Download and read online Unafraid and Unashamed in PDF and EPUB With the approaching General Conference in 2019, concern that issues related to sexual orientation could cause schism within the United Methodist Church. Wil Cantrell examines various viewpoints in an effort to bring better understanding to members of the church.
Download and read online Fresh Expressions in PDF and EPUB A wave of new Christian churches are emerging to reach unchurched and dechurched people who live in a culture that is increasingly non-religious and multi-religious. These new forms of church gather and network with people who typically have never been to church. The new faith communities listen to people and go where they are on the journey toward Jesus. They are deeply ecumenical but do not lose their distinctiveness because they learn fresh ways to communicate their identity through discipleship. Fresh Expressions began in the United Kingdom where it ignited over 3000 new faith communities. In the United States the movement is putting down roots in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Ken Carter and Audrey Warren offer this book as a group study for church leaders and congregations who are in the grip of Holy Spirit motivation to renew their tradition by reaching people who are dechurched or not yet in a discipleship relationship with Jesus. Each chapter includes two Bible study experiences for group conversation.
Download and read online Meet the Goodpeople in PDF and EPUB Meet the Goodpeople helps church leaders—clergy, staff, and laity—to reach the growing number of ‘nones’ in their communities. Ross offers seven practical strategies that church leaders can immediately grasp and implement. These strategies are shown to work, equipping congregants to share their faith and their church life with others in ways that are authentic and faithful. Ross derives these strategies from John Wesley’s own teaching and life. I was inspired! This is a terrific read that my leadership team will be reading together. --Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection … helpful to pastors and laity alike! --Scott Jones, Bishop, Great Plains Conference (UMC) … Roger shares the spiritual core that leads and sustains vital, life changing ministry. -Mike Slaughter, Senior Pastor Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church …A beautifully written book… --Bill Easum, Author, Consultant, and Founder, 21st Century Strategies, Inc. … seven practices worthy of conversation, contemplation and promulgation. --Jonathan D. Keaton, Bishop, Illinois Great Rivers Conference (UMC) …helpful to Christians across the denominational landscape. Study it in groups - It will deepen your faith and help you move far beyond church walls. --Martha Grace Reese, Author of Unbinding the Gospel …Roger invites us to see, love and relate to the neighbors all around us with a new heart and new eyes. --Gregory Vaughn Palmer, Bishop, West Ohio Conference (UMC) … Roger shares how pastors and church leaders can shape the culture of their church to reach people. --Jim Griffith, Griffith Coaching
Download and read online That ll Preach in PDF and EPUB Experienced preacher, teacher and author, Charley Reeb, gives readers a 5-step plan for writing and delivering a sermon that can transform lives for Christ. He covers preparation, sermon structure, storytelling, and how to ‘preach with presence’. He examines lectionary and topical preaching models, and shows the reader how to determine which model to use; he further instructs the reader to use the 5-step plan for each model. Finally, That’ll Preach! offers sermon outlines and full sermons, as examples to illustrate the book’s teaching. The entire book stems from the author’s view that sermons must be engaging in order to be effective. This laser focus results in a book that is powerful and immediately useful, concise and purposeful. It is a book for every preacher.
Download and read online Leadership Directions from Moses in PDF and EPUB Author Olu Brown shares principles from the story of Moses, to guide leaders through some of the most gut-wrenching situations they will face. Leadership Directions from Moses answers the question, ‘How can I remain effective in answering my own call, when people around me—some of whom are trusted friends and colleagues—will not (or cannot) stay on the journey we’ve set out to complete? How can I keep moving forward, when the path suddenly becomes so difficult?’ The book covers topics like how to help others leave gracefully, how not to be upended when others choose to leave, how to have difficult conversations, and how to find unexpected opportunity in the challenge of new vacancies. It is full of practical help, including examples from pastors and churches across the US. It is also filled with compassion and wisdom—a pastoral book for pastors facing this difficult, nuanced, and often-emotional topic.
Download and read online A Grace Full Life in PDF and EPUB Grace is God's all-reaching, never-ending, game-changing love for you and me. In this series, Jorge Acevedo and Wes Olds examine God's Word and discover how grace works in our lives and in our world. A Grace-Full Life seeks to answer the questions: In what ways is God an ever-present God?, Why does God want to have a personal relationship with me?, How can I fully experience and respond to God's grace?, How can I die well surrounded by God's grace?. Themes include: Prevenient grace: God's wooing or drawing grace Justifying grace: God's saving grace Sanctifying grace: God's grace that makes us more like Jesus Glorifying grace: God's grace that welcomes us to eternity Additional components for a four-week study include a comprehensive leader guide and a DVD featuring authors and pastors Jorge Acevedo and Wes Olds.
