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One on One with Dino Senesi on Sending Well: A Field Guide to Great Church Planter Coaching

Every planter needs a coach because every planter needs a lot of help.


Ed Stetzer: Share a little about your experience with church planting and church planter coaching.


Dino Senesi: My journey with church planting began in New Orleans in the late 1980s. The church I pastored at the time was in a more urban location and God gave us the opportunity to address the diversity through church planting. We walked beside ten new churches. I was not a church planting expert and do not consider myself one today, but we saw church planting as a way to aggressively reach people with the gospel.


So I began the church planting journey as a supporter, encourager, mentor, and friend to planters. That has remained my primary role over the past 30+ years through various ministry platforms. I have personally been a part of new churches and led a one-year-old church plant for a season—but that is the extent of my hands-on experience beyond support roles.


Coaching was a natural transition for me in 2002 because of my background. Bob Logan was my first coach. I have been engaged in being coached and coaching leaders since then.


Ed: In a couple sentences, how would you define a church planter coach?


Dino: Planters have multiple valuable voices speaking into their lives. Church planter coaches provide a walk-beside relationship to planters, giving a unique voice of listening, caring, and encouraging. A coach provides an intentional, supportive relationship that gives a planter space to reflect, process, hear God, and be accountable to take action. Coaching helps planters pursue their unique kingdom assignment.


Ed: People hear many things when they hear the word “coach.” They hear mentor, leader, boss, etc. What is a church planter coach not?


Dino: I prefer to explain how coaching is ‘different’ ...

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Max Lucado, Beth Moore, and Hundreds of Evangelicals Call for Immigration Reform … Again

A year after their letter opposing the refugee ban, the biggest names in the church are defending Dreamers, persecuted Christians, and more.


This time last year, just weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, evangelical leaders spoke out in an unprecedented way against his temporary refugee ban with hundreds signing on to an open letter published in TheWashington Post.


Rallied by World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the group took out another full-page ad in the newspaper to bring up multiple concerns related to immigration policy in 2018. [The ad appears at the end of this post.]


Yet again, the list contains both vocal advocates as well as pastors not typically known for speaking out on political matters, topped by influential voices like pastor and devotional author Max Lucado, Bible teacher Beth Moore, and Village Church pastor Matt Chandler.


“As Christian leaders, we have a commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our churches while also supporting just, compassionate, and welcoming policies toward refugees and other immigrants,” the letter opens, going on to request legal protection for the Dreamers who entered the US as children, an increase in the admittance of refugees and persecuted Christians, and quicker priority for immigrants seeking to reunite with their families.


Also listed among the hundred-plus initial signatories are Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp, Willow Creek’s Bill and Lynne Hybels, and Christianity Today president Harold Smith. More than 1,300 Christian supporters have signed the letter online.


“We believe we represent a convergence of evangelical belief that care for [refugees] is a central part of our Christian faith,” said Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief.


As CT reported last month, when several Trump faith advisers met with Nancy ...

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/february/why-tim-keller-max-lucado-evangelicals-trump-refugee-ban.html
https://www.worldrelief.org/blog/a-letter-to-president-trump-and-congress
https://immigration-worldrelief.nationbuilder.com/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/february/max-lucado-beth-moore-evangelicals-immigration-dreamers-ref.html
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Studying the Bible in the Ancient Languages
« Reply #802 on: February 12, 2018, 12:00:26 AM »
Studying the Bible in the Ancient Languages [Theology for Life]

Dr. Graves is Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College.


Studying the Bible in the Ancient Languages


In this episode of Theology for Life, Ed and Lynn discuss with Dr. Michael Graves why studying the Bible in the original languages can help our understanding and appreciation of Scripture. Instead of being archaic, the richness of the original languages help us go deeper and allow the words to come to life.


What about our English translations? Are they any good?


Dr. Michael Graves is Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College.


Dr. Lynn Cohick is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.


Dr. Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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Giving God the (Olympic) Glory: Christian Athletes to Watch in PyeongChang
« Reply #803 on: February 13, 2018, 12:00:29 AM »
Giving God the (Olympic) Glory: Christian Athletes to Watch in PyeongChang

These athletes walked with God along the arduous road to the Olympics.


Winter Olympic sports take strength, grace, speed, precision, and incredible courage. For many of the athletes we’re about to see in PyeongChang, South Korea, those qualities are bolstered by their faith in God, which has seen them through their darkest hours and hardest struggles. Here are just a few of the athletes who have shared about God’s role in their Olympic journeys.


