Articles

simple goals to help your church make disciples

3 Simple Goals to Help Your Church Make Disciples

Jesus said he would build the church (Matthew 16:18). Our instruction as followers of Jesus is to make disciples. Focusing on growing the church does not guarantee we will produce disciples. However, when we focus on making disciples, we get a growing, healthy church. A disciple-making emphasis also cultivates a reproducing culture. This, in turn, fosters […]

Make your church better

1 Tip and 2 Warnings That Will Make Your Church Better

You want your church to be healthy and vibrant, and you want to see people grow and reproduce their faith. It all begins with how we respond to new—or young—believers. One simple tip can foster a hopeful and encouraging evangelistic culture. And two warnings can protect you from unintentionally crippling the faith formation of new […]

You need a sponsor

You Need a Sponsor

The church can learn a lot from organizations like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Two primary reasons: they’re honest they have a plan If you attend a meeting with your friend Gerald, you’ll hear him say, “Hello, my name is Gerald, and I’m an alcoholic.” There will be no gasps or horrified looks. No one will point […]

Next steps for new believers

10 Next Steps for New Believers (Part 2)

If heaven rejoices when someone gives their lives to Jesus (Luke 15:10), then we should, too. Jesus followers should be party people. But when the balloons begin to sag, and the sink overflows with dishes, new believers—and those who love them—need a plan. Surrendering their lives to Jesus was an enormous step, but their experiences […]

First steps for new believers

10 Next Steps for New Believers (Part 1)

You’ve just begun a relationship with Jesus, or you know someone who has? Great news! So now what? Many churches pat you or your friend on the back, make an announcement to celebrate God’s work in your life, and then transition to the next scheduled activity. Some churches go an extra step and present a […]

reasons to not spend time with God

5 Liberating Reasons NOT to Spend Time With God

I remember exactly where I was when I decided I would stop spending time with God. As I drove away from class at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, I determined I had enough. I was going to give up my disciplined quiet time for two weeks. That might seem like an odd commitment. Don’t people […]

time with God

5 Valuable Reasons to Spend Time with God

“Come, follow me,” is Jesus’ invitation we can indulge or ignore. When I was in third grade and walked to my grandparent’s apartment after school, I got to decide whether or not I would stop to visit my mother’s uncle’ on the way home. As a doorman, he regularly received tips from residents going in […]

The power of surrender.

Give Up! Enjoy the Gift and Blessing of Surrender

Modern culture views surrender as a sign of weakness. But it can also be a wise and powerful decision. Surrendering our desires to embrace the improved plan and purpose of another is shrewd. And surrendering to the prudent purposes of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving God is both wise and life-giving. Surrendering to God is […]

silence and solitude

4 Ways to Practice Silence & Solitude

I’m an introvert. I love being alone and doing things independently. I like to bike by myself, run by myself, and go to the movies by myself. Solitude recharges me. But being an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t like people.  I’m an introvert, but I’m also human. We need friendships. From a biblical viewpoint, humans are […]

leading small group discussions

10 Tips to Help You Lead a Fantastic Group Discussion

Roberta was ready. She had imagined a dozen worst-case scenarios for her small group discussion and had a practical, thoughtful response for each. Roberta was a gifted teacher who was not only passionate about the day’s topic, but excited to give group members a chance to go deeper and apply what they learned. But What […]

Prayeristhenics physical prayer

Prayeristhenics: Get Physical In Your Prayer Life

Striking a pose is more than dramatic movement—it’s a way to stay focused in prayer. Instead of merely using words, use your body to pray. Even a slight physical alteration can intensify your prayer time. A prayer of surrender might sound something like this: “God, this is your day. I surrender all that I am […]

Chessboard as a metaphor for making disciples

1 Daring Decision That Will Change Your Church

Pastors and leaders talk about church growth, but wise conversation focuses on making disciples. Filled churches may cause a buzz, but a church committed to equipping its people to make disciples–and introducing the idea to those exploring faith–is healthy, strategic, and poised to impact its community. Multiplication Versus Addition The daring decision a church can […]