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Young adult ministry scares us.
Young adults seem to like the elusive Holy Grail demographic in Christian ministry. We often treat them like another species, with an inscrutable culture all their own. To have a thriving ministry to young adults, we’re told, we’ll need to be up-to-date on all the latest trends. We’ll need to change up our worship style. We’ll need to make programs. But what if a young adult ministry isn’t actually as enigmatic as we’ve been led to believe? What if it actually looks an awful lot like . . . faithful Christian ministry?
Scott Pontier and Mark DeVries know firsthand the challenges of young adult ministry. In Sustainable Young Adult Ministry, they explore six common mistakes churches make in their efforts to reach this demographic―mistakes they themselves have made―and offer six paradoxes that upend our presuppositions and return us to a simpler, more biblical ministry model. Full of practical advice and complete with a wealth of additional resources, this book offers a fresh perspective on young adult ministry that is grounded in long ministry experience and in the timeless gospel of Jesus.
We live in a land where truth is subjective, individualized, and culturally conditioned. That same troubling thinking had invaded the churches led by Timothy and Titus, so Paul’s pastoral letters to them focus on the objective and universal truth revealed in Jesus.
John Stott’s teachings from The Message of 1 Timothy and Titus and The Message of 2 Timothy are offered here as brief devotional readings suitable for daily use. Designed as a church resource for small groups, this book includes thirteen weekly studies that take you passage by passage through the pastoral letters, allowing readers to enjoy the riches of Stott’s writings in a new, easy-to-use format.
We need a bigger vision for the city.
It’s not enough to plant individual churches in isolation from each other. The spiritual need and opportunity of our cities is too big for any one church to meet alone. Pastors Neil Powell and John James contend that to truly transform a city, the gospel compels us to create localized, collaborative church planting movements. They share lessons learned and principles discovered from their experiences leading a successful citywide movement. The more willing we are to collaborate across denominations and networks, the more effectively we will reach our communities―whatever their size―for Jesus.
Come discover what God can do in our cities when we work together.
New research finds that Christians are less involved in spiritual conversations today than we were twenty-five years ago.
As society has changed, it seems we have become more uncomfortable talking with people about our faith. We are reluctant conversationalists. The reality is that many of our churches and communities are shrinking instead of growing. What can we do about this?
Don Everts, himself a reluctant witness, grew up assuming that spiritual conversations are always painful and awkward. But after falling into one spiritual conversation after another, he was surprised to discover that they aren’t. Don’s surprising―and sometimes embarrassing―stories affirm what Scripture and the latest research reveal: spiritual conversations can actually be a delight. Unpacking what God’s Word says about spiritual conversations and digging into the habits of eager conversationalists, Everts describes what we can learn from Christians who are still talking about their faith.
With original research from the Barna Group and Lutheran Hour Ministries on spiritual conversations in the digital age, this book offers fresh insights and best practices for fruitful everyday conversations.
Every church needs leadership. But leadership should not reside in a single pastor. The biblical model for church leadership is found in teams of elders who together guide the community into God’s mission.
Church leaders J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt provide a comprehensive picture of elders as agents of mission for their communities. Healthy eldership structures a church for mission, as elder teams model the kind of community the local church is intended to be and steward the gospel in a local context.
Looking at eldership through a missiological lens, Briggs and Hyatt unpack the role, character and posture of a mission-oriented elder. Elders oversee, shepherd, teach, equip and model for God’s people what life with Jesus looks like in a particular context. Including a study guide that elder teams can work through together, the authors provide practical guidance for how elders are selected, work together, make decisions, protect the congregation and invest in the lives of others.
Discover here a clear vision for what it means to be a faithful elder. May it help you and your church thrive in pursuing God’s mission in the world.
Publisher: Intervarsity Press
We don’t care about what we don’t see.
Countless people are invisible to us. We overlook the poor and homeless, partly because we don’t share much space with them. More seriously, we often choose not to see the realities around us. We hold misconceptions about who is deserving or not, or make false assumptions about people’s poverty being their own fault.
Terence Lester calls us to see the invisible people around us. His personal encounters and real-life stories challenge Christians to become more informed about poverty and homelessness and to see the poor as Jesus does. When we see people through God’s eyes and hear their stories, we restore their dignity and help them flourish. And when we recognize our own inner spiritual poverty, we have greater empathy for others, no matter their circumstances.
Let love open your eyes. Discover how seeing leads us to act with compassion and justice―as God intends.
Jeff Tacklind, pastor of Church by the Sea―a quirky, diverse congregation in Laguna Beach, California― describes spiritual transformation as an invitation to paradox. By entering into suffering, he says, we find joy. By embracing the downward path of humility, we find glory. And by remaining small, sometimes we grow to great heights. Anyone who hungers to understand God’s heart in the midst of life’s tension will resonate with Tacklind’s vulnerability in this honest and meditative account. So will readers who have found their own spiritual journey to be winding and halting rather than a constant ascent of growth. Tacklind draws from the natural world―trees, waves, mountains, and canyons―to bring to life the lessons that he has picked up along the way. C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Søren Kierkegaard and others all serve as guides who light the way on the winding path of following God.