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Attract Families to Your Church and Keep Them Coming Back

by Linda Ranson Jacobs

To grow and remain vital, churches need to attract families. But the cultural landscape has changed and any church may have two-parent families with children, blended families, boomerang families, adult children of divorce and their families or lack of families, single adults whose family is the church, grandparents parenting again, childless families, co-habitation families, and children with three legal parents. What ministries are helpful in attracting and keeping families active and engaged in the life and mission of the church? This book will help church pastors and leaders navigate the changing tides in ministry to become the kind of church that families want to attend, where the church's dynamic faith invites families who may then bring their friends.This means reaching out to all kinds of families, some with needs that only a church family can fulfill. With practical helps and suggestions for ministries, worship, small groups, and even facilities, author and family expert Linda Ranson Jacobs will help you create a welcoming place for everyone.

Please Don't Tell

by Emma J. Justes

"I've never told a soul, and you have to promise not to tell anybody." "Pastor, I wanted you to know before we tell the kids, just in case they come to you." "I'm so happy. Yes, finally, I'm pregnant. I just had to tell someone." "Yes, it's terrible, but am I going to explain it to our friends here at church?" People need trusted persons as sounding boards and confidants. Not many weeks go by that someone does not confide a secret to a church leader, whether pastor, youth director, church secretary, choir director, or board member. While pastors have a unique role when it comes to confidentiality, listening to secrets is something that every church leader does. But there are both privileges and responsibilities in reporting, discerning the truth, and helping people bear the deep sins or temper the anger that threatens to overflow.

Inside Prince Caspian

by Devin Brown

Join award-winning author Devin Brown as he takes readers on a fascinating journey to the land of Narnia. Whether you're a longtime fan of The Chronicles of Narnia or are just discovering them for the first time, you will be amazed and inspired as you undertake your very own chapter-by-chapter guided tour of C. S. Lewis's beloved classics. If you have only traveled to Narnia through the wardrobe, there is so much more to explore. Join Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy on their second trip to the magical land. But be prepared to find that everything you thought you knew about Narnia is about to change!

Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader

by Devin Brown

Join award-winning author Devin Brown as he takes readers on a fascinating journey to the land of Narnia. Whether you're a longtime fan of The Chronicles of Narnia or are just discovering them for the first time, you will be amazed and inspired as you undertake your very own chapter-by-chapter guided tour of C. S. Lewis's beloved classics. This tale about Narnia takes readers on a high-seas adventure to places beyond the imagination filled with new characters and new conflicts. Learn more about Reepicheep, the valiant mouse who is small in stature but great in courage. Meet Eustace Clarence Scrubb and find out how Professor Lewis came up with his dreadful name. Travel to where sky and water meet and discover how Aslan is also present in our world as well.

Inside Narnia

by Devin Brown

Join award-winning author Devin Brown as he takes readers on a fascinating journey to the land of Narnia. Whether you're a longtime fan of The Chronicles of Narnia or are just discovering them for the first time, you will be amazed and inspired as you undertake your very own chapter-by-chapter guided tour of C. S. Lewis's beloved classics. Learn more about the book that started it all--The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--and about its creator, C. S. Lewis. Discover how Professor Lewis first came to write his wonderful story about a magical land where it is always winter and never Christmas. Uncover the story-behind-the-story of how four children and a great lion named Aslan brought springtime back and rescued its inhabitants (beavers, fauns, and even centaurs) from the spell of the evil White Witch.

Unusual Questions Personal Reflection Guide

by Adam Thomas

In the Gospel According to John, people ask Jesus some unusual questions. Much of the first half of the gospel is structured around Jesus conversing with individuals or groups of people. Their questions, along with their discussions with Jesus surrounding the questions, make up the jumping off point for this study. Their questions help us explore what it means to ask our own. Each session begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7-minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will discuss the readings for the day then close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News.

