In this excerpt from Holy Labor: How Childbirth Shapes a Woman’s Soul, Aubry G. Smith shares how feminine descriptions of God in the Bible are not something to fear, but rather a way of knowing more about his character: (more…)
With how much of our interactions happen online now, more and more churches are using technology to encourage spiritual growth and fellowship throughout the week.
This is not to replace face-to-face teaching and fellowship, but to reinforce it, providing opportunities to learn and build relationships in addition to the few times a week people can get together. [Read more…]
Whether you’re building a church website for the first time or updating it for the tenth time, you might feel in over your head.
Indeed, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to building a truly great church website.
But for now, just focus on three big rules, and you’ll be much closer to a church website that’s welcoming to visitors, helpful for members, and true to your church. [Read more…]
We’ve heard your feedback, and we’re excited to announce what we’ve created in response.
This past quarter we have been busy launching three products to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible and also enhance your ministry:
- Faithlife Giving, an electronic donation platform
- Faithlife Sites, an integrated website platform
- Faithlife Connect, a single subscription that draws together hundreds of videos, ebooks, courses, Bible study tools, and other resources to grow your faith.
We’ve built these tools with your feedback in mind and are confident you will love what you see. But we also want to hear how we can serve you better. Please follow the group at Faithlife.com and share with us today, then keep reading to learn about other ways we are working to come alongside you in ministry.
Thanks for being with us,
– Bob Pritchett
Helping you help the Church
We know churches desire to be good financial stewards. And because online giving is the future of tithing, we’ve introduced Faithlife Giving, an electronic platform for givers to gift funds to churches and nonprofit ministries.
Churches will benefit from simple, streamlined budgeting with electronic records, saving time and effort. Donors can give through their desktop or mobile device with a single or recurring donation and easily add funds to different events—or split funds between events.
And because it’s integrated with Faithlife Groups, givers can get more involved in mission while supporting their church. How can we help your church give more cheerfully? Let us know in the Faithlife Giving community.
Another new product, Faithlife Sites, helps churches easily build and maintain websites. This integrated website platform automatically updates a church’s website based on information such as the church calendar, smart photo galleries, and most recent sermon. It’s built for community and so easy you barely have to touch it.
Join the Faithlife Sites group, and learn from others who are using Faithlife Sites.
Deepening relationships in the Church
More churches and individuals are leveraging Faithlife Groups to communicate activities and build relationships across their church community. A Faithlife Group supplements individual and community experiences with faith-based books, films, and images to help you go deeper in Bible study.
Unique to Faithlife Groups are prayer requests, events, and newsletters. And the Faithlife Groups app allows you to connect with your community on the go! Groups can be public or private, and items can be shared within those groups to foster a community that’s always connected.
On the horizon . . .
We know how hard you work but also how much time administrative activities take. That’s why we are working on creating a new suite of products that will strengthen relationships across your staff and whole congregation to help you fulfill your mission—and give you back time to do what you do best: ministry. Stay tuned for when this product goes public.
Read, learn, grow
Meet the newest Logos base package: Logos 7 Fundamentals
Logos 7 Fundamentals is a brand-new Logos package that helps anybody deepen their Bible study, no matter their skill level. It offers the breadth of what a good Bible study library should have, including dictionaries and encyclopedias, commentaries, word study resources, theology resources, devotionals, and more. Purposefully lean, Logos 7 Fundamentals is perfect for anybody who wants to deepen their Bible study on a budget.
Where can you find solid biblical content that will deepen your Christian walk without overwhelming you? Meet Faithlife Connect, a single subscription to hundreds of Christian resources—videos, Bible study tools, courses, Logos, ebooks, and Bible Study Magazine—as well as exclusive discounts. Check out everything included in Faithlife Connect, and be sure to let us know what you think by posting in the Connect group.
Bible Study Magazine digital edition
It’s here! Bible Study Magazine is now available digitally in a new Logos format. You’ll enjoy the same sound advice, tools, and methods for Bible study from pastors, professors, historians, and archaeologists as in the print version. What articles have you recently enjoyed in Bible Study Magazine? Follow the group and share them in a post.
In your community
The Faithlife Ministry Relations team will be at a number of conferences in the summer months including the Young Leaders Conference in Atlanta, GA on August 2–4. Stop by our booth. We’d love to see you!
Comparably provides accurate and comprehensive compensation and culture data to understand employees’ true value and needs to make work better. Recently, Comparably awarded Faithlife three Comparably 2018 Culture Awards:
- Best CEOs for Women
- Best Professional Development
- Best Leadership Team
We’re always looking for talented, awesome, fun employees. Interested? Join our team!
Your feedback matters
Our goal is to build products that help you grow in the light of the Bible and give you back time to do what you do best: ministry. We’re hearing you like what you see—but we want to know how we can serve you better.
Follow Faithlife.com today and let us know what kinds of products and tools will help you grow in the light of the Bible.
It’s hard to imagine Josh McDowell was once agnostic. Yet out of his honest examination into the claims of the Bible he became a Christian and soon wrote Evidence That Demands a Verdict, one of the most influential Christian books of the last century. Since that time he’s authored and coauthored 150 books and given more than 27,000 talks to over 25 million people. [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.
1. Administration is a gift (that not everyone has)
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.
2. Administration keeps everyone in their wheelhouse
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).
3. Administration helps people get involved
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.
4. Administration supports stewardship
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.
5. Administration provides safety
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.
6. Administration deters chaos
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.
7. Administration simplifies ministry
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.
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.
It’s that time of year when churches kick things up a notch.
We’re celebrating God’s greatest act of mercy: sending his Son to redeem the world.
And since a multitude of angels sang at his appearing, it’s right that churches celebrate with at least a little extravagance. Plus, with an uptick in visitors, it’s an excellent season for outreach.
That said, celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to drain the bank (or calendar). [Read more…]
Twenty years ago this month, singer-songwriter Rich Mullins lost his life in a car accident on his way to a benefit concert in Kansas. We remember him from hit songs like “Awesome God” and “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.”
At the peak of his career, Mullins turned his back on fame and success to live on a Native American reservation in New Mexico, teaching music to children and sharing his simple hope in the gospel of Jesus.
But who really was the enigmatic performer whose bold honesty ruffled the feathers of the music industry—and his fellow believers? [Read more…]
“Think of [your website] as like your online home base,” says Justin Wise, author of The Social Church. When people arrive at your website, they should be able to find their way around and get an accurate feel for what it’s like to set foot in your church.
“Before people come to our actual churches, they’re checking us out online,” Justin says. If your church website isn’t optimized for visitors, people who find you online have a hard time deciding if you’re worth checking out in person.