Spiritual Life

A Daddy Who Stoops Down


A dad stops what he is doing to bend down and really listen to his child. It’s not that the dad doesn’t have other things on his mind; he certainly does. This dad is making a statement: My child is important. I may have the positional power and persuasion of a parent, but I will stoop down to my child’s level …

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Spiritual Life

Pay Attention to the Obstacles in Your Life


God is constantly removing obstacles from our path or placing obstacles in our way. Both reveal his compassion and power in our lives.  Psalm 114 describes in beautiful poetic imagery God’s power on Israel’s behalf as they came out of Egypt on a journey to the Promised Land. This psalm shows Almighty God clearing the way for his people, removing …

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Ministry Leaders     Small Group Leaders

“Why Small Groups Matter to Me”: My Story


I’m kind of known for being passionate about small groups. While it’s not really small groups themselves that I’m passionate about, but rather for how God uses the authentic community that occurs in healthy groups to transform lives, people sometimes ask why I’m so big on small groups. Here’s my story, written for SmallGroups.com. When I was a new Christian, …

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Ministry Leaders     Small Group Leaders

Leading with Grace: How We Deal with Depression, Anxiety, and Suffering (especially when the suffering is inflicted by fellow Christians)


People are talking about mental illness, depression, and anxiety right now, and that’s a good thing. Recently, Carlos Whittaker wrote a thoughtful blog post, “My Panic Attacks, My Mental Illness, And The Church’s Dirty Little Secret,” which, at the time of this writing, has received 181 comments. Unfortunately, people simply don’t understand mental struggles like depression and panic attacks unless they …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

The Most Important Thing You Do Today: It’s Not Reading the Bible!


As I opened my Bible and started reading this morning, I had to stop myself after the first stanza of Psalm 104. Something was missing. Rather, someone was missing. I found myself reading to be reading. But that’s not what God’s Word is for. So I stopped reading. I looked out the sliding glass doors that overlook the woods in …

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Small Group Leaders

Seven Steps to Share the Leadership of Your Group


I’ve written in other posts about the Vital Sign of Sharing Leadership with a Core Team of two or three others. Today let’s talk about HOW you can move from leading solo to team-leading the group. Here are seven steps you can take. 1. Share the load. Ask God to show you whom you should ask to be part of the core team …

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Spiritual Life

Big Buts in the Psalms: The Secret to Real Success


In my reading of the Psalms, I’ve encountered several huge buts. The psalmist usually begins the psalm with a lament about his current circumstances, how bad things are, how everything seems to be falling apart. And then the writer uses this simple, three-letter, transitional word … but.But … and though the situation itself hasn’t changed, the psalmist’s attitude does. His outlook and …

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Spiritual Life

A Man Named Simon: What we can learn from this man about the bad circumstances of life and how God can make them Good


On this Good Friday, I decided to read Mark’s account of what happened on that Friday when Jesus was sentenced, crucified, died, and buried. I’m not sure why, but today I was struck by one sentence, one verse, in this passage: A man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the country just then, and they forced …

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Small Group Leaders

The Sweet 16 of Authentic Small Group Community


These 16 commands for living in healthy, authentic community will help your small group change the world. Talk about one shining moment! Love one another. Be at peace with each other.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Live in harmony with one another.  Stop passing judgment on one another.  Accept one another, … …

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Discipling     External-Focus

When Our Definition of Discipleship Keeps Us from Making Disciples


When Our Definition of Discipleship Keeps Us from Making Disciples

The church has redefined discipleship into churchmanship. Living as a disciple takes intentional effort and, according to Jesus, requires us to make costly decisions. It means more than just sitting in a row in a church building or in a circle at a coffee shop or in someone’s living room. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul repeated the same message three times …

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