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Welcome Speeches for Today can be used by laypeople asked to make welcome speeches for a variety of situations and events in the church. Sample speeches and prayers are included that can be used as a prototype for creating a personal welcome speech.
Connecting the biblical text with contemporary ethos, 'Walking on Water' contains fourteen sermons based on the miracles of Jesus.
During difficult economic times, it's tough not to focus on getting by with less and waiting for the next bit of bad news. But, as Christians, how do we to respond to what's happening on Wall Street? In Upside Living in a Downside Economy, pastor and author Mike Slaughter offers insight into seeking God's perspective in our daily money concerns. With clarity and a servant's heart, Slaughter addresses vital topics such as financial and spiritual investments, personal motivation and God's will, money and marriage, and determining priorities. Written for individual and small-group study, Upside Living in a Downside Economy will guide participants in strengthening their spiritual connection while making economic corrections and, most importantly, responding according to God's plan. Click here to view a clip of Mike Slaughter!
A simple tilt can turn something ordinary and commonplace, something well understood and familiar, into a powerful and unalterably different force. Any leader can provide the tools and instruction to enable someone to serve. Classes will be taught and church programs will be staffed, but boredom and burnout are likely and turnover is high. With a few small changes, however, you can be a leader who inspires people to serve boldly and lead others to passionate ministry as well. This subtle shift from being a leader who equips people for ministry tasks to a leader who empowers people to become ministers themselves can have untold impact on the church and the wider community. Each chapter looks at a leadership basic from a new angle, offering the tilt needed to lead others into true discipleship.With practical tools and exercises throughout the book, the reader is challenged to examine those things that keep us from releasing control and consequently prevent us from empowering others. Readers will rediscover hope and energy for their own ministry as they lead others to active and inspiring ministry as well.
The Wesley Study Bible gives you a fresh way to hear God's voice, share in God's grace, and become more like Jesus Christ through study of the scriptures. Journey with popular author, Maxie Dunnam, as he guides you with steps to read through the Bible in one year. These fifty-two devotions refer to the Life Application Topics in the Wesley Study Bible, so that you will grow as a more faithful disciple. These heart warming stories and prayers will form you as a follower of Jesus--whose daily life is marked by holy love and faithful living. Each devotion includes scripture references, thoughtful stories, a prayer, and reflection questions that are suitable for private meditation or group settings. This book will be your trusted companion to the Wesley Study Bible as you grow to love God with a warmed heart and serve God with active hands.
With wedding plans well underway, Lois Barker plots to gracefully get rid of her groom's catfish collection-stuffed, ceramic, woven. Her husband-to-be, Chris, on the other hand, has decided to get rid of something else: his homestead, which he gives to a needy Mexican family at church.Life is full of possibilities, and the community of Green is tickled pink that their newspaper owner is settling down with one of their own.However, the beloved small-town journalist is about to be blown away-by tragedy and by the grace that enfolds her in her third year in Green, Louisiana.
Dizzying changes have taken place in American religious life in the last half century. Yet in spite of that fact, taking a snapshot of a "typical" Christian church in America would reveal a surprising number of small-to-mid-sized congregations, rooted in a local neighborhood or community, tied to a specific denomination, where most of the members know each others' names, and hence are blessed (and cursed) with being the church together. In this clear-eyed, humorous appraisal, Jason Byassee contends that the "church around the corner" occupies a particular place in the divine economy, that it is especially capable of forming us in the virtues, perspectives, and habits that make up the Christian life. Not that he romanticizes these churches, however. Having been a rural, small membership church pastor, Byassee knows too well the particular vices and temptations to which they are subject. But he also knows the particular graces they've been given, graces like the "prayer ladies," those pillars of the congregation who, "when one told you she was praying for you it meant something. When one hugged you, you remembered all week. When one cooked for you the casserole tasted like love. And when you were around them you were in the presence of Jesus." Anyone who serves, or belongs to, a "church around the corner" will find their ministry strengthened by this enlivening, inspiring book.
