Articles related to Bill Wilson


Why Some Church Members Need to Go to Arabia
Why Some Church Members Need to Go to Arabia

By: Bill Wilson
Much of what we call faith and commitment is actually a thin veneer of religious ritualism that wilts at the first hint of stress. A cure exists for this self-absorbed faith: You need to go to Arabia.

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When Churches Scapegoat: Ugly, Expensive, Unchristian
When Churches Scapegoat: Ugly, Expensive, Unchristian

By: Bill Wilson
Dwindling attendance. Lower offerings. When the bottom line starts to slide, too many churches resort to a practice rooted in the Old Testament. It's called scapegoating.

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4 Differences Mark Pre-Easter vs Post-Easter Churches
4 Differences Mark Pre-Easter vs Post-Easter Churches

By: Bill Wilson
Pre-Easter churches are marked by discouragement, loss and despair while post-Easter churches are marked by confidence and hope. Is your church living on the right side of Easter?

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7 Healthy Habits of Congregations on Mission
7 Healthy Habits of Congregations on Mission

By: Bill Wilson
While building a congregation's life around a clear vision and purpose is easy to believe in, problems emerge when we talk about how to do it. Here are 7 habits of churches that are on mission.

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My Friend's Unswerving Devotion to Ministry, Family
My Friend's Unswerving Devotion to Ministry, Family

By: Bill Wilson
Over the years, Robert Parham's straightforward, no-nonsense approach to ministry has been unswerving and unyielding. I could not be more grateful for his life and friendship.

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Does Your Church Need a Recombobulation Area?
Does Your Church Need a Recombobulation Area?

By: Bill Wilson
Going through airport security can leave people discombobulated. Similarly, many congregations are discombobulated by the challenges of being a 21st century church. We need a recombobulation area.

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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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Is Your Church Culture Creating New Pastoral Leaders?
Is Your Church Culture Creating New Pastoral Leaders?

By: Bill Wilson
Where are our next pastoral leaders going to come from? They'll come from your church, but only if your church takes seriously their role in creating a healthy culture of call.

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Why Great Churches Are Like Your Best Vacation
Why Great Churches Are Like Your Best Vacation

By: Bill Wilson
Most churches are unable to offer a clear purpose that's shared and embraced with passion by many of their people. That's why pushing people to purpose is a necessary and invaluable process for leaders.

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7 Signs of Movement-Focused Churches
7 Signs of Movement-Focused Churches

By: Bill Wilson
Healthy churches recognize that the era of programming is giving way to a season in which we rediscover our movement roots. Does your church still push programs or is it working to launch and sustain a movement?

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Is Your Church Like Cut Flowers?
Is Your Church Like Cut Flowers?

By: Bill Wilson
Some churches are like cut flowers, beautiful but facing a future of slow decline. Churches should strive to be like garden perennials, springing up year after year, rather than "flash in the pan" annuals.

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When Anxiety Attacks: 3 Questions to Correct Your Course
When Anxiety Attacks: 3 Questions to Correct Your Course

By: Bill Wilson
Christians often talk about how God is always good yet live anxious and obsessed lives. That gap between rhetoric and actions is at the heart of the dysfunction of many local churches and individual Christians.

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What's Your Church's Blind Spot?
What's Your Church's Blind Spot?

By: Bill Wilson
We all have blind spots, but so do our churches. Churches ignore their blind spots at their own peril; they are an early warning system for more complicated issues ahead.

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When Your Church Dives into Despair, Try 20-Year Test
When Your Church Dives into Despair, Try 20-Year Test

By: Bill Wilson
A calamity arises in every church. Many react by proclaiming it's the worst thing to ever happen. Instead of bemoaning the church's imminent doom, those church folks need to take the 20-Year Test.

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How You Can Survive the Agony of 10 Painful Words
How You Can Survive the Agony of 10 Painful Words

By: Bill Wilson
Ten words - and they're not the only such words - cause heartbreak, pain and betrayal in peoples' lives. But the Bible with its incredibly honest and sobering view of life declares these words will not win.

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Does Your Church Care About Those Who Wander?
Does Your Church Care About Those Who Wander?

By: Bill Wilson
Rather than spending time judging others so that we feel better about ourselves, churches are called to go out and find those who have wandered from God's dream for their lives and bring them back.

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10 Insights to Handle Church Conflict Agreeably
10 Insights to Handle Church Conflict Agreeably

By: Bill Wilson
Many clergy aren't prepared to navigate conflict and intense conversations. If that includes you, here are 10 insights to help you work through that next difficult round of criticism.

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Sharing Christmas Truth During a Season of Excess
Sharing Christmas Truth During a Season of Excess

By: Bill Wilson
The celebration of Christmas has ebbed and flowed throughout U.S. history. During the Advent season, Christians have the opportunity to provide a more meaningful message to society's season of excess.

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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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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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The Beginning of the End for Baptist Entities?
The Beginning of the End for Baptist Entities?

