Certainly, we don’t know what it’s like to be God, but how well can God really understand what it’s like to be us? This is of special significance in times of suffering and difficulty. Can God suffer with us? Does God suffer with us? Alicia Williamson shares insights from her research into this important question about the nature of God.
Spiritual gifts or ministry roles? Dr. Matt Carter shares his research about best practices for helping church members connect to life-giving ministry, and the kind of leadership that makes this possible.
In financial matters, ethics matter. Dr. Carl Williamson draws from his original research to provide principles for best practices in church finances.
All of us, from time to time, end up in the unenviable spot of needing to prepare for a funeral. Here are bits of experiential wisdom and advice from my time in ministry.
People often ask me for book recommendations about specific situations and questions. Here are some of the questions I encounter most frequently, along with the resources I recommend.
Are you trying to play an infinite game with a finite mindset? Just less than a month ago, Simon Sinek released his new book The
Let me begin by saying, “Thank you.” Of all the ways you can expend your energy and talents, that you are using them in service
Leaders need it. Volunteers need it. Insiders and outsiders both need it. How do we best care for the people around us?
Good preaching informs, but great preaching transforms. Dr. Rob O’Lynn shares his research, imagining how preachers can utilize transformative learning theory in how they help their congregations grow spiritually.
Our first post on Kingdom Upgrowth went live one year ago today. I wanted to take a moment to say “thank you” to everyone who
Short-Term mission trips have the potential to do a lot of good abroad, but also at home! Here’s something you definitely want to do as you go on your trip.
Dr. Anessa Westbrook shares her original research about what factors help young women to grow spiritually.
Fundraising is an essential part of mission trips. You cannot go on a mission trip without the means to get there. Since many people raise their funds through writing letters, I am offering some tips for how to write excellent letters that are more likely to get you the response you are desiring.
Here is a collection of Spanish Christian Children’s songs, ideal for learning with your mission trip team if you are going to a Spanish-speaking country.
Summer is approaching! More than 1.5 million North Americans will be heading out on Short-Term mission trips. Though everyone has access to standard packing lists,
Everyone deals with criticism. When someone criticizes you, how should you respond? Here are a few suggestions.
In Decline or Not? I can’t remember the source of the quote, but I heard someone say, “It used to feel like Christianity was the
Thoughts about the different ways we can be motivated to speak on God’s behalf and how in a vocation of preaching and teaching this develops over time.
If you are wanting to teach a larger book of the Bible without overwhelming your listeners, here are three strategies for making larger, complex books more accessible.
How do we help our children’s faith become their own? Luke Dockery shares about his Youth In Family Ministry model as a deliberate way to
I was thrilled to have a conversation with Bob Turner about books and trends in Christian publications. Bob serves as the Library Director at the Harding
Emeott, Bill. What About Kids Ministry? Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. Nashville: B&H Books, 2018. One Sentence Summary: A collection of mini-essays by
4th Place Disappointment In 2016, following an extended period of injuries, setbacks and a lengthy recovery, Kara Goucher attempted her comeback for the U.S. Olympic
For this Research Spotlight, I had a rich conversation with Dr. Jason Bybee about discipleship. Discipleship is so much more than making converts. Through Scripture and
Not Employees Volunteers aren’t employees. When you’re leading in a church setting, there isn’t a single person involved who doesn’t have the real option of
The Enneagram The Enneagram is a personality system which groups people into Nine Types, partially based on their behaviors, but even more so based on
The Shepherding Metaphor A good shepherd cares about his sheep. When we talk about leadership, we would do well to stay close to that imagery.
These days, talking about important subjects online is a lot like walking through a minefield. Matt Dabbs provides tools to help us with online conversations–and
What does it look like when you put Appreciative Inquiry into action? I’ve made lots of posts the last few months about Appreciative Inquiry, and
Ministry isn’t the only vocation where productivity, organization, and efficiency are important. Here are a few things I use to help me accomplish as much
CLICK HERE FOR THE AUDIO-ONLY PODCAST In this Research Spotlight, I am excited to share a conversation I had with Kevin Burr. Kevin is a Ph.D.
In the video, I walk through: Basic info about short-term missions and their rapidly growing popularity Brief information about the missional church movement, and why
When I was preparing to preach about the parables of Jesus, I came across John Dominic Crossan’s book, The Dark Interval: Toward a Theology of Story. The
I’ve enjoyed posting about the assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry. In this video, I explain how I utilized this method at the Old Hickory Church of
I’ve been making posts about Appreciative Inquiry, an effective method for studying an existing group of people and discerning how to implement positive change in
Churches are too cautious. People who won’t change can’t grow, because growth cannot occur without something being done differently than it was before. Churches that won’t
I’ve been sharing reflections on the different assumptions of a group evaluation method called Appreciative Inquiry. One assumption that seems especially obvious is that in
When Genesis describes God creating the universe, God is speaking the world into existence. “Let there be…” In the beginning was “the Word”, John tells
People are like plants. We grow best when we are close to what gives us life. When it comes to sunlight, the scientific term is heliotropic.
Differences matter, and it is important to value them. For smaller churches trying to grow, one way they undermine themselves is by insisting on uniformity.
Appreciative Inquiry assumes that people have an easier time moving into the future when they can bring parts of the past with them. Another slightly
Don’t be too hard on older folks. They’ve seen and been through a lot. It isn’t uncommon to hear someone throw the older generation under
Working with people is much different than working with test tubes. A scientist can work with substances in specific amounts in controlled environments. He or
If I ever make it to Greece, one of the places I most want to go is to the Monasteries of Meteora. This is a
Robert Cialdani’s book Pre-Suasion (2016) contains a staggering amount of evidence that a person’s focus shapes their reality. I would argue that this is the underlying
One of the core assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry is that in every organization, some things work well. An unfortunate aspect of leadership is that it
John Maxwell has stated correctly that change is inevitable, but growth is optional. No one in the world is safe from the effects of change.
I’m ready to stop talking about Millennials. I couldn’t even tell you how long it’s lasted, but for years now, every week, I see at
Fundamentally, the church should be a community of people in whom the Spirit of Christ is alive and well. Where the Spirit of Christ is
Where there is upgrowth, something noticeable has happened. To speak of the upgrowth of national trends or economics is to speak of something readily observable