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Focus on the Five Practices: A Congregation-Wide Initiative Based on the book, Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation by Bishop Robert Schnase Imagine a congregation-wide focus on these practices that includes a five week sermon series, five weeks with every household reading daily devotions and sharing prayers on these practices, five weeks of leadership teams and small groups stimulated to take new initiatives, five weeks of conversation and commitment focused on the mission of the church. These are the practices that lead to excellence and fruitfulness, and they can change your church. Imagine! Five Practices - Passionate Worship is a planning workbook for use in group study. It helps lead the group to develop a plan to implement the practices of Passionate Worship in your congregation. FREE TEACHING GUIDE! Click here to download the free Teaching Guide for "Passionate Worship." For more information on the entire initiative, go to fivepractices.cokesbury.com.
Grounded in empirical research and richly illustrated with case studies, this introduction continues the theoretical, practical, and theological expansion of Pastoral Care and Counseling. Because of increasing cultural diversity and the fact that more training is done outside of seminaries in non-seminary related colleges and universities, there is fragmentation in the discipline. This makes a coherent orientation to pastoral care and counseling as a ministry increasingly difficult. To address this confusion, author, Loren Townsend, calls us to readdress basic understandings. He also makes the case that pastoral identity can function as a unifying concept.
Church Leadership Packed with practical tips, reproducible pages, checklists, and suggested resources, this ready-to-use resource will help first-time pastors or those new to an established church get started the first day and the first Sunday. This book leads the new pastor through creative ideas and concrete suggestions for getting started in church ministry by providing worksheets for planning and organizing worship, weddings, and funerals; questions to ask during pastoral visits to help both the pastor and parishioner feel at ease; suggestions for managing conflict; and ways to create opportunities for fellowship, study, outreach, and mission in the church--and much more. "Ward and Brey address the questions a new pastor may not even have thought to ask: 'How do I plan a wedding?' 'How hard can I push for change?' or simply, 'Should I phone first or just stop by to talk?' Their guidance is simple and useful, allowing for a diversity of ministerial styles. The book will be a gift to anyone anxious about starting a pastorate." The Reverend Glenn Schwerdtfeger, Pastor, Maynard Avenue United Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio "I wish I'd had this resource when I began pastoral ministry over twenty-five years ago. It would have shortened the learning curve considerably. This book cuts across denominational lines as well as different faith perspectives. Like a good constitution it provides a strong framework; in this case, a framework for caring and enduring ministries in the name of Jesus Christ." Frank Ramirez, Pastor of the Everett (PA) Church of the Brethren, Everett, Pennsylvania "Emphasizing self-awareness and purposeful action, Ward and Brey have compiled a helpful set of advice, direction, checklists, and resources. Refreshingly practical, this beginners' book offers detailed insight to successfully working in partnership with a congregation." Mary L Hubbard, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Portage, Indiana "Ready, Set, Lead is packed with practical advice on how to get a good start in ministry with a congregation. It raises the right questions for a new pastor to consider. I commend this book as a primer for ministers of every denomination." Richard L. Hamm, Church Consultant/Coach and former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Steven P. Brey is pastor of Spring Lake United Methodist Church in Spring Lake, North Carolina. Lynda C. Ward is a freelance writer, and holds an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and a certification in Spiritual Direction from Neumann College.
To be effective, pastors must minister in a variety of settings. Each setting--whether hospital room, jail, nursing home, funeral home, or even in the pastor's study--is different. Each setting brings its own unique dilemmas and rules. The pastor's authority will vary according to the setting as will the expectations of the pastor by the staff and parishioners in each setting. The pastor must be comfortable in a variety of settings in order to build Christ-centered relationships, but comfort comes only with familiarity and some settings can be intimidating or even frightening. Bailing a parishioner out of jail in the middle of the night presents challenges to ministry as does helping parishioners plan their loved one's funeral after a suicide. Context matters, and Urias Beverly gives the reader concrete steps and illustrations on how to artfully minister in a variety of common settings as well as how to cope with the dilemmas pastors face in facilitating ministry in these settings.
Based on Five Practices of Fruitful Living, Forty Days of Fruitful Living guides the individual or small group through daily readings designed to inspire and encourage. Perfect for use during Lent or throughout the year, Forty Days of Fruitful Living will help cultivate the essential practices of a life lived in grace - to receive God's love, to love God in return, to grow in Christ, to serve others, and to give back. For congregations who would like to distribute daily devotions electronically during the Lenten season, licensing agreements are available. Ask your sales representative for information.
