The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

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Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

12 Unfortunate Reasons Why Churches Neglect Church Discipline

excerpted from Chuck Lawless at Thom Rainer's blog

Here are the twelve (8 posted here) unfortunate, yet true, reasons why churches neglect church discipline.

  1. They don’t know the Bible’s teaching on discipline. I can only guess what percentage of regular attenders in evangelical churches even know that the Bible teaches the necessity of church discipline. This topic is one that some pastors choose to avoid.
  2. They have never seen it done before. Some of the reticence to do church discipline is the result of ignorance. Frankly, I admit my own ignorance when I began serving as a pastor 30+ years ago. If you’ve never been part of a church that carried out discipline, it’s easy to let any of these following reasons halt the process.
  3. They don’t want to appear judgmental. “Judge not, lest you be judged” takes precedence over any scripture that calls for discipline, especially in a culture where political correctness rules the day. Judging, it seems, is deemed an unchristian act.
  4. The church has a wide-open front door. Church discipline is challenging to do if membership expectations are few; that is, it’s difficult to hold someone accountable to standards never stated in the first place. The easier it is to join the church, the harder it is to discipline people when necessary.
  5. They have had a bad experience with discipline in the past. For those churches that have done discipline, the memories of poorly done discipline seem to last long. They remember confrontation, judgment, heartache, and division – with apparently no attempt to produce repentance and reconciliation.
  6. The church is afraid to open “Pandora’s box.” If they discipline one church member, they fear establishing a pattern that can’t be halted as long as human beings comprise their congregation. To put it another way, they wonder how many members will remain if they discipline every member with unrepentant sin.
  7. They have no guidelines for discipline. For what sins is discipline necessary? At what point does church leadership choose to make public a private sin? Rather than wrestle with tough questions, many churches just ignore the topic.
  8. They fear losing members (or dollars). We hope no congregation makes decisions based solely on attendance and income, but we know otherwise. Sometimes churches tolerate sin rather than risk decline.
Read the last 4 at the original post

3 Keys To Raising Support Before Groups

excerpted from SRS blog

Here are three keys to help direct you as you engage with groups during your support-raising journey. But, understand you will not have near as much time making a presentation to a church or group as you would in a one-on-one appointment. The average amount of time afforded missionary presentations at churches is a whopping 7.5 minutes! Here are the keys:

1. Maximize what does work well with groups:
  • Cast vision for your ministry – This is your primary task throughout your support raising, whether with groups or individuals. Though a crowd won’t be able to experience you moving to the edge of your seat and leaning in as you enthusiastically share about your call and vision for this ministry, they can still sense your passion as you describe your ministry and where God is leading you.
  • Inspire with stories – Groups have little tolerance for “information dumping” so don’t spend precious time talking about the detailed strategies or the demographics of your assignment. Focus on people! Tell stories about individual lives that have been touched by you or the organization you’re joining. Leave them thinking about a specific person whose eternal future they have a chance to invest in.
  • Challenge – Make it clear where they fit into the picture you have just painted. No need to appear “needy” or use emotionally manipulative language. Just let them know you are called to a God-sized task and you recognize there is no way you can accomplish it without a solid team of God-called ministry partners standing behind you and holding the ropes.
2. Minimize what does not work well with groups:
  • The ASK – Remember in a group the basic axiom is, “everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” So don’t be surprised or disheartened when you don’t get the same type of response from a group as you do making the ask in face-to-face appointments. In a group or church talk clearly about how you are funded through ministry partners, and that you would like to opportunity to talk to many of them more personally about how they can be a part of that team.
  • Building Relationships – Raising support will always be more about relationships than money, and a group presentation is a great way to spur interest in you and your ministry. Have fun creating a “buzz” about all that God is doing! Leverage their newfound interest into immediate and specific ways they can get involved. Ideally, have sign-up cards that will gather their contact info so you can personally follow up with each one. This fosters the relational connection that is so important to developing lasting ministry partners.
3. “See the trees in the forest!”— recognize the potential a group holds:
  • Connect with and cultivate key leaders – Even though you may have a friend or advocate in a certain church, the pastor is both shepherd and gatekeeper and needs to be respected and included. Additionally, missions committee members (and other influencers who know about your work) are important connections to nurture.
  • Bless them for what they are already doing to support missions. You won’t be the first or only missionary they are associated with, so before you invite them to do even more, start off by thanking them for what they are already doing to advance the Kingdom…even if it doesn’t directly benefit you. Gratitude begets generosity, in your spirit as well as theirs.
  • Identify smaller sub-sets within the group you can also approach. Enlist the help of an “insider” who knows the various affinity group that operate within the larger assembly you are addressing. These may be Sunday School classes, home groups, men’s or women’s bible studies, youth ministries, etc…Whether or not the large group or church chooses to support you, these smaller groups sometimes yield even greater responses. Just remember as you are make your presentations you are always seeking to channel these potential partners into individual appointments.
read the entire post HERE
subscribe to Support Raising Solutions HERE

