You’re ready to start a Bible study for yourself or for a group. You have the desire and motivation. You want to dive in, study God’s Word, and grow as a Christian.
But where do you start? (more…)
When pastor and author Kyle Idleman tried to finish the simple sentence, “Jesus became real when . . .” it began a journey of discovery resulting in his new book The End of Me.
Kyle realized that Jesus Christ becomes real for each of us when we come to the end of ourselves. And for that to happen, we need to embrace the counter-intuitive teachings of Jesus Christ: brokenness is the way to wholeness, mourning is the path to blessing, and emptiness is required to know true fullness. [Read more…]
They became world champions, winning the big game on one of the biggest stages in pro sports. And to millions of fans, they instantly became heroes and athletes to admire and emulate.
They’re also men who face unimaginable pressures from fame, money, and a lifestyle few will ever know. But some live their lives for a greater purpose than football, and with a deeper motivation than winning. They live by faith in God. [Read more…]
Here are this week’s top deals, brought to you by Faithlife Ebooks. For more deals, visit our sale page or get our Free Book of the Month. Some of these deals are only good for a few days, so act fast to get these books at the sale price! [Read more…]
A friend who knows a lot about church admin once shared a lesson she learned from The Trellis and the Vine: If the Church is the vine (John 15), then administration is the trellis.
The trellis doesn’t exist for itself, but for the vine. No one admires a trellis, but behind every sturdy vine is an admirable trellis.
Without the trellis, the vine would be sprawled all over the place, tangled and misshapen.
Church administration gives shape and order to ministry. Here are seven reasons your ministry needs administration.
We don’t usually think of administration as a spiritual gift, but according to 1 Cor. 12:27–28, it is:
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (ESV, emphasis added)
Just like you need every part of your body, you need every gift in the church (1 Cor. 12:21). The spiritual gift of administration is not only helpful, it’s necessary. And it’s given from God.
Administration is not a ministry afterthought, it’s a ministry essential.
Administration helps everyone work within their giftings.
If there’s no administrator in a church, it means someone without the gift of administration has to fulfill that role. That means a teacher is spending less time teaching, a person with the gift of mercy is doing fewer acts of mercy, and so on.
Administration organizes and structures ministry so each person can focus on their strengths and gifts. You could even argue it’s the same reason God gave the church deacons (Acts 6:1–7).
Administration doesn’t just help people focus on their gifting, it organizes resources.
Administrators have a big-picture view of what’s going on in your church or ministry. They can see best where to allocate volunteers, funds, and other resources. They also have the communication and organizational skills to actually plug those resources in.
That’s not just good for the ministry, it’s good for people who want to get involved. They can be confident that your church or ministry is organized and that their gifts will be put to good use, which will inspire them to jump in.
As churches and ministries grow, so do their resources. In addition to life change, growth means more volunteers, leaders, and (hopefully) funds.
Stewarding those resources is an important responsibility, because ultimately they are God’s resources. Someone with the gift of administration will ensure those resources are used strategically, efficiently, and effectively. They may even create a structure or flow that nearly automates this process so they can focus their energy on new ministry ventures.
A well-oiled machine like this is a gift to any church or ministry.
Administrators focus on the details that often go unnoticed. How are we paying for this thing? Who’s pulling it off? Who’s bringing food?
Another item that falls into this category is security. How are we checking kids in and out of Sunday school? Do we have a plan in case of an emergency? What happens if our church floods or catches fire?
Questions like these vary depending on your ministry, but everyone can breathe a sigh of relief when they know an administrator already has the answers—or can at least figure them out.
When there’s no order or structure, there’s no peace of mind.
And peace is critical to a healthy working environment.
Peace keeps teams working well together. Peace helps people focus. Peace helps people see clearly and strategize wisely.
Chaos makes people focus on problems. Chaos moves the question from, “What can I invest in today?” to, “What fire do I need to put out today?” Chaos is trying to row a boat with a giant hole in it.
Administrators deter chaos. They keep things running smoothly so everyone can work unhindered.
Administrators are good at saying what doesn’t belong. They can draw a line from a church or ministry’s vision to its calendar.
