Ministry-Specific Help

In our Ministry-Specific Help area, you'll be able to drill down to the areas of ministry that really interest you; like worship; or youth ministry; or evangelism. Take a look and you'll find great resources that fit your ministry gifting.

imageWeb-based Ministry:  Are You Taking Full Advantage of the Opportunities?
Greg Atkinson writes, "Recently I met with my new friend, Boyd, from ChurchTeams.com (a great resource for your church - I encourage you to check them out). We were talking about the future of the Church, technology and ministry and we talked about the reality that in the not too distant future, churches may not need internal servers.

I was sharing my thoughts on the Church IT world and how quickly it’s changing. How most IT departments are not keeping up with the rapidly changing world around them and how I believe that we’re just on the edge of all the change coming to our Church tech and IT worlds.

I talked about how North Point doesn’t use Microsoft Exchange - they’re all Google. Many churches are following in their footsteps. Think about it: North Point is a huge church with a large staff - if they can do it, you can, too.

I talked about how churches are using resources like Unifyer, 360Hubs, Arena, Fellowship One, Planning Center Online, ChurchTeams.com, etc., etc. - all web-based resources.

Last week I had lunch with the Emerging Media professor at the University of Texas Dallas. He started talking about this very reality without knowing I had already written most of this post. He talked about the new reality of sharing information via the cloud. I already collaborate with many people and writing partners via Google docs...

imageBank On Him
God will do whatever it takes to get your eyes on Him - to get your focus, desire, trust and hope in Him; in that way, He is relentless and can go to extremes (as Scripture, myself and countless others can attest to) to get our attention.

In light of our recent economic situation, it occurred to me that God may be at work all around. I travel the country speaking on innovation. One of the ways that I teach innovation is birthed is by desperation, but I go on to say that “it’s a desperation that leads to a dependence upon the Holy Spirit.”

When you hit the bottom in your own way: maybe lose your job, your retirement, your house, your savings, your stock portfolio, your (you fill in the blank)… Could it be that it’s by design by our Creator to bring us back to trusting in Him alone? To quote two spiritual giants and long distance mentors: “God is most satisfied in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper. In The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis says, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

More On Ministry-Specific Help Parent
image5 ways to effectively EMPOWER students
Jimmy Smuda writes: "We know today’s generation is so multi-sensory enhanced, that a regular issue in student ministry (youth and college) is the attention span. It’s no wonder church’s reaching the student demographic are applying services that are either shorter, or sensory enhanced. This could be good and bad. What happens is the student minister over stimulates the student to the point when they are ready to move to adult ministries, there’s a sense of let down. It’s not their fault, it’s just they’ve gone from X-BOX 360, to Atari, Halo 4 to Pong (totally not dogging pong). So here is what helped me. I did not eliminate the multi-sensory parts of services that students love. Doing that would be ministry suicide. But there is something all student ministers can do to help the transition from student ministry, to adult ministry. EMPOWERMENT! When you start students off serving at a youthful age, then when they become adults their natural reaction is to serve. It goes like this..."
imageFlickering Pixels:  Is Online Community Real?
I'm in the process of reading the new book by Shane Hipps called "Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith. It is a great read and very challenging. I've often said that I enjoy reading articles and books that stretch my thinking and broaden my horizons a little. This book does. Shane is a former advertising executive. It was his job to, as he puts it, "hijack our imagination, brand our brain with his logo, and feed us opinions that we thought were our own". Shane presents an interesting case that you can't really separate the medium from it's message. If that's true, it has significant ramifications for today's church.

One part of the book that interested me was Shane's take on social media and the internet. Shane writes, "I find it troubling that so many communities of faith are in hot pursuit of these new technologies. The internet is seen as the Holy Grail of "building community". However, churches will find the unintended consequences of this medium coming back to bite them..."
imageNow You Really CAN Pray Without Ceasing…
Finally! A new web technology for Christians NOT developed by LifeChurch.tv! Not sure why Bobby and Terry passed on this one, but According to the Information Age Prayer website..."Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget. We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen. At Information Age Prayer we think our service should be used like a prayer supplement, to extend and strengthen a subscriber's connection with God. Traditional prayer is an integral part of this connection and should never be forgone, even after signing up."

Wow... kind of like a prayer for hire thing. And what's best... you can enroll for the protestant, catholic, jewish, muslim, or 'unaffiliated' automatic prayers.

Here are some of the prayers you can order:
Thanks to Dave Travis for sending this to me. Can anyone relate?

Ignatius from travis hawkins on Vimeo.
Blended Worship Works… Sometimes.
There is so much I find interesting in this video from Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. It is their version is "God is Good all the Time" (which I think is a great song, and... a hard song to pull off well). Here's some of the things that I stood out to me. Watch it... then be sure to click to read me comments. See if you agree:

imageTen Things Worship Leaders Can Learn from Bruce Springsteen
This is from my friend Mark Wilson. This is great, especially after Sunday's Super Bowl appearance from Springsteen. Mark writes:

Rob O'Connor ripped Springsteen's Super Bowl halftime show at List of the Day. In light of these observations, I'd like to suggest ten things worship leaders can learn for Springsteen's performance:

1. "Drop the Guacamole Dip": People resent being told they HAVE to do something musically (i.e. Everybody raise your hands! or Let's all clap together on this one!)

2. Don't Start with Something Stilted and Corny.

3. More isn't Necessarily Merrier.

4. This is Not a Place for Self Promotion

5. Gospel Choir: O'Connor was wrong on that one. Bring 'em on! They add exuberance!

Ministry-Specific Help Parent Resources imagePastors In Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry

Why do pastors leave the ministry? Several common issues emerge from the research of Dean Hoge and Jacqueline Wenger: preference for another form of ministry, the need to care for children or family, conflict in the congregation, conflict with denominational leaders, burnout or discouragement, sexual misconduct, and divorce or marital problems. Of these factors, which form the basis for the central chapters of Pastors in Transition, two are especially important: conflict and a preference for specialized ministry. A close third is the experience of burnout, discouragement, stress and overwork. As the authors explore these factors, they provide significant insights into what can be done to help people stay in ministry. imageEat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

The bestselling author of "The Message" challenges believers to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as they read them. imagePracticing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders

Based on his extensive experience as coach and mentor to many thousands of Christian leaders across a broad spectrum of ministry settings, Reggie McNeal helps spiritual leaders understand that they will self-select into or out of greatness. imageThe Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (by Alan Roxburgh)

This book gives church and denominational leaders, pastors, and clergy a clear model for leading the change necessary to create and foster a missional church focused outward to spread the message of the Gospel into the surrounding community.