By: Bill Wilson
Declining receipts from churches and increasing pressure from the national Baptist body to forward a larger percentage of receipts upstream are squeezing state conventions and associations.

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2 Root Causes When Churches Face Conflict, Mistrust
2 Root Causes When Churches Face Conflict, Mistrust

By: Bill Wilson
If your church or organization is experiencing low trust and conflict, the root causes likely have to do with these two words - character and competence. Your church sinks when either is lacking.

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Is Your Church Fragile or Agile?
Is Your Church Fragile or Agile?

By: Bill Wilson
Developing a church vision statement shouldn't be a cumbersome task. A lean final document can emphasize future direction and leave much of the implementation for future teams to decide.

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The One Way Bodybuilders and Baptists Are Alike
The One Way Bodybuilders and Baptists Are Alike

By: Bill Wilson
The two groups meeting separately at the hotel couldn't have been more different. Sure, the bodybuilders didn't look anything like the Baptists, but in one key way they're both very much alike.

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Will Your Church Turn the World Upside Down?
Will Your Church Turn the World Upside Down?

By: Bill Wilson
Turning the world upside down is risky business for churches. They must be ready to weigh new ideas, suggest alternatives, propose new methods or raise questions. And some folks won't like it.

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How to Launch a Healthy Start for Your New Pastor
How to Launch a Healthy Start for Your New Pastor

By: Bill Wilson
For many churches, pastor search committees are a blend of divine intervention, wishful thinking and occasional luck. Here's how your church can get off to a good start when seeking your next minister.

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Does Your Church Function as a Green-Light Church?
Does Your Church Function as a Green-Light Church?

By: Bill Wilson
Churches used to be a source of entrepreneurship, but many have abandoned that spirit and are in survival mode. Instead of being a green-light church where ideas are born, they're stuck in yellow and red.

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10 Places Members Go When They Skip Church
10 Places Members Go When They Skip Church

By: Bill Wilson
Weekly church attendance is in serious decline as loyal members attend less frequently than before. Here are 10 of the most frequent places they go on Sundays when they're not in church.

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March Madness: Dean Smith Visits an RA Banquet
March Madness: Dean Smith Visits an RA Banquet

By: Bill Wilson
More than just a basketball coach, Dean Smith was an active layman at his Baptist church and took his faith very seriously. And years ago, he stopped by to encourage a group of boys at their RA banquet.