5 Tips To Help Turn Volunteers Into Superstars!

Ok, sure you've recruited your volunteers, they've signed on the dotted line but NOW WHAT?

Now you have to TRAIN them! Training though isn't just ONE and DONE, rather it is an ongoing process and investment into your volunteers.

Continual training and development is very important. Because it not only helps with your volunteer's overall enjoyment and performance but it also helps in retention. Remember, it takes less energy to continually equip your volunteers than it does trying to recruit new ones.

But it's not enough just to train, you need to do it well! But how?

1. Make sure your volunteers know your ministry's overall mission. Never assume your leaders know your goals if you haven't told them (or told them recently) what they are. People who don't know how they fit into the big picture quickly lose their enthusiasm. Also, always tie your training in to a specific ministry goal or part of the ministry's vision.

2. Leave time at the end of each training session to make sure they understand what you taught. Encourage and beg them to ask questions about what they're learning. Never end a training time without asking them to repeat, somehow, what they've learned. Group activities can help reinforce spoken teaching.

3. Tell your volunteers where they can get more information on a training topic. Refer your leaders to printed, websites and online video resources that can give more in-depth information on a particular topic.

4. Don't assume your volunteers "got it" the first time. Don't be afraid to hit a crucial training topic more than once. For example, if you train your volunteers on building relationships with teenagers, hit the same topic at your next meeting with a lab experience or roll play. Repetition helps makes training STICK!

5. Give your volunteers something to take with them that includes the important training tips. It's important for your volunteers to have an ongoing reminder of what they learn in training meetings.

Visual Inspiration To Motivate And Encourage Your Faith

Here are some quotes, made visual, that will challenge and inspire you. These quotes are frequently posted on Ministry Best Practices' social media sites, therefore consider LIKING us on Facebook and FOLLOWING us on Twitter. When you do follow us on our social media sites, you'll be able to get considerably more thought-provoking and inspiring content throughout the day.

Four Crucial Things To Remember In Your Preaching


Here are 4 great reminders from Tim Keller, taken from his article on Preaching in a Secular Culturethat we should never forget in our preparation and preaching within the pulpit.


Because the gospel is the root of both justification and sanctification.

The typical approach to the gospel is to see it as the ABC’s of Christian doctrine, or merely the minimum truth required to be saved, but to rely on more “advanced” biblical principles for progress in the Christian life. If that were the case, then we truly could not focus on both evangelism and spiritual formation at the same time. However, Martin Luther understood that the gospel is not only the way we receive salvation but is also the way to advance at every stage in the Christian life. This is why the first of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses was “All of life is repentance.”

Jonathan Edwards, in his Religious Affections, argues that belief and behavior are inextricably linked and that any failures in Christians are due to unbelief. The antidote to unbelief is a fresh telling of the gospel. Preaching, therefore, is not either for evangelism or edification, because all of us have the same underlying problem.


My sermons used to follow this approach:
  • Here is what the text says
  • Here is how we must live in light of that text
  • Now go and live that way, and God will help you.
I came to realize over time that I was doing exactly what Edwards said would not work. I was relying on fear

and pride to prompt obedience to God. Although I was doing it indirectly and unconsciously, I was employing

preaching to trick the heart instead of reorienting the heart.