Maame Biney, speedskating (USA) @BineyMaame

Just before her 18th birthday, Maame Biney became the first African American woman to qualify for the US Olympic speedskating team, winning accolades from one of her heroes, Apolo Ohno. For the bubbly teenager, it’s been a long road from her native Ghana, which she left at the age of five to live with her father, Kweku, in the United States.


Both Biney and her father thank God for her phenomenal success. Kweku Biney believes it was God who first drew his attention to a sign advertising skating lessons, which inspired him to ask Maame if she wanted to try—though he sometimes regretted it when his little girl woke him up early on Saturdays to go to the rink. As Maame herself posted on Instagram after her win at the Olympic trials: “If God hadn’t given my dad the strength to wake up, and take me to practice, I wouldn’t be here today.” In her emotional post, she also thanked her church family for their “prayers for safe travels and successful competitions.”


Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, figure skating (USA) @Scimeca_Knierim

A couple on and off the ice—they were married in 2016—the Knierims won the United States’ only pairs spot at this year’s Olympics. But their victory wasn’t always a foregone conclusion. Not long ...

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Source: Giving God the (Olympic) Glory: Christian Athletes to Watch in PyeongChang

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https://twitter.com/BineyMaame
http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/maame-biney-qualifying-us-olympic-short-track-team
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/sport/maame-biney-olympics-speed-skater/index.html
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc1H_sBhXIh/?hl=en&taken-by=biney.biney
https://twitter.com/Scimeca_Knierim
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/giving-god-olympic-glory-christian-athletes-pyeongchang.html
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Why We Need a Missiological Edge in Church Planting
« Reply #804 on: February 14, 2018, 12:00:35 AM »
Why We Need a Missiological Edge in Church Planting

Bigger and better AND deeper and further


North American church planting has grown up a lot since I first planted in 1988 as a 20-year-old who grew a beard to look older.


You’ll often hear those of us who planted churches 30 years ago lament to church planters today about how little we had in terms of resources and training—especially compared to what’s available to them now.


It almost seems bizarre to me—I had a series of cassette tapes, a notebook, and some training.


Today, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of conferences and gatherings each year that in some way act as trade shows for what’s become a religious industry. At these gatherings, you can walk by a vendor booth and get help on how to do church in a box or how to scale your campuses or start your own network. There’s curriculum offered, resources being sold, and even legal help available.


I’m glad we have so many resources, and I’ve contributed to it becoming an industry, so it would be a bit hypocritical for me to sell a church planting course and book and then critique others.


However, I wonder, When you go from Bob Logan’s cassette tapes back in the day, to an industry in 2018, how do you not lose the missiological edge in thoughtfulness and give into what Peruvian missiologist Samuel Escobar called managerial missions[1]? The industry of church planting helped maintain a steady stream of church planting in North America. But, now, imagine entering a post-industrial age in church planting where we need greater theological, sociological, and organizational reflection to move us forward in mission.


How do we not just think bigger and better in North American church planting? But how do we think deeper and further ahead as well?


That’s one of the ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/E914hZP83vI/why-we-need-missiological-edge-in-church-planting.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/80794.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/february/why-we-need-missiological-edge-in-church-planting.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=E914hZP83vI:MUZxHQnAU-M:yIl2AUoC8zA
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We Lost Our Baby, but We Didn't Want to Lose Our Marriage
« Reply #805 on: February 15, 2018, 12:00:33 AM »
We Lost Our Baby, but We Didn't Want to Lose Our Marriage

Men and women tend to grieve differently; understanding those differences helped us make it through.


My husband and I tried to conceive for a year before seeking medical help. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and we began preliminary fertility treatments. During that time, I was in such a pit of despair. The wait brought out the very worst in me. I balked at the mention of God’s sovereignty and refused to open my mouth to sing of his goodness. Instead I countered, It is not well. He is not good. He will let me down.


In the midst of my hopelessness and anger, the Lord was gracious with me. Over time, my affections grew for him once again as he tore down the lies I was clinging to with the truth of his Word. I chose to believe that he is good, even when it seemed he was withholding good from me. Later, God performed a miracle in my heart, and then in my womb, when I became pregnant in May 2016 after my third round of fertility treatment.


During the majority of pregnancy my body did exactly what it was created to do. After a bleeding scare at 10 weeks was resolved, I hoped for an uneventful remainder of the pregnancy. But everything came to a screeching halt one evening while cooking dinner when my water broke at 21 weeks and 2 days. Two days later, we met our son, Xavier Lawrence, who lived ten short, sweet minutes.


