklet, “Consecrate the People: Renewing Our Covenant Commitments to Jesus Christ.”
The homage ceremony
In the homage ceremony a king, lord or landowner would call his vassals or subjects before him to pledge their loyalty and obedience to their lord. The king would hold out his open hands. The subject would kneel with bowed head and place his hands inside the hands of his king. Then he would say these words, “I am your man.” (The name of the ceremony comes from the Latin word for man.)
That simple statement essentially meant, “I belong to you.” It included the obligation to obey any request of the king, even the call to battle. That pledge of obedience also included a readiness to obey even if the assignment would cost the life of the subject. It could become a pledge of obedience even…Continue Reading
Pastor Rick Warren taught this message in 1983 as part of the series, How to Be At Peace Under Pressure. It’s a prime example of how the emphasis at Saddleback has always been connecting eternal truth to daily life. This download includes the transcript and the mp3.Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
There’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!Continue Reading
We 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.Continue Reading
Families 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.Continue Reading
Move. 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.Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
On Sunday, January 6th, Pastor Rick delivered a sermon to prepare the Saddleback church community for the upcoming campaign What On Earth Am I Here For?. If your church is starting the campaign on the National launch day of February 3rd, we thought you could use this sermon to prepare your members and start to talk about forming small groups. We are offering this download free, and we will offer next week’s sermon for free as well.
Thousands of churches will be taking part in What On Earth Am I Here For? and we can’t wait to hear about how it affects your church. Please make sure to email us with testimonies or any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting Ready For The Rest Of Your Life by Rick WarrenContinue Reading