Unusual Questions Leader Guide

by Adam Thomas

In the Gospel According to John, people ask Jesus some unusual questions. Much of the first half of the gospel is structured around Jesus conversing with individuals or groups of people. Their questions, along with their discussions with Jesus surrounding the questions, make up the jumping off point for this study. Their questions help us explore what it means to ask our own. Each session begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7-minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will discuss the readings for the day then close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News. The emails that accompany this study are crucial to the small-group experience and leaders should notify small-group members to subscribe for their emails at least 1-2 days in advance of the first gathering.

Unusual Names Personal Reflection Guide

by Adam Thomas

The first two times Jesus says "I am," no predicate nominative follows. Remember seventh-grade English class: a predicative nominative is a noun that follows a linking verb. The first time, he says "I Am-the one who speaks with you" to the woman at the well. The second time, he says "I Am. Don't be afraid" to the disciples. In both cases the words stands alone: I AM. These statements are declarations of God's very being, and they appear several more times over the course of the Gospel. A broader statement cannot be made. "I AM" is as close as language can get to universality and eternity. One of the markers of this revelation is a second kind of "I am" statement. This second kind takes a piece of the great "I AM" and fills in the blank that our sense of curiosity wills to be there. When Jesus says, "I am the bread/light/shepherd/vine/___," he is comparing himself to those things. In these "I am ________" statements, Jesus discloses a piece of his divine identity, enough for us to hear, swallow, and digest over the course of a lifetime. Each session begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7-minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will discuss the readings for the day then close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News.

Unusual Names Leader Guide

by Adam Thomas

The first two times Jesus says "I am," no predicate nominative follows. Remember seventh-grade English class: a predicative nominative is a noun that follows a linking verb. The first time, he says "I Am-the one who speaks with you" to the woman at the well. The second time, he says "I Am. Don't be afraid" to the disciples. In both cases the words stands alone: I AM. These statements are declarations of God's very being, and they appear several more times over the course of the Gospel. A broader statement cannot be made. "I AM" is as close as language can get to universality and eternity. One of the markers of this revelation is a second kind of "I am" statement. This second kind takes a piece of the great "I AM" and fills in the blank that our sense of curiosity wills to be there. When Jesus says, "I am the bread/light/shepherd/vine/___," he is comparing himself to those things. In these "I am ________" statements, Jesus discloses a piece of his divine identity, enough for us to hear, swallow, and digest over the course of a lifetime. Each session begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7-minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will discuss the readings for the day then close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News. The emails that accompany this study are crucial to the small-group experience and leaders should notify small-group members to subscribe for their emails at least 1-2 days in advance of the first gathering.

Unusual Healings Personal Reflection Guide

by Adam Thomas

In the Gospel According to John, Jesus never tells people that they are healed. He never says, "Your faith has made you well." He never spits on the ground to make mud nor lays his hands on anyone nor notices anyone laying hands on him. And yet, he heals no fewer than five people over the course of the Gospel. How can this be? How can Jesus heal people without speaking a word of healing or letting them know that they are healed? And how do the healings speak to the lives of contemporary Christians? Each session opens begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7 minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will spend time discussing focus and the session will close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News. This book will help participants reflect on ideas encountered in DVD, daily emails and during group discussion in order to nurture their relationship with God and growth in faith.

Unusual Healings Leader Guide

by Adam Thomas

In the Gospel According to John, Jesus never says, "Your faith has made you well." He heals no fewer than five people over the course of the Gospel. How can this be? And how do the healings speak to the lives of contemporary Christians? During the sessions of this module, Unusual Healings, we will learn that responding to Jesus' call in our lives and discovering a personal identity based on his divine identity naturally lead to healing, new life, and mission. Each session begins with an opening prayer, followed by the text of the day being read aloud. The group will enjoy a 5-7-minute video where Adam shares his thought on the Scripture and its "unusual" focus. The group will discuss the readings for the day then close with prayer. The new and exciting aspect of this particular Bible study series is the blending of traditional weekly Sunday school with modern, daily-delivered digital content, which will keep readers connected with the material throughout the week. Between the daily communication and the group gatherings, participants will immerse themselves in the Good News. The emails that accompany this study are crucial to the small-group experience and leaders should notify small-group members to subscribe for their emails at least 1-2 days in advance of the first gathering.

