Articles related to Community


Interfaith Dialogue Brings Community to Life Again
Interfaith Dialogue Brings Community to Life Again

By: Kathryn Kraft
Although the Central African Republic's civil war was not religiously motivated, the violence led to a breakdown in social cohesion between Christians and Muslims. Here's how faith leaders in one village came together.

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To Stand Against Hate, We All Need Good Neighbors
To Stand Against Hate, We All Need Good Neighbors

By: Nick Lear
Recent hate-motivated attacks reveal it's not enough for our society to tolerate our neighbors; we must love them. When we all love our neighbors, we build a brick-by-brick defense against hate.

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Christianity Flourishes in Increasingly Urbanized China
Christianity Flourishes in Increasingly Urbanized China

By: Curtis Ramsey-Lucas
As China's population shifts from rural to urban settings, Protestant congregations are growing because they've been effective at community building. Does that have implications for churches outside of China?

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The Danger of Putting Me-First in the Driver's Seat
The Danger of Putting Me-First in the Driver's Seat

By: Zach Dawes
A sense of responsibility for the common good of the world and everyone in it has taken a back seat to immediate progress for the individual person, group or nation. But this me-first mindset isn't sustainable.

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The One Thing Junior Knew About Was Life
The One Thing Junior Knew About Was Life

By: Trevor Barton
Junior couldn't do a lot of things. Couldn't read. Couldn't sign his name. Couldn't tell time even though he loved his watches. But he did know about life. He knew more about life than many highly educated folks.

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Playing Tune on Diversity's Keyboard Takes Practice
Playing Tune on Diversity's Keyboard Takes Practice

By: Jim Kelsey
Mastering diversity in our churches is like playing music on a piano. You're going to fumble as you learn the tune, but you're going to get better the more you practice.

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10 Ways to Vanquish Fear and Trust God's Love
10 Ways to Vanquish Fear and Trust God's Love

By: Robert Guffey
Letting fear rule our behavior to the point of seeing all strangers as potential perilous sources makes no sense for people of faith. It's time Christians trust the perfect, suffering, reconciling love of God.

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What Keeps Your Church from Crossing Cultural Lines?
What Keeps Your Church from Crossing Cultural Lines?

By: Starlette McNeill
Many in the U.S., including within our churches, have a long-distance relationship with persons of other cultures. We cross cultural lines when we have a need or go to work, but that's where we stop. It's time to come closer.

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Does Our Divisive Time Need Theology of Community?
Does Our Divisive Time Need Theology of Community?

By: Colin Harris
Now more than ever, a general commitment to a common good is threatened by divisiveness on a local and national level. Maybe it's time we focus on a theology of community.

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Covenants Can Hinder or Help: Which Will You Choose?
Covenants Can Hinder or Help: Which Will You Choose?

By: Colin Harris
Many churches and other Christian communities develop covenants. Those pacts can be exclusionary and restrictive or they can be embracing and empowering. Which will you choose?

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Prayer - A Marvelous Opportunity to Collaborate
Prayer - A Marvelous Opportunity to Collaborate

By: Sam Tolbert
As we participate in today's National Day of Prayer, we need to realize how prayer is essential to our future peace and survival. Let us take advantage to pray daily and to pray more often in community with others.

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Why People Trust Strangers Over Your Church - Part 1
Why People Trust Strangers Over Your Church - Part 1

By: Renee Embree
How trust flows through our society is changing dramatically. We no longer trust institutions, like churches, but we're willing to place greater trust in strangers, thanks to social media and app technology.

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Combatting Hostile Rhetoric with Civil Speech
Combatting Hostile Rhetoric with Civil Speech

By: Mitch Carnell
When hostile rhetoric fills the airwaves, we need a more civil national and personal dialogue more than ever. And as Christians, we have an obligation to represent Christ with our language.

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What Many People See When They Look at Today's Church
What Many People See When They Look at Today's Church

By: Gary Furr
When people look at today's church, they often see legalism and a bland pablum of politics and culture religion. They need to see the gracious, welcoming and boundary-breaching good news of Jesus.

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Statelessness: Banned from Belonging - Part 2
Statelessness: Banned from Belonging - Part 2

By: Brent Hamoud
Children who can't attend school. Young adults who can't pursue their dreams. Partners in love who can't marry. These are some of the consequences of statelessness - and it contradicts God's design for creation.

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Statelessness: Banned from Belonging - Part 1
Statelessness: Banned from Belonging - Part 1

By: Brent Hamoud
Travel and refugee bans have been in the news quite a bit, but one particularly harsh type of ban garners scant media attention or public protest. It's statelessness, and it affects some 15 million people.

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Baptists Must Not Be Silent in Calls for Religious Freedom
Baptists Must Not Be Silent in Calls for Religious Freedom

By: Shane McNary
When national policies motivated by short-term political goals endanger the long-term moral authority of the U.S., Baptists, as U.S. citizens, must not be silent in calls for justice and freedom.

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Why Do You Need to Talk to People You Disagree With?
Why Do You Need to Talk to People You Disagree With?

By: Elizabeth Evans Hagan
It's too easy today to simply stop talking to people with whom you disagree. When Christians authentically converse with people who view the world differently, they build a bridge of relationship.

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3 Ways to Bridge Divides to Advance Common Good
3 Ways to Bridge Divides to Advance Common Good

By: Zach Dawes
We're a divided society, with each side not listening to the other. But to advance the common good, we must work with others who think differently than we do. After all, if Gimli and Legolas can do it, so can we.