I have come to realize that my sermons need to follow a different outline:
  • Here is what the text says
  • Here is how we must live in light of it
  • But we simply cannot do it
  • Ah—but there is One who did!
  • Now, through faith in him, you can begin to live this way.

There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: It is either about me or about Jesus. It is either advice to the listener or news from the Lord. It is either about what I must do or about what God has done.

Jesus is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread. The Bible is not about you—it is about him.


We must not assume, for example, if our listeners are materialistic that they only need to be exhorted to give more. Though guilt may help with the day’s offering, it will not alter one’s life patterns. If people are materialistic and ungenerous, it means they have not truly understood how Jesus, though rich, became poor for them. They have not truly understood what it means to have all riches and treasures in Jesus Christ. It means their affections are causing them to cling to material riches as a source of security, hope, and beauty. 

Thus in preaching we must present Christ in the particular way that he replaces the hold of competing affections. This takes not just intellectual argument but the presentation of the beauty of Christ. Jonathan Edwards defined a nominal Christian as one who finds Christ useful, while a true Christian is one who finds Christ beautiful for who he is in himself.

(from Tim Keller's Paper)

7 Habits Of Highly Effective Pastors

excerpted from Thom Rainer:

There are many characteristics most pastors have: prayerful; committed to the Word; dedicated to their families; high character; and others. My interest in this exercise, however, was to find the traits that set them apart from most others. When I finished this assignment, I found seven distinguishing characteristic or habits.

  1. They have genuine enthusiasm. I am not referring to the vocal cheerleader type. These pastors may be quiet, but their passion and enthusiasm for their churches, their families, and their ministries are evident in all they say and do. It is not a contrived enthusiasm; it is real and contagious.
  2. They are great listeners. When you are around these pastors, they genuinely want to focus on you. They seem to have little desire to talk about themselves; they would rather hear your stories. They can make you feel very important because they genuinely care and genuinely listen.
  3. Their identity is not their vocation. They don’t have to climb a perceived ladder of success because their greatest reward comes from serving Christ in whatever manner He directs them. You don’t have to worry about these pastors manipulating the network or the system for their own advancement. Their identities are in Christ, not their vocations.
  4. They are intentional about personal witnessing. These pastors don’t see the Great Commission as an abstract concept or something that others are supposed to do. They love to share the gospel personally with others. They are also highly intentional about personal witnessing.
  5. They have unconditional love of their critics. So many leaders, pastors included, have limited effectiveness because critics constantly hound them. They are drained emotionally and sometimes walk in fear of the critics. These effective pastors, however, include in their prayer lives intercession for their critics. They learn to love them because they are asking God to help them to have that love.
  6. They have a gentle spirit. We often forget that gentleness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. In this hypercritical social media world, aggression and negativity have become normative, even in our churches. These pastors, to the contrary, have a calm and gentleness that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
  7. They persevere. Ministry is not easy. Local church ministry can be especially difficult. There are too many wounded warriors in our churches. Unfortunately, most of their wounds have come from friendly fire (though I’m not sure the word “friendly” fits well in this metaphor). Highly effective pastors hang in there. Sure, they get hurt. Sure, they get discouraged. But they ultimately keep on doing ministry in God’s power. Though it’s cliché, they look for strength to keep on ministering one day at a time.
read the entire post HERE

Why Do Pastors Commit Suicide?


Today we interview Dr. Jeff Stull, a pastor and counselor from Atlanta, GA, about the tragedy of men and women in the pastorate choosing to commit suicide.

1. Before we talk specifically about pastors and suicide, could you explain to me what are some of the contributing factors that lead a person to commit suicide?

The issues common to all of us the idols of success, comfort, control and power unrecognized and unattended to through repentance and faith, accountability and confession, and aloneness and loneliness. These idols take their root and undermine our keeping in step with the spirit. We become a lone wolf easily bullied to by the world the flesh and the devil.

2.  What are some of the unique struggles that pastors face? Do you think pastors and ministry leaders are more or less vulnerable than others to committing suicide? Do you think or are you concerned about a growing trend in suicide for pastors?

