Blog Articles and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders

Guiding Your Teens on Social Media

Social media is a reality of twenty-first-century parents. It’s a great way to connect and seek support. But as parents, we often don’t give posting much thought. It’s called “sharenting”: venting frustrations about teen drama, funny bath photos, relief over being “kid free” for the moment, asking advice on personal struggles, angst about teen dating or driving, posting awkward photos making gentle fun of your teen. Here’s the thing. You are the literal caretaker of your child’s digital footprint. One day they will look at everything you posted and see themselves through your eyes. What will they see?

The Strength That Prevails - Resilient

Right now, we’re in a sort of global denial about the actual cost of these hard years (which are not over). We just want to get past it all, so we’re currently trying to comfort ourselves with some sense of recovery and relief. But folks, we haven’t yet paid the psychological bill for all we’ve been through. We would never tell a survivor of abuse that the trauma must be over now that the abuse has stopped. And yet that mentality is at play in our collective denial of the trauma we’ve been through.

Bible Engagement Podcast for Church Leaders

Our friends at HarperChristian Resources have a new Bible-engagement-centered podcast hosted by author and pastor Randy Frazee. The Bible Roots Podcast is for pastors and church leadership who want to help their congregation or ministries actively and effectively engage with the Bible

A Course-Correction for Christians in Divided and Uncertain Times

Paul's letter to the Colossians has been increasingly compelling for me as we find ourselves today in the midst of such strange and uniquely challenging times.

The Yale historian, Jaroslav Pelikan once said that regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the most dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost 20 centuries. And it's pretty difficult to argue that point. You know our calendars, the, the very way and means by which we set and mark our days hinges on Jesus, his birth and his life.

Lead Like It Matters with Innovative Minds

If what your church or ministry is doing now is effective and changing lives, enjoy it while it lasts. Because what’s working now won’t work in the future. The message we preach must never change, but how we communicate it must change as the world changes. This may sound discouraging, but it’s true. If you don’t change, you won’t last. If you don’t adapt how you share the gospel, your effectiveness will likely lessen over time because the world is changing too fast. William Pollard said, “The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”

If you are ready for change, you are ready for growth. This mindset changes how you see problems. When you think about it, every innovation is really a solution to a problem. Problems aren’t things to be feared but opportunities to embrace

How Your Pain Becomes the Path to Living Again

Everyone aches to be whole. We ache to be healed. We ache to be restored. Most of the time, though, we wouldn’t put it in those words. We just know we are broken because our child is addicted. We ache because the depression of our youth is now the depression of our golden years. We are stretched to the point of breaking because our career ambitions position us to commit to a pace we can’t sustain. Miscarriage, divorce, loneliness. In all of it, we ache. We ache for some way to walk through this life and not give up or give in.

What is a Parable, Anyway?

As a young Christian, I often heard a parable described as “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” That’s not a bad description, but the parables are not just about heaven, they are about the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God. They are about faithfulness in the present as much as they are about God’s promises for the future. They are about God’s reign, now and in the kingdom in its future fulness. They are about the Good News—the gospel—and none of them is to be understood apart from the gospel.

Pastors, Get Time Back in Your Week

The Thompson® Chain-Reference® Bible is an excellent tool to engage with for Bible study and sermon preparation. For well over 100 years, professional clergy, lay pastors, and Bible teachers in many settings have profitably used its study systems to enrich their instruction. The TCR’s in-depth study system identifies the interconnectedness of God’s inspired Scripture as it links topics throughout the Bible. In this article, we’ll examine how this study system, and all the tools associated with it, save time in study and sermon preparation.

Do pastors struggle with loneliness, anxiety or depression?

The pulpit can often be the loneliest space in the room. In their private lives, these seven pastors were isolated relationally. Somewhere along the way, they substituted friendship with counterfeit versions of community (likes, followers, and fans). But followers are a poor substitute for healthy, accountable, encouraging, loyal friends. Pastoral failure was a symptom. Isolation was the underlying disease.

A Sense of Sin

It is impossible to remain the same when you think about or experience the glory of God because you will get a sense of your sin. That is why I object to prophetic ministry that is not accompanied by gospel preaching.

New Testament Everyday Bible Study Series | Scot McKnight

In the New Testament Everyday Bible Study Series , widely respected biblical scholar Scot McKnight combines interpretive insights with pastoral wisdom for all the books of the New Testament. Each volume provides: Original Meaning. Brief, precise...

Is your church talking about anxiety, depression and mental health issues? You should be.

A Letter from Pastor Shawn Johnson Hi friends, We recently polled the people in our church and asked them what they were struggling with most in life. Unsurprisingly, anxiety and depression were at the top of the list. The CDC currently says that...

On Earth As It Is In Heaven | N.T. Wright

Like time itself, certain ideas creep up on you and, before you know it, they have changed the way you think about everything else. That’s how it was for me with the resurrection of Jesus. Brought up to go to church, to sing the hymns and say the...

An Encouraging Note to Pastors Navigating Racial Conversations

4 Encouragements for Pastors Navigating Racial Conversations Thoughts from Isaac Adams What can we say to encourage pastors who are dipping their toes into racial matters as they lead their congregations? We could ask why they’re just now dipping...

4 Ground Rules Helpful in the Discussion of God & Race | Wayne Francis and John Siebeling

God and race is a massive subject and many of us have struggled with how to have relevant conversations on this topic that aren’t explosive. Data out from Pew Research reports over half of US adults say race relations are bad. When we as a...

What's Your Faith-Sharing Style? Mark Mittelberg

When I was in graduate school, my wife Heidi and I — we had just gotten going, it was a seminary, and the summer was coming and we found out about an opportunity to go overseas and serve in a church for the whole summer. And we thought what a cool...

Free Resources

Using How (not) to Save the World with your church or small group?

Using How (not) to Save the World with your church or small group?

Here are some tools to help: 

The Small Group Tool Kit includes two mobile-friendly invitation cards, reflection cards to enhance your small  group experience, and a worship song playlist curated by Hosanna Wong that can beplayed during small group meetings or personal Bible study time. 

The Church Tool Kit includes a downloadable poster, bulletininsert, invitation card, and Power Point slide.

Is your church talking about anxiety, depression and mental health issues? You should be.

Is your church talking about anxiety, depression and mental health issues? You should be.

Shawn Johnson, lead pastor of Red Rocks Church, gives a
searingly honest portrait of anxiety and depression and shows readers how to fight back and live free. He also has put together three free tools pastors can use to help their congregation have a productive conversation around mental health, including a discussion guide, sermon notes and key Scripture verses.