So when ideas pop up or people start shooting for the moon, administrators can step in and say, “That’s outside of what we’re about. I know what that would take, and it would lead to mission drift.”
Administrators help ministries grow in one direction by keeping them from growing in every direction.
All of this leads to one big point: Administration helps churches grow. It does not grow the church—God does that—but it helps churches grow evenly, neatly, and in the right direction.
God made administration a spiritual gift for a reason: The Church needs it.
This post is written in honor of church administrators, in time for Administrative Professionals Week. Let your church administrator know you appreciate them, and how Ministry Tracker can help him or her work even smarter.
Matthew Boffey (MDiv) is a writer at Faithlife and a licensed minister. He has led worship teams, small groups, and youth ministries.
Is all the extravagance surrounding Easter a distraction, or are Christians right to give it the special attention they do?
Let’s avoid the culture wars of the Easter Bunny, Cadbury eggs, and egg hunts, and simply speak to what happens in most churches on the morning of Easter Sunday: we go all out.
The music is typically a notch or two more elaborate than normal. The sermon is noticeably more refined and passionate. And everyone seems to dress in their very best Sunday best.
Many churches even decorate specifically for Easter Sunday. The church I attended in college used decorations to heighten the contrast between Good Friday and Easter. In the Good Friday service, red roses with thorns lined the aisles to communicate suffering. On Sunday, white lilies replaced the roses to communicate resurrection. It was a beautiful, artistic way to remind us that in the Christian faith, life comes through death.
Churches seem to love pulling out all the stops for Easter, but is all the pomp justified, biblically?
The apostle Paul says of the resurrection, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14 NIV). Without the resurrection, there is no Christian faith.
A few verses later, Paul declares how all of history pivots on the resurrection:
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. (1 Cor. 15:20–24 NIV)
It is only because of the resurrection that anyone can move from corruption to restoration—only by Jesus’ work is Adam’s undone and a new creation secured.
Easter is the day we set aside to celebrate this truth. It is a day we dedicate solely to the central tenet of our faith: Christ is risen. (He is risen, indeed!)
As such, a certain amount of pomp is more than justified—it is encouraged.
Let the bright pastels, the pressed suits, the church choir, the full band, the near-perfect sermon, and the however-else-you-mark-it-special commence.
In the church I most recently called home, we recited the Apostles’ Creed weekly. But on Resurrection Sunday, we added a twist:
On the third day, he rose again
On the third day
—the third day—
On the third day, he rose again
If you have a hand in putting together Easter Sunday at your church, have it at. Add your twist. You still have a couple days to prepare elements that draw unique attention to the reason for our faith.
One easy way to do this is with free, beautiful Easter media (such as the image featured in this blog). Get a free bundle of 600+ pieces of Good Friday- and Easter-themed church graphics. Start a no-risk, 30-day free trial of Faithlife Proclaim to get your bundle (no credit card required). Get the bundle free now.
This post originally appeared on the Faithlife Proclaim blog.
Do you feel as if your life is more ordinary than exemplary? Are your days, weeks, and years filled with the routine responsibilities of life like doing laundry, grocery shopping, or planning meals? Have you ever wondered if your life is making a difference for God?
Well, I want to encourage you! As I researched the lives of eight Christian women for my book, When Others Shuddered, I was struck by the way God used them in extraordinary ways despite their circumstances. While these women lived at the turn of the century, they weren’t so different than you or me. They were women of prayer. They persisted despite the troubles they faced. They believed God had a purpose for their life. I hope their examples will encourage you today.
Do you worry about what your kids may be soaking up from today’s random TV programs? Even with the best intentions and utmost effort, parents struggle to monitor what their kids take in.
Avoid the issue altogether with Faithlife TV—a new kind of Christian TV.
With Faithlife TV’s kids’ shows and movies, you can finally be assured that the hours your children may spend in front of the screen are profitable, edifying, and safe (and still fun, too).
The Christian life is full of questions.
God has answers to many of our questions in his Word, and he’s equipped the Church with gifted teachers to help us understand them.