Seasonal

The Gospel Of Failure (A Good Friday Reflection)

The gospel was built on failure. The good news started as very bad news. It was never supposed to work. For a long time, it looked like it never would.

One Simple Step To Create A Year-End Giving Bump In Your Church

Several years ago, I discovered a simple idea that helps our church members plan their giving better, and gives our church finances a healthy year-end bump. In the fall – usually between the end of October and the beginning of December – we send out a short letter to every regular giver with a thank …

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One Simple Step To Create A Year-End Giving Bump In Your Church

Several years ago, I discovered a simple idea that helps our church members plan their giving better, and gives our church finances a healthy year-end bump. In the fall – usually between the end of October and the beginning of December – we send out a short letter to every regular giver with a thank …

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I Wasn’t Afraid to Go to Church Yesterday: A Memorial Day Tribute

Yesterday morning, hundreds of millions of people woke up and went to church. In some places around the world, many people risked their livelihoods, their safety, their families and even their lives to worship together. If you live in one of the nations where you can go to church without fear, let’s take a moment today to …

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What a Rabbi Taught Me About Keeping Christ In Christmas

“Keep Christ in Christmas” is a familiar saying this time of the year. But you don’t expect to hear it from the local rabbi.

For several years I was involved in our town’s Police Chaplaincy. One year, at our December meeting, the Methodist pastor noticed that the napkins had a picture of Santa Claus on them. He slid one across the table to the rabbi from the local synagogue.

“Hey Steve,” he asked, “what do Jewish people think about Santa Claus?”

“Nothing,” the rabbi responded as he picked up the napkin. “Santa is a Christmas character.”

“But he’s a secular figure,” countered the Methodist. “Don’t you even let the kids do presents from Santa so they won’t feel left out?”

“No,” he responded. “We don’t worry about that. In fact I think you Christians ought to keep Christ in Christmas.”

Need a Last-Minute Christmas Presentation? Try This Original, Two-Person Skit

Christmas is a time for traditions. But not all traditions work for all churches.

If you’re looking for an off-beat way to re-tell the Christmas story, here’s an idea.

All you need is two actors willing to go a little over-the-top, two non-speaking volunteers and a desk on a stage. Add this script and you’ll be ready to tell the Christmas story in a way no one’s ever seen it before – while honoring the time-honored biblical narrative.

The premise of it is to show people just how much wonder, joy and excitement is packed into the very few verses that make up the biblical Christmas story.

Personalizing the Reality of Evil (Actual Facebook Messages from Syria)

We live in a broken world. That was the first point of my message last Sunday morning, from Romans 8. Unfortunately, this was not just a theological, historical or theoretical sermon. Earlier in the week, I had received a distraught Facebook message from a friend and member of my congregation. Much of her family lives …

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Only In a Small Church: The Easter Sunday Blues

The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in history. But Easter has an unseen downside for many Small Churches. Right now, all around the world, churches are excitedly preparing for Easter Sunday. Lilies are being arranged, choirs are rehearsing, Passion Plays are being staged, Easter eggs being stuffed and hidden, extra services are being …

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How to Free Yourself and Your Church from Easter Insanity

Our church doesn’t participate in Easter Insanity any more. You know what I mean. Churches spend weeks of time and buckets of money for Easter Sunday services. Flyers go out to the neighborhood, ads runs in the “Easter ghetto” of the local newspaper (ask your parents). We hold extravagant musicals, add extra service times, perform …

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