In my experience as I see it, pastors are facing a number of pressures that many people just simply can't comprehend unless they've been there themselves. In general the overwhelming sense of hopelessness when it comes to suicidal ideation - powerlessness is also a big computing factor when it comes to suicidal ideation. 

The call of the gospel to make disciples of all nations in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and discipling them is the common passion for all pastors. People that are called us pastors deeply care. When things don't seem like they are working out and when failure is an actual experience or an imminent prospect - the overwhelming sense of shame can just be too much. 

It can feel as if God's reputation is at stake and it is my job as a pastor to uphold and promote God’s name. So not only have I failed myself and I'm looking at failing others but I'm failing God too. We as pastors can easily lose sight of the gospel of grace and kindness of God towards us. Seminary has not taught us good self-care skills. And so the wellspring of life that we need to work out of in Jesus Christ seems to dry up. By default we have simply depended upon our own skills and our own personal assets. And when we operate and function out of an empty heart -  an overwhelming sense of incompetence and failure turns into discouragement which the enemy can easily use to take us out.
3. What can a pastor do and where can they go if they feel as if they are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts?

The last thing a pastor wants to be able to do as the answer man - the hero - the go-to solution provider  - is to admit that we have our own needs and neediness. Admitting our need, our isolation and our alienation is absolutely necessary first and foremost. We need to figure out how to join with others - develop a band of brothers - have a good mentor, coach and counselor and not allow the enemy to trick us into believing that we are somehow better than needing one. There is no such thing as an army of one.

4. How can a pastor’s congregation or the pastor's family do to better identify when a pastor may be in crisis? 

This is probably most difficult question to answer. Men in general are more successful at suicide than women because nobody ever sees it coming. We don't talk about our struggles because that exposes our incompetency and weakness. So the best thing a congregation and family can do is to make sure that the above resources are in place. We cannot allow the pastor to become the lone wolf. So we must hold our pastors accountable and insist that they have a band of brothers, that they have a mentor/coaching in place and that they are regularly seeing a good gospel-centered professional counselor. Finding a good gospel centered professional counselor may be more difficult than you think. So promoting courses such as what the Gospel Coalition provides or World Harvest Mission's Sonship curriculum are absolutely necessary.

5. What words of help and comfort would you give to a congregation that has been impacted by their pastor committing suicide?

First and foremost for the congregation, their community and family I would want to express empathy, sorrow and join with the loved ones in their suffering. Secondly we must step back and reframe our experience and realize that in the midst of the battle, this being a spiritual battle, nobody escapes wounding and suffering in the midst of the expansion of the kingdom of God within. 

Yet Romans 8 reminds us that even though we face death all day long, like sheep to the slaughter, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.  The gospel enables us and empowers us  to choose the path of life. Praise God that He perseveres with us and it is his responsibility to deliver us home into his presence. What joy - what relief - what comfort!

Dr. R. Jeffrey Stull is a Marriage and Family Counselor who enjoys assisting his clients in developing creative alternatives to everyday life, love and work challenges. He is licensed as a Professional Counselor and a Mental Health Counselor. Jeff has specialized trainings in Relationship Repair, Abuse Recovery, Adolescents, and Mindfulness. He holds certifications in a number of related specialties including Professional Counseling Supervision, Clinical Sexology and Professional Christian Counseling. He serves his clients in Alpharetta and Dahlonega, Georgia and is the founder of both Access Christian Counseling, Inc. and Access Strategies, Inc.

As an ordained minister Jeff Stull also serves with Church Multiplication Ministries, Inc., which trains leaders, emerging leaders and Church planters. He consults on leadership development, relationship dynamics, team-building and stress management programs with businesses, non-profits and ministries. Discover more about Jeff and his Counseling Practice at

How To Cure Inattentiveness

A new product to address smartphone distraction and inattentiveness. Present Spray is for that moment when you realize that the person you thought you were talking to wasn’t actually paying attention to you? Patent pending.  Enjoy!

Why Do We Feel The Need To Blame Others?

You are probably a bit of a blamer - most of us are. In this witty video short, inspirational thinker Brené Brown considers why we blame others, how it sabotages our relationships, and why we desperately need to move beyond this toxic behavior.

