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The Wednesday Workout

by Richard Devinney

"By the Way- You Start Tomorrow Night". The recruiting of a less-than-fully-trained person is usually done at the last minute, since the search for a fully trained person will continue as long as there is either time or hope. Our last-minute, inexperienced director, then will be starting immediately. This first chapter is the most light-hearted, the most general, and the most basic of the book. It is pep talk and a look at the thing to do the first night for the first Sunday. The remainder of the book covers the other ongoing aspects of planning and directing effective choral rehearsals. * Easy-to-use practical format and style * Light, anecdotal reading * Covers all elements of rehearsal planning and techniques * Provides directors handles on how to use rehearsal time * Helps directors learn to better plan and work ahead * Gives directors more confidence in this area of leadership Market * Church choir directors * Music directors

Watching the Disciples

by Mary Jane Gorman

LENT This Lenten study looks at the twelve disciples as they tried to follow Jesus and live the challenging life to which he had called them. Examining the mistakes of the Twelve can help us to assess our own discipleship in order to see where it may need strengthening. During these weeks of Lent, as we join the Twelve in their on-the-job-training to become disciples of Jesus, we hope to find guidance for our pilgrimage. This seven-session study, appropriate for both group and individual use, provides one lesson for each week in Lent. Each lesson includes a Scripture reference, a brief reflection, questions for study or discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week. MARY JANE GORMAN is a writer, teacher, and retreat leader living in Greenville, South Carolina, and she is the author of the book Tending Body, Heart, Mind & Soul: Following Jesus in Caring for Ourselves (Abingdon Press). Formerly professor of economics at Furman University, she has served on the board of United Ministries, a nonprofit community organization, and is a leader in First Baptist Church, Greenville.

What Do You Want for Christmas?

by James W. Moore

"What do you want for Christmas?" It's a question that gets asked often as the holiday season approaches and Christmas draws near. And if we're honest, much of the time when we think about how we would answer that question, we have material things on our mind. Author James W. Moore invites you to explore the question on a deeper level. Deep down, what do you really want for Christmas? Does your heart long for the gifts the Christ child brings--the type of gifts that money can't buy? This four-week study, appropriate for both group and individual use, provides an introduction and one lesson for each week of Advent. Each lesson includes a reference to a key passage of Scripture, a brief reflection, study / discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week. JAMES W. MOORE, popular speaker and preacher, is the author over 40 books with Abingdon Press, with more than one million copies sold. He lives in Fairview, Texas.

The Choir Member's Companion

by Ginger Wyrick

The Choir Member's Companion is designed for use by individual choir members in a local church adult choir. The book is intended for choir members to better understand musical symbols, terminology, and symbols used in choral music. CONTENTS: 1. Introduction to Choir Membership 2. Basic Music Reading Skills 3. Musical Road Map 4. Basic Vocal Techniques 5. Sight-reading New Music 6. How to Mark Your Music 7. Preparation for Worship 8. Preparation for Other Performances 9. Glossary of Musical Terms and Symbols

Old Testament Stories from the Back Side

by J. Ellsworth Kalas

Using an approach similar to that in his book Parables from the Back Side, popular author J. Ellsworth Kalas brings a new perspective to selected Old Testament stories by approaching them from the "back side"--through a unique starting point, a creative retelling, a new "lens," or the eyes of a minor or unsympathetic character. Chapter titles and Scripture: "The Second Sin" (Genesis 3:1-13); "The Importance of Naming Joseph" (Genesis 30:22-24); "Because My Mother Told Me" (Exodus 2:1-10); "Moses' Midlife Crisis" (Exodus 2:11-22); "Patron Saint of the Minority Report" (Numbers 13:1-3, 25-33); "Tragic Son, Tragic Father" (Judges 11:1-6, 30-35); "Honey in the Lion" (Judges 14:5-14); "Beauty and the Beast" (1 Samuel 25:2-42); "A Refugee at the King's Table" (2 Samuel 9:1-13); "In Defense of Job's Wife" (Job 2:1-10); "Jonah's Christmas Story" (Jonah 3:1-6, 10; Matthew 12:38-42); "God Is Better Than His Plans" (Ruth 1:1-5; 4:13-17). Includes 12 Sessions with a study guide.