Download and read online Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don t Belong To in PDF and EPUB WHEN LILLIAN DANIEL APOLOGIZED to a total stranger for every bad thing that had ever been said or done in the name of Christianity, he was surprised that she was responsible for all that. "The Inquisition? Don't even raise it, I'm way ahead of you. I was mad about it before you even heard of it, that's how open-minded I am. Salem witch trials? I know! So embarrassing. Can I hang out with you anyway? You're too kind." "Religion is responsible for all the wars in history," they would say, and I'd respond, "You're so right. Don't forget imperialism, capitalism, and racism. Religion invented those problems too. You can tell that because religious people can be found at all their meetings." In this book, Daniel argues that it's time for Christians to stop apologizing and realize that how we talk about Christian community matters. With disarming candor laced with just the right amount of humor, Daniel urges open-minded Christians to explore ways to talk about their faith journeys that are reasonable, rigorous, and real. AFTER THE PUBLICATION of the much talked about When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God In Surprising Places, Even the Church, Lillian Daniel heard from many SBNRs as well as practicing Christians. It was the Christians who scolded her for her forthright, unapologetic stand as one who believes that religious community matters. The Christians ranted that Christians, by definition, tend to be judgmental, condemning hypocrites, which is why people hate them. By saying religion matters, she was judging those who disagree, they said, proving the stereotype of Christians. Better to acknowledge all that's wrong with Christianity and its history, then apologize. In this book, Daniel shows why it matters how we talk about Christian community while urging open-minded Christians to learn better ways to talk about their faith.
Download and read online Fear of the Other in PDF and EPUB In this no non-sense book, reliable spiritual guide, Will Willimon, invites readers to consider the gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “Other” or outside mainstream Christian culture. Rooted in the faith of Israel and the Christian story and vision, Willimon brings a Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the "Other" as they are - without any need for them to become like us. Emphasizing biblical teaching to receive Others for who they are and their differences as gifts and mysteries bearing the grace of God, Willimon also offers a strong critique of the privileged who all too often rush to speak of reconciliation and evade the injustice of huge inequalities faced by foreigners and strangers - as well as the antagonism the stranger experiences. He identifies concrete, everyday ways persons are formed in welcoming others without annihilating their differences. Rooted in the New Testament understanding of Gentile outsiders grafted into the covenant community, Willimon invites readers to an on-the-ground faith that remembers the God who comes to us again and again through so-called outsiders, strangers, immigrants, and those without status. Beyond welcome, Christians must become “other” to the world, shaking off the dominant culture’s identity and privilege through practices of listening, humility, and understanding. “I love Will Willimon, and I love this book. Will writes with prophetic sarcasm, a touch of humor, plenty of self-effacement, and a pastor’s heart. And his words will make you laugh, cringe, cry, confess, and repent. This is a very timely book. I urge you, prospective reader, as you read this blurb on the back cover: buy and read it! You’ll be grateful you did.” —Adam Hamilton, senior pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS; author of Half Truths “This gutsy, biblically rich, theologically searing book by Willimon gigs everybody’s sacred cow. Not only is the one whom Christ loves Other but God is Other. The ground beneath us shakes the walls that divide us. If you are holed-up happy with people who look like you, don’t read this thing. It will screw up your world.” —Tex Sample, Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society, Saint Paul School of Theology, Leawood, KS “Timely and prophetic, Willimon’s call to love the Other will quickly take hold of your soul, changing your preaching and your life. This book is not just a reminder of our Christian calling to welcome the Other but a call to conversion, a new way of seeing the neighbor and a new way of being in the world God desperately loves.” —Karoline M. Lewis, Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN “Bishop Willimon’s new book should come with a warning: Do not read unless you are ready to be changed and want to change the world!” —O. Wesley Allen Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Download and read online A New Day in the City in PDF and EPUB Many urban congregations remember days of fame and fortune—days when their prominence downtown or in city neighborhoods mattered. Population shifts, the decline of congregations and neighborhoods, and demographic changes depleted the dreams of many urban churches. But not all churches gave up hope. Many congregations are struggling to survive, but thousands of urban churches are thriving again. Churches with revived hope learn to let go of nostalgic dreams and tired habits and to walk with God into a new day of vibrant mission and ministry. Donna Claycomb Sokol and Roger Owens share lessons they’ve learned on the job and from other urban pastors. Along the way, they challenge clichés about church leadership and strategic planning by showing what congregational renewal can look like and how it can become a reality. Each chapter features a set of practical guidelines for leading a congregation to address the questions that matter most. “The urban church can be quite a challenge. I know because I’ve served a couple. Now, two thoughtful pastors with actual urban church experience take an affectionate, positive, honest, and hopeful look at the urban church and give practical wisdom for the revival of languishing urban congregations. There’s a remarkable revival of the urban church in North America. Donna and Roger can help you be part of it!” —William H. Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC; retired bishop, The United Methodist Church “Three things excite me most about this book: First, these two young pastors understand the strategic importance of urban ministry and are passionately committed to it. Second, they show that when you turn from tired ‘church growth’ and corporate paradigms, choosing rather to model your ministry on Jesus, new life happens. And third, they explain that transformation is about journeying faithfully with the questions rather than looking for quick-fix techniques. This book could change your ministry.” —Peter Storey, South African church leader; W. Ruth and A. Morris Williams Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC
Download and read online Evangelism Handbook in PDF and EPUB Evangelism Handbookis a thorough guide to the daily ministry of sharing Christ, showing particular concern about how the Western Church practices evangelism its failure to reach the hardcore unchurched and its trend of losing young people faster than it can win them. The author organizes his research and experience in effective modern evangelism into four clear and actionable categories: Biblical(with chapters on Jesus, Paul, Acts), Spiritual(the Holy Spirit, prayer, and other disciplines), Intentional(leadership, creativity, worship), and Missional(church planting, reaching the unchurched).