Spiritually, at the core, blame shifting surfaces when we forget the gospel and fail to apply it to our life. Here below is how blame shifting often manifests itself and how, when we apply the truth of gospel, it brings remedy and arrests our need to blame others.
  • Complain: When I complain, I'm looking for sympathy when I suffer.The Gospel says that God identifies with me in my weakness and knows himself what it's like to suffer.
  • Criticize: When I criticize, I have self-righteously set myself up as the judge of others, but my insight is skewed. I see the sin/mistake/character flaws of others, but I foolishly think I’m exempt. I'm self-deceived. The Gospel tells me that I am a sinner, and that I will not find a worse sinner out there. It was my sin that held him there, and I am often blind to my own sin.
  • Defend: When I am defensive, I feel a need to explain myself or to get someone to understand me. Ultimately, I'm trying to justify myself. The Gospel says that I can be misunderstood. I don’t have to defend myself, because I can trust myself to "him who judges justly." Jesus is my advocate. He is the best defense attorney in the universe! I don’t have to justify myself, because I am justified in him.
(list from Christ City Memphis)

There Are Only Two Ways To Read The Bible

This is a very cool video which shows how the Old Testament stories point forward to Christ. This should remind us of what Jesus said to the men on the road to Emmaus.

"He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." Luke 24:25-27

Knowing that Jesus is the focus and center of all Scriptures should guard us from ever preaching another moralistic sermon again - as Pastor Tim Keller aptly says, "There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: It is either about me or about Jesus. It is either advice to the listener or news from the Lord. It is either about what I must do or about what God has done. Jesus is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the bread. The Bible is not about you—it is about him."

painting by Chinese artist Dr. He Qi

Are You Failing To Ask Donors For Money?

Are you afraid to ask donors for money? Unfortunately many people are, and yet the irony is that even some of them are "fundraisers" themselves.

But have you ever considered the thought, what if donors WANT to be asked? In this video, you’ll hear two stories of when donors weren’t asked…and the development person who regretted NOT asking.

Click the image below to go to the video and watch and learn from other people’s mistakes.

(ht: Movie Mondays)

Churches Take Notice Of The Top Web Trends For 2015

Here are the top 5 web trends of 2015. Here are some highlights, that churches should pay attention to!

  • Americans spend 2.5 hours/day on mobile devices and 57% of people will not recommend someone if the website looks bad on a mobile device.
  • The average attention span for an adult online is only about 8 seconds. You do not have long to get your content to your website viewers.
  • 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text (so your website better use video and picture media to tell your story..not just words)

(ht: ChurchMag)

7 Simple Ways You Can Stop Hiding And Start Building Others Up

Guest contributor Bryan Stoudt:

There it was, in plain sight. Another candy wrapper. Well, not quite in plain sight. It was ‘hidden’ behind one of my kids’ pillows, but let’s just say this was not the work of a master thief.

When I asked her about it, the denials were prolific and amazingly creative.

I found myself getting annoyed and self-righteous. The truth is, though, that I am just like her. And you are, too. In reality we’re all a mess. We just don’t want anyone else to know about it.

The Tremendous Power Of Confession And Vulnerability

The cost of our cover-up is incredibly high. Like Adam and Eve long ago, when we hide our sin, we become isolated from God, each other, and everything that’s good.

But God has given us some powerful - if painful - alternatives. James 5:16 lays out an important principle for us. ‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed’.

Of course, God alone can ultimately heal and forgive. James reminds us, though, that God is at work when we confess our sins to other believers.

But we should also let others in on our weaknesses, not just our sins. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Paul tells the Corinthians about some sort of physical weakness, a ‘thorn in the flesh’, that God gave him to keep him humble. He hadn’t done anything wrong, but he let them the church in on this challenge.

7 Ways You Can Make It Practical Today

So, here are 7 practical ways we can come out of hiding and fear to experience the freedom and confidence the gospel offers. 