New Testament Stories from the Back Side

by J. Ellsworth Kalas

Using an approach similar to his other "Back Side" books, J. Ellsworth Kalas opens up new possibilities of insight into selected New Testament stories by entering them through the "back side" -- through a unique starting point, a creative retelling, a new "lens", or the eyes of a minor or unsympathetic character. Includes 12 stories and a study guide.

Led to Follow

by J. Howard Olds Cal Turner Jr.

With an open, honest, and conversational style, a minister who also manages and a manager who also ministers share insights they've gained through failures, successes, and struggles in their personal and professional journeys. From crises in the family business to existential struggles in the face of recurring cancer, what they show us is this: the heart and soul of leadership is found in following: following your call, following others' input, following your failures, following change, and even following the unknown. If you seek wisdom for your journey, if you seek a life of deep dedication and fulfillment, this book is for you.

Healing Where It Hurts

by James W. Moore

James W. Moore says that "physical stress fractures are painful and troublesome, but there is another kind of stress fracture that is even worse--stress fractures of the spirit." In his engaging style, the author provides guidance for those times in life when you need "healing where it hurts." Drawing upon the Bible and stories of faith and hope from everyday experience, he tells how the healing power of love can bring healing and wholeness . . . · when life breaks your heart · when you are fighting a virus in your soul · when you are heading for a breakdown · when your faith lands you on the critical list, or · when other stress fractures threaten to immobilize your spirit

Going on to Salvation, Revised Edition

by Maxie Dunnam

The church today desperately needs to recover the depth, richness, and wonder of the biblical and Wesleyan doctrine of salvation. In this book, author Maxie Dunnam offers his perspective on how to make this recovery possible. Drawing deeply on biblical and Wesleyan sources, Dunnam leads his readers on a rich and challenging tour of what it means to say that we are going on to salvation--saved by grace. Ten well drawn chapters map the full terrain of justifying, sanctifying, and perfecting grace, and mark off those detours that too frequently have confused the way of salvation. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection and group discussion. Also included in this revised edition is a new chapter on the timely topic of Calvinism. Here is a book about salvation and grace that will itself be a means of grace for congregations and individuals. MAXIE DUNNAM is the chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary; the pastor emeritus of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee; and the vice-chairperson of World Evangelism of the World Methodist Council. He is the author of several books, including This Is Christianity, Alive in Christ, and The Workbook of Living Prayer.

Faith Is the Answer, But What Are the Questions?

by James W. Moore

The Christian gospel says to us, "Here is the One who can deliver you! Here is the One who can save you. Follow him, and you can live. He will lead you to commitment, to love, and to life."I believe that with all of my heart, but I also know that there are still a number of tough questions we grapple with daily in these challenging times. How does faith help us when problems arise? How does the Christian faith strengthen us when suffering or tragedy or heartache explodes into our lives? How does the Holy Spirit help us? Did Jesus really mean for us to love everybody? In this hectic world, with so many things crying out for our allegiance and support, whom can we trust? Faith is the answer, of course, but still...what are the questions? And how do we respond to them honestly, creatively, and redemptively? That is the adventure before us. These, and other questions, we will deal with in this book. --James W. Moore, adapted from the introduction This book includes a study guide.JAMES W. MOORE, popular speaker and preacher, is the author of Yes, Lord, I Have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses; God Was Here, and I Was Out to Lunch; When Grief Breaks Your Heart; There's a Hole in Your Soul That Only God Can Fill; and many other books. He and his wife, June, live in Fairview, Texas.

Celebrating the Gift of Marriage

by James W. Moore

As the title suggests, this brief, six-chapter book by popular author James W. Moore was written for the purpose of celebrating the gift of marriage. It provides marital inspiration and encouragement for all married and soon-to-be married couples. Through this book the author aims to help couples strengthen their marriage; to improve their communication with each other; to cherish each other and to honor their marital commitment; and to always keep Jesus Christ at the center of their union, uniting and sustaining their hearts in Christian love. Moore provides scriptural guidance and practical advice as he helps readers look at the characteristics of a successful marriage, as well as attitudes and actions to avoid. The book also contains a study guide that includes discussion / reflection questions for couples.