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The Problem with Living Your Life in the Echo Chamber
The Problem with Living Your Life in the Echo Chamber

By: Roger Olson
Most people in contemporary American society tend only to listen to people with whom they already agree, which leads to complete ignorance of the perspective of others. We have no shared values.

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3 Bad Consequences When Your Church Seeks Unity
3 Bad Consequences When Your Church Seeks Unity

By: David Hull
When churches seek mere unity, they face consequences that will have negative effects in the long run. Instead of a "spirit of unity," churches must seek "unity in the Spirit." It's not semantics; there's a big difference.

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4 Trends to Build Successful Communities of Care
4 Trends to Build Successful Communities of Care

By: Joe LaGuardia
Most churches have members who serve as primary caregivers to loved ones suffering from dementia. How do you build a ministry that reaches out to those families? Here are four best-practice trends.

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Keeping the Right Focus Amid Dysfunctional Politics
Keeping the Right Focus Amid Dysfunctional Politics

By: Guy Sayles
Our political system suffers from a paralysis that could become permanent. And followers of Jesus, whether conservative or liberal, must place "the least of these" at the center of our politics and economics.

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Despite Failings, Many Churches Still Reflect God's Love
Despite Failings, Many Churches Still Reflect God's Love

By: Joel Snider
The church has its shortcomings, but we often focus too easily on its failings. We need to recall when members of the church family didn't simply talk about God's love. They lived it.

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When Communities Form by Demonizing Outsiders
When Communities Form by Demonizing Outsiders

By: Ron Rolheiser
Many churches and civic communities forge a bond within their own ranks by demonizing others, but that path is neither the way of Jesus nor the way of human maturity.

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Could We Have a New 'Word of the Year' Next Time?
Could We Have a New 'Word of the Year' Next Time?

By: Colin Harris
Communities of faith can choose whether to tolerate xenophobia - Dictionary.com's word of the year - or to call it out as contrary to the teachings of many faiths that affirm community over estrangement.

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How to Warm Up Your Relationships Gone Cold
How to Warm Up Your Relationships Gone Cold

By: Bill Owen
Close relationships, whether couples in marriage or members in churches, all become cold at some point. When times get tough, and they will, these steps can warm a chilled relationship.

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6 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Sea Glass
6 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Sea Glass

By: Bill Wilson
Pounded by the waves and roiled in the sand and stones, ordinary glass bottles and containers wash up on beaches, transformed into pieces of art. And they offer six illustrations for what it means to be the church.

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Awe: It Connects You With Others, Makes You Kinder
Awe: It Connects You With Others, Makes You Kinder

By: Chuck Summers
Awe has a way of binding people together, to make them think more about "we" than "me." Find ways to bring more awe into your life. It's good not only for your soul, but also for others.

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7 Ways You Can Reach Out to Others This Thanksgiving
7 Ways You Can Reach Out to Others This Thanksgiving

By: Brent McDougal
This Thanksgiving, you can share the love of God in natural ways, ones that fit your plans and hopes for the holiday. So try one of these seven ways to be on mission for God this season. Check out No. 4.

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Neglecting Our Brothers, Sisters in Small Ways
Neglecting Our Brothers, Sisters in Small Ways

By: Greg DeLoach
While we know we are our brother's and sister's keeper, we neglect them in so many small acts. When you believe only in looking out for yourself, you reject any notion that you are your brother's keeper.

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How Will You Respond in Divisive Election's Aftermath?
How Will You Respond in Divisive Election's Aftermath?

By: Gary Furr
Like everyone else, Christians were divided between the two candidates in this divisive election. We can choose to vent on social media or we can focus on morally elevating acts to lift others up.

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Why Your Church Needs More Than One Theologian
Why Your Church Needs More Than One Theologian

By: Barry Howard
Your church will be healthier if members are equipped to be good theologians. There are two categories of theology: folk and academic theology. Both are extremely important to the health of the church.

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The Day After a Season of Dysfunctional Politics:
The Day After a Season of Dysfunctional Politics: "Always Stay Humble and Kind"

By: Robert Parham
After a bruising presidential election, the Country Music Association's 2016 song of the year reminds us to always stay humble and kind.

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Putting Leaves of Encouragement on Our Branches
Putting Leaves of Encouragement on Our Branches

By: Matt Sapp
Like leaves on a tree, our lives are covered with people used by God to influence and encourage us. If we take that a step further, is each of us ready to be the kind of person who influences and encourages others?

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Protestants, Catholics Move Toward Closer Communion
Protestants, Catholics Move Toward Closer Communion

By: Neville Callam
As part of their commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Lutherans in Germany held a joint ecumenical remembrance with Catholics, making a serious commitment to visible unity.

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The Failed Attempts to Create Utopian Communities
The Failed Attempts to Create Utopian Communities

By: Leroy Seat
Many have tried to create utopian communities. In spite of all the grand plans and lofty ideals, the attempts have been doomed by pride, greed, sloth and other inherent human weaknesses.

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Why Differences Should Not Divide Christians
Why Differences Should Not Divide Christians

By: Frank Rees
While Christians are all one in Christ, that does not mean our Christian identity does away with our differences. Difference is part of who we are because difference is part of who God is.

