Articles related to Joe LaGuardia


After Castro, Baptist Cuban Churches Poised for Growth
After Castro, Baptist Cuban Churches Poised for Growth

By: Joe LaGuardia
Cuba saw a breakdown in both politics and religion in 1959 after Fidel Castro's revolution overthrew the government. Now, nearly a year after Castro's death, Christianity is beginning to flourish again.

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Why Your Church Should Appreciate Those Stuffy Hymns
Why Your Church Should Appreciate Those Stuffy Hymns

By: Joe LaGuardia
Hymns are more than nostalgic remnants of the church of yesteryear. Contemporary hymns, in particular, help engage congregations, craft theology and embody God's mission for the world.

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Hymn Captures Progressive Spirit, Extols Nonviolence
Hymn Captures Progressive Spirit, Extols Nonviolence

By: Joe LaGuardia
"God of Grace and God of Glory," Harry Emerson Fosdick's beloved hymn, captures the spirit of historic progressivism while birthing notions of nonviolence that shaped much of the progressive church.

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4 Ways Your Church Can Manage Irreconcilable Conflicts
4 Ways Your Church Can Manage Irreconcilable Conflicts

By: Joe LaGuardia
What happens when people in churches have irreconcilable differences that discernment cannot overcome? Scripture reveals 4 ways that such conflicts can lead to new seasons of ministry.

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Why Debating the Bible is Good for Your Soul
Why Debating the Bible is Good for Your Soul

By: Joe LaGuardia
Many U.S. Christians avoid debating Scripture at all costs. Instead, they become echo chambers, allowing the nightly news to shape their theology more than the good news of Jesus.

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Eye-Opening Lessons from New Friends from Cuba
Eye-Opening Lessons from New Friends from Cuba

By: Joe LaGuardia
After two Baptist leaders from Cuba spent time with my family, I've learned how much we often take for granted in America. It's also opened my eyes to a clearer call for justice.

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4 Easy Ways to Support Your Church Staff
4 Easy Ways to Support Your Church Staff

By: Joe LaGuardia
When churches aren't adept in conflict management or basic communication skills, they risk abusing staff or draining them to the point of burnout. Here are 4 ways healthy churches support their staff.

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Political Grime and Punishment: How to Bring Change
Political Grime and Punishment: How to Bring Change

By: Joe LaGuardia
We have to change the tone of our bitterly divisive and punitive politics. We can either do nothing or work constructively - together - to bring about the change and transformation we all long to see in the world.

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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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Yes, Many Baptists Observe Ash Wednesday Too
Yes, Many Baptists Observe Ash Wednesday Too

By: Joe LaGuardia
Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent, re-enacts the Jewish tradition of repenting with ashes and can provide rich meaning in one's journey of faith. Here's how.

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Is Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All Possible?
Is Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All Possible?

By: Joe LaGuardia
God's peace in Christ was - and is - radically different than the militaristic values that set the tone of violence in Rome. And God's peace in Christ sets a new tone for today too.

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3 Questions to Ask as You Study the Bible
3 Questions to Ask as You Study the Bible

By: Joe LaGuardia
Scripture tells us that it is good to meditate on God's Word, but how do we dig into its teachings? The next time you study a Bible passage, ask yourself these three questions.

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Pastor as CEO? All the Perks; Zero Accountability
Pastor as CEO? All the Perks; Zero Accountability

By: Joe LaGuardia
Many in the pastoral profession desire all the perks of being a CEO in a local church but refuse to be held accountable to the same standards as CEOs in the business world.

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Nationalist Religions Reinforce Tribal Pride, Quell Fears
Nationalist Religions Reinforce Tribal Pride, Quell Fears

By: Joe LaGuardia
A variety of nationalist religions are on the rise around the globe. In the wake of increasing regional tensions, people turn to religions that reinforce tribal pride and quell fears regarding economic inequality.

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Lent is the Valley Portion of Faith
Lent is the Valley Portion of Faith

By: Joe LaGuardia
Lent is a time of preparation and penitence, a time for deep reflection in the depth of winter's cold. Although it is not a common practice in many Baptist churches, Lent can still hold powerful inspiration for a vibrant faith.

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How Christians Should Deal with Internet Trolls
How Christians Should Deal with Internet Trolls

By: Joe LaGuardia
An Internet "troll" is anyone who comments online with threatening, intimidating or abusive language. Such online aggression is not an isolated moral lapse; it's a rampant infestation of sin.

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Theological Tradition: A Long and Dangerous Road
Theological Tradition: A Long and Dangerous Road

By: Joe LaGuardia
We often exercise theological gerrymandering to support our ideological beliefs about the day's most pressing issues. We must avoid any declaration that God is taking one side over the other.