Download and read online 1 DOGS FAITH in PDF and EPUB "I appreciate Tom writing this book and sharing his love of his dog." --Randy Boyd, founder, CEO, and Chairman of PetSafe "As a true dog lover, this book really touched my heart. This is a great example of how God teaches us to love and that is, unconditionally." --Louise Mandrell, country music legend and dog lover "Will resonate with dog lovers and show the family pooch in a totally new light." --Craig Miller, VP of Original Programming, INSP Network "Dog lovers of almost any age will love this! What a fun way to talk about faith." --Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, Holston Conference of the UMC "Tom's story is one that needs to be read and shared. It is an awakening." --Hallerin Hilton Hill, radio & TV host, teacher, trainer, author "You will be encouraged, inspired, and delighted as you read about Mango." --Dave Gorden, motivational speaker and former president, NSA "Don't miss the blessing that is right before you, wagging its tail." --Rev. Larry Trotter, Senior Pastor, Concord United Methodist "Tom and his dog, Mango, teach us to keep the faith through good times and bad." --Thyra Walker, DVM, Forest Park Clinic for Cats and Dogs
Download and read online When and Where I Enter in PDF and EPUB When and Where I Enter is an eloquent testimonial to the profound influence of African-American women on race and women's movements throughout American history. Drawing on speeches, diaries, letters, and other original documents, Paula Giddings powerfully portrays how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes--often confronting white feminists and black male leaders alike--to initiate social and political reform. From the open disregard for the rights of slave women to examples of today's more covert racism and sexism in civil rights and women'sorganizations, Giddings illuminates the black woman's crusade for equality. In the process, she paints unforgettable portraits of black female leaders, such as anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, educator and FDR adviser Mary McLeod Bethune, and the heroic civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, among others, who fought both overt and institutionalized oppression. When and Where I Enter reveals the immense moral power black women possessed and sought to wield throughout their history--the same power that prompted Anna Julia Cooper in 1892 to tell a group of black clergymen, "Only the black woman can say 'when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole . . . race enters with me.'"
Download and read online Preaching in the Era of Trump in PDF and EPUB Now more than ever, it's time to preach. The election of Donald Trump left countless faith leaders across the country speechless. Now that he is president, silence must give way to prophetic preaching. Christians have long debated whether politics should be addressed from the pulpit. Following Donald Trump's controversial, divisive rise to power and the sweeping changes his fledgling administration has already proposed, that's no longer a question -- political preaching will be the order of the day, even for pastors who try to steer clear of controversy. It's up to preachers to make the church great again by leading it to embrace and embody God's concern for those whose lives are at stake in a Trump administration. Veteran teacher, preacher, and author Wes Allen offers a blueprint for addressing current events through a Gospel lens, persuasively and pastorally-- without engaging in divisive, antagonistic rhetoric. Available in EPUB, EPDF, and paperback (EPUB and EPDF will release March 28, 2017)
Download and read online Creed in PDF and EPUB We’re all searching. Sometimes the search is easy: simply type a question and the answer pops up. But sometimes our questions are complicated, and the answers are difficult to see and harder to articulate. How do we discover and examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life? Adam Hamilton believes that some powerful answers are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs. In this book for Lent, Easter, and beyond, Hamilton considers important questions of life, reality, and truth. He explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe it and why it matters. Chapters include: God Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit The Church at the Communion of Saints The Forgiveness of Sins The Resurrection of the Body Creed: What Christians Believe and Why is also part of a six-week church-wide program that includes a Leader Guide, DVD, and youth and children resources.
Download and read online What Is the Bible in PDF and EPUB Instant New York Times Bestseller Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined—and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way. In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives. Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn’t ask "Why did God say . . .?" To get to the heart of the Bible’s meaning, we should be asking: "What’s the story that’s unfolding here and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?" In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of "is it true?" to reveal the Bible’s authentic transformative power. Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the Good Book’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.