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The Danger When We Make God Our Tribal Deity
The Danger When We Make God Our Tribal Deity

By: Ron Rolheiser
Thanks to innate narcissism, false patriotism and a propensity for tribalism, many of us believe that God has specially blessed us, but God doesn't value some races and some countries more than others.

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Don't Be Blind to Idolatry's Silent Partner
Don't Be Blind to Idolatry's Silent Partner

By: Colin Harris
While the presumption of divine prerogative may be the more obvious expression of idolatry, the failure to see the divine presence in the life of the "other" seems to be a subtle partner that is just as damaging.

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When We Need to Reinterpret the Rules
When We Need to Reinterpret the Rules

By: Terrell Carter
Some Christians adopt a strict adherence to understanding and applying God's law in only one way. As a result, they miss out on what God wants to accomplish in their midst.

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Will You Help Others Find Healing Nature of Community?
Will You Help Others Find Healing Nature of Community?

By: Jeni Martin
Our human need for companionship is great and runs deep in our souls. We aren't meant to be alone, isolated or to survive on our own. Many who live on the fringe of society merely lack a healthy community.

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How We Can Make Truth Matter Again
How We Can Make Truth Matter Again

By: Neville Callam
In our post-factual society, where truth no longer matters and lies have equal footing, education can be a major instrument in the rebuilding of respect for truth and evidence.

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Can Christians Work with Those Who Aren't 'One of Us'?
Can Christians Work with Those Who Aren't 'One of Us'?

By: Colin Sedgwick
Wherever we look in our world today, we can find men and women of goodwill, even in places where our prejudices might have led us to regard it as extremely unlikely. We can work together without compromise.

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When You Are Your Sister's Keeper
When You Are Your Sister's Keeper

By: Lynne Hybels
Three-fourths of the civilian casualties of war are women and children. When you open your mind and heart to God and the world, you realize that you are your sister's keeper. And they are all your sisters.

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5 Ways You Can Bless Your Child's Teacher
5 Ways You Can Bless Your Child's Teacher

By: Kathleen Hardage
It's back-to-school time. As teachers return to their classrooms, here are 5 ways that you as a Christian parent or your church can build a positive relationship with teachers. They need and deserve our support.

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Should You Stop Using the Term 'Disciple'?
Should You Stop Using the Term 'Disciple'?

By: Paul Beasley-Murray
The word 'disciple' occurs frequently in the Gospel and Acts, but not in the letters of Peter, Paul, James or John. A disciple represents an individual, but the plural of disciple is church.

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3 Needs That Help Church Groups Grow Disciples
3 Needs That Help Church Groups Grow Disciples

By: Mark Tidsworth
When Christians commit to following the way of Jesus Christ, they realize they can't sustain that effort on isolation. Here are three ways that robust church groups meet spiritual needs of members.

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Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Comic-Con
Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Comic-Con

By: Michael Parnell
San Diego's annual Comic-Con event is the largest gathering of pop culture in the world. Find out what one Baptist pastor discovered that this event could teach our churches.

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Pedaling through Life Alone Leads to Burnout
Pedaling through Life Alone Leads to Burnout

By: Michael Helms
When we go at life alone and decide not to trust or collaborate with others, we burn out without reaping the results we want. When we work together, we have what it takes to reach the finish line.

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Diatribe or Dialogue: Which Way Will You Choose?
Diatribe or Dialogue: Which Way Will You Choose?

By: Colin Harris
Our public conversation has degenerated into little more than competing sound bytes. We seek control, rather than cooperative understanding. Can we learn to offer more humility and less grandstanding?

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4 Rules on Talking Politics in Sunday School
4 Rules on Talking Politics in Sunday School

By: Tony Brooks
If you lead a Sunday school class, your role is to discuss issues based on Scripture. As the political season heats up, discussion will turn toward politics. Here are 4 rules to manage those conversations.

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How Does Your Church Look to Unexpected Guests?
How Does Your Church Look to Unexpected Guests?

By: Shannon Youell
How would unexpected guests, those persons who randomly show up at your church, react to your worship service? Would they understand what was happening? It's time to see your church through their eyes.

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3 Responses to Our World's All-Too-Common Violence
3 Responses to Our World's All-Too-Common Violence

By: Brian Lee
With all the eruptions of violence, it's easy to overreact and paint certain groups with a brush that is far too wide and certainly unwarranted. How do we respond in light of all that is happening? Here are 3 ways.

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Like Water on Hot Days: 5 Things to Remember this Summer
Like Water on Hot Days: 5 Things to Remember this Summer

By: Matt Sapp
Water is necessary to life and is a central element of Scripture. As the tribalism in our national dialogue heats up, we can look to Scripture to offer some cooling relief to extinguish the vitriol.

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Reaffirming Church Unity Amid Diverse Political Views
Reaffirming Church Unity Amid Diverse Political Views

By: Danny Chisholm
Many churches are not uniform when it comes to political views. We are a tapestry of different political, social and theological positions. This political season, we must reaffirm what unifies us amid diverse views.

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Putting Yourself First Goes Against the Gospel
Putting Yourself First Goes Against the Gospel

By: Ron Rolheiser
As individuals and as a nation, we are increasingly sinking into some unhealthy forms of tribalism concerned primarily with taking care of our own. It's happening around the globe and contrary to the gospel.

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Will Your Compassion Break Through Racial Barriers?
Will Your Compassion Break Through Racial Barriers?

By: Terrell Carter
Many barriers divide our country today, but the most visible and contentious one is race - in particular how black and white people perceive and act toward each other. Who is worthy of your compassion?