A Second Resurrection

by William M. Easum

For many congregational and denominational leaders, the goal for churches experiencing declining worship attendance is to turn those congregations around. The "turnaround church" is one that has stagnated or is in decline. The old trends are reversed, new members are added, and everyone rejoices in this story of a congregation restored to health and vitality. But what if the metaphors of decline, stagnation, and loss of health just aren't getting to the problem? What if the situation is much worse than what those ways of describing it imply? What if the congregation is spiritually dead? The only solution is resurrection. Churches that have lost their sense of mission, that exist only to provide fellowship for the "members of the club," that expect their leaders to focus solely on ministering to the members' personal spiritual needs; these churches have died to the purpose of the New Testament church, to make disciples of Jesus Christ. They cannot be turned around; they must come to life again. The key to that resurrection is leaders who are not afraid to diagnose the problem for what it really is, and who realize that resurrection is what being a Christian is about. The goal of this book is to guide the leaders of these churches through the painful, yet ultimately life-giving work of leading a church to new life in the Spirit. If you want to find new life for your church, read on . . .

50 Ways to Pray

by Teresa A. Blythe

For individual or group use "It is my hope that this book will provide at least fifty ways you may take steps in a lifelong walk with God. It is written for you, the seeker and sojourner, as well as you, the church leader, youth minister, retreat facilitator, or worship planner. It is for all of us who thought we only knew one way to pray." --from the introduction The explosion of interest today in Christian mystics, ancient prayer practices, and guided meditations speaks to a need for more hands-on tools that will help us pray in traditional as well as new and exciting ways. This book is intended to address that need. Each of the exercises includes not only instructions on how to use it as a prayer practice, but also some background, an introduction, a statement of intention, and tips to help you become comfortable with the practice. For those of you wanting to lead these practices in a group, there are special instructions and information in the Leader's Guide at the end of the book. "Rich with wisdom drawn from the wellsprings of Western spirituality, this remarkable book is a sustained experience of spiritual direction offered by a seasoned spiritual guide." -John S. Mogabgab, editor of Weavings journal "This book does more than point to ways of prayer; it serves as encouragement, guide, and partner for those who want to connect in prayer in ways that move beyond words." -Doug Pagitt, author of BodyPrayer and pastor of Solomon's Porch "This is a basic, balanced, and accessible guide to the variety, promise, and practice of prayer. Read it to deepen your understanding of prayer; use it to deepen your life in God." -Frederick W. Schmidt, author of What God Wants for Your LifeClick here to read a sampleTable of ContentsTeresa A. Blythe is a writer, spiritual director, and frequent conference speaker on topics of popular culture and spirituality. She has co-authored Meeting God in Virtual Reality and Watching What We Watch, along with numerous essays and reviews for Beliefnet, Spirituality & Health, and Publishers Weekly. Teresa serves as Program Coordinator for the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, AZ.

The Advent Jesse Tree

by Dean Lambert Smith

LET YOUR TREE TELL THE STORY Bring Christ back to Christmas by giving your children a devotional experience that adorns your tree with Christian symbols. * The Advent Jesse Tree DEVOTIONS This book offers 25 devotions for each day from December 1st to December 25th, Christmas Day... the day Christians celebrate that God's purpose wass finally revealed in the coming of the savior, Jesus Christ. Each devotion traces the heritage of Jesus through the stories and prophecies of the Old Testament. The Advent Jesse Tree enables individuals and families to engage in a more meaningful celebration of the Christmas season.These daily Advent devotions are written in two versions (one for children and one version for adults) including a scripture, a story & commentary, questions to ask, a prayer, and a song. * The Advent Jesse Tree ORNAMENT CRAFTS Each devotional story is paired with a representative symbol that traces the heritage of Jesus...such as a lamb, a dove, a rainbow, a heart, a star, etc. Children and their parents can utilize the symbolic line art printed with each daily devotion to craft meaningful ornaments. These symbols coincide with the prayers, a memory verses, questions for children, and songs found in the devotions for that day. Finally, on Christmas day, your tree will be filled with reminders of 25 Bible stories that led up to Christ's birth. Other available Advent resources include:Love, Peace Hope & Joy Gold Wire Votive Holder Love, Peace Hope & Joy Black Wire Votive HolderChildren of the WorldNativity StarHome Candlelight Service SetLet's Make a Jesse Tree

Proclamation and Theology

by William H. Willimon

This first volume in the Abingdon Press series Horizons in Theology addresses the major concerns and questions for preaching as it intersects with theology. William H. Willimon, recognized as one of today's master interpreters of the theology and practice of preaching, explains why, in the words of the Second Helvetic Confession, "The preaching of the word of God is the Word of God." Drawing from classical theology and practical experience, he provides a cogent, powerful explanation of what it means to live the preaching life.

