Archives For Resources

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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 worst 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 Louisiana 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 need…

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BOOKS TO TAKE NOTE OF

Screenshot 2016-02-19 15.30.57Ephesians: Six Choices For Making the Most of What You’ve Been Given, by Tom Holladay

Based on Tom Holladay’s popular podcast, DriveTime Devotions, this personal devotional book on the book of Ephesians helps lift you beyond your circumstances and shows you that God sees you in light of where you’re headed—not where you are today.

Ephesians unpacks what it means to daily…

  • Relish the riches that are yours in Jesus Christ
  • Embrace and succeed in God’s calling on your life
  • Rise above the earthly and lay hold of your heavenly inheritance
  • Understand the position and power God has given you in Christ

Screenshot 2016-02-19 15.35.02New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotion, by Paul David Tripp

Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then…

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Easter eggs in the field

As I’m sure you know, Easter is just a few weeks away.  In fact, this year, it’s early.  Easter happens the last week of March and that means that church leaders across the country are faced with a shorter time to prepare and less time to ramp up.

The good news is that there are tons of resources out there that can make it a lot easier to have a great Easter.  These online resources take the guesswork out and shorten the span of time that it will take you to prepare and get everyone ready to reach the people in your community that will either attend church for the first time or come back to church after being gone for a long period of time.

At Church Leader Strategies, we’ve found 5 websites that have resources that will not only help you get prepared, but they will also help you put in place some strategies that will lead to growth. From leadership training to giving to volunteers, these websites have what you need to grow this Easter.

Ministry Pass – This site focuses on preaching and promotion and has everything…

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Screenshot 2016-02-10 16.32.02Recently, my friends at Exponential introduced a new resource for church leaders that I believe will be invaluable for the church as we continue to focus on healthy Kingdom multiplication. The Becoming 5 Assessment Tool is the first of its kind to give churches a good read on how they’re doing with becoming a church that grows by multiplying itself (multiplication growth)—and not just adding attendees (addition growth).

The concept is simple. Register for a free account at becomingfive.org, answer the multiple-choice questions at your convenience (probably about 30 minutes to compete) and then review your results. Based on your responses, the assessment provides you with your church’s multiplication profile (Levels 1-5) and multiplication pattern.

The multiplication profile is based on five cultures of multiplication that Exponential has identified:

Level1 (subtraction, survival or scarcity mode)

Level 2 (plateaued, survival and tension between scarcity and growth)

Level 3 (growing by addition but not multiplication)

Level 4 (reproducing)

Level 5 (multiplying, releasing and sending)

(To read detailed examples of the five profiles, download the FREE eBook Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church by Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson at exponential.org/becomingfive.)

The multiplication pattern you receive along with your…

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No other institution on earth has the potential to change the world and address global issues as the local church. No force on earth is as unstoppable as the local church when it is functioning as a unified body of believers. And nothing brings a church together in unity better than a growth campaign.

The greatest waves of growth that Saddleback Church has ever experienced have been the result of the various church-wide campaigns that we’ve done. When we set aside six to eight weeks to concentrate, as a church family, on a single theme, amazing things happen, such as…

  • People bring their friends, co-workers, and neighbors to church.
  • Hundreds of people are baptized.
  • All kinds of new small groups form and launch.
  • Some people give financially for the first time, and everyone sacrifices for the Kingdom.
  • The church grows larger, deeper, broader, warmer, and stronger.

As you plan your preaching over the next twelve months, plan at least one, if not two, opportunities for your church to align around a single theme. Some of our more well-known campaigns have included Decade of Destiny, 40 Days In the Word,…

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BOOKS TO TAKE NOTE OF

Screenshot 2016-02-05 14.10.39Rebuild: Reset Your Life. Renew Your Church. Reshape Your World., by Tommy Kyllonen

Rebuilding is way harder than building. But sometimes God calls you to this stretching work rather than starting something new. Pastor and hip-hop artist Tommy Kyllonen faced this journey when God led him to an abandoned Toys “R” Us building in inner city Tampa and said, “Rebuild this into a church.” How do we rebuild in a healthy way despite living in a world of brokenness? Drawing on Nehemiah’s example as the rebuilder of Jerusalem’s walls, Kyllonen reveals the struggles and joys that he, his family and his young urban, multiethnic church experienced as they pursued a seemingly impossible dream of restoration. Their story will encourage and inspire you to pursue God’s rebuilding work in your own life, church and world.

Screenshot 2016-02-05 14.14.08Philippians Devotional: The Eight Places Joy Is Won or Lost, by Tom Holladay

Based on Tom Holladay’s popular podcast, Drivetime Devotions, this personal study is designed to be read daily, five days a week, so you have the margin to stay on…

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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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Language of SalvationBook Review:  The Language of Salvation: Discovering the Riches of What it Means to be Saved, by Victor Kuligin

While leading a weekly Bible study in Namibia, Victor Kuligan saw that Paul’s letter to the Romans described salvation in rich, multi-faceted ways often missed in the modern church. Out of that conviction, he has given to us this marvelous little book, The Language of Salvation, outlining 13 different facets of the jewel that we call salvation.

Most, if not all, of the concepts that the author outlines will not be new to any knowledgeable evangelical, but Kuligan has provided a fresh look at the doctrines related to salvation by asking the reader to see them as all being of one piece. Thus, he would call us away from seeing salvation primarily in terms of, for example, the biological language of regeneration, the courtroom language of justification, or the family language of adoption. Instead, he wants us to hold all of these portrayals of salvation together in order to see the riches that God has given us in Christ.

While the book is doctrinal in nature, Kuligin seeks to be…

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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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Now that my friend Brian Houston’s new book “Live Love Lead” is out and being read by plenty of leaders, I thought it was time to ask him some questions. As founding Pastor of Hillsong Church, with locations in at least 15 major cities around the world, his leadership principles have impacted thousands of pastors and ministry leaders. Plus, “Hillsong Music” is the most popular worship label worldwide, and the feature length motion picture “Let Hope Rise” – about their band “Hillsong United” – is in the works. So we had a lot to talk about:

Phil Cooke:  Hillsong seems to be taking off like a rocket these days. You’re continuing to open churches in major cities around the world, the conferences are growing, Hillsong music is exploding, and the feature film “Let Hope Rise” will be released soon. With everything that’s going on, why did you decide to write the new book right now?

Brian Houston:  God’s grace never ceases to amaze me. Last year I turned 60 and celebrated 40 years of ministry – and…

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Most church planters who have kids ask the question at some point, is church planting really the best for my kids?

I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience, the answer is yes. Here’s why it matters: because answering that question with a yes could mean that you plant the church you’re thinking about. Even more, it could be the best thing for your children.

Now God could raise up a church planter from a stone if he wanted, so he doesn’t need you to do it. But he designed us to pass on our faith to the next generation through church planting, among other ways.

My father and I talk about how God redeemed our family a little bit in Dedicated: Training Your Children to Trust and Follow Jesus, but I wanted to share something here that I’ve never written on—the lessons I learned specifically as a church planter’s son.

My parents answered the question, is it best for my children? Yes. In fact, one of the major reasons my parents wanted to plant a church was because they thought it was best for us. They thought, given our circumstance, it…

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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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