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One-on-One with Greg Stier on Dare 2 Share—Live Tomorrow in 95 Locations
« Reply #1040 on: October 16, 2018, 01:00:11 AM »

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One-on-One with Greg Stier on Dare 2 Share—Live Tomorrow in 95 Locations

"We're praying for a movement. We're praying for revival. We're praying for transformation."


Dare to Share is having a live simulcast tomorrow and I was recently able to talk with Greg Stier, Founder and CEO of Dare 2 Share, about it. Check out our conversation below and join the event tomorrow!


Ed: You have an event coming up. Tell me about it.


Greg: This Saturday, October 13th, we're doing Dare 2 Share Live, which is a live simulcast from Denver to 95 satellite sites across the nation. Basically, churches are saying, "We're going to invite the churches community, the teenagers in our community, to come together and we're going to train them, equip them, on how to share the gospel of Christ, and then mobilize them to actually go do it."


It is a live simulcast. There is a 9 A.M. West coast start and a noon East coast start, so every student is getting the exact same training at the exact same time. There's worship dance in every room and live trainers that we've pre-trained in every room. It doesn't feel like you're just watching a screen. You are involved in the room, and students are being energized and mobilized simultaneously.


Ed: It seems that evangelism has fallen on hard times with a lot of student ministries. Why does it matter if people should dare to share?


Greg: The real key, I believe, to spiritual growth is putting social equity on the line. I mean, Jesus said, "If you want to follow me, pick up your cross, die to yourself." That first death is not a physical death. It's a social death. And evangelism really risks a social death.


When teenagers at our Dare 2 Share Live are uploading gospel-conversation-starting videos to their friends in their feed, there's a chance that they'll be rejected. For a teenager, what means the most to them is how they're ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/XJ_9v9zwGNw/interview-greg-stier-dare-2-share-live-ed-stetzer-evangelis.html
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https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/interview-greg-stier-dare-2-share-live-ed-stetzer-evangelis.html
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CFamily

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Renewing Your Church: Recalibrating Your Vision to Create Sustainability
« Reply #1041 on: October 17, 2018, 01:00:12 AM »
Renewing Your Church: Recalibrating Your Vision to Create Sustainability

I narrowed the process of church recalibration down to four phases.


I remember the first Sunday of January 2004 like it was yesterday. I had just been elected Lead Pastor of New Life Church, the church where I was saved and had served as youth pastor. It was my first official Sunday, and our Superintendent was going to “commission” me as Lead Pastor.


It snowed the entire night before (In Seattle, snow shuts down everything.) The Superintendent called, saying he couldn’t get there. So, I was up to preach—my first time as Lead Pastor. Even better, only 30% of the normal Sunday crowd arrived! Nevertheless, I stood at the pulpit and started preaching, not realizing the winding, complex road that lay ahead.


New Life was a good church, but it had plateaued. The church was in a dangerous place, what I now describe as “deceptively healthy.” It had signs of health, but if not revitalized, it would slowly die. I knew it needed new vision and leadership, however I had no understanding of the courage this would take––or the pain it would cause.


I soon realized that the changes needed were more than a new preacher or some quick cosmetic modifications. New Life was a choir-driven church, with a strong Sunday school and midweek program. I recognized that necessary changes would be deep and cultural: music style, discipleship approaches, transition to an intentional church model, and a change of core priorities.


The first three years were really hard. I quickly learned, “It would be easier to change the Bible than the music style.” Many at New Life saw change as a threat; they watered down the gospel and lessened the church's impact.


I remember the day when the top giver left the church. Over lunch, he said, “I am leaving. I don’t agree ...

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Source: Renewing Your Church: Recalibrating Your Vision to Create Sustainability

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https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83828.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/renewing-your-church-recalibrating-vision-sustainability.html
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Dealing with Disillusionment
« Reply #1042 on: October 18, 2018, 01:00:12 AM »
Dealing with Disillusionment

We can step into the disillusionment of those around us for the sake of God’s mission.


Pick the topic these days and you’ll find no shortage of opinions and plenty of people willing to give them. It’s tempting to simply write off the angst of those around us or, perhaps worse, to join the fray by spewing our own bloviations. These choices, however, are not the only two alternatives.


We can step into the disillusionment of those around us for the sake of God’s mission.


Shared Struggle


For starters, disillusionment with the state of the world provides a point of contact with those far from God but close to us. It doesn’t take a Spirit-filled conscience to notice when cultural trends are out of step with what is good, beautiful, and whole.


Those filled with God’s Spirit are empowered to see beyond superficial, temporal answers to complex problems in a sin-fractured world. God’s kingdom citizens often grapple to find beachheads to proclaim the good news of Jesus in an increasingly secularized culture so such shared disillusionment allows them to demonstrate for others why the good news is actually good news in concrete situations.