Real Followers

by Mike Slaughter

Many Christians, disillusioned with lives of spiritual mediocrity that have been dampened by today's rampant materialism and cafeteria spirituality, are asking the same question: "Where is the substance that can move our church beyond ho-hum Christianity?" Today's public fascination with angels, New Age spirituality, and the paranormal is likewise spurring Christ's followers to look for greater and deeper life transformation through their faith. Real Followers: Beyond Virtual Christianity shows how an ordinary church can be transformed into a radical community--a fellowship of everyday people who began looking for meaning and searching for authenticity. Michael Slaughter describes a movement that is hooked in various generations, from buster to boomer to builder. This resource also includes discussion questions. Key Features: * Readers examine culturally relevant concepts to ask the age-old question:"Will you give up your right to yourself, take up the cross, and radically follows Jesus?" * Readers are presented with a workable example of how to grow their church, with examples from Ginghamsburg Church * Contains case studies of real people who have begun a "migration in the wrong direction" * Includes discussion questions Key Benefits: * Readers learn what it really means to find their destiny as Christ's followers * Readers are inspired to take doable steps toward becoming authentic Christ followers

Just in Time! Easter Services, Sermons, and Prayers

by Kenneth H. Carter Jr.

Based on the Revised Common Lectionary and broadly ecumenical, this addition to the Just In Time! series provides creative liturgies, sermon helps, and prayers for Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and the 40 days of Easter.

Calendar

by Laurence Hull Stookey

A probing but clearly written book, Calendar will find an appreciative audience beyond academia and clergy to the laity of the church: choirs and their directors, worship planners, adult study groups, and others who want to understand better the church's times of preparation and celebration. Calendar centers largely on theological meaning and parish practice in relation to liturgical time. Deliberately, almost no attention is given to detailed historical development, much of which is exceedingly complex in its origins and technical in its detail. An appendix entitled "Forgetting What You Were Always Taught (Or, This Book in a Nutshell)" aptly describes the radical reordering that Stookey believes occurs when our understanding of time and the story of Jesus takes its bearings from the Incarnation. So, just as the Christian week begins with Sunday, the day of Resurrection, Stookey follows the Christian year beginning with the season of Easter, and only then Lent; Christmas, then Advent. Illuminating discussions of Ordinary and Extraordinary Time, and the Sanctoral Cycle follow.

Disciple III Remember Who You Are | Study Manual

by Julia Wilke Wilke Richard B Trust

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 Study Manual The study manual combines direction and information enabling study of the text - the Bible. Two titles in the commentary section of the manual reflect ideas central to the prophets and Paul's letters. "The Word of the Lord" picks up a familiar phrase from the prophets - a clear statement of their calling: The spoke (and speak) for God. Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individ­ual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommend The New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit the Disciple site for more information.

Jesus in the Gospels | Study Manual

by Leander E. Keck Nellie M. Moser

Study Manual content illuminates some aspect of the Jesus in the Gospels each week and connects Scripture to daily life and Jesus' call to discipleship. The overarching aim is to deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. The study helps group members understand that Jesus is rooted in Judaism and the Scriptures of Judaism and that Christianity and the New Testament are rooted in the Scriptures of Judaism--our Old Testament. The Study Manual guides daily study and preparation for the weekly group meeting. The main elements in the format are designated by scriptural phrases: "They have no wine" (John 2:3) is a brief statement about the human condition and alerts the reader to some aspect of daily life that Scripture can shed light on. "Beginning with Moses and all the prophets" (Luke 24:27) is a way of referring to Scripture as a whole and signals the fact that we can understand Jesus in the Gospels better by understanding the Old Testament better. "Do you want to become his disciples, too?" (John 9:27, New International Version) is designed to stimulate thoughtful reflection so readers can come to their own conclusions about what their own discipleship calls for. Accompanying each day's Scripture reading assignments are suggestions of things to look for that take the reader deeper into Scripture. As readers become aware of detail in Scripture, they might ask themselves repeatedly, What am I to make of this? The study manual provides space for writing notes on insights, observations, and questions related to the Scripture, and for putting into words personal perceptions of Jesus from the week's Scripture.

