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Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

Our Own Worst Enemy

Our Own Worst Enemy

Recently, I saw images of signs held up at the Chicago Gay Pride Parade that apologized for the way the church has treated people in the LGBTQ community. It reminded me just how unloving the church can feel to so many. And it goes beyond sexual orientation. History has seen the church mistreating people who have been divorced, people who have had children outside of marriage, people who have voted a certain way . . . The list goes on and on. Even worse? The way we treat each other on a regular basis within the church. How many churches have split? How many people have walked away from church after burning out? How many have sworn off community because they were treated harshly? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. And unfortunately, far too many of us have experienced that. That’s why the article “We Need to Stop Eating Our Own” from Leadership Journal caught my eye. In it, Michael Cheshire, a pastor, explains how a brush with death...

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Blog, Kingdom, Small Group Resources |

Responding to the Trayvon Martin Case

Responding to the Trayvon Martin Case

No doubt your Facebook and Twitter feeds are jam-packed with reactions to the Trayvon Martin case and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. It’s held our interest for over a year not just because we wanted to see whether Zimmerman would be found guilty, but also because it draws our attention to racial issues that are foreign to so many in the majority. It reminds us that 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, there are still stereotypes and discrimination to overcome. Further clouding the issues is the fact that reactions are incredibly varied (Christianity Today magazine has posted three different responses). As your small group meets this week, group members may have questions or concerns about this highly televised case. What should be our reaction? What if anything should Christians do? What should we learn from this case? Our sister site Out of Ur posted a helpful article this week on the case in which D.L. Mayfield explores how it reminds her...

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Blog, Kingdom |

Who Is Your Target?

Who Is Your Target?

A few weeks ago I passed by a small church that had a professionally designed banner displayed prominently on their front lawn.  It simply read: Old-Fashioned Traditional Worship Services The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Who is your target?”  When a church sends out a marketing message like this one, do they really understand who they’re after?  Best I can tell, a sign like that might catch the interest of two types of people: 1.  Folks that just happened to move into the area that are looking for a small church with “old-fashioned traditional worship services”. 2.  Folks that left another church in the area because their worship services weren’t old-fashioned or traditional enough. What do both of these groups have in common?  They’re church people.  I’ve got nothing against church people.  I am one.  But shouldn’t we be focusing our attention on those who have yet to accept Christ?  And if you want to argue that the sign referenced above could appeal to the ‘unchurched’… Really?...

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Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Blog, Life | 1 comment

Vacation is Over (or What Me Worry?)

Vacation is Over (or What Me Worry?)

This summer I took the longest vacation of my adult career.  Ten days in Orlando traipsing around a resort and walking miles and miles at Disney World.  I took another day off upon return just to sleep (not really, but I should have).  While it did wear me out, we had a great time and it was refreshing to (mostly) unplug for almost two weeks.  I’d certainly do it all over again…without the Disney part.  But that’s another post. I also took a vacation from blogging.  But since I’m not a prolific blogger, you probably didn’t notice.  🙂 One of the things I realized during our ‘holiday’ was that I am a worrier.  Not in the traditional sense of ‘worry’ which, according to Merriam-Webster is: to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen I’ve actually taken pride for some time in the fact that I don’t think about problems or fears.  I...

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