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Global Baptist Gathering Expands Christian Community
Global Baptist Gathering Expands Christian Community

By: Zach Dawes
Interacting with global Baptists during the Baptist World Alliance's annual gathering offered two advantages: Your personal echo chamber is revealed, and you're able to expand your sense of community.

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Questions Abound As Nation Grapples with Violence
Questions Abound As Nation Grapples with Violence

By: Gary Furr
Rage and death are all around us in our nation. As we search for the answers to the unrelenting violence that plagues our society, it seems like we only have more questions.

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How the Church Can Speak Up for the Thin Blue Line
How the Church Can Speak Up for the Thin Blue Line

By: Robert Parham
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said law enforcement faces a steady barrage of criticism and urged the silent majority to stand up and show their support. Here are four ways to do just that.

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America's Violence Problem: No More Excuses
America's Violence Problem: No More Excuses

By: Brent McDougal
Five police officers are dead, killed by a sniper while protecting a peaceful protest in Dallas. How did we get here? Could Rwanda hold some answers for us? And how will churches make a difference?

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"Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future"

By: Neville Callam
Steve Harmon's new book, "Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future," calls for the kind of receptive ecumenism without which the church can hardly be fully the church.

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Church Unity: Lessons from an Unlikely Source - Part 2
Church Unity: Lessons from an Unlikely Source - Part 2

By: Mike Kuhn
If we can begin to overcome the hindrances to unity that have plagued Christianity for hundreds of years, maybe we'll discover that our traditions and diversity can be mutually enriching.

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Church Unity: Lessons from an Unlikely Source - Part 1
Church Unity: Lessons from an Unlikely Source - Part 1

By: Mike Kuhn
Radical Islamic groups, known as takfīrīs, control through power and enforced conformity. Divergence can mean exclusion or death. While Christian churches aren't so harsh, we can enforce rigid rules.

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God's Grace Doesn't Require Additional Rules
God's Grace Doesn't Require Additional Rules

By: Terrell Carter
Following a set of rules doesn't make people acceptable to God, yet we have a tendency to use rules to determine who is worthy of God's love and who can be cast aside. We are all equal in God's sight.

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Teaching Children to be Heroes in Selfish World
Teaching Children to be Heroes in Selfish World

By: Christina Embree
Our children are growing up in a world of pride and judgment -- where the Almighty 'You' takes precedent over Us. We must teach them to be heroes who look beyond themselves to others.

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2 Paths to Travel: An Ethics of Purity or Wholeness?
2 Paths to Travel: An Ethics of Purity or Wholeness?

By: Colin Harris
Purity and wholeness are good things, but as guides for ethical perspective, they can lead in different directions. One defends an image of perfection; the other affirms the interrelatedness of all of life.

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Who Are the Lonely People in Your Church?
Who Are the Lonely People in Your Church?

By: Colin Sedgwick
Real loneliness is a constant, inescapable, grinding, gnarling sense of being invisible to other people, of not mattering. And our crowded churches are filled with lonely people. Do you see them?

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The Role of Individual Volition in Moral Formation
The Role of Individual Volition in Moral Formation

By: Stuart Blythe
Four interdependent areas contribute to moral formation. Individual volition is at the core of such formation. For Christian moral formation, it's the individual will in relationship to God.

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To Make a Better World, Let's Put Others First
To Make a Better World, Let's Put Others First

By: Zach Dawes
A self-centered philosophy lurks behind many societal problems. We need to restore as a central expression of Christianity what's good for the collective rather than the individual.

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Parents Not Alone When It Comes to Discipling Children
Parents Not Alone When It Comes to Discipling Children

By: Christina Embree
Parents have a significant influence on their children, but it's not exclusively a parent's job to disciple their children. It is corporately the church's role to disciple children.

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3 Ways That Politics May Affect Your Church
3 Ways That Politics May Affect Your Church

By: Mark Tidsworth
With a presidential campaign that's more raucous and polarizing than we've seen in some time, churches have a chance to show how Christian unity transcends politics. Not all of them will succeed.

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How You Can Relate Scripture to Changing Culture
How You Can Relate Scripture to Changing Culture

By: Neville Callam
As we seek to relate the teaching of Scripture to the vexed issues of contemporary life, we should not fail to recognize the complexity of the process by which we can hear the voice of God.

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How Christian Ethics Guide Cultural Engagement
How Christian Ethics Guide Cultural Engagement

By: Guy Sayles
Faith communities make it either more or less likely that people will be able to live out their faith. You can't nurture peacemakers in a community that uses attack as its main way of relating to culture.

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When Speaking the Truth Isn't Always Appropriate
When Speaking the Truth Isn't Always Appropriate

By: Ron Rolheiser
Having the truth is one thing, speaking it in a place and a manner that's helpful is quite another. Simply put, it isn't always helpful or charitable or mature to throw a truth into someone's face.

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Churches Bear Gifts, Address Multiple Needs During Christmas
Churches Bear Gifts, Address Multiple Needs During Christmas

By: EthicsDaily Staff
Churches are a pipeline for gift-giving throughout the year. Here are more reports on what local churches are doing to support the common good in their communities during this Christmas season.