  1. Admit it when we make a mistake or sin. Instead of hoping others won’t find out, we can go and admit it up front. 
  2. Share a real-time weakness or struggle. It’s easy to talk about something we’ve conquered, but sharing a current struggle shows others you need grace right now.
  3. Include confession in your prayer times. It’s fine to request prayer for your next exam or your Aunt Matilda’s hangnail. But confessing your failures, then praying about them, lets others in where you really need support. 
  4. Seek out mentors and other resources, then tell others about it. When we find mentors, read books and seek others’ input, we’re quietly admitting we need help. (Bonus: share what you’re learning).
  5. Invite questions and accountability. We can proactively ask others how we’re doing and invite their feedback and accountability. At a retreat this past week, I was impressed when the center’s president sincerely invited my wife and I to let him know how they can improve.
  6. Be gracious toward others - and yourself. When we don’t get worked-up about others’ - and our own - failures , we demonstrate we believe God can overcome them. And people will be more honest with us instead of hiding.
  7. Compliment others. When you sing others’ praises, you show that you’re secure enough to learn from them and build them up. One older friend and mentor I know is incredibly generous in praising others, even those younger and less mature than he is. It always feels great to be on the receiving end and gives me courage to press ahead.
Opening up and being gracious toward others doesn’t come naturally. But as we do, people experience God’s grace through us and we’ll get to a depth of relationship that we’ve never experienced before.

Question: As you reflect on the ideas above, which one would help you the most? What other ways do you cultivate a life of vulnerability and grace?

Bryan Stoudt is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary and pastors healthcare students in Philadelphia, where he serves as the Christian Medical & Dental Association's Area Director. He and his wife Sharon have four wonderful children. Bryan blogs about 'following Jesus in a noisy, broken world' at

Eight Steps For Training Disciples

Robert Coleman’s eloquent and succinct The Master Plan of Evangelism essentially took apart Jesus’ life and put it back together again, identifying eight steps Jesus used to make and to equip disciples.
Let’s look at a summary of those steps.

1. Selection — people were his method. Jesus believed that people should reach other people. He could have used an exclusive barrage of miracles, or he could have brought everything to conclusion while on earth. Instead he chose common men and women like us to reach the world. This demonstrates not only his love for us, but also his confidence in us.

2. Association — he stayed with them. With the first disciples, the essence of Jesus’ training meant just letting his disciples follow him. He drew them close to himself, becoming his own school and curriculum.

3. Consecration — he required obedience. Jesus expected his disciples to obey him. He didn’t require them to be smart, but he wanted them to be loyal — to the extent that obeying him became the distinguishing mark they were known by. “Disciples” meant they were the Master’s “learners” or “pupils.” Later Jesus’ disciples became known as “Christians” (Acts 11:26), a fitting description of obedient followers who took on the character of their leader.

4. Impartation — he gave himself away. Jesus gave his disciples everything: what the Father had given him (John 15:5); his peace (John 16:33); his joy (John 15:11); the keys to his kingdom (Matthew 16:19); and his own glory (John 17:22,24). He withheld nothing, not even his life.

5. Demonstration — he showed them how to live. Jesus showed the disciples how to pray, study, and relate to others. More than twenty times the Gospels recount Jesus’ practice of prayer. He taught the disciples about the use of Scripture by extensively using words from the Old Testament. As the disciples saw Jesus interact with Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, and many others, Jesus showed them how to talk to and how to treat others.

6. Delegation — he assigned them work. From day one, Jesus prepared his disciples to take over the mission. He gradually turned over responsibility, sending out the seventy (Matthew 10:1-42) and giving extensive instructions to the Twelve (Luke 10:1-20). He told the disciples to follow his methods, to expect hardships, and to go out in pairs. Following his resurrection, he clearly gave the disciples the responsibility to take the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

7. Supervision — he kept checking on them. When Jesus gave the disciples work to do, he followed up. He listened to their reports and blessed them. When he was with the disciples, he spent time helping them understand the reason for a previous action or preparing them for a new experience. He used questions, illustrations, warnings, and admonitions to teach the disciples what they needed to know to reach the world.

