Guest Writer – Abigail Yeazel
In this day and age, technology keeps growing in popularity, practicality and usage. This means that apps are being used more and more. Christian culture has utilized the popularity of apps to create apps for spiritual growth. I’m thankful for the reasoning many have done it. Just like Jesus, they seek to meet people where they are.
Personally, I use several of these different apps during my morning devotional times. I thought it might be helpful to share those with you. I stand with the leadership in the goal for personal growth in each of you, so if this can help you in your morning quiet times or with motivation to have a quiet time/ morning devotional time, praise be to God.
With each app I have listed the description given by Google Play as well as listed why and how I use it. Continue reading
The other night, I had the chance to go to a dueling piano bar with some colleagues. Here’s how the whole thing works: there are two piano players who take requests. They go back and forth taking the lead on playing these songs. Usually they both play during a song, but sometimes one will take a break.
There were some great lessons in leadership that I watched on display there, and I wanted to share them with you. Continue reading
I’m quickly rounding Year #4 of ministry, which aside from completely freaking me out, has proven a helpful time and season of said ministry. I want to offer a few insights I’ve learned during those four years.
Four insights, to be exact. (See what I did there?) Continue reading
When I was ten, I got my first Swiss Army knife. It came with a two-inch blade, screwdriver bits, a nail file, bottle opener, and a can opener. It was awesome. I felt like I could do any and everything suddenly. Who needs all of those different screwdrivers from the hardware store? Why even bother getting another can opener? Not only do I have all of those in one tool, but I have all of them IN MY POCKET!
So you can imagine my disappointment when it began to dawn on me that sometimes you do need different screwdrivers.
There are a lot of pastors that try to be a ‘Swiss Army’ pastor. Maybe they feel like the church needs them to be, or they want to be that indispensible, or some combination of both. I think the job of ‘pastor’ is fairly susceptible to developing this ‘all things to all people’ mentality. For starters, there are a wide variety of tasks and skills that pastor need to have in order to do their job well. I mean, a day can consist of researching 6th century Mesopotamia for a sermon, visiting homebound, and helping draft a budget proposal, all before a worship team meeting later that night.
So here are some thoughts on pastors being the churches Swiss Army Knives of ministry: Continue reading
“Our desire to feel like we belong is so powerful that we will go to great lengths, do irrational things, and often spend money to get that feeling.”
-Simon Sinek, ‘Start with Why’
Churches everywhere struggle with the idea of creating or injecting new life into their congregations and communities (commonly called ‘revitalization’). There are a multitude of reasons churches struggle to ‘revitalize’. One of the biggest barriers to adding new life to a church is actually one of the churches intrinsic strengths; a sense of belonging.
The above quote highlights the deep desire that we as human beings have to ‘belong’ somewhere. That desire to belong is why groups, clubs, gangs, and organizations form. We all want a place to “fit in”. And every group has it’s own culture to determine who ‘fits in’. For example, there are organizations where the only criteria to ‘fit in’ is wearing a red hat.
The challenge with revitalizing a church is that to add new life means that you are inviting people who haven’t ‘fit in’ before into the culture. For example, let’s say for decades you only had to wear a red hat to belong to the church (it’s clearly more complicated than this). Over time, the church loses attendance. It turns out that people in the community like wearing green, yellow, and blue hats, so they don’t fit in at the church. (If you change ‘hats’ for any number of things like worship style, service projects, or theology, you can see this principle more clearly).