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The Two Most Dangerous Words Spoken in Church
The Two Most Dangerous Words Spoken in Church
By: Bill Wilson
Two words uttered back to back are the most dangerous in church. They indicate that we believe we are exceptions to the rule. But three steps can put us on the right track.
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Advent: Perfect Time for Churches to Pursue Vision
Advent: Perfect Time for Churches to Pursue Vision
By: Bill Wilson
Healthy churches start with a powerful, shared vision that captures God's dream for them and then work tirelessly to embrace it across every aspect of congregational life.
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If Magic Wands Were Real: 12 Wishes for Churches
If Magic Wands Were Real: 12 Wishes for Churches
By: Bill Wilson
I've fantasized about waving a magic wand over a church member, minister or congregation and making some desperately needed changes. If I had such a wand, here are 12 things I'd do.
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As Evangelism Implodes, Churches' Days Numbered
As Evangelism Implodes, Churches' Days Numbered
By: Bill Wilson
Nearly all churches' new converts are their own members' children. Because few congregations reach their unchurched communities, their days are numbered. It's simple math.
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What Your Church Needs for Healthy Growth
What Your Church Needs for Healthy Growth
By: Bill Wilson
If your church wants to experience healthy growth, it won't be through new programs. Healthy churches grow when their members develop personal and powerful relationships.
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5 Dangerous Paths for Ministers Under Pressure
5 Dangerous Paths for Ministers Under Pressure
By: Bill Wilson
While everyone wrestles with some degree of career frustration, clergy are increasingly identified as especially prone to struggle. When the pressure is too great, these five paths lead to devastation.
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How to Keep Your Faith from Wilting
How to Keep Your Faith from Wilting
By: Bill Wilson
Much of what we call faith and commitment is actually a thin veneer of religious ritualism that withers at the first hint of stress. To hear the Spirit's voice, we need to go deeper. Like Paul, we need to go to Arabia.
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Discovering God's Dream for Your Life
Discovering God's Dream for Your Life
By: Bill Wilson
We speak of God's will as though it was something he hides or does not want us to know, but the Bible is clear that God's will is knowable and available to all. What is God's dream for you?
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Profiles in Goodwill: Bill Wilson
Profiles in Goodwill: Bill Wilson
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Bill Wilson, president of the Center for Healthy Churches in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pens columns for EthicsDaily.com. Find out why Numbers 13 is his favorite Scripture passage.
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3 Ways You Can Live by the Compass, Not the Clock
3 Ways You Can Live by the Compass, Not the Clock
By: Bill Wilson
Most people – and churches – live by the clock, racing from event to event to meet expectations. Instead, we need to live by the compass, learning to anticipate and reflect, rather than react.
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These Stats Shine Light on Local Church Health
These Stats Shine Light on Local Church Health
By: Bill Wilson
While the sobering statistics and gloomy projections about the health of the local church have clergy and lay leaders wringing their hands, don't neglect these hopeful trends.
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Why Real Worship Should Move You to Tears
Why Real Worship Should Move You to Tears
By: Bill Wilson
Genuine worship should evoke a humility that's missing in many Christians. What will it take for us to be swept into a spirit of unity that moves us to shed tears of joy at the altar?
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Let's Reserve Martyrdom for Real Martyrs
Let's Reserve Martyrdom for Real Martyrs
By: Bill Wilson
We're tempted to see our own issues as supremely important, but we would be wise to remember that many other folks are facing far more challenging difficulties in their own lives.
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Does Your Church Have a Trusting Leadership Culture?
Does Your Church Have a Trusting Leadership Culture?
By: Bill Wilson
The hardest part of ministry for many leaders is staff trust. While no magic pill will solve the issue, there are best practices and habits that can create a healthier church culture.
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Forgiveness: Shrink the Objects in Your Rearview Mirror
Forgiveness: Shrink the Objects in Your Rearview Mirror
By: Bill Wilson
When you're dismissed from a church, the wounds are like looking into a rearview mirror. They're often larger than they appear. The way forward requires you to forgive.
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How Will Your Church Respond to the Fire Below?
How Will Your Church Respond to the Fire Below?
By: Bill Wilson
Burning platform syndrome. It's what organizations go through as they consider change. We jump off the "platform" when the pain or danger of staying exceeds the pain or danger of making a change.
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Why You Should View Church Conflicts as Blessings
Why You Should View Church Conflicts as Blessings
By: Bill Wilson
Church leaders are wise to address conflict early and proactively before it escalates and becomes divisive. The issue is not whether you will have conflict, but what you will do with it.
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Why Your Minister Should Be Like Your Physical Therapist
Why Your Minister Should Be Like Your Physical Therapist
By: Bill Wilson
A good pastor is like a physical therapist. Both push you to do things you often don't want to do, but they know that what you need is more important than what you want.
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Like Gardens, Healthy Churches Have Loving Caretakers
Like Gardens, Healthy Churches Have Loving Caretakers
By: Bill Wilson
If churches are like gardens, then those who serve in them – laity and clergy alike – are the gardeners. Are we willing to work together to ensure the growth of a healthy church?
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3 Ways Your Church Can Flourish Like a Garden
3 Ways Your Church Can Flourish Like a Garden
By: Bill Wilson
The garden is a powerful biblical theme. Jesus taught many lessons involving plants, growth, agriculture and gardening. Here are three ways your church can be like an abundant garden.
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3 Ways for Your Church to Navigate the Giants
3 Ways for Your Church to Navigate the Giants
By: Bill Wilson
Your church may face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, like the giants in the land that sparked fear in most of the Israelites. Here are three things you need to navigate those obstacles.
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6 Signs Your Congregation Doesn't Smell Right
6 Signs Your Congregation Doesn't Smell Right
By: Bill Wilson
What kind of aroma does your church culture have? Here are six ways to tell if your congregational culture has the sweet smell of success or stinks to high heaven.
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6 Things Your Church Has in Common with Universities
6 Things Your Church Has in Common with Universities
By: Bill Wilson
Any church leader paying attention to the stresses and strains upon their local church should model themselves after universities. Their similarities can help your church chart its future.
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What Can Your Church Learn from America's Cities?
What Can Your Church Learn from America's Cities?
By: Bill Wilson
If your church faces an uncertain future like so many others, look for examples of others who have met challenges and turned them into opportunities for success. And remember these 6 lessons.
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Don't Despair When Others Throw You Into the Well
Don't Despair When Others Throw You Into the Well
By: Bill Wilson
It happens too often. Innocent clergy and laypeople are treated cruelly by church bullies. Here are 10 lessons you can learn when you've been thrown into the well of despair.
