Stop the Abuse! Recognizing and Preventing Abuse in the Church

Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Two out of three times,  the crime is committed by a friend or family member. 44% of the victims are under age 18. Over 6 million American children were claimed as victims of child abuse last year. One in four women faces physical abuse from her partner. Even though these are just statistics, these numbers indicate an abhorrent level of life-destroying sin.

The tragedy is, the church is sometimes part of the problem.

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Living in the Now

Christians are a high-risk group for a life malady. It is a malady that can kill our joy, compromise our labor, and cripple our testimony in the world. It is the malady of living in the future, and not engaging with the now.

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When to Get Nasty about Politics

Is it okay to get nasty about politics?

Politics get dirty, and this campaign season is probably going to be as bad as it’s ever been. The editor of Time magazine predicts that the 2012 presidential campaign ”is likely to be the most expensive political campaign in U.S. history — and perhaps the most negative.” As things get costlier, nastier, and dirtier how should Christians respond? Amidst the frenzy of furious pundits, talk show rants, and negative campaign ads, it’s easy to get caught up in the melee. Should Christians get nasty about politics?

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Answer the Seeker’s Questions

Over the past generation of church marketing, there’s been plenty of ink spilled over “seeker-sensitive” churches. Whether the movement and its outcomes have been good or bad is not the point of this article. Rather than deal with the seeker-sensitive church, this article deals with the seeker — the individual with questions — and how we should respond.

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How Not to Rant When You Preach

When was the last time you ranted? If you’re a preacher, it may have been recently. Preachers, unforutnately, have a tendency to launch into rants. There are plenty of topics to rant about. Unfortunately, ranting during your sermons is dangerous. When you rant, you lose your authority, feed people’s flesh, cater to your pride, and direct people to a false source of wisdom. When it comes to preaching, ranting is dangerous. Here’s how to avoid it.

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When Satan Tempts Me to Despair: From Anguish to Exultation

There is a stanza in the song “Before the Throne of God” that begins like this, “When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within…” The song rings true in the experience of many believers. We are tempted to despair, and many times this crushing reality completely darkens our life, causing incredible personal anguish in our own life and in the lives of our loved ones. How do we deal with the pain of despair?

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Interview with Rick Warren

In an interview with Rick Warren, the veteran pastor and leader provides some gems of wisdom for those in church ministry and leadership. Warren discusses issues such as longevity in leadership, and the importance of knowing your people and culture.

This video interview has been provided by Justin Blaney, founder of I4J. I4J is an ongoing series of films and interviews. They share innovations on life and leadership to build stronger and wiser Christians for Jesus’s glory.

How to Manage Your Time Like an “Effective” Pastor

Time management is one of the major keys to success. Everyone has the same amount of time, so the use of that time determines how a person will grow, develop, and potentially change the world. Time management is especially important for pastors, whose many and varied responsibilities can consume a lot of time. A recent study (2010) on how pastors use their time reveals some interesting trends.

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What Is Your Identity?

What is your identity? Who are you? When it comes right down to it, what makes you who you are? This is more than just an empty philosophical query. This is a substantial life question. The answer to the “who am I” question is the basis of how you live your life. The problem is that many people — even Christians — begin to see their identity wrapped up in something that is completely wrong.

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Listen to the Story of Your Community

All Christians are missionaries, as long as we’re obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Viewing ourselves as missionaries helps us as we look at the world around us. Like missionaries, we must understand our context, our communities, the people among whom we live. We must listen to the story of our community.

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