When Grief Threatens a Marriage

For many couples who deal with infant loss, the early stages of grief are merely about surviving. Surging emotions pull mourning parents in and out like the tide. While trying to tread the waters of postpartum recovery and infant loss, I became gripped by another fear: losing my marriage. My husband was the one person I wanted—needed—to be with me deep in the trenches of grief. When it started to seem like he wasn’t fully there with me, ...

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2018/february/infant-loss-marriage-gender-differences-grief.html
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The Wise Leader: Navigating Ethical Storms
« Reply #806 on: February 16, 2018, 12:00:28 AM »
The Wise Leader: Navigating Ethical Storms

Former U.S. Attorney contributes to an ongoing series.


As a young man, I had modest dreams. I wanted to go to law school and then practice law in a medium to large law firm in my beautiful home state of New Mexico. I had no inkling of what was to come. I had no political aspirations and had never considered military service. Rather, I was tempted by the siren’s song of 1980s materialism and was more interested in consumerism and social status.


The Lord had other plans for me.


Indeed, these divine plans were “…exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Eph. 3:20). Before my thirty-year legal career transitioned to higher education, I had been the Republican nominee for state Attorney General, been selected for a White House Fellowship, received a Presidential appointment to become the United States Attorney for New Mexico, and served a total of 30 years of active and reserve duty as a U.S. Navy JAG officer.


If that wasn’t enough, at the end of my Presidential appointment I became embroiled in a national controversy that is considered by some to be the most serious leadership crisis at the U.S. Justice Department since Watergate. Twelve top officials, including the Attorney General, resigned as a result of the scandal.


In 2007, six of us fired United States Attorneys testified before the Senate and House about our inappropriate dismissals. Our independence as prosecutors was wrongly challenged and we were improperly punished for not making criminal charging decisions based on political considerations. Meddling with the federal prosecutor’s independence was anathema to the U.S. Justice Department. Seven different investigations were launched based on our testimony.


How did this happen, and how did I deal with it?


First, during ...

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Source: The Wise Leader: Navigating Ethical Storms

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/f5j5ldMfQjE/wise-leader-navigating-ethical-storms.html
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http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/february/wise-leader-navigating-ethical-storms.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=f5j5ldMfQjE:FTmOWbmFyag:bcOpcFrp8Mo
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/f5j5ldMfQjE
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Getting from ‘Hello’ to ‘I Do’ on a Christian College Campus
« Reply #807 on: February 17, 2018, 12:00:27 AM »
Getting from ‘Hello’ to ‘I Do’ on a Christian College Campus

Evangelical students are dating with marriage in mind, but the road to the altar is anything but simple.


Whether they had a ring by spring, never had a date, or were somewhere in between, alumni of Christian colleges and universities remember their experience of marriage culture on campus. This is likely true whether they graduated recently or as far back as the mid-20th century. Despite massive changes in gender roles, sexuality, and young-adult patterns of employment and family formation, marriage culture at Christian colleges and universities remains very strong. It’s as if there’s an underlying beat that still carries the song, even as the verses and harmonies change.


Dana Malone’s book From Single to Serious explores relationships, gender, and sexuality on evangelical campuses, describing student and campus culture and how it impacts individuals. Malone, an independent scholar, has years of experience in student affairs work, including a doctoral study focused on students’ relational practices on evangelical campuses and how they differ from broader patterns of campus life in America. The study that resulted in this book follows on her doctoral work, broadening its scope to examine the pathways to intimate relationships. She conducted interviews and focus groups on two campuses, a small and large evangelical university. Readers will have to consider whether this small sample is truly representative. With the breadth and scope of schools affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, it is difficult to know how campus culture compares across regions and denominations.


Malone’s doctoral study of students in intimate relationships found that evangelical campuses foster a markedly different pattern of relationship building. A majority of students in relationships were not dating ...

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Source: Getting from ‘Hello’ to ‘I Do’ on a Christian College Campus

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/WIfyJb2OyDA/getting-from-hello-to-i-do-on-christian-college-campus.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/80887.jpg?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/getting-from-hello-to-i-do-on-christian-college-campus.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:V_sGLiPBpWU
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:qj6IDK7rITs
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=WIfyJb2OyDA:QjYeEuRZ7p8:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/WIfyJb2OyDA
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