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The Church Addiction: Satisfying Our Own Egos
The Church Addiction: Satisfying Our Own Egos
By: Bill Wilson
For many, the U.S. church experience is akin to an addiction to a poor substitute for the gospel of Jesus. All of us crave a church that will cater to us. It's time to break the addictive cycle.
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Attendance Alone Doesn't Reflect Your Church's Vitality
Attendance Alone Doesn't Reflect Your Church's Vitality
By: Bill Wilson
When a church's weekly average attendance drops, leaders look for someone to blame. Rather than scapegoating, churches must rethink how they connect with people.
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Wake Up! How to Know When Your Church Veers Off Course
Wake Up! How to Know When Your Church Veers Off Course
By: Bill Wilson
Has your church drifted off the path that God intended for you to travel? Maybe what your congregation needs is a rumble strip to get you back on course.
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Churches Struggling with Headwinds are Ready to Fly
Churches Struggling with Headwinds are Ready to Fly
By: Bill Wilson
Resistance from headwinds helps airplanes generate the lift needed to take off. When your church encounters struggles, it's ready to take off and fly as it works through the difficulties. 
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3 Ways Your Church Can Stay Focused on Its Vision
3 Ways Your Church Can Stay Focused on Its Vision
When a church establishes a new and fresher vision, they stick with it for a season before slipping back into their old, destructive patterns. Here are three ways to stay focused on your vision.
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How to Know When Your Church Needs to Scale Back
How to Know When Your Church Needs to Scale Back
With finances tight, congregations are being forced to take stock of the number of professional staff members they require. For most churches, it is a difficult conversation to broach.
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Self-Preservation Takes Toll on Many Churches, Pastors
Self-Preservation Takes Toll on Many Churches, Pastors
When stress escalates, congregations and ministers are often surprised to find people reverting to decidedly un-Christian behavior. How do we move to a self-giving care for others?
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5 Essential Tools to Make Your Ministry Healthier
5 Essential Tools to Make Your Ministry Healthier
Healthy clergy are always on the lookout for best practices that breathe life into their ministries and, thus, their places of service. Here are five practices that can help.
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Self-Absorbed Churches Observe Half the Gospel
Self-Absorbed Churches Observe Half the Gospel
Ministers serve their church members as well as the larger community, but too many church members expect clergy to focus solely on them. They end up practicing only half the gospel.
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10-Point Checklist to Keep Your Church from Death Spiral
10-Point Checklist to Keep Your Church from Death Spiral
When visibility is low, pilots can suffer from spatial disorientation and are in danger of flying their planes into the ground. Churches can suffer from a similar disorientation. Here's how to handle it.
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Churches Cannot Compartmentalize Faith, Health
Churches Cannot Compartmentalize Faith, Health
Has your church fallen into the trap of focusing on the overtly spiritual while giving only token attention to others' physical needs? Healthy churches are concerned with all of life.
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10 Thoughts for Realistic Expectations for Music Ministry
10 Thoughts for Realistic Expectations for Music Ministry
Many who lead in music and worship ministry are the recipients of an obscene amount of vitriol, anger, criticism and unreasonable expectations. Here are 10 thoughts to keep expectations realistic.
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Seeking God's Will at Your Church? Get a Shredder
Seeking God's Will at Your Church? Get a Shredder
We all have lots of ideas about how church ought to be run – great ideas. But we need to come to the place where we realize God wants our hearts before he wants our ideas.
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What the Big Bad Wolf Can Teach Your Church
What the Big Bad Wolf Can Teach Your Church
Remember "The Three Little Pigs?" Many churches are like the first two pigs, cowering in their homes afraid of the wolf. The third pig learned from the wolf and was able to survive and thrive.
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What Gloomy Predictions About Church Overlook
What Gloomy Predictions About Church Overlook
Tired of hearing all the naysayers predicting the end of the church is nigh? It's true that many churches are in decline, but those critics neglect a key truth: Things change.
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10 Signs Your Church May Be an 'Oxbow Lake' Church
10 Signs Your Church May Be an 'Oxbow Lake' Church
Disconnected from the movement of the main stream, an oxbow lake is cut off and stands outside the life and energy of a river. Many churches suffer the same fate.
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Are You Pursuing Success While Ignoring Signifcance?
Are You Pursuing Success While Ignoring Signifcance?
We often live our everyday lives outside the arena where God is at work. We keep busy with our consumer lifestyles, pursuit of pleasure and drive to appear successful.
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10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Pastor's Sermons
10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Pastor's Sermons
If you want to encourage your pastor to deliver inspiring sermons, think about ways you can ensure awful messages every week – and let them suggest ways to promote positive results.
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Excuse-Making Hinders Fruitful Discipleship, Ministry
Excuse-Making Hinders Fruitful Discipleship, Ministry
Making excuses is at the heart of a troubling spirit that plagues U.S. churches. When we cease making excuses, we begin down the path of humble discipleship.
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How Your Church is Like the Corvette
How Your Church is Like the Corvette
The Corvette evokes great nostalgia and loyalty among a dwindling crowd. Designers must remain true to their traditional heritage while becoming relevant for the next generation. Sound familiar?
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4 Characteristics of Churches That Call New Leaders
4 Characteristics of Churches That Call New Leaders
Many congregations are so focused on survival that they've grown blind to the call to propagate and reproduce leaders, but they're putting their future at stake.
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Resistant or Resilient: Which Describes Your Church?
Resistant or Resilient: Which Describes Your Church?
As congregations age, most churches will face a turning point of sustainability in the near future. Whether they survive will depend on whether they're resistant or resilient.
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4 Things to Consider About Shallow Church Commitment
4 Things to Consider About Shallow Church Commitment
Athletic practices, concerts, sunny weather and just about anything else all seem to rank ahead of commitments to one's church. Is there a solution to shallow commitment?
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What Your Building Use Policy Says About Your Church
What Your Building Use Policy Says About Your Church
Your church's building use policy reflects your church's vision. Does that policy communicate the spirit of a crucified Christ or that of a self-absorbed congregation?
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4 Ways Your Church Can Become Whole-Hearted
4 Ways Your Church Can Become Whole-Hearted
Today's churches face significant headwind and many challenges. Half-heartedness can lead to irrelevance or even extinction. Here are 4 ways to "put your heart into it."
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Skype Interview: Bill Wilson Shares Advice for Search Committees
Skype Interview: Bill Wilson Shares Advice for Search Committees