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'Trumbo'
'Trumbo'

By: Ircel Harrison
'Trumbo,' a film about a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, reminds us how easily we turn on those who are different from us. It's particularly interesting in light of our current political climate. (Photo: Bleeker Street Media)

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Churches Bear Gifts, Address Multiple Needs During Christmas
Churches Bear Gifts, Address Multiple Needs During Christmas

By: EthicsDaily Staff
Churches are gift-giving institutions during the Christmas season. Here are how a few churches are enhancing their communities and advancing the common good this holiday season.

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How Ministers Can Beat Feelings of Exhaustion
How Ministers Can Beat Feelings of Exhaustion

By: Bill Wilson
Ministry leaders are marked by fatigue and weariness. Their work is both deeply rewarding and immensely frustrating. When you feel exhausted or isolated, find those folks who will lift you up.

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5 Advantages of Smaller Churches
5 Advantages of Smaller Churches

By: Dennis Bickers
Smaller churches have been able to survive as well as faithfully provide ministry to their communities for decades because of their unique advantages. Here are five of them.

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The Most Important Staffing Position in Your Church
The Most Important Staffing Position in Your Church

By: Bill Wilson
Churches have succeeded by offering programs to attract folks to them, but those days are dying. Churches need someone to help them go to their communities.

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4 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Church
4 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Church

By: Joe LaGuardia
Every person in the church must think critically about how social media may harness the power of evangelism and testimony in a world that has entered the digital age.

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The Cure for Society's Cultural 'Autoimmune Disease'
The Cure for Society's Cultural 'Autoimmune Disease'

By: Jim Kelsey
While our divisive nation suffers from a cultural autoimmune disease, the church should model now the Kingdom of God that will someday come. Is your church a source of healing?

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5 Reasons Your Church Must Make Room at the Table
5 Reasons Your Church Must Make Room at the Table

By: Mark Tidsworth
Gathering people around God's table for Communion or the Lord's Supper is a great metaphor for considering how we practice Christian hospitality. Is your church making room at the table?

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How Your Church May Exclude Single Members
How Your Church May Exclude Single Members

By: Lina Toth (Andronoviene)
The church has adopted a powerful myth floating around in society. It's the idea that a partner and children are essential ingredients for happiness. As a result, we exclude our single church members.

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Reaching Out to Those for Whom Jesus Cared Most
Reaching Out to Those for Whom Jesus Cared Most

By: Joe LaGuardia
Sometimes our fixation with Jesus overwhelms our outreach to those for whom Jesus cared most. After all, he said that when we help those in need, it is as if we are helping him.

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How Your Beliefs Shape Your Relationships
How Your Beliefs Shape Your Relationships

By: Jerrod Hugenot
Our beliefs and deeply held convictions influence our day-to-day living. And those same beliefs and convictions affect how we respond to others, those who are most unlike us.

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Intergenerational Worship Can Anchor Your Church's Youth
Intergenerational Worship Can Anchor Your Church's Youth

By: Christina Embree
Young people often leave church because they have no connection to the larger church body. While there's no magic bullet, intergenerational worship can provide that link.

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Your Church's Choice: Common Ground or Conflict
Your Church's Choice: Common Ground or Conflict

By: Jerrod Hugenot
Diverse churches have many opportunities to become a stumbling block. The challenge is not to decide who is right or wrong, but whether or not they begin from a place of common ground.

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How Utah's Pando Forest is Like the Church
How Utah's Pando Forest is Like the Church

By: Chuck Summers
At first glance, the Pando forest in Utah has some 47,000 trees, but it's actually one tree with a huge underground root system from which all the others spring up. It's a perfect picture of the church.

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Gospel Compels You to Tear Down Walls
Gospel Compels You to Tear Down Walls

By: Drew Smith
Our society is good at building walls to separate us from those not like us, but not all those walls are brick and mortar. We also erect non-physical walls to keep us from building authentic community.

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Why Can't Our Churches Be More Like Legos?
Why Can't Our Churches Be More Like Legos?

By: Bryan Brock
Lego buildings are fascinating structures. All those different-colored blocks connecting together to make one structure. But when it comes to church, we prefer everything and everyone to be the same.

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Coach's 3-Prong Philosophy Applies to Churches
Coach's 3-Prong Philosophy Applies to Churches

By: Guy Sayles
Legendary UNC Coach Dean Smith had a three-prong philosophy for his teams: play hard, play smart, play together. And that's not a bad philosophy for churches, too.

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4 Ways Your Church Can Be a Healthy Family
4 Ways Your Church Can Be a Healthy Family

By: Joel Snider
Those attributes that make healthy family relationships also create healthy church relationships. Here are four ways your church can model healthy family dynamics in the congregation.

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Early Christians' Radical Actions Really Not So Radical
Early Christians' Radical Actions Really Not So Radical

By: Drew Smith
While the actions of giving up private property by the early Christians may have been something radical, the reality is that these actions were actually normative for Christian identity and community.

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What Does It Really Mean to be Righteous?
What Does It Really Mean to be Righteous?

By: Rupen Das
What does righteous mean? The average church member likely associates it with being blameless or holy. Righteous can also be understood as an obligation in the context of our social relationships.

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Author Finds American Dream Fading for Millions
Author Finds American Dream Fading for Millions

By: Martin Marty (The Martin Mary Center: Sightings)
In his new book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," Robert Putnam finds plenty of reasons to describe the American Dream as becoming almost irretrievably out of range for the young.

