Posts in Church Life

The Worship Pastor: An Interview with Zac Hicks

By Dave Talley Feb. 22, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

Recently, I learned of a book, and for some reason I felt like I knew the author. So I did some searching and found the website for the church where the author now serves. His bio confirmed the connection. He had graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Music in 2002 . Since the town I call home (Birmingham, Alabama) is where his church is located, I decided to pick up the book, flip through it, and then get together with him so I could congratulate him on his book. For no particular reason, I was not really expecting to benefit from reading the book. My goal was simply to be an encouragement to one of our graduates.

But I did not just flip through the book. I found myself reading each chapter closely because this book was thoughtful, well-written, informative, and full of wise and reflective teaching ...

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Short-term Mission Trips: Some Considerations

By Daniel Kim Feb. 16, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

Undoubtedly, Christians in America should be commended for the growth of missions in the last two to three decades, and specifically the growth in short-term mission trips (STMs). In 1989, there were 120,000 American “short-term missionaries.” This number has exploded to 2.2 million at a cost of $1.6 billion in 2006.[1] This statistic comes from authors Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert in their somewhat controversial book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor … and Yourself. The natural question that the authors consider—and one that we all should as well—is whether we are being good stewards of God’s money and resources with each STM.

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Re:Imagining Work

By Frederick Cardoza Feb. 14, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture

The grind of the 9 to 5 work life has perplexed many a believer who sometimes stops to wonder, “Is this all there is?”

No doubt, since the Fall of Humanity (Genesis 3), work has indeed become something altogether different than God intended prior to our expulsion from Eden. Even so, many believers may come to wrongly conclude that work is, well, just “work.” But nothing could be further from the truth.

Work matters ...

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Confessions of an Immigrant

By Octavio Esqueda Feb. 13, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Spiritual Formation

My story is like many others. When my wife and I got married and came to the United States, we told our parents that we would be back in two years. Our plan was to study at a seminary in Dallas and after our graduation to return to the city where we were born, grew up, and where most of our relatives and friends live. 19 years later we still live in the United States and most likely we will never go back permanently. Just like has happened to many others, through the years our temporary residency here became a permanent one ...

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Confesiones de un Inmigrante / Confessions of an Immigrant

By Octavio Esqueda Feb. 9, 2017 12:30 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Spiritual Formation

Mi historia se parece a muchas otras. Cuando mi esposa y yo nos casamos y nos vinimos a vivir a los Estados Unidos les dijimos a nuestros padres que en dos años regresaríamos. El plan era estudiar en un seminario en Dallas y al término del programa regresar a la ciudad en la que crecimos y en donde viven la mayoría de nuestra familia y amigos. 19 años después seguimos viviendo en los Estados Unidos y lo más seguro es que nuestro regreso ya nunca se dé. Como a tantos otros les ha pasado, nuestra estadía temporal se ha ido convirtiendo en definitiva al paso de los años ...

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Parable of the Trees

By John McKinley Feb. 8, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation

The story that follows is a parable of human experience as essentially relational. People are individuals and vitally connected to others. Everyone lives according to relationships. The overemphasis on our individuality is misleading so that we ignore the ways that other people affect us in beneficial and disabling ways. This parable is an illustration of one sort of benefits and damages through being generated in families ...

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Building Board Unity

By Gary McIntosh Feb. 7, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

A number of years ago, professor Robert Munger of Fuller Theological Seminary conducted a survey to determine the satisfaction of board members. One of the questions he asked was, “Since serving on a church board, do you feel your spiritual life has improved or declined?” The answer? Eighty percent of board members said their spiritual life had declined while serving on a church board. How would you answer that question? Unfortunately, for many board members, the answer is not positive ...

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