Provides ready-to-use worship and preaching resources for themes related to Stewardship. Understanding the concept of stewardship in a broader context as management of our God-given gifts, this book provides material for twenty-four services including: suggested liturgies, prayers, Scripture passages, and sermon briefs to help pastors minister more effectively. Contents include: 1. Make Your Money Work for You (Luke 16:1-13) 2. Owning Up to Our Greatest Obligations: Death and Taxes (Matthew 22:15-22) 3. Make a Difference: Be the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31a) 4. Who Needs Bigger Barns? (Luke 12:13-21) 5. Playing the Price is Right (Luke 12:49-56) 6. Counting the Cost Means Quality not Quantity (Luke 14:25-33) 7. Why God Doesn't Want Your Money (Isaiah 1:10-18) 8. What God Deserves (Matthew 22:15-22) 9. Risking to Make the Right Investment (Matthew 25:14-30) 10. The Miracle of Immortal Giving (I Cor 15:35:38, 42-50) 11. Give Me Your Money or Your Life! (Luke 12:13-21) 12. Hold Nothing Back (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18) 13. Who Do You Really Want to Be? (Matthew 21:33-46) 14. Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (2 Corinthians 8:7-15) 15. God, You've Got to be Kidding (Mark 10:17-31) 16. But It's Not What I Signed Up For! (Luke 14:25-33) 17. Give Me More than Possessions (Luke 16:19-31) 18. Yes, Sometimes the Directions Do Help (Mark 10:17-31) 19. Getting What We Pay For...or Not (Romans 6:12-23) 20. Life is Unfair? (Matthew 20:1-16) 21. Joy Fully Serving (Mark 9:30-37) 22. There is Nothing Wrong with Being Shrewd for God's Kingdom (Luke 16:1-13) 23. Be Empowered and Gifted (1 Corinthians 12:3b-13) 24. Jesus was no Fool (Matthew 22:15-22)
What would it take for you to make a radical change in the way you earn, save, and spend your money? On a deeper level, what would be required for us to experience a fundamental shift in the relationship between our faith and our finances? - From the Introduction Faith and finances--these two areas of our lives sometimes seem poles apart. And yet, shouldn't our finances be shaped by our faith? Guided by the Bible and the timeless wisdom of John Wesley, popular author James A. Harnish challenges Christians to face the issue of money head-on, with God's help. Ideal for individual or group use, this book's contents include: When Crisis Forces Change Gain All You Can: A New Opportunity Save All You Can: The New Frugality Give All You Can: A New Generosity
Note: This is the eBook version, and does not contain the DVD nor the DVD contents that the print version contains. If you preach, you are looking for ways to create worship experiences that keep people on the edge of their seats, straining to hear every word. Sermon Seeds helps pastors who want to approach the job of preaching more creatively by suggesting out-of-the-box surprises that bring about deeper understanding of God's message. Creative, multifaceted sermons can happen without extensive technology, money, or staff. Sermon Seeds stirs creative juices by providing ideas that can easily be adapted for use in a variety of settings. Contains forty creative sermon starters, each complete with the Scripture passage, message theme and elements, background information, creative avenue, and suggested ending. Themes include: Passing the Mantle, The Bread-Maker God--Holy Communion, and Grace: Breaking Through the Barriers.
These sermons on "the fruit of the Spirit" are developed out of Galatians 5: 22-23. This theme is often selected by pastors who preach because it is an excellent vehicle into understanding the characteristics of personal integrity at home and on the job.
Planning a worship service is far more than just choosing songs and seasonal images. Helping people to genuinely worship God requires creating an experience through which people can enter into the presence of the divine. Discover strategic insights for creating and integrating powerful God-experiences into your own setting. Discover how a real-life worship team interacts, champions creativity and creates powerful God-experiences, one week at a time. This descriptive book offers practical direction for building and leading teams, empowering creative ideas, and guidance for handling conflict and overcoming serious obstacles.
Radical Renovation: Living the Cross-Shaped LifeA Lenten Study for AdultsJames A. HarnishRadical Renovation is a powerful image of what can happen in our lives during the season of Lent. Just as a house can be rebuilt after it has fallen into disrepair or devastation, author James A. Harnish says, so God can enter in to our brokenness and completely rebuild our lives, so that we can become the kind of people in whom the living Christ can take up residence, and through whom the loving purpose of God can become a tangible reality in this world. As the great cathedrals were built in the shape of a cross, the author tells us, the traditional Lenten disciplines invite us to allow the Spirit of God to reshape the way we think, act, and live into the likeness of Jesus on his way to the cross. This seven-session study, appropriate for both group and individual use, will provide one lesson for each week in Lent. Each lesson includes a Scripture reference, a brief reflection, questions for discussion or reflection, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week. JAMES A. HARNISH is senior pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. He is the author of Journey to the Center of the Faith: An Explorer's Guide to Christian Living; Passion, Power & Praise: A Model for Men's Spirituality from the Life of David; and You Only Have to Die: Leading Your Congregation to New Life, and he served as a contributor to both 365 Meditations for Young Adults and 365 Meditations for Men.Chapter titles and key Scripture verses:"Discipleship: Living the Cross-Shaped Life" Mark 8:27-38"Servanthood: A Peculiar Way to Greatness" Mark 9:33-37; 10:35-45"Surrender: Nothing Short of Everything" Mark 10:17-34"Forgiveness: Rebuilding Damaged Relationships" Mark 11:25-26; Luke 23:32-34 "Love: The Radical Center" Mark 12:28-34"Sacrifice: It's Nothing if It Costs Nothing" Mark 14:1-19"Hope: He Goes Before You!" Mark 16:1-8
In a brief introductory chapter, the author addresses the question of why we need to confess our sins, and offers three reflections in response: Sin as Pride, Sin as Violation of Boundaries, Sin and the Possibility of Forgiveness. The book includes seventy prayers of confession and words of assurance, with accompanying liturgies and music suggestions (Scripture and hymn indexes included!). The prayers are offered in three sections, confession and pardon related to: The Human Condition, The Holy Scriptures, The Liturgical Year. The Just in Time! Series offers brief, practical resources of immediate help for pastors at an affordable price.