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Racism's Wound Still Painfully Open, Needs Healing
Racism's Wound Still Painfully Open, Needs Healing

By: Guy Sayles
As the Charleston church shooting reminds us, division among races, made worse by educational and economic inequality, is a wound which remains painfully open. How do we heal it?

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Being Braver, More Faithful with Communion
Being Braver, More Faithful with Communion

By: David Kerrigan
Why is it assumed that communion is only for believers? If we believe new truth can still break through from God's Word, dare we allow our prophetic imagination to see something potentially new?

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Making the Poor Part of Our Lives - Part 2
Making the Poor Part of Our Lives - Part 2

By: David Fitch
While programs that alleviate pain and suffering are important, our relationship with the poor is not to be organized as a church program. Instead, out of everyday life, we are to come alongside the poor.

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Making the Poor Part of Our Lives - Part 1
Making the Poor Part of Our Lives - Part 1

By: David Fitch
Churches dedicate whole ministries to do justice and mercy as programs for the poor. While such ministries do alleviate immediate suffering, they inevitably keep the poor at a distance.

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2 Important Skills for Church Leaders
2 Important Skills for Church Leaders

By: Guy Sayles
Effective leaders need two important skills when leading a church. They need to be able to motivate members to take a hill and they need to be able to discern which hills to take.

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Why Do Young People Join ISIS? Part 2
Why Do Young People Join ISIS? Part 2

By: Arthur Brown
Rather than labeling young recruits of ISIS as crazy or evil, we should try to understand the conditions that made them willing to join. How can peace-loving churches and mosques work together to respond?

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Why Too Many Christians Go it Alone, Pilgrim
Why Too Many Christians Go it Alone, Pilgrim

By: Mark Tidsworth
Many Christians see the process of growing as disciples as personal, private and individualistic, believing they don't need a community of faith. Here's why playing the John Wayne type won't work.

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God Doesn't Want Us to Live as Walking 'Selfies'
God Doesn't Want Us to Live as Walking 'Selfies'

By: Greg DeLoach
Now that every other person has a phone with a camera, the world's awash in selfies. Church can include groups of "selfies," too, but God has called us to reach out to our neighbors.

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Jesus' Healings: Restoring Every Person to Wholeness
Jesus' Healings: Restoring Every Person to Wholeness

By: Drew Smith
The stories of healing of a prominent synagogue leader's daughter and an unnamed social outcast are intertwined in Scripture, reminding us that healing is available to all in society.

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Why Churches Must Assist in Ferguson's Healing
Why Churches Must Assist in Ferguson's Healing
By: Terrell Carter
More than six months after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, tensions still simmer. Some ask, "What can churches do?" But many other churches are silent.
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State of the Church Addresses Emphasize Community, Engagement
State of the Church Addresses Emphasize Community, Engagement
By: EthicsDaily Staff
A sampling of 2015 State of the Church addresses by moderate Baptist pastors found common themes of emphasizing community and James' call to "be doers of the word."
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Some Beliefs That Matter Don't Matter to Everyone
Some Beliefs That Matter Don't Matter to Everyone
By: Colin Harris
In our current theological climate, many defend the rightness of a particular belief against alternatives. But a faith community loses its ability to nurture when rigid beliefs replace a vital, growing faith.
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What's the Most Besetting Problem in U.S. Churches?
What's the Most Besetting Problem in U.S. Churches?
By: Thomas Kidd
A robust Christian community is an all-encompassing way of life, which runs counter to one of the most besetting problems in all U.S. denominations – the uncommitted, occasional attendee.
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The Myth of the Rugged Individual
The Myth of the Rugged Individual
By: Larry Eubanks
Individualism is a good thing, but we've hurt each other with the myth of the rugged individual. Individualism must be tempered by the recognition that we are social beings who thrive in relationship with one another.
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Why We Need to See Through Others' Eyes
Why We Need to See Through Others' Eyes
By: Colin Harris
At the heart of the cruelty of today's religious extremism is its followers' belief that they see as God sees and that their will is God's will. Our world would be much better if we would see through others' eyes.
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How Common Core Can Teach Collaboration to Your Church
How Common Core Can Teach Collaboration to Your Church
By: Brock Ratcliff
Our churches would do well to see the team emphasis demonstrated in the spirit of Common Core as a reminder of our own cooperative call in the Kingdom of God.
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Which
Which "Real World" Do You Really Want?
By: Colin Harris
What's real-world experience mean? The term is commonly used to describe the marketplace, where success is measured by the bottom line, but other equally valid real-world experiences exist.
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Value Your Church, Whatever Its Faults May Be
Value Your Church, Whatever Its Faults May Be
By: Colin Sedgwick
Churches may have their faults, but one of the greatest joys and privileges of being a Christian is that you are a member of the family of God, gathered together with others in a local congregation.
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God Calls Us to Share, Learn and Work Together
God Calls Us to Share, Learn and Work Together
By: Ircel Harrison
The Christian life is not meant to be a solitary pursuit. Our vertical relationship with God finds its expression in a horizontal relationship with other believers.
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British Churches, Government Can Unite to Serve Community
British Churches, Government Can Unite to Serve Community
By: Roger Sutton
With austerity cuts hitting the United Kingdom in greater force, churches have a unique opportunity to partner with local governments to serve the needs of their communities.
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British Chaplain's Twitter Feed Focuses on Spiritual Care
British Chaplain's Twitter Feed Focuses on Spiritual Care
By: Paul Hobson
A Baptist chaplain in Great Britain creates a Twitter feed to provide a forum for those in healthcare to discuss spiritual care. It's taken off with nearly 1,200 followers.
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Individualism Isolates Us from Ourselves and Others
Individualism Isolates Us from Ourselves and Others
By: Larry Eubanks
Individualism has a dark side. We can so value independence and self-reliance that we become blind to the reality of how interdependent we are and how much we rely on each other.
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One Truth at a Time: Creator of Community
It feels like a church service when brothers get together and remember what their parents taught them, and this, I think, is Jesus’ hope: that when we get together as brothers and sisters and remember what he taught us it will feel like a church service, and when we are what he taught us to be.[ ]It will feel like family.
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What Two Winter Storms Say about Advancing Common Good
What Two Winter Storms Say about Advancing Common Good
By: Colin Harris
Two winter storms revealed two "Atlantas" – one ill-prepared, the other equipped. They illustrate why it's vital to work together for the common good instead of shrugging off problems.
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Language Provides Lens for Social Analysis
Language Provides Lens for Social Analysis