A Disruptive Voice


For such witness to take place, Christian missionaries must stop short of sharing the despair of others. Disillusionment is a valid, even expected, emotion for those living as aliens and strangers in this world.


Despair is not. It’s the natural outcome for those whose only hope is tethered to this world. Despair happens when hope disappoints, a reality that should not be true for those whose hope is tied to something that nothing in this world can take away.


Disciples of Jesus can disrupt despair by pointing beyond this life to an eternal hope that will not disappoint.


A Wasted Opportunity


Many intuitively recognize the need for Christian ...

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Source: Dealing with Disillusionment

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/Yvlru0YNTmk/dealing-with-disillusionment-matt-rogers.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83849.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/dealing-with-disillusionment-matt-rogers.html
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CFamily

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One-on-One with Andy Stanley on ‘Irresistible’
« Reply #1043 on: October 19, 2018, 01:00:12 AM »
One-on-One with Andy Stanley on ‘Irresistible’

I'm talking with Pastor Andy Stanley on his newest book and seeking the Bible.


Ed: Why did you decide to write Irresistible?


Andy: I love the local church. I’m concerned about the church’s messaging in a world where people can discover ‘what else’ is in the Bible without ever owning or reading a Bible.


Every high school senior and college freshman is a click away from a podcast, YouTube video, or blog that undermines faith, Christianity, and—in particular—the Bible. I’m convinced the time has come for us to step back onto the foundation of our faith—the event of the resurrection of Jesus. Irresistible reflects the approach I’ve taken to talking about the Bible for the past several years.


Ed: In your book, you talk about changing the way you talk about what you believe, not what you believe. Tell more about what you mean.


Andy: Well, I’m trying to put the words of Jesus, Paul, James and all the New Testament authors back in their mouths. Pastors have been saying “The Bible says” or “The Bible teaches” for generations. But, of course, the Bible itself has never uttered a word. Consequently, most Bible-believing Christians think the Bible is the foundation of our faith, that somehow the Bible created Christianity. It didn’t.


The church fully assembled the Bible in the fourth century. There were tens of thousands of Jesus followers long before the assembly of the Bible as we know it. So, in Irresistible, I encourage writers, teachers, and preachers to quote the inspired human authors rather than “the Bible.”


Now, for Bible-believing people, this makes little to no difference. But for those who don’t yet believe, this approach can make a big difference. Besides, the authors of the Bible were moved by the ...

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Source: One-on-One with Andy Stanley on ‘Irresistible’

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https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83874.png?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/one-on-one-with-andy-stanley-on-irresistible.html
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Our November Issue: Listening Carefully
« Reply #1044 on: October 20, 2018, 01:00:14 AM »
Our November Issue: Listening Carefully

Nigeria’s besieged Christians ask if they are forgotten.


When Deputy Managing Editor Jeremy Weber arrived in central Nigeria in June to report on escalating attacks against Christians in the region, he was welcomed by the leader of a denomination with more than a thousand members who have lost homes to the violence.


“It is very encouraging that you are here,” Dachollom Datiri told Weber for our cover story. “Our stories are not heard.”


The phrasing seemed deliberate. Christian leaders in this region of Nigeria know that the world’s media have covered their plight. They just don’t think anyone’s listening.


CT has long covered Christian-Muslim conflicts in Nigeria and in other parts of Africa’s Sahel region, as have other Christian media. But true to the old journalism adage “show, don’t tell,” there is a world of difference between publishing an update about disaster and taking precious time to sit in it for a while and transport readers into its jaws. In his reporting, Weber visited a dozen communities in Nigeria across four states, interviewing leaders and survivors of attacks. What he offered beleaguered Nigerian Christians was the gift of presence. And what he offers readers is a heart-wrenching portrait of a church under siege and a years-long conflict that is still not well understood by most of the world.


News coverage of persecution stories—and of large-scale tragedy in general—can blur together. It can even feel formulaic, with identical casts of characters, only set in differing scenes. We chose to give special attention to the crisis facing many Nigerian Christians because it seems to merit more than a forgettable passing reference. As one leader told Weber, if sectarian violence pushes Nigeria ...

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Source: Our November Issue: Listening Carefully

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Church Is Not Gender Neutral
« Reply #1045 on: October 21, 2018, 01:00:13 AM »
Church Is Not Gender Neutral

The case for women-only spaces in church.


I’m often asked, “Why does the church need all-female spaces? Why not just have all ministry directed at both genders?” Sometimes what drives the question is a distaste for the stereotypical kinds of gatherings that can fall under the label of “women’s ministry.” Sometimes it’s just an inability to see any need for them.


Most of us know from personal experience that discussions are different when both genders are present. Studies show that when men and women gather for discussion, they contribute not only at different levels but in different ways. Sociolinguist Janet Holmes, for example, found that in classroom settings in particular, men dominate discussion time, a pattern that begins in grade school. Furthermore, Holmes has written: “Men’s talk tends to be more referential or informative, while women’s talk is more supportive and facilitative.”


