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Sometimes in the Christian life we get stuck. Something seems off, and we don’t know why. We may not even notice it at first. But we feel like God is far from our daily lives, or we lose hope for the future, or we don’t treat others in loving ways. What can we do?
Sam Van Eman has found that our spiritual lives need disruptive experiences, which can jolt and reorient us for greater spiritual maturity. Out-of-the-ordinary activities such as a wilderness adventure or an international service trip can challenge our assumptions and give us space to consider new perspectives. And when we intentionally choose to pursue designed experiences, we stretch our faith in new and unexpected ways.
Filled with concrete examples of how ordinary people are shaped by disruptive experiences, this book provides a path to deeper faith on purpose. Jesus disrupted his disciples with invitations to get out of their boats, leave their nets, and follow him. Have courage, and discover what those kinds of disruptions might look like for you.
Effective ministry begins here.
You’ve studied what you think you need to know before entering a career in ministry. Is there anything that is more important than knowing about hermeneutics, homiletics, theology, exegesis, and everything else you have likely learned in seminary and church ministry so far?
Yes, there is. How well do you know yourself?
You need to build your ministry career on the right foundation of an objective understanding of self. If you don’t comprehend your strengths and weaknesses, then you won’t be fully prepared to enter the crucible of ministry. Serving as a pastor is one of the toughest calls there is. But it can also be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding, especially if you have taken the time to examine both your gifts and vulnerabilities.
The church needs leaders who have the clear-eyed courage to pursue the hardest part of the ministry journey: seeing yourself. The Self-Aware Leader will help you to do just that.
It’s tough to be a pastor.
Pastors face demands and pressures on every side, from the challenges of church ministry to the realities of spiritual warfare. But you can make a difference. Your prayers provide a lifeline for your pastor’s spiritual health and ministry effectiveness.
Eddie Byun offers a handy, practical guide to praying for pastors. He shares stories of how congregational intercession changes things, with specific guidelines for prayers for protection, rest, anointing, integrity and more.
God calls us to pray for our leaders. When we do, their ministry is strengthened, the kingdom is advanced and lives and communities are transformed.
The Edinburgh 1910 World Missionary Conference was the most famous missions conference in modern church history. A century later, five conferences on five continents displayed the landscape of global mission at the dawn of the third millennium: Tokyo 2010, Edinburgh 2010, Cape Town 2010, 2010Boston, and CLADE V (San José, 2012). These five events provide a window into the state of world Christianity and contemporary missiology.
Missiologist Allen Yeh, the only person to attend all five conferences, chronicles the recent history of world mission through the lenses of these landmark events. He assesses the legacy of Edinburgh 1910 and the development of world Christianity in the following century. Whereas Edinburgh 1910 symbolized Christendom’s mission “from the West to the rest,” the conferences of 2010-12 demonstrate the new realities of polycentric and polydirectional mission—from everyone to everywhere.
Yeh’s accounts of the conferences highlight the crucial missiological issues of our era: evangelism, frontier missions, ecumenism, unengaged and post-Christian populations, reconciliation, postmodernities, contextualization, postcolonialism, migration, and more. What emerges is a portrait of a contemporary global Christian mission that encompasses every continent, embodying good news for all nations.
What happens when God calls you to follow him? Where might Jesus take you? What might it cost? And what kind of surprising blessings could it bring you and the world around you?
Through sharing his own personal story, Urbana director Tom Lin shows how pursuing Gods call can take us in unexpected directions. As a success-driven Harvard student, Tom figured he was headed for a lucrative career in corporate business. But then God called him to a life he never expected. Despite painful resistance from his family, he followed Jesus, eventually going halfway around the world to pioneer Christian campus ministry in the virtually unreached nation of Mongolia. Along the way he saw how God had been guiding his journey all along.
Our challenge today is that we too easily settle for less than God intends for us. We prefer comfort and avoid risks. But we live in an era of unprecedented opportunities for God’s global mission. If we are willing to embrace a life of adventure, we too can discover the radical ways God can use us to bless the nations.
So step up and answer the call. And God will surprise you beyond all imagination.
Publisher: Intervarsity Press
Price: $2.99 (May 19-20)
We often think stories are for children. But using the Bible as evidence, we see that God communicated His truth to men and women of all cultures, time, and places by way of many small stories forming one large story. While possessing a rich heritage of storytelling, too many evangelicals have forfeited this vital skill. Tom Steffen’s aim is to help readers recapture the most natural, universal, and effective means of evangelism-discipleship that exists—storytelling.
This book is not just theory—it provides practical help by identifying the roles and tasks that are necessary to become an effective storyteller in another culture. Steffen offers creative tools and introduces practical ways to increase many of the storytelling skills for evangelism-discipleship. He moves us beyond linear gospel outlines, Western logic and organization, and individual responses to traditional evangelism rituals, to a mode of communication that respects the audience, making it easy for them to grasp what they have heard and to pass it on to others with minimal loss of content. By reconnecting storytelling to ministry, readers will be more comfortable in sharing the gospel, both at home and abroad.
It seems that the God of the Christian faith is full of paradoxes:
a compassionate God who sanctions genocide
an all-powerful God who allows horrific suffering
a God who owns everything yet demands so much from his followers
a God who is distant and yet present at the same time
Many of us have big questions about God that the Christian faith seems to leave unanswered, so we push them to the back of our minds for fear of destabilizing our beliefs. But leaving these questions unexamined is neither healthy for us nor honoring to God. Rather than shying away from the difficult questions, we need to face them head on.
What if the tension between apparently opposing doctrines is exactly where faith comes alive? What if this ancient faith has survived so long not in spite of but precisely because of these apparent contradictions? What if it is in the difficult parts of the Bible that God is most clearly revealed?
In his new book Paradoxology Krish Kandiah makes a bold new claim: that the paradoxes that seem like they ought to undermine belief are actually the heart of our vibrant faith, and it is only by continually wrestling with them―rather than trying to pin them down or push them away―that we can really move forward, individually and together.