Churches that do the best job of finding their next pastor have one thing in common. In the latest Skype interview from EthicsDaily.com, find out what Bill Wilson says that is.

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4 Habits to Build Healthy Leadership at Your Church
4 Habits to Build Healthy Leadership at Your Church
Is your church led by staff or controlled by staff? When staff leadership is unhealthy, it's often at the heart of church conflict. Try these 4 habits to build a healthier leadership culture.
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Churches Are in Minority at Christmas – And That's Good
Churches Are in Minority at Christmas – And That's Good
Being a minority voice in a larger conversation is not just for Christmas; it is the future of the U.S. church. We no longer can dictate to culture how it will behave or believe.
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Your Church's Stewardship: Building Barns or Serving Tables
Your Church's Stewardship: Building Barns or Serving Tables
Many churches seem to model their stewardship after the parable of the farmer building bigger barns for his possessions. Here's why a table is a better metaphor.
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Managing Church Conflicts When Both Sides Are Right
Managing Church Conflicts When Both Sides Are Right
Some church conflicts can't be resolved with traditional problem-solving skills. When both sides are right, healthy congregations know how to manage these polarities.
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7 Reasons Churches Face a Conflict Pandemic
7 Reasons Churches Face a Conflict Pandemic
Congregational conflict appears to be reaching pandemic levels. Here are the seven most popular culprits driving this surge followed by seven possible solutions.
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Healthy Church Teams Hold Each Other Accountable
Healthy Church Teams Hold Each Other Accountable
Many church staff members operate in a world void of accountability, but healthy ministerial teams develop good practices around holding one another accountable.
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4 Steps to Avoid a Church's Biggest Conflict
4 Steps to Avoid a Church's Biggest Conflict
One of the biggest conflicts in church life centers on staff. There are four steps – one in particular – that can put your church on the road to a healthy staff.
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Boundaries 101: How They Keep Your Church Healthy
Boundaries 101: How They Keep Your Church Healthy
For all the good that clergy do, an unhealthy minister can inflict pain and harm that will carry its poison far into the future. Here's why your church needs to set boundaries.
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5 Insights to Help Your Church Survive Change
5 Insights to Help Your Church Survive Change
Change is never easy for a church. We often cause havoc when we force change too quickly or expect 100 percent agreement. Here are five insights to help your church survive.
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Trouble at Church? The Cavalry Ain't Coming
Trouble at Church? The Cavalry Ain't Coming
Healthy faith communities know the cavalry isn't riding to the rescue to solve their complex issues. Instead, they allow God to lead them into the depths of authentic faith.
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Would Jesus Attend Your Inwardly Focused Church?
Would Jesus Attend Your Inwardly Focused Church?
Churches that focus on themselves instead of their communities produce highly anxious leaders who fear offending their members and building churches Jesus wouldn't attend.
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5 Issues That Bother Pastors About Search Committees
5 Issues That Bother Pastors About Search Committees
Search committees have a daunting task as they seek a pastor for their church. Often staffed by volunteers, they have limited time. Here are five issues they should address.
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What Your Church Can Learn From a Two-Item Eatery
What Your Church Can Learn From a Two-Item Eatery
What kind of restaurant serves only two items? One that knows what it does best. Churches also need to know they can't serve everything to everyone if they want to fulfill their mission.
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4 Pastors Describe a Healthy Search Process
4 Pastors Describe a Healthy Search Process
Searching for a new pastor is exhilarating and risky for congregations. Four pastors who recently made the transition share how your church can do it successfully.
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7 Strategic Habits of Jesus to Focus Your Church
7 Strategic Habits of Jesus to Focus Your Church
When a congregation is determined to live out their mission, they can look to Jesus as a model for a clear and compelling mission. Does your strategic planning include these seven steps?
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14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers
14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers
For new graduates ready to enter the ministry, the landscape is changing rapidly and difficult to navigate. Here are 14 thoughts to consider for the men and women starting their ministry.
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Realities About Your Church's Staffing Dilemma
Realities About Your Church's Staffing Dilemma
As churches struggle with operating budgets, clergy are seeing their pay and benefits shrinking. Consider these eight ways to deal with your church's staffing challenges.
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Applause – The Hidden Addiction in Churches
Applause – The Hidden Addiction in Churches
Applause, an intoxicating addiction common in churches, is particularly corrosive. Its addicts are tempted to allow what others think to trump what is true and right.
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Why Creatively Outrageous Churches Will Thrive
Why Creatively Outrageous Churches Will Thrive
The insights of an advertising leader who helped revolutionize the industry can be applied to congregations. Can outrageous creativity help your church thrive?
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Some Churches Too Quick to Lay Down the Law
Some Churches Too Quick to Lay Down the Law
When congregational life becomes stressful, we attempt to control others with rules rather than persuade them with the love and grace of Christ. Rules almost always reign supreme.