8. Reproduction — he expected them to reproduce. Jesus told the disciples to pray for workers (Matthew 9:36-38), and he called them to teach everyone to obey his teaching (Matthew 28:20). He required the costly elements of leadership development and reproduction, and expected the disciples to reproduce by finding other disciples who would also follow Jesus.

Best Twitter Posts From The Past Week

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Link Love Thursday

These are some good reads from the interwebs, we want to share them with you, please check these out:

6 Core Skills Of A Leader Who Develops Talent by Dan Rockwell

Rise & Shine: The Morning Rituals Of Our Great Creative Minds by Taylor Pipes

3 Reasons Why Reading The Bible Feels Like A Chore by Aaron Armstrong

No Grey Area by Kevin DeYoung

Brian Williams And The Tragedy Of The Male Ego by Rick Phillips

Has Parenting Become America's Religion?

from Tim Elmore:

I just finished speaking at a school, where I did an event for students, faculty, parents and community leaders. It was refreshing to talk to such engaging audiences, both adults and kids. After my parent workshop, one mom approached me with a comment that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “Don’t you think part of our problem today in America is that parenting has become a religion?”

Wow. Her remark made me pause to think.

I think I agree. Let me tell you why.

We’ve all seen the signs of this emerging “religion” over the last thirty years:
  • Baby On Board Signs on the back of the mini-van.
  • “My Kid is a Super Kid at ABC Elementary School” bumper stickers.
  • Trophies and ribbons are given away just for playing on a team.
  • Blockbuster movies where kids not only the stars… but also the heroes.
  • Entire restaurants and TV networks devoted solely to children.
  • Television programs all about parenthood as the primary theme.
  • Parents acting like “agents” at school plays or little league games.
Yep. Kids are front and center in our minds. Anything less is politically incorrect. Children have actually become the new “scorecard” for our success as adults, and now, parenthood is acting like a religion.

Read Tim's entire post HERE

I have often thought that parenting (and our children) have become America's premiere idol - and that idolatry has definitely crept into our churches and within the body of Christ. Do you agree with Tim's premise? Your thoughts?

How To Discover The Power Of A Grounded Question

Mark Strom unveils for us the power of a grounded question. The power to breathe new life into ideas and conversations! His learning is grounded in his own story: a childhood of chronic illness growing up in Australia, a first career as a truck driver ...and laborer, over two decades advising senior leaders on strategy, innovation and engagement, and first-hand experience of leading the turnaround of a public institution as its CEO. A must see video to watch!

5 Guaranteed Ways To Make Your Kids Hate Church

The Ministry Best Practices Staff will be on vacation and will be entering a "tech-free" zone. Therefore for the week we are sharing some of the best of MBP. Some of the content has been repurposed and updated.

1. Make sure your faith is only something you live out in public
Go to church... at least most of the time. Make sure you agree with what you hear the preacher say, and affirm on the way home what was said especially when it has to do with your kids obeying, but let it stop there. Don’t read your bible at home. The pastor will say everything you need to hear on Sundays. Don’t engage your children in questions they have concerning Jesus and God. Live like you want to live during the week so that your kids can see that duplicity is ok.

2. Pray only in front of people
The only times you need to pray are when your family is over, Holiday meals, when someone is sick, and when you want something. Besides that, don’t bother. Your kids will see you pray when other people are watching, no need to do it with them in private.

3. Focus on your morals
Make sure you insist your kids be honest with you. Let them know it is the right thing for them to do, but then feel free to lie in your own life and disregard the need to tell them and others the truth. Get very angry with your children when they say words that are “naughty” and “bad”, but post, read, watch, and say whatever you want on TV, Facebook, and Twitter. Make sure you focus on being a good person. Be ambiguous about what this means.

4. Give financially as long as it doesn't impede your needs
Make a big deal out of giving at church. Stress the need to your children the value of tithing, while not giving sacrificially yourself. Allow them to see you spend a ton of money on what you want, while negating your command from scripture to give sacrificially.

5. Make church community a priority. As long as there is nothing else you want to do
Hey, you are a church going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big bar-b-que. Or the big game isn’t on. Or this week you just don’t feel like it. Or... I mean, you are church going family so what’s the big deal?

from original post HERE