A passionate call for theological thinking that challenges our intellect, enriches our faith, kindles our heart, and infuses our daily life.The assumption in much of the church is that theology is an obstacle to a vital, growing faith, not an aid to it. In fact, everyone is a theologian--either a good one or a bad one. So what are the advantages of thinking intentionally about matters of theology and how they can guide, inform, and nourish our faith? What are the components of good thinking and what are some ways we can cultivate it? As the contributors to this volume make clear, theology is for everyday and every person, as all are called to be thoughtful followers of Jesus. They make the case for how a living, thoughtful faith and how learning to think about God can launch your faith and make it powerful and alive.This engaging volume will help lay people, incoming college students, and prospective seminarians understand that vital faith is as much about our mind as it is about a warm heart. "Cultivating a Thoughtful Faith challenges the intellect while touching the heart. It advances our understanding of how to love God with all our minds. We in Christian higher education celebrate this contribution to a deeper understanding of our calling." --- Robert C. Andringa, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C. "Rather than reserving theology for a classroom or Sunday morning discussion, these essays challenge the reader to make sure that theology engages the imagination and the intellect, the heart and the mind. The writers remind us that a thoughtful faith compels us to change the world by transforming our daily lives from the inside out." --- Barbara Oliver Korner, Associate Dean, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.Edited by Maxie Dunnam and Steve Moore (Essays by Paul W. Chilcote, Maxie D. Dunnam, Steve Harper, George G. Hunter III, Steve G. W. Moore, Howard A. Snyder, and Ben Witherington III)Maxie Dunnam is the Chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary, and formerly served as the fifth President of the Seminary (1994-2004). His many books include The Workbook of Living Prayer, Staying the Course, and the forthcoming Praying the Story.Steve Moore, a well-known leader in Christian higher education and spiritual formation, is the Senior Vice President of Asbury Theological Seminary and the President of the Asbury Foundation for Theological Education. He is the author of College 101: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of College.Paul Chilcote is Professor Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. His recent works include Her Own Story and The Wesleyan Tradition.Steve Harper is the Vice President of the Florida campus of Asbury Theological Seminary (Orlando), and teaches spiritual formation and Wesleyan studies. He has written Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition.George Hunter is Distinguished Professor of Communications and Evangelism, and formerly Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary. His books include How To Reach Secular People (1992), Church for the Unchurched (1996), The Celtic Way of Evangelism (2000), and Radical Outreach (2003), all from Abingdon Press.Howard Snyder is Professor of the History and Theology of Mission at the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has written Decoding the Church: Mapping the DNA of Christ's Body.Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. A much sought-after speaker and prolific author, his recent work includes The Brother of Jesus.
In 1968, the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) churches merged to form The United Methodist Church. More than forty years later, many United Methodists know very little about the history, doctrine, and polity of the EUB. To be sure, there are vestiges of the EUB, most notably the Confession of Faith, in the United Methodist Book of Discipline, but there is much more to be profitably explored. For example, the EUB represents a strand of German Pietism that developed an emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church that, with the exception of Wesley, Fletcher and the early Methodists, was unparalleled in the history of Protestantism. This book makes accessible to clergy and laity alike the considerable riches of the EUB tradition with a view toward the renewal of United Methodism today.
It's easy to get lost in the busyness of every day. But taking a walk and discovering God's presence along the way will bring you back to where you need to be. The Walking Bible Study, a series of short readings and meditations, is your field guide to learning more about Scripture as you travel through nature and life. Wherever you walk, take it along with you and follow the paths of God. "Walking changes us; it can transport our spirits from being weighed down by life into the joy of God's presence." - Becca Stevens Each study consists of four sessions. Sessions include prayer, Scripture, Becca's thoughts and stories, questions to think about or discuss, and activities. The Path of Justice Becca teaches that God will let justice roll like a river and that the diversity of nature, its order and chaos, should call us to walk in humility. Nature reveals a just God who will hold creation accountable for its behavior. But because God's justice is balanced by love and mercy, new creation is all around us and we have reason to celebrate all the springs in our lives.