Pray in This Way: Line by line imaginative, literary and social-commentary sermons on the Our Father. Each chapter contains framed call-outs in lieu of subheads and as a means to providing customers with key ideas that lead to the construction of their own sermons.
Part of the "Just in Time" series, this book features ready-to-use lectionary-based worship and preaching resources for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. This helpful resource includes three options for Palm Sunday services including procession suggestions with special emphasis on participation by children. It also includes two suggested services for each lectionary year (A, B, and C), six services for Holy Thursday and three services for Good Friday.Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services Includes ready-to-use Palm Sunday and Holy Week services for worship with multiple worship options for each lectionary year scripture and gives suggested liturgies for each services including those related to Taize. UPSELL: 9781426720451 Just in Time! Special Services; 9780687493371 What Is Communion?; 9781426711510 Communion and United Methodists; Others in the Just In Time Series, Other Communion Resources
Part of a pastor's role in the community is to pray publicly. The pastor is often the official "pray-er" at all kinds of community events--the high school football game, the opening of the new grocery store, the county school board meeting, kindergarten graduation--to name a few. But the pastor must also pray knowing that there are believers (of many persuasions) and non-believers present. This book will contain sample prayers for many civic functions that can be used with little modification. Belton Joyner is a retired United Methodist pastor and author of Being Methodist in the Bible Belt: A Theological Survival Guide for Youth, Parents, and Other Confused Methodists
Maxie Dunnam's direct, persuasive, and often humorous style will appeal to pastors seeking new insight based on biblical themes. The author also provides a treasury of contemporary illustrations and anecdotes.
DISCIPLE is a program of disciplined Bible study aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. The study gives the Old and New Testaments equal time, emphasizing the wholeness of the Bible as a revelation of God. DISCIPLE draws upon the work of scholars, the personal Bible reading and study of the participant, and dynamic group discussion to aid understanding of the Bible. The first study in the program is DISCIPLE: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY, a thirty-four week overview of the entire Bible. Commitment and Time Involved Three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings. Revised Teacher Helps Disciple I Revised Adult Teacher Helps guides Disciple group leaders through each session. Revisions match the video presentations in the new revised Disciple videos on DVD or VHS. In the front of the teacher helps is a section of general information on effectively using the study manual, preparing to lead the weekly group meeting, following the proper schedule and procedure, tips for leading discussion, and suggestions for creating and maintaining a caring climate in the study group. Process suggestions in the teacher helps enable full participation by all members of the group as a result of disciplined daily study. A one-page plan for each of the weekly group sessions follows an established schedule and procedure, with an amount of time designated for each section in the plan. Each session plan includes suggestions for group study of a selected passage of Scripture.
The standard resource for teachers of the Uniform Lesson Series. This resource provides 52 weekly step-by-step lesson plans for an entire year's worth of material.Includes: Lesson analysis Bible background, occasional quarterly maps or timelines, and index to background Scriptures Articles for teachers on spiritual formation Eight pages of Bible interpretation and step-by-step lesson plans "Faith in Action" section to suggest ways to put lesson concepts into action The only lesson commentary with popular and easy-to-understand New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and New International Version (NIV)
DISCIPLE: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE is part of the four-phase DISCIPLE program and is prepared for those who have completed BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY. The driving idea in this study is the connection between memory and identity as the people of God. The word You in the title is meant to be heard both in its singular form (the individual) and its plural form (the community). We are a community of memory. Participants in this thirty - two week study will read the major and minor Old Testament prophets, with the exception of Daniel, and will read the thirteen Letters traditionally attributed to Paul. To establish the historical context in which the prophets spoke for God, daily reading assignments draw also on the books of Deuteronomy through Chronicles. Several themes weave their way through the study - the call to remember; the call to repentance; the need for renewed vision; and the place of community. The prophets and Paul are continually calling hearers and readers back to their God and to a sense of who they are as a people "set apart". Training for Disciple Studies is also highly recommended. Learn more about training here. Commitment and Time Involved 32 week study Three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings Disciple: Remember Who You Are Teacher Helps The Teacher Helps provides an outline for an orientation session and process suggestions for each of the weekly group sessions. It does not contain new or additional content for the leader to present to the group. A one-page teaching plan is provided for each session. Weekly group sessions follow a set pattern, with designated amounts of time for each step. Suggestions for group activity are specific and clearly related to the Scripture being studied. In the front of the teacher helps is a section of general information on effectively using the study manual, preparing to lead the weekly group meeting, following the proper schedule and procedure, tips for leading discussion, and suggestions for creating and maintaining a caring climate in the study group. Process suggestions in the teacher helps enable full participation by all members of the group as a result of disciplined daily study. A one-page plan for each of the weekly group sessions follows an established schedule and procedure, with an amount of time designated for each section in the plan. Each session plan includes suggestions for group study of a selected passage of Scripture. We recommend The New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit the Disciple site for more information.