Disciple I Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study | Study Manual

by Julia Wilke Wilke Julia Kitchens Trust

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. Training for Disciple Studies is also highly recommended. Learn more about training here. 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. Study Manual Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individ­ual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommend the New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit Disciple site for more information.

Disciple IV Under the Tree of Life | Study Manual

by Various

DISCIPLE: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE, the final study in the four-phase DISCIPLE program and is prepared for those who have completed BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY. The study concentrates on the Writings (Old Testament books not in the Torah or the Prophets), the Gospel of John, and Revelation. Emphasis on the Psalms as Israel's hymnbook and prayer book leads natural to an emphasis on worship in the study. Present through the entire study is the sense of living toward completion - toward the climax of the message and the promise, extravagantly pictured in the Revelation. The image of the tree and the color gold emphasize the prod and promise in the Scriptures for DISCIPLE: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE. The word under in the title is meant to convey invitation, welcome, sheltering, security, and rest - home at last. 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. Study Manual Participants in Under the Tree of Life will recognize the familiar rhythm and requirements of daily Scripture reading and note taking in preparation for the discussion in the weekly group meeting. The study manual guides daily study of the biblical text and calls for written responses that become grist for discussion in the weekly group meeting. Two new elements in the study manual format represent special emphases in this study - the psalm of the week and the radical disciple. The psalm of the week will lead people into a deeper life of prayer using psalms as a guide. It is to be prayed aloud both daily and weekly in the study group session. Study manual suggestions on experiencing the psalm of the week pay attention to feelings as well as words. The radical disciple focuses on thoughts or actions relevant to the weekly theme. Whether praying or taking steps toward radical discipleship, participants know they are not alone - the community is there. Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individ­ual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommended The New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit the Disciple site for more information

Christian Believer | Study Manual

by J. Ellsworth Kalas

The study manual guides daily reading in Scripture and in the Book of Readings. It encourages daily prayer while providing space for taking notes for use in weekly group discussion. Each lesson includes an explanation and commentary on the doctrines being studied, raises questions for reader reflection and written response, and suggests ideas for additional reading and study. The Christian Believer program focuses on classical teachings of the Christian faith--presenting, explaining, and interpreting them in a way that participants can understand, through the use of words, symbols, and hymns. Over a 30-week period, participants will examine the writings of ancient and modern Christian commentators and view video presentations by leading Bible scholars.

Worship Feast - Advent & Christmas

by P. Shepherd

Worship Feast Advent is the next in the popular Worship Feast line. Worship Feast Advent takes youth groups from 1st Sunday of Advent through Epiphany, experiential worship outlines. The book also contains 7 worship openers for Sunday school classes and other settings. To deepen the Advent & Christmas journey even more, Worship Feast Advent includes 7 original Advent Christmas-themed worship songs on audio CD and printed lyrics with chords. Worship Feast Advent is a resource for youth groups and postmodern worship communities. Through these multi-sensory worship and prayer experiences, young people will sing together, wait together, pray together, and together prepare room in their hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. The project includes a prayer station experience around the lighting of the Advent candles and an audio CD of original Advent and Christmas-themed worship songs for groups to sing together.

When You Pray As a Small Group

by Rueben P. Job

Leading a small group on prayer can be daunting. After all, it's not easy to be an expert on the subject. When You Pray as a Small Groupis a resource that will help leaders guide their groups through developing a deeper prayer life. Used in conjunction with Rueben P. Job's When You Pray, leaders are provided with prayer activity ideas, example sessions, and five session templates for groups with different needs and interests: Discussion-based groups Activity-based groups Introspective groups Arts-focused groups Habit Breaker groups Through this study, not only will your group be encouraged as a whole, each individual's prayer life will be enriched and strengthened.

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