Visionary pastor Mike Slaughter calls us all to a renewed life of faith, health, and balance that will prepare us to fulfill God's plan and our own potential. Based on his book, Momentum for Life, Revised Edition, participants in this study will focus on five key areas -- devotion, lifelong learning, key relationships, vision, and healthy lifestyle -- to be our best selves and move forward to God's promised future. The Momentum for Life Workbook is designed for use by participants during each of the weekly six sessions of the study. Also available in the program: Momentum for Life Group Session DVD Momentum for Life Participant DVD Journal Momentum for Life Leader's Guide Momentum for Life Planning Kit
An indispensable part of the Extravagant Generosity stewardship program, this volume, by Bishop Schnase, opens the Scriptures to show the joy and grace of giving. Designed to provide daily Bible reading for the four weeks of the program, it leads the reader to explore such questions as "Why do we give," "Who benefits most from our giving," and "Where does true contentment come from?" By reading and following this guide to the spiritual discipline of stewardship, church members will experience afresh the joy of serving God with their time, talents, and gifts. Additional program components (available seperately) include: An overview timeline, providing quick information on what happens during each week of the stewardship campaign. A guidebook for leaders that covers all aspects of the campaign, from detailed plans for each of the four Sunday services to marketing materials like flyers and postcards to e-mail messages and letters designed to be sent to specific groups within the congregation-all available on the enclosed CD-ROM. A small-group leader's guide to host Sunday school and other small groups during the program using the devotional book. A DVD with video segments for four group-study sessions and short clips for use in worship. The Extravagant Generosity kit is also available.
For John Wesley, the Bible is the joyfully consistent testimony of God's never-ending grace and ever-seeking love. Likewise, studying the Bible is more than merely knowing what Scripture says; it is also about living every day as a child of God. Beginning with the Core Terms found in The Wesley Study Bible, Bishop Willimon systematically lays out key Wesleyan tenets of faith so that you will have a fresh way to hear God's voice, share in God's grace, and become more like Jesus Christ. This book can be used as an eight-week, small-group study. A Leader Guide is also available order #9781426708237 Let this book 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.
It Is Easy Being Green features sixty exciting craft projects that children will enjoy making while learning about the Bible and building their faith. Simple "green" crafts accompany a related Bible story Bible stories. Teachers will enjoy clear, step-by-step instructions, along with a materials list featuring green or recycled products. It Is Easy Being Green utilizes many wonderful artistic mediums through which children can express their creative side and explore their faith in a group setting. This ready-to-use book provides a hands-on, fun way of bringing God's Word to children and can be used in a variety of settings, including Sunday school and mid-week.
Clearly, something is not working. Despite the church's place of prominence in American culture and the ubiquity of the church in every American town, misconceptions about the faith of Jesus Christ run rampant today. Christians are known more for exclusivity than for love, more for pot lucks than for solving world hunger. It's time for churches to get over the cruise-ship mentality of being a program-provider, and reconnect with the true message and mission of Jesus: to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed. The church is called to be a mission outpost, living out Christ's ideals in today's world. Slaughter presents seven choices pastors must make as they consider the future of their congregations. Will you focus on building disciples or tallying decisions? Will you multiply your impact or expand your facilities? Will you step out in courage or comply with the status quo? Your answers to these and other questions determine how your church will focus its time, its energy, and its budget to work for real change in a hurting world.
Title #5 in the Bible Reader Series is a short-term, 8 session study of the book of Psalms. The series is designed for adult study groups wishing to explore a particular book of the Bible for a limited number of sessions. It uses NRSV. Psalms--This eight-session study of Psalms focuses on the central themes of the psalms. Nearly every psalm is related to the fact that God is present in the world and is lovingly and purposefully involved in the lives of people. Four lessons explore how the people of God are called to praise God who creates and sustains, acts on behalf of God's people, delivers them from trouble, and knows and cares. Four responses to God's actions are suggested: trust in God, keep God's laws, repent and confess, and worship and witness. (see separate teacher's book #0687092469)To see another adult Bible study offered by Cokesbury, go to the Adult Bible Studies website.
Now using the Common English Bible Translation! This book in the A Moment with God Series will help during a time of loss. With fifty-eight moving Scriptures and appropriate prayers, it makes a perfect gift for those going through the grief process. Short bursts of inspiration allow busy youth to take time to pray in just a few short, inspirational minutes. It could easily be used in group devotion as well as for personal reflection time. The beautiful design and size make it a gift that will be treasured and remembered. Check out some of the prayers books in this series in the Related Products Section below.
Now using the Common English Bible Translation! Teens are at a unique place in their faith journey. Life is moving fast and they need a moment with God. As part of our A Moment with God series, this book of fifty-eight moving Scriptures and prayers written in teen-friendly language makes it a perfect gift for any teen. Short bursts of inspiration allow busy youth to take time to pray in just a few short, inspirational minutes. It could easily be used in group devotion as well as for personal reflection time. The beautiful design and size make it a gift that will be treasured and remembered. Check out some of the prayers books in this series in the Related Products Section below.