By: Mike Massar
What does language say about us? One study noted that words about community were taking a backseat to words about the self. Another study says words about moral excellence are used less.

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Are You Spiritual But Not Religious? It Isn't Enough
Are You Spiritual But Not Religious? It Isn't Enough
By: Chuck Queen
Some folks eschew church, claiming they're spiritual but not religious. But authentic spirituality requires community. For Christians that means learning how to be the body of Christ.
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How Do You Live With People Who Offend You?
How Do You Live With People Who Offend You?
It's natural to want to hang around people we like, but what do you do when someone you dislike goes to the same church? To live a life that models God's grace, you can't avoid those you dislike.
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Is Your Church a Short Story or Epic Novel?
Is Your Church a Short Story or Epic Novel?
Many pastors and church members stay at a church for only a few years. Church should be like an epic novel; it takes time to get to know all the characters and what makes them tick.
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Achieving Consensus: A Better Path Than Divisiveness
Achieving Consensus: A Better Path Than Divisiveness
As valid as criticism might be, throwing it out like gasoline on a fire isn't productive. We must set aside our own agendas and focus more on the larger context of needs afflicting the human family.
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When Extremist Voices Claim the Narrative
When Extremist Voices Claim the Narrative
Most of us know that extremist voices of one faith don't speak for everyone of that faith. Yet, in times of stress, voices of extreme passion often capture the greater attention.
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Racial Equality: A Choice Between Chaos and Community
Racial Equality: A Choice Between Chaos and Community

Some believe the answer to racial equality is to be tolerant, but this is too shortsighted. The gospel calls us to move beyond mere tolerance to full and vulnerable embrace.

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Impoverished Village Rich in Authentic Community
Impoverished Village Rich in Authentic Community
Jay is college-educated and from the U.S. He chose to live in an impoverished village in Belize with his wife and son. Despite the village's material poverty, its residents are happy and enjoy true community.
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What Keeps Many of Us from Helping the Poor
What Keeps Many of Us from Helping the Poor
What's our obligation to the poor? It all comes down to community. If we regard them as inside our community, we'll help. If not, we won't. Jesus had some thoughts about who's in our community. Everyone.
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4 Ways to Continue to Follow Christ Faithfully
4 Ways to Continue to Follow Christ Faithfully
Plenty of books explain how to be a faithful disciple of Christ, but Paul reminds us with one verse: We continue to live in Christ just as we first received Him. But what does that mean?
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4 Calls Jesus Made to Radical Living
4 Calls Jesus Made to Radical Living
Jesus was always calling his followers into a community in which they were to find a new way of existing in the world that demonstrates the ethics of God's rule. Here are four of his calls to action.
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Where's the Line Between Caution and Dishonesty?
Where's the Line Between Caution and Dishonesty?

Ministers face a delicate dilemma when sharing their knowledge with their congregations. Here are five suggestions to help you discern the boundary between caution and dishonesty.

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Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin reaches beyond racism. It illustrates that anyone who is different is an "other" whom our society views with suspicion.
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Rooted in Community
Friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are not private, autonomous selves who happen to sit together under one roof. We are the body of Christ, bound together in Christ so that we might freely love one another and be transformed along the way. We are rooted in community.
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The Last Supper
Elijah was directed to go to Zarephath, between Sidon and Tyre, where he encountered a widow living in abject poverty. All of this widow’s provisions would be gone after she used what little flour and oil she had, and there was no hope of replenishing them. No one would come to her rescue.This puts a new spin on the familiar expression “The Last Supper,” doesn’t it?
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Disasters Remind Us of Our Common Humanity
Disasters Remind Us of Our Common Humanity
Our diverse values lead to all kinds of stress and controversy, but a disaster like this week's Oklahoma tornado unites and reminds us of our common humanity.
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After Texas Explosion, An Outpouring of Compassion
After Texas Explosion, An Outpouring of Compassion

As two small churches in West, Texas, joined together for worship the Sunday after a devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant, they learned God is always faithful.

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We're United During Crisis, Divided During Normalcy
We're United During Crisis, Divided During Normalcy
In times of natural disasters or heinous crimes, we unite to support others regardless of our differences. When life is normal, we are seduced to put ourselves ahead of the common good.
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50 Years Later, King's Jail Letter Still Hits Home
50 Years Later, King's Jail Letter Still Hits Home

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" 50 years ago today, addressing the need for nonviolent action to overcome the nation's deeply rooted racism.