Other research supports the idea that women sometimes stay silent in mixed-gender environments because they fear how their input will be received or perceived. Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton School professor Adam Grant highlighted this phenomenon in a New York Times op-ed, noting the tendency of men to interrupt women when they speak in meetings. “Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive,” they wrote.


Now translate these findings into mixed-gender spaces in a conservative church environment, where a quiet and gentle female spirit is prized (albeit narrowly defined), and the dilemmas for women are obvious. By contrast, all-female spaces enable women to speak freely and to dialogue without fear of interruption or misperception. By freeing women up to contribute, ...

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Source: Church Is Not Gender Neutral

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/fFeYJSOwIDA/jen-wilkin-church-gender-neutral.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83892.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/november/jen-wilkin-church-gender-neutral.html
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Theological Core Exercises
« Reply #1046 on: October 22, 2018, 01:00:10 AM »
Theological Core Exercises

How attending to our theological center helps us remember who we are.


For nine years now, I have been watching my mother’s identity slowly fade as memories and capacities switch off, one after another, like lights of a house shutting down for the night. Marriage may be a school of sanctification, as Luther said, but caring for aging parents is its grad school, especially when he or she lives with you and suffers from dementia.


It’s been said that as we become older, we become caricatures of ourselves. Dementia speeds the process. It’s easy to see why: With loss of executive cognitive functioning, we’re less prone to monitor what we say and do. We begin to fly on auto-pilot, re-tracing again and again well-trod paths.


What lies under the many layers of skin we accumulate over the years, the social masks we have carefully constructed? What lies under my mother’s happy face? (“I’m fine,” she’d say, even after a fall). I recently discovered the answer.


Years into the dementia, she lost her last line of defense and began to voice her inmost thoughts aloud. “Father, don’t let me fall” accompanied her every shuffling step behind her walker. Initially I thought this terribly sad—clearly, she wasn’t fine but anxious—yet I eventually found it comforting. The Bible depicts life as a walk: Shouldn’t we all be praying to the Lord to help us avoid missteps? Though she had forgotten former friends and neighbors, and large swaths of her own life, she remembered the fatherhood of God.


I wonder, what will be left of me, or the last thing I remember? I’m pretty sure it won’t be my college GPA, my CV, or the amount in my IRA. When the rough edges have worn off, what essential traits would be magnified? Such ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/KyoHpCB-7-w/theological-core-exercises-kevin-vanhoozer-discipleship.html
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https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/november/theological-core-exercises-kevin-vanhoozer-discipleship.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=KyoHpCB-7-w:_UDn65qEthw:yIl2AUoC8zA
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What Went Wrong with Nadab and Abihu
« Reply #1047 on: October 23, 2018, 01:00:13 AM »
What Went Wrong with Nadab and Abihu

The odd Old Testament episode is a sharp reminder of our need for Jesus.


It’s been a bad year for pastoral scandals in the church. Whether Roman Catholic cardinals or high-profile Protestant pastors, it’s been devastating and sobering to read about sins and abuses by those entrusted to preach the gospel and shepherd God’s people.


Besides the horror of the abuses themselves, the sharp contrast between an outwardly successful ministry and the apparent darkness within is deeply discouraging. If our spiritual leaders cannot be trusted, who can?


I’m reminded of the shocking deaths of Nadab and Abihu by divine fire in Leviticus 10. At this point in the Hebrews’ journey to the Promised Land, things are going swimmingly. The Tabernacle is built. Moses has the instructions for the sacrifices. Aaron and his sons are being consecrated for ministry. On cue, God’s glory appears, and fire consumes the burnt offering; the people are overjoyed (Lev. 9:24). But that joy suddenly turns to shock and sorrow when Aaron’s sons try to offer up fire to the Lord—and flames burst forth and consume them instead (10:1–2).


Most read this and naturally balk, asking, “Why is God so harsh? Isn’t this just another sign of an arbitrary, angry, erratic God?”


The natural question isn’t always the right one, especially when taking the whole narrative context into account. This is the merciful God who redeemed Israel from Egypt, met them at Sinai, gave the covenant Law, forgave their infidelity with the golden calf, and instituted the priesthood and sacrifices precisely so sinful Israel could enjoy his holy Presence. We should ponder instead, “What went wrong?”


Leviticus is light on explanation, but there are a few narrative clues. For one, the fire ...

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Source: What Went Wrong with Nadab and Abihu

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/5j4SN8vXTPY/nadab-and-abihu-pastoral-abuse-holiness.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83899.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/november/nadab-and-abihu-pastoral-abuse-holiness.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=5j4SN8vXTPY:niX6br8t8W4:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/5j4SN8vXTPY
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