Sometimes a moment with God is all a person needs as they move through their day. Teachers are called on to help shape the children. Whether preparing lesson plans, starting the day or between classes, the fifty-eight prayers with accompanying Scriptures found inside are perfect for you or any school teacher you know. The prayers allow you to center and know God is with you as you work to serve in this important role. It could easily be used in group devotion as well as for personal reflection time. The beautiful design and size make it a gift that will be treasured and remembered. Get a copy for the teachers in your life and if you are a teacher, pick up one for yourself. Now using the Common English Bible translation, you can easily use the prayers for group devotion as well as for personal reflection time. The beautiful design and size make it a keepsake to treasure and remember. Some of the prayers included are: Elementary School Teachers Junior High School Teachers High School Teachers A Monday Morning Prayer At Report Card Time Loving "the Unloveable" Students Who Are Ill My Own Children and more!
Sometimes a moment with God is all a person needs as they move through their day. Whether preparing for Sunday's class or dealing with students and parents, the fifty-eight prayers with accompanying Scriptures found inside are perfect for you or any Sunday school teacher you know. The prayers allow you to center and know God is with you as you work to serve. Now using the Common English Bible translation, you can easily use the prayers for group devotion as well as for personal reflection time. The beautiful design and size make it a keepsake to treasure and remember. Some of the prayers included are: As I Prepare My Sunday School Lesson On Communicating with Parents When I Pray in Class Coping with a Difficult Child Laughing with the Children Praising Each Child in My Class and more!
A Moment with God for Grandparents, provides 58 prayers appropriate for their audience. Most importantly with busy lifestyles today, the length of the prayers is short enough to be read in only a couple of minutes. The inclusion of a Scripture passage for every prayer makes these books suitable for use in both personal and group devotion. Available in convenient pocket-size.
This popular series of convenient pocket-size books offers 58 prayers in each volume. An excellent resource to use for brief devotions that fit in with today's busy lifestyle. Includes Scripture passages with each prayer. For personal or group use. *A Moment with God for Children--addresses common concerns and experiences of young children.
Prayers for every dad, every day.Each of the pocket- or purse-sized books in the A Moment with God series provides 58 brief prayers that can be read in a few short minutes at any time of day. Each prayer features Scripture for reflection and is appropriate for personal or group devotion.A Moment with God books-- offer prayers for daily life situations-- address common concerns and needs-- make ideal gifts!
Short, heartfelt prayers for moms of all ages.Each of the pocket- or purse-sized books in the A Moment with God series provides 58 brief prayers that can be read in a few short minutes at any time of day. Each prayer features Scripture for reflection and is appropriate for personal or group devotion.A Moment with God books-- offer prayers for daily life situations-- address common concerns and needs-- make ideal gifts!
This popular series of convenient pocket-size books offers 58 prayers in each volume. An excellent resource to use for brief devotions that fit in with today's busy lifestyle. Includes Scripture passages with each prayer. For personal or group use. *A Moment with God for Caregivers--Touching prayers for anyone in the business of caring.
If you love the title, you'll love the book -- and if the title isn't your cup of tea, you'll still love this book! The latest in a series of books of everyday life meditations, this one for volunteers is just wonderful. Down-to-earth, short prayers filled with humor and a true understanding of the diversity of volunteering today. One small page for each of 58 different types of volunteer work, from Coaching to Being a Designated Driver to Gleaning a Harvest. If you have to inspire a group at the start of a work day or give the benediction at a recognition event -- here's your resource. Non-sectarian but with one brief Bible quote per page.
Storms can come suddenly, unexpectedly, and catastrophically. We are never the same after suffering the shock and after-shocks of such earth-shattering experiences. And it is during these times that we need the assurance that only our faith in God provides. When All Hail Breaks Loose offers practical, proven life strategies for not only surviving, but also thriving, in the midst of major life challenges. When we are going through a storm, we can't help but wonder: How does my faith help me when everything is falling apart? How does trusting God in prayer really make a difference? Where can I turn to receive the strength and direction that will help me hold my life together when everything is coming apart? Where is God in the midst of my suffering and pain? How can I make it through the long nights of fear, doubt, and uncertainty? How can I keep going when everything in me wants to quit? God provides the resources to weather life's storms: faith, prayer, friends and family, courage and fortitude, and the determination to persevere. It is reassuring to know the battle is not ours but God's.