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Why New Clergy Deserve a Chance in Your Church
Why New Clergy Deserve a Chance in Your Church
When churches call recent seminary grads to serve as ministers, they are making a covenant to partner with those ministers to further their education in the crucible of congregational life.
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Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
Many pastor-search committees believe they need a young pastor to attract young families to their churches, but effectiveness and appeal to young adults have little to do with a pastor's age.
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Is Your Worship as Genuine as Gate A3's?
Is Your Worship as Genuine as Gate A3's?
Healthy worship is more than meeting human wants and dabbling in fads. It should be the most spiritually mature and provocative event your church plans for each week. Like Gate A3.
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Why More Congregations Need to Choose Humility
Why More Congregations Need to Choose Humility
Humility is at the heart of what it means to follow Christ. So next time you're at church, try taking the farthest parking spot. Others may need the closer ones more than you.
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Where's Your Congregation's Focus: Inward or Outward?
Where's Your Congregation's Focus: Inward or Outward?
In healthy congregations and parishes, the gap between where we invest most of our resources and what we sense to be our essential calling is under constant evaluation. Where's your focus?
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How Your Church Can Remain Financially Viable
How Your Church Can Remain Financially Viable
Within 10 years, many congregations will face enormous financial challenges as their primary supporters move off the scene. Many churches are one or two funerals away from a real crisis.
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17 Ways to Avoid Invasion of the Pastor Snatchers
17 Ways to Avoid Invasion of the Pastor Snatchers
When you church needs a new pastor, a healthy search process will require patience, spiritual maturity and hard work. It's more than a recruitment search. Done poorly, it can be disastrous.
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Why Strategic Planning for Churches Wastes Your Time
Why Strategic Planning for Churches Wastes Your Time
Many strategic plans for churches take a form of corporate planning and coat it with a thin veneer of spirituality. Genuine strategic planning requires discernment and can't be done in a few easy steps.
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Overcoming Isolation and Fatigue in Ministry
Overcoming Isolation and Fatigue in Ministry
Ministry leaders today often wrestle with fatigue and weariness. To survive, they must acknowledge they can't do it alone and find others who will support and affirm them.
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Three Ways to Lose the J-Word at Your Church
Three Ways to Lose the J-Word at Your Church
With the professionalizing of the clergy, an unfortunate and unbiblical dualism has arisen across the years. It's at the heart of one of the unhealthiest trends in modern congregational life.
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Avoiding the Iceberg: 6 Tips for Sinking Churches
Avoiding the Iceberg: 6 Tips for Sinking Churches
With the vast majority of churches in decline – some dramatically – many face a Titanic fate. Here are six steps you can put into practice to avoid your date with the iceberg.
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Why Our Churches Are Filled with
Why Our Churches Are Filled with "Ill" People
Not everyone who is ill is physically sick. Indeed, our churches seem to be brimming with ill-spirited people plagued by personal frustration, anxiety and unhappiness. Why are so few transformed by Christ?
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Five Steps for a Healthy Church Intervention
Five Steps for a Healthy Church Intervention
When a congregation decides it no longer wants to continue down a path of dysfunction and destruction, an intervention can begin the healing. But the solution won't happen overnight.
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How to Renew Yourself to Face Life's Pressures
How to Renew Yourself to Face Life's Pressures
Whether it's a sabbatical or taking one day a week to reflect, having a time to decompress from the pressures of everyday life is a needed transition for the important work we have before us.
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Three Questions Help Churches Navigate Anxious Times
Three Questions Help Churches Navigate Anxious Times
Many congregations mouth words of faithfulness while living lives dominated by anxiety and fear. Answering three questions will can your church survive the future.
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How Your Church Will Make You Healthier
How Your Church Will Make You Healthier
Despite our illusions, none of us is capable of living the life God has called us to alone. We all need someone, some group, some community to help us fulfill God's dream for our life.
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The Two Most Dangerous Words You Can Say
The Two Most Dangerous Words You Can Say
People explain away the most obscene actions or attitudes with two words: Yes, but. These words reveal that we believe we are the exception to any rule. Fortunately, there's a solution.
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How Long Do You Think Your Church Will Survive?
How Long Do You Think Your Church Will Survive?
Congregations, like marriages and other relationships, must come to the startling realization that the future is not a sure thing before they are willing to try something new or different.
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When’s The Last Time You Embraced Failure?
When’s The Last Time You Embraced Failure?
Failure is inevitable. Yet many in the church – ministers and laity – treat failure as the unpardonable sin. Healthy churches don’t allow failure to define them; they allow it to transform them.
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Seeking God's Will? Try Finding God's Dream
Seeking God's Will? Try Finding God's Dream
Many people speak of God's will as though it were something God hides from us. Instead of pondering God's will for your life, consider God's dream for it. Here's how you can find God's dream for you and your church.