Adult Bible Studies Summer 2014 Teacher

by Stan Purdum Martha Myre Lou Hornberger

Developed for use with the student book based on the Uniform Series, this leader resource provides a wealth of information, planning ideas, and lesson guides for each of the 13 lessons in the quarter. This resource includes detailed study of the biblical text, suggestions for developing lessons, teaching options, maps, and charts. It features articles that explore biblical themes related to the passages studied in the lessons. Don't forget to order your student books, which are found in the Related Products Section below.Summer themes: Community - The People of God Set Priorities (Haggai, 1, 2 Corinthians)

Adult Bible Studies Spring 2014 Student

by Kevin Baker

Based on the Uniform Series, this quarterly study presents stimulating lessons that explore the biblical message and how to apply it to daily life. The curriculum helps adults move from a focus on the Word to reflection on personal, family, church, and community concerns. Ideal for a variety of settings, lessons are Bible-based, Christ-focused, and United Methodist-approved curriculum for use in adult Sunday school classes, mid-week Bible study, and small-group studies. Also available in large print.Spring themes: Tradition - Jesus' Fulfillment of Scripture (Zechariah, Malachi, Deuteronomy, Matthew)

Daily Bible Study Summer 2014

by Lee Franklin

A resource based on the Uniform Series that complements study of the Adult Bible Studies by following the daily Bible readings. It gives structure to daily devotional time. Turn your Sunday school preparation into a daily discipline.Summer themes: Community - The People of God Set Priorities (Haggai, 1, 2 Corinthians)

Daily Bible Study Spring 2014

by Wayne G. Reece

A resource based on the Uniform Series that complements study of the Adult Bible Studies by following the daily Bible readings. It gives structure to daily devotional time. Turn your Sunday school preparation into a daily discipline.Spring themes: Tradition - Jesus' Fulfillment of Scripture (Zechariah,Malachi, Deuteronomy, Matthew)

Voices for Good Friday

by Amanda Burr

These interpretive, dramatic monologues give voice to selected minor characters from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Presented in a reproducible, copy-friendly format, the monologues provide a creative way to present Good Friday/Tenebrae services and to tell the gospel story of Jesus Christ. The monologues can be presented as a collective work or can be used individually as sermon helps, Bible study presentations, and in other creative ways in worship settings. There are three sets of narratives, one each based on Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In addition, each set is individually titled, has a central theme woven throughout its narratives, and contains a suggested worship service outline. Each set contains 3 to 5 monologues that are 7 to 10 minutes long when performed. These monologues can be memorized or presented in reader's-theater style. Dialogue and stage directions are provided to allow for easy stage setup, shorter prep time, and require fewer rehearsals than those for a full-production drama. This offers those watching and participating a fresh perspectives of the gospel story.

Dare to Dream Youth Edition

by Mike Slaughter

Dare to Dream is a startling and inspiring new program by popular author and pastor Mike Slaughter that draws on the Bible and a lifetime of ministry to help us discern God's dream for us and learn to live it out, prayerfully and enthusiastically. Sessions include: Dare to Dream - Wake up to God's dream inside you. Discover Your Identity - You were created with a purpose. Your Burning Bush - Be aware of those illuminating God moments in your life. Lose Your Big Buts - Allow God's strength to be displayed in your weakness. What's in Your Hand - Identify and utilize the ordinary gifts God has given you. God's Dream - Discover a dream for your life far greater than your own The Youth Study Edition helps teens learn how to develop a life mission statement that helps them fully commit to a God-directed lifestyle.

Dare to Dream

by Mike Slaughter

Are your goals for the New Year too small? Are you living the "just get by" plan? Or is there a greater "God dream" for you that, if lived to the fullest, could permeate and inform every move you make? Dare to Dream is a startling and inspiring new program by popular author and pastor Mike Slaughter that draws on the Bible and a lifetime of ministry to help us discern God's dream for us and learn to live it out, prayerfully and enthusiastically. Participants will learn how to develop a life mission statement that helps them fully commit to a God-directed lifestyle. Chapters include: Dare to Dream - Wake up to God's dream inside you. Discover Your Identity - You were created with a purpose. Your Burning Bush - Be aware of those illuminating God moments in your life. Lose Your Big Buts - Allow God's strength to be displayed in your weakness. What's in Your Hand - Identify and utilize the ordinary gifts God has given you. God's Dream - Discover a dream for your life far greater than your own.