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

By: Joe LaGuardia
Although the plot seems recycled from "A New Hope," the blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is a rousing tale that reminds us of our own uncertainties. (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

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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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3 Reasons People Over 60 Leave Your Church
3 Reasons People Over 60 Leave Your Church

By: Joe LaGuardia
Many churches are throwing out all the stops to reach young adults. In a church market flooded with young adult-friendly options, the older generation is being left behind.

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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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Churches Need Realistic Expectations for Pastor
Churches Need Realistic Expectations for Pastor

By: Joe LaGuardia
Full-time pastoral ministry is one of the last professions in which a person has to be competent in multiple skill sets while being paid a salary well below that of other professions.

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Stopping Terrorist Recruitment of Stranded Minority
Stopping Terrorist Recruitment of Stranded Minority

By: Joe LaGuardia
The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar are one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. A reported 6,000 are stranded at sea, and they're prime candidates for terrorist recruitment.

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Why Many Churches Have a Common Core Christianity
Why Many Churches Have a Common Core Christianity

By: Joe LaGuardia
Common Core provides national benchmarks for students. With so many churchgoers lacking basic bible knowledge, many churches must take a Common Core approach from the pulpit.

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Your Church Doesn't Have All the Answers - And That's Good
Your Church Doesn't Have All the Answers - And That's Good

By: Joe LaGuardia
Churches that cooperate in the public sector not only fulfill part of Jesus' Great Commission, but also thrive in a marketplace in which the lines between secular and sacred often blur.

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4 Vital Details About Christianity's Steady Decline
4 Vital Details About Christianity's Steady Decline

By: Joe LaGuardia
The percentage of folks reporting no faith rose to more than 22 percent in the last seven years, but the percentage affiliating with Christianity has steadily decreased. The verdict: All Christians have a choice to make.

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St. Patrick Built Bridges to Other Faiths
St. Patrick Built Bridges to Other Faiths

By: Joe LaGuardia
Only peacemaking and understanding of other faiths will provide a sustainable battlefront against religious, radical fundamentalism - one of the greatest enemies of our time.

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How Your Church Can Help Our Society Trust Again
How Your Church Can Help Our Society Trust Again
By: Joe LaGuardia and Karen Woods
Clashes between protesters and police officers illustrate the growing distrust that rules our society. When distrust breeds disharmony and violence, how can churches step in to provide reconciliation?
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Young Adults Must Step Up into Church Leadership
Young Adults Must Step Up into Church Leadership
By: Joe LaGuardia
As younger adults become increasingly independent, they have the potential to take more ownership in local churches. And local churches must be willing to let them lead.
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King Urged Us to Stand Against Tidal Wave of Public Opinion
King Urged Us to Stand Against Tidal Wave of Public Opinion

By: Joe LaGuardia
As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we should model his ability to stand up against the tidal wave of public opinion in order to uphold his values and convictions.