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Four Traps That Await Clergy When They Move
Four Traps That Await Clergy When They Move
When ministers move to new congregations, they have to be careful to avoid some common traps that can ensnare their ministry. Healthy churches and ministers need to pay attention to these four trouble spots.
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How to Draw Easter Crowds Every Sunday
How to Draw Easter Crowds Every Sunday
Wise churches don't lament the disparity in attendance between Easter and other days. What is it that brings such a crowd? The recent tornadoes and the royal wedding give us a hint.
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Fred Craddock's Two Memorable Quotes for Preachers
Fred Craddock's Two Memorable Quotes for Preachers
Fred Craddock, an iconic figure who has preached for nearly 50 years, has helped many people maintain their love of Scripture and preaching. Two of his sayings are healthy reminders for other preachers.
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Four Ways for Ministers to Become Entrepreneurs
Four Ways for Ministers to Become Entrepreneurs
Ministers wear many hats in church, and one they need to add to their collection is entrepreneur. Here are four ways to add a healthy injection of the entrepreneurial spirit into the life of a congregation.
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Healthy Churches Don't Look Down on Wanderers
Healthy Churches Don't Look Down on Wanderers
When church members drift away from God, too many congregations respond by excluding and judging them. It's time to drop our smug attitudes and show compassion for those who have wandered.
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Churches in Conflict Often Make Unhealthy Choices
Churches in Conflict Often Make Unhealthy Choices
Jesus had a clear approach to resolving conflict. Sadly, many churches consider themselves as exceptions to the rule. Rather than discuss disagreements with civility, we prefer gossip and sabotage.
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What Rules Your Church? The Clock or Compass?
What Rules Your Church? The Clock or Compass?
Many churches and clergy live their lives by the clock rather than the compass. When the clock rules, we're focused on short-term results. When we follow the compass, we're focused on direction and not speed.
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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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Do Not Disturb: Ensuring Your Minister is Rested
Do Not Disturb: Ensuring Your Minister is Rested
Our frantic lifestyle often leads to exhaustion. It's not unusual to see sleepy members in a church service. And healthy churches recognize that their ministers need time for renewal and recharging.
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Facing the New Year with 'Gracious Uncertainty'
Facing the New Year with 'Gracious Uncertainty'
American culture promotes a common-sense life that wants events to work out with certainty. The life of biblical faith, however, declares that regardless what comes our way, God alone is a sure thing.
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Unraveling the Popularity of the Obnoxious OMG
Unraveling the Popularity of the Obnoxious OMG
OMG, shorthand for "Oh My God," is used every day in the most inane ways. While "God" seems to be added only out of habit, could there be a spiritual dimension to this exclamation?
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When Church Budgets Drop,
When Church Budgets Drop, "Hunting" Season Begins
During these rocky economic times, churches have to tighten their belts as offering-plate receipts slide. For too many churches, it becomes a time to find a scapegoat to blame.
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Why Healthy Christians are Grateful and Generous
Why Healthy Christians are Grateful and Generous
If the gospel has penetrated a person's heart, old self-centered habits are replaced with a generous spirit whose gratitude is manifest in visible and life-changing ways.
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How You Can Make Your Pastor's Sermon Better
How You Can Make Your Pastor's Sermon Better
The world desperately needs healthy churches and clergy who love to preach God's word. Unfortunately, preaching has become associated for many with personal criticism, unfair expectations and disappointment.
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After Church Conflicts, Can Good Come from Evil?
After Church Conflicts, Can Good Come from Evil?
Church conflicts often leave many ministers and laypeople bitter and disillusioned. However, we must remember that God is in the business of turning hopeless situations into triumphs.
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When Church Conflict Goes From Healthy to Ugly
When Church Conflict Goes From Healthy to Ugly
Healthy conflict is one of the most effective means for a church to grow deeper in its understanding of spiritual truth that God sends us. But how do we respond when conflict overwhelms the mission of the church?
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Are Churches Experiencing More Conflicts?
Are Churches Experiencing More Conflicts?
Patterns of terminations for clergy suggest that life as a minister in the 21st century is more stressful, more toxic and more likely to end in termination than ever before. How might we begin to turn this tide of turmoil?
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Moving Violations: Why Churches Fear Change
Moving Violations: Why Churches Fear Change
The local church is notorious for resisting moving: movement in attitudes, movement toward a kingdom vision or movements of God's Spirit. Too often, we focus on the inconvenience rather than the opportunities.
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10 Ideas That Should Go Without Saying in Church
10 Ideas That Should Go Without Saying in Church
We may assume that many things in our churches are shared values but they're actually called into question every day. One sign of healthy churches and healthy leaders is giving focused attention to these fundamental values.
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Great Expectations: Barriers to Church Growth
Great Expectations: Barriers to Church Growth
Church isn't intended to be a place that caters to its members' needs. Jesus never saw his role as one of making his followers comfortable, but helping them become the people that God intended them to be.