By the Goodness of God

by John Innis

This is the life story of John G. Innis, bishop of the Liberia Area of The United Methodist Church. John Innis recounts his life from humble beginnings to the apex of spiritual leadership in The United Methodist Church in a vivid, dynamic style and with great spiritual fervor. Throughout the story, the reader finds clear evidence of the way God leads people when they listen to the still, small voice. Bishop Innis is committed to suffering servant leadership, and his vivid accounts--of injustice and righteousness, of violence and peace, of heartache and healing, of fellowship and leadership, of fear and faith--are capped by the experience of the Good News; of faith, hope and love.

Liberia Will Rise Again

by Arthur Kulah

For seven years, Liberia was involved in a civil war that cost the lives of more than 200,000 people. That war ended on January 31, 1997. Liberia Will Rise Again outlines the causes of the war, interprets the present situation, and offers suggestions for the future. KEY BENEFITS: * Provides a better understanding of the civil war in Liberia * Shows how the Liberians may have contributed to the problem * Helps readers learn about the treatment of refugees * Discusses issues related to the civil war and suggests lessons to be learned from the bitter experience

Walking the Road to Bethlehem

by Adam Hamilton

Based on Hamilton's, The Journey: Reflections for the Season, this new edition contains added content to create an experience of preparation of heart and mind for Christmas. Experience the Nativity story in new ways as you take your own journey to Christmas. Walking the Road to Bethlehem combines content from Adam's travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a summary of the historical and scriptural content from each chapter of The Journey, links to travel video and photographs online, Scripture, prayers and room for personal journaling. Walking the Road to Bethlehem is excellent for individual devotion and reflection and can also be used as a small group experience.

Loving Large Daily Readings

by Jacob Armstrong

Loving Large is a four week series that seeks to move people to action in their Christian faith. In a world that seems to run on money, greed, oil, power, etc., what would our world look like if it ran on the love of God? How can we infuse this world-changing love into our community and world? The series gives real opportunities for people to serve God and love their neighbor. It could possibly culminate with a church-wide day of service to the community. The Daily Readings allow individual church members to bring the sermon message home and provide additional insights and inspiration until the next Sunday sermon.

Upside Down Daily Readings

by Jacob Armstrong

The Sermon on the Mount calls us to a radically different way of life; one that is contrary to the world around us. Upside Down is a church-wide devotional/study book with an accompanying toolkit with all your need to create and customize a four-week, topical sermon series that fits your congregation. Upside Down is perfect for kicking off a new year or anytime your church needs a fresh start. Drawing upon the teachings of Christ from the Sermon on the Mount, the author helps us understand our call to live differently as his followers. Weekly sermons include: Week 1: Happiness Redefined Week 2: You Can Change Your World Week 3: A Higher Standard Week 4: Love the Ones You Hate

The God Story Daily Readings

by Jacob Armstrong

Developed by Jacob Armstrong, founding pastor of Providence UMC in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, The God Story is a seven-week sermon series seeking to help congregants see the threads that run throughout the story of God's people culminating in Jesus and the resurrection. The series uses classic components of story to help people see their place and role in God's story. The Daily Readings allow individual church members to bring the sermon message home and provide additional insights and inspiration until the next Sunday sermon.

The Methodist Conference in America

by Russell E. Richey

In the Methodist lexicon, 'conference' refers to a body of preachers (and later, of laity as well) that exercises legislative, judicial, and executive functions for the church or some portion thereof. 'Conference,' says Richey, defined Methodism in more than political ways: on conference hinged religious time, religious space, religious belonging, religious structure, even religiosity itself. Methodist histories uniformly recognize, typically even feature, conference's centrality, but describe that in primarily constitutional and political terms. The purpose of this volume is to present conference as a distinctively American Methodist manner of being the church, a multifaceted mode of spirituality, unity, mission, governance, and fraternity that American Methodists have lived and operated better than they have interpreted.

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