The leader guide provides two kinds of information: (1) suggestions for weekly group sessions; (2) information to enhance leadership skills, to support group building and maintenance, and to make effective use of the CHRISTIAN BELIEVER components. A one-page session plan for each of the thirty weeks follows a set procedure with an amount of time indicated for each step. Each session plan provides guidance for group activities that make use of the daily preparation members have made, and questions for discussion. Group activities are designed to focus on content and help persons connect Scripture, doctrine, believing, and living. The leader guide assumes that: The leader makes the same preparation for the weekly group session as the other members of the group. Study and discussion in the weekly session is done mainly in small groups. The leader both guides the process and participates with other group members in the small-group study and discussion. The leader is not an information-giver or lecturer. The leader and the group members have access to the same content for study and discussion--the assigned Scripture, selections from the book of Readings, the study manual, and the video presentations. A study of CHRISTIAN BELIEVER can renew lives and congregations.
People of faith insist that God is the God of the world around us. Yet scientific evidence supporting evolution seems to offer an explanation of reality different from the biblical one. In light of this apparent conflict, some choose either to deny the scientific data or separate science and faith from each other, giving the appearance that faith is disconnected from reality. Others accommodate faith to science, but run the risk of watering down faith such that faith "fills in the blanks" left by science. Against these options, Daniel Harrell asserts that the evidence for evolution accurately describes the world we see, but insists that this description does not adequately serve as an explanation for the world. Rather than seeing science and faith as diametrically opposed, Harrell suggests that evolutionary data actually opens the door for deeper theological reflection on God's creation. Writing out of a pastoral concern for those struggling to negotiate faith and evolution, Harrell argues that being reliable witnesses to creation helps people of faith be reliable witnesses to its creator. Whether they are pastors wondering how to talk about these issues with their congregations, or students asking whether their biology classes make their faith irrelevant, Harrell's readers are winsomely led on a journey of exploration in which a robust biblical faith can be held along with affirmation of the scientific data for evolution.
In hard times, you can either panic, decline, or grow. Which do you choose to do? This is not a time to tweak your church budget. It is not a time to slash and burn it indiscriminately across the board. Nor is it the time to hunker down in the bunker and wait things out. Now is the time is exercise wisdom and to act strategically. In fact, it's a great time to be the church. People need us to live out our mission as radically as we can possibly imagine. This book will help you make wise decisions about how to weather the economic storm and emerge on the other side of it a much stronger congregation. It's a simple book with a simple message: you don't get to choose when you go through hard times, only how you respond to them.
We are an impatient people who want everything done in a hurry. But God refuses to be rushed. In the words of author James W. Moore: We love instant results. We want everything done in a hurry these days. We don't want to wait for anything. We are so different from the earlier generations who ordered things from the Sears catalog and waited with great anticipation for weeks or even months for the items to arrive. We want to pay a little down now (even if we can't really afford it) and get it today. We are impatient people looking for immediate action and instant gratification, so much so that God's patient ways sometimes confuse, perplex, and bother us. We are impatient, but God is deliberate, steady, and long-suffering. We look for the speedy way, the shortcut, the instant answer, the immediate solution. But God takes the long way 'round. God refuses to be rushed. The way to become a spiritually mature Christian is to spend so much time with Christ that we begin to think and act like him, to spend so much time with him that we take on what the apostle Paul called "the mind of Christ." It just takes time and effort and commitment. There are no easy, instant solutions. What we need to remember is that the things that matter most take time, effort, commitment, discipline, lots of practice, lots of hard work . . . and lots of patience. Working chapter titles include, "Lord, Give Me Patience, and Give it to Me Right Now"; "Lord, Give Me Perseverance"; " Lord, Give Me Faith"; "Lord, Give Me Forgiveness"; "Lord, Give Me Love"; "Lord, Give Me Childlikeness"; "Lord, Give Me Life"; "Lord, Give Me Grace"; and others. This book includes twelve chapters and a discussion guide.