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How Preachers Earn the Role of Prophet
How Preachers Earn the Role of Prophet
One of the most precarious tasks a preacher faces is that of being a prophet. Being prophetic is part of a healthy sermon diet; it cannot be the only item on the menu.
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Ministers Must Examine Their Own Lives, Too
Ministers Must Examine Their Own Lives, Too
Honesty and transparency are rarely encouraged in the clergy world, and that's a huge problem. While trained to see the faults of those around us, ministers struggle with the ability to reflect on our own lives critically.
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More Churches Should Follow Their
More Churches Should Follow Their "Leaders"
To grow a fruitful apple tree, any challengers to its central leader, or main trunk, must be ruthlessly pruned away. Likewise, churches would benefit if they were subservient to their central leader. But it's not a person.
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Every Minister Needs Truth-Tellers Like Nathan
Every Minister Needs Truth-Tellers Like Nathan
Nathan served the kingdom of God by speaking bold truth to David's deceptions. It's no different today. Without a Nathan, too many ministers have veered far off the path God had intended for them.
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Churches Should Offer Shelter From Life's Blizzard
Churches Should Offer Shelter From Life's Blizzard
When life's anxiety and confusion swirl around people like a raging blizzard, too many clergy and churches only add to the storm. Will we remember our calling to be a shelter in the storm?
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When Anxiety Attacks, Do Churches Help or Hinder?
When Anxiety Attacks, Do Churches Help or Hinder?
People come to church every week craving a connection to a God who can absorb their anxiety, calm their fears and inspire them to hope. How does your church help people cope with life's challenges?
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Circumstances Looking Bleak? Don't
Circumstances Looking Bleak? Don't "Awfulize" It
When times are tough or a crisis looms, one of the most pervasive reactions is to amplify and exaggerate the bad news and jump to the most dire conclusions.
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Seven Things Church Members Wish Their Ministers Knew But Are Afraid To Tell Them
Seven Things Church Members Wish Their Ministers Knew But Are Afraid To Tell Them
Lay people have a few things they'd like to say to their pastors but often don't out of respect or fear of hurting their feelings. Maybe it's time for pastors to listen to some of them. Here are seven.
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7 Things Your Pastor Wishes You Knew, But Is Afraid To Tell You
7 Things Your Pastor Wishes You Knew, But Is Afraid To Tell You
The interchange between clergy and laity can be a delicate balance. Pastors have a few things they wish congregants understood to help encourage healthier relationships. Here are seven.
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Confessing
So this Lenten season, I am interested in confession. Both to God and to one another. But…is there really a place for confession in our church life? It is so ripe for abuse, but what would happen if we honestly invited people to confess their sin, to own it, to be honest and forthright about it?
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Passing Along the Leadership Mantle
A smooth transition sends clear messages about the health and future of the group, while a rocky transition can handicap the new leader and set the group or organization back significantly. We need to be deliberate and biblical about leadership transitions.
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Georgia Church Aligns With Virginia Baptists
Our unanimous vote Sunday night to expand our ministry partners to include three new partners, and especially the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), is a significant and substantial decision. Others may interpret our action in any number of ways. What I want to do for you is to be clear about why we did this, and what we expect from this.
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Why Do You Stay a Baptist?
I've recently been involved in some leadership coaching training that has taken place in a very ecumenical setting. My fellow students have come from a wide array of denominational groups, and it has been a pleasure. Our recent time together coincided with some large Baptist meeting in which the inane and insane proceedings that mark the larger Baptist family were on display for all the world to see. One new friend finally sidled up to me during a break in our work and asked sincerely: "Bill, why DO you stay a Baptist?"
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Let's Not Forget the Future
What could be more important to moderate Baptists than our future?
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When Denominational Loss Is Victory
Talking with friends in Virginia about my move to Georgia and the opportunity to speak to you, one of them suggested that I describe what it is like to move from Baptist Promised Land back into captivity among the Egyptians.
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Jesus Showed Courage of Identity and Connection
Creating change requires a clear identity and a connection to people with whom we disagree. It requires, in a word, courage.
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Parents Find Guiding Source for Rearing Children
In the past, whenever people have asked me for a helpful resource that might give them some guidance as parents, I have suggested a wide variety of books, videos, conferences, web sites, etc.
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Connecting With Roberta Gilbert: Part 2
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Roberta Gilbert, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice and author of Connecting with Our Children: Guiding Principles for Parents in a Troubled World (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999. 231 pages).
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Connecting with Roberta Gilbert
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Roberta Gilbert, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice and author of Connecting with Our Children: Guiding Principles for Parents in a Troubled World (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999. 231 pages).
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