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How Advent Prepares Us for the Day Ahead
How Advent Prepares Us for the Day Ahead
By: Joe LaGuardia
Advent encourages anticipation and hope, reminding us that God expects to find us meeting the needs of victims of violence with a resolve that rests on the fact that God's future will call all creation to account.
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How Can the Church Bring Together Our Divided World?
How Can the Church Bring Together Our Divided World?
By: Joe LaGuardia
If the midterm elections revealed anything, it's that the U.S. is a divided nation. And that's an opportunity for the church as we transcend politics and seek to bring reconciliation.
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3 Truths That Church-Hoppers Forget
3 Truths That Church-Hoppers Forget
By: Joe LaGuardia
The fastest growing churches are those with contemporary worship, a founding pastor or both. Church attendance, however, is at an all-time low. That's what happens when many of us hop from church to church.
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Profiles in Goodwill: Joe LaGuardia
Profiles in Goodwill: Joe LaGuardia
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Joe LaGuardia, senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Conyers, Georgia, is a columnist for EthicsDaily.com. Learn more about which of the Gospels is his favorite.
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Why Your Church Needs to Learn How to Care
Why Your Church Needs to Learn How to Care
By: Joe LaGuardia
Learning empathy and compassion are lessons that must be honed over time. They're not traits trait that we know just because we are human. And churches need to learn them too.
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Preachers, Thou Shall Not Steal
Preachers, Thou Shall Not Steal
By: Joe LaGuardia
Preparing and delivering quality sermons every week is hard work, which makes plagiarism a tempting choice. Pastors aren't immune to breaking the eighth commandment, but their churches deserve better.
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Why No Such Thing as a Righteous War Exists
Why No Such Thing as a Righteous War Exists
By: Joe LaGuardia
Progressive stalwarts of yesteryear preached war in advancing God's kingdom. In the aftermath, many repented for mixing religious conviction too closely with political conflict.
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Spiritual Needs Are Important in Work Satisfaction
Spiritual Needs Are Important in Work Satisfaction
By: Joe LaGuardia
A business survey tells us something Christians have always known: Faith is important in every area of our lives, including work, because God is the only one who can fill that empty hole in our hearts.
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Despite Naysayers, Women Served in Ministry for Centuries
Despite Naysayers, Women Served in Ministry for Centuries
By: Joe LaGuardia
Even though some haven't welcomed women in ministry in recent years, women have been included in leadership in Baptist life since the 1600s. And they'll continue to bless the church for years to come.
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Playing Fair: Christians and the Fair Trade Movement
Playing Fair: Christians and the Fair Trade Movement
By: Joe LaGuardia
The fair trade movement, focused on obtaining needed food while sufficiently and fairly supporting the farmers and manufacturers who make it, is breaking through in the Christian world.
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When Burnout Threatens Your Life, It's OK to Say
When Burnout Threatens Your Life, It's OK to Say "No"
By: Joe LaGuardia
All of us have a penchant for helping others. When we help too much, we run the risk of experiencing burn out. That's why it's important to practice the spiritual discipline of saying "no."
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Why Your Church Needs to Stop Counting People
Why Your Church Needs to Stop Counting People
By: Joe LaGuardia
Churches often measure their growth by how many people they get in the pews on Sunday morning, but is that really the best way to measure the spiritual health of a congregation?
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Do You Need a Fresh Start or Conversion Experience?
Do You Need a Fresh Start or Conversion Experience?
By:  Joe LaGuardia
Unlike a New Year's resolution, in which we make commitments to better ourselves, conversion is much more than a one-time event. It's a continual cycle with which God is never finished.
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4 Ways That You Serve as a Priest
4 Ways That You Serve as a Priest
Protestants emphasize the priesthood of all believers, but how does that play out in our daily lives? These four functions of priests in biblical times can also apply to you.
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Divinely Called Caregivers Must Also Set Boundaries
Divinely Called Caregivers Must Also Set Boundaries
Many caregivers feel they are divinely called to care for others. However, it is important for caregivers to balance their belief in "divine calling" with a healthy dose of boundary setting.
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Caregivers among Hardest Hit by Economic Downturn
Caregivers among Hardest Hit by Economic Downturn
A silent population of Americans – namely the 28 percent who provide care to loved ones – suffers from economic and spiritual hardships that go largely unnoticed. How do we help?
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Why Your Church Must Participate in Social Justice
Why Your Church Must Participate in Social Justice
It's not enough to merely come to church to worship, hear good preaching and enjoy fellowship. Churches are called to reach out to their local communities to provide for the needs of the many.
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The Sacred Act of Encouraging Children
The Sacred Act of Encouraging Children
Our children are listening to our every word and watching our every action. Our hope as parents is that when they grow, they'll remember the positive things they've seen and heard.
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Will Churches Overcome Their Generational Divides?
Will Churches Overcome Their Generational Divides?
Many churches struggle with a generational divide. However, with a concerted effort and faith-sharing, we can grow closer to each other and together grow closer to Christ.
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Is Your Church Filled with Christian Atheists?
Is Your Church Filled with Christian Atheists?
Most Christians believe in the Gospel in order to benefit from it while others believe in the Gospel enough to contribute to it. For all practical purposes, many are Christian atheists.
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"You Live by the Gun, You Die by the Gun"
My father always reminded me of something he learned on the streets of Brooklyn: You live by the gun, you die by the gun. It's with profound irony that my father, who never celebrated guns, was the victim of a violent crime.
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Our Abundance Blinds Us to Cost of Climate Change
Our Abundance Blinds Us to Cost of Climate Change
Because of climate change, people around the world face severe droughts, flooding, deforestation and famine. And in our nation of abundance, we are blinded to how our actions affect them.
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Will Progressives, Conservatives Finally Work Together?
Will Progressives, Conservatives Finally Work Together?
Progressives in the U.S. are only 9 percentage points away from catching up to conservatives. As that gap narrows, will they adapt the same militaristic posture or will they choose a better way?
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No Matter Your Circumstances, Keep Living God's Word
No Matter Your Circumstances, Keep Living God's Word
Jesus' parable about the sower and the seeds reminds us that no matter where we are, as long as we are living out God's Word, we can represent the good news of transformation and new life.
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What a Baptist Pastor Learned from a Catholic Priest
What a Baptist Pastor Learned from a Catholic Priest
When I hear someone decry Catholicism, I point to Father John Kieran as a model for Catholic integrity, vibrant missions and ecumenical ministry. Here is what he taught me.
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Putting Your Rights Aside to Serve Others
Putting Your Rights Aside to Serve Others
We're passionate in the U.S. about our rights and don't like to have them denied. As Christians, however, are we willing to forgo our rights to serve others?
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