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What You Can Learn from Alzheimer's Patients
What You Can Learn from Alzheimer's Patients
Many churches worry about how many people are in Sunday school or worship services, but a more crucial number is how many are in care homes and how often we visit them.
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Faith Communities May Help Bond Fractured Country After Election
Faith Communities May Help Bond Fractured Country After Election
With calcifying incivility, ideological rigidity and deadening polarization, churches must play their part to hold our nation together. Now is the season for healing and creating common ground.
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Stop! In the Name of Love
Will you stop and make hope visible in the week ahead when you hear someone crying for help?
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Building Community to Help Disadvantaged Children
Building Community to Help Disadvantaged Children
Plenty of factors – from social and political forces to discouragement – will convince teachers that some kids can't be taught. That's when teachers need to unite as a community.
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Why We Rail Against the Wrong
Why We Rail Against the Wrong "Common Enemy"
Rather than join the rallies that demonize others as the enemy, can we tackle our true common enemy – the inner self-righteousness that lurks within all of us?
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Why You Need That Frustrating Church Community
Why You Need That Frustrating Church Community
Why should we attend churches filled with difficult people with different views, competing needs and diverse desires? Because God can use them to smooth out our rough edges.
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Healed for Community
I believe the Spirit of Jesus is here still in the margins of life moving among the lost, the sinners, the outcasts and the “lepers” of today.
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Debunking the Bootstrap Myth
Debunking the Bootstrap Myth
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he earned his fortune through old-fashioned hard work. While he may have worked hard, the idea that any of us pulls ourselves up by our bootstraps is a myth.
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What Do I Know for Sure?
I know all of us need God. Life is bigger than we are and God can make such a difference in how we handle our problems, challenges, struggles, temptations and decisions.
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Journey of Faith
Rest assured, as well, that the same God who leads people to new and distant places leads others to this place. God is aware of what each of us needs and, like a loving parent, is always working on our behalf.
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How Churches Must Connect with Their Communities
How Churches Must Connect with Their Communities
For nearly 50 years, churches built and staffed big buildings, offered quality programs and events, and stood back to wait for the crowds to show up. While that worked in the past, today's churches must go to their communities.
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Study: Religious People Happier When Share Pews with Friends
(RNS) Close friendships among congregants seem to be the key to happiness among religious people, according to a new study.
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Who’s Missing?
Are you a part of this kind of caring community? If you were lost or in trouble, who would drop everything they are doing to find and help you? Who can count on you to do that?
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Church and Community
In order for us to truly exercise a redemptive influence on the world, Christians must live from a radically different set of values than the crass materialism, consuming greed, and rampant viciousness that characterizes so much of life.
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Travel Lite
Take more risks. Live with less. Be a good neighbor. Listen to people’s stories. Be kind to strangers. Let go of control. Trust God.
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Going It Alone? Why We Need Community
Going It Alone? Why We Need Community
Baptists have too often emphasized individualism – an it's-me-and-Jesus attitude – over community. But there are good reasons to be connected to others as part of our Christian life. Here are five of them.
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When Winning is Losing
Each of us needs to think about the body of Christ more than we think about our own rights. And sometimes when you win, you lose because when you hurt the body, all are injured. Remember who you are, Paul is saying. If Jesus really is the Messiah, and you really are the people of the Messiah, why on earth would a civil court have jurisdiction between you.
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They Were All Together
God loves a crowd. God loves this crowd! And it is not too much for God to fill every one of us with the Holy Spirit to keep on speaking the language of love, living the life of Christ to the ends of the earth, all together.
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Sense of Community Can't Be Discovered in Some Churches
Sense of Community Can't Be Discovered in Some Churches
Community – a place to belong and be your most 'you' – is important to people. We're social animals who crave attention, affection, acceptance and connection. But some churches seem to have lost their sense of community.
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Is Christianity More About 'Our Father' or 'My Father'?
Is Christianity More About 'Our Father' or 'My Father'?
The most consistent theme of conservative Christianity is the concept of a personal relationship with Jesus. In the larger Christian tradition, however, the community matters as much if not more than the individuals within it.
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The Most Disturbing Story in Scripture
Jesus cares for you and, just as he knew what the worshipers in his time needed, he knows what you need. I may not know nor does the person next to you, but Jesus does. Your welfare is of great concern to him.
            He knows what makes your heart ache and how painful it is. He knows what you are worried about and how much sleep you have lost. He knows what temptation is nipping at your heels and how difficult it is for you to resist. He knows who it is in your family that you are most concerned about and how troubling it is for you. He knows what questions and doubts are attacking your faith and how crippling they are. He knows about the heavy loads you are carrying and how tired you have become. He knows how devastating guilt is and how you yearn to be forgiven. He knows how hard it is to make ends meet in a severe recession, especially if you have lost your job.
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Will Churches Follow the Fate of Newspapers?
Will Churches Follow the Fate of Newspapers?
Print publications are disappearing as more Americans go online for their news. With fewer young adults attending religious services today, are churches heading down the same path?
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The Compassionate Community
But if we’re to be the compassionate community molded by the way of our Leader, we must look over the wall of the community to see who’s outside the gates, banished there by the people of God, unable to get in other than to get on their knees to beg. There’s a risk in loving the outsiders to be sure. But if we’re the people of faith we claim to be, that’s the kind of love we must share.
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Church as Family
What do you think of when you hear the term church?
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