Fourth of July – The Problem with Patriotism, Politics, and Partisanship

On July 4th millions of Americans will celebrate. The celebration will involve American flags, barbecues, picnics, speeches, music, and fireworks — lots and lots of fireworks. Americans will listen to “God Bless the USA” at least 91 times on the radio. They will see a lot of red, white, and blue. And they may even hold a sparkler with a surging sense of patriotism in their heart.

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Church Habits: Rethinking the Old

We love grooves. Following patterns is easy. The same-old becomes the good-old. In fact, little habits may become die-hard traditions. Some of this is good and appropriate. But sometimes, we may need a breath of fresh air or some new life, especially when it comes to our church habits. Here are five areas to think about.

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Tips for Summer VBS Programs

It’s VBS season, and as you’re reading this, some church is in the middle of a week of VBS. Maybe you’re an old hand at VBS or maybe you’re a newbie. Whatever your experience level, here are some tips to keep in mind as you head into your week of VBS.

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Ten Ways You Can Make Your Pastor’s Sermons Better

So maybe he’s not the most interesting preacher in the world. What should you do about it? Have you ever thought that you might be able to help your pastor preach better? Here are some suggestions to help your

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Is Yours a Kid-Friendly Church?

Is your church kid-friendly? I’m not wondering if you sanitize the nursery toys, put stools in front of the water fountains, and have enough Sunday school teachers. I’m wondering if your church — the people, the leadership, the services — are really friendly toward children. Here are four things that might be affected if we had more kid-friendly churches.

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Leadership Lessons to Live by: The Battle with Inconsistency

“Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent,” wrote the English poet Horace Smith. It’s true; inconsistency is a pervasive problem. When Christian leaders are inconsistent our leadership is less effective. Inconsistency is an Achilles heel for many leaders, and can even compromise an entire organization. For Christians, the charges of inconsistency are especially crucial, because they reflect upon our faith and upon God.

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Why Isn’t Ministry Fulfilling?

I once interviewed the pastor of a 16,000+ member church. By most church growth standards, he had been successful. When I spoke with him, however, he told me that there were some days he wished he could work at a coffee shop, serving lattes and mochas, instead of preaching to thousands of people. Why?

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Sleep Deprivation Is Not Spiritual: Why You Should Sleep More

Here’s an obvious statement:  you’re probably not getting enough sleep. If the statistics are correct, a whopping one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and a shocking 75% report sleep problems. Among pastors, church volunteers, and religious workers, these numbers may be higher. Thom Rainer reports that many pastors only sleep around six hours per night. This is a big problem, and one which we must seriously address.

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Ten Things a Pastor Should Never, Ever, Say from the Pulpit

We’ve all experienced that strange, sickening, gut-wrenching feeling. It’s that nausea of the soul that creeps in after you realized that you just blurted something you shouldn’t have blurted. Preachers, because they regularly speak to a lot of people, are a high risk group for this experience. Here are ten of those things that preachers should never say from the pulpit.

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Leadership Lessons to Live By: Who, Me? A Leader? What to Do When You’re Supposed to Lead

You’ve heard this line from Shakespeare:  ”Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Is the same thing true in leadership? It seems so. Some people are natural-born leaders, and other people are forced into the leadership situations. But what happens when you don’t feel like you have the gifts for leadership, yet find yourself needing to lead? Here’s what to do when you’re supposed to lead.

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