Download and read online Unafraid and Unashamed in PDF and EPUB With the approaching General Conference in 2019, concern that issues related to sexual orientation could cause schism within the United Methodist Church. Wil Cantrell examines various viewpoints in an effort to bring better understanding to members of the church.
Download and read online Being United Methodist in PDF and EPUB In Being Methodist, popular and well-loved J. Ellsworth Kalas uses his approachable style to address a topic that sometimes seems complicated even to those who have practiced it for years. In this book, Kalas explores questions such as Who are these people called Methodists? Where have they come from, and where are they going? And how is it that so few of them really know what it means to be a Methodist? What makes them tick, and in a spasmodically changing world, what keeps them ticking?
Download and read online Fresh Expressions in PDF and EPUB A wave of new Christian churches are emerging to reach unchurched and dechurched people who live in a culture that is increasingly non-religious and multi-religious. These new forms of church gather and network with people who typically have never been to church. The new faith communities listen to people and go where they are on the journey toward Jesus. They are deeply ecumenical but do not lose their distinctiveness because they learn fresh ways to communicate their identity through discipleship. Fresh Expressions began in the United Kingdom where it ignited over 3000 new faith communities. In the United States the movement is putting down roots in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Ken Carter and Audrey Warren offer this book as a group study for church leaders and congregations who are in the grip of Holy Spirit motivation to renew their tradition by reaching people who are dechurched or not yet in a discipleship relationship with Jesus. Each chapter includes two Bible study experiences for group conversation.
Download and read online Meet the Goodpeople in PDF and EPUB Meet the Goodpeople helps church leaders—clergy, staff, and laity—to reach the growing number of ‘nones’ in their communities. Ross offers seven practical strategies that church leaders can immediately grasp and implement. These strategies are shown to work, equipping congregants to share their faith and their church life with others in ways that are authentic and faithful. Ross derives these strategies from John Wesley’s own teaching and life. I was inspired! This is a terrific read that my leadership team will be reading together. --Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection … helpful to pastors and laity alike! --Scott Jones, Bishop, Great Plains Conference (UMC) … Roger shares the spiritual core that leads and sustains vital, life changing ministry. -Mike Slaughter, Senior Pastor Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church …A beautifully written book… --Bill Easum, Author, Consultant, and Founder, 21st Century Strategies, Inc. … seven practices worthy of conversation, contemplation and promulgation. --Jonathan D. Keaton, Bishop, Illinois Great Rivers Conference (UMC) …helpful to Christians across the denominational landscape. Study it in groups - It will deepen your faith and help you move far beyond church walls. --Martha Grace Reese, Author of Unbinding the Gospel …Roger invites us to see, love and relate to the neighbors all around us with a new heart and new eyes. --Gregory Vaughn Palmer, Bishop, West Ohio Conference (UMC) … Roger shares how pastors and church leaders can shape the culture of their church to reach people. --Jim Griffith, Griffith Coaching
Download and read online Wind in the Wilderness Large Print in PDF and EPUB Though we cannot see the wind, we know it by its effects and interpret it by its results. The same can be said for the work of the Hebrew prophets, who communicated God's vision of justice and faithfulness throughout the history of God's people. As they spoke of this vision, the wind was moving, giving us a hint of Jesus who was to come. This study focuses on the Hebrew prophets and their message of justice, calling readers to turn their attention to issues of justice in today's world. Each chapter explores a different prophet or prophets, highlighting how God's word through them challenged the Israelite people—and us—to live out God's vision of justice. These prophetic messages find their fulfillment in the life and ministry of Jesus, preparing the way for his teaching, healing, death, and resurrection. Readers will not merely study prophecies about Jesus, but will explore the continuity between the prophetic emphasis on justice and Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom of God. This Bible study is designed to be used by individuals and small groups during the season of Lent. In addition to the main content, each chapter offers questions for reflection and discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the week. The weekly focus emerges from the chapter content and encourages the readers to engage a spiritual practice or do something specific that will help them grow in faith.
Download and read online That ll Preach in PDF and EPUB Experienced preacher, teacher and author, Charley Reeb, gives readers a 5-step plan for writing and delivering a sermon that can transform lives for Christ. He covers preparation, sermon structure, storytelling, and how to ‘preach with presence’. He examines lectionary and topical preaching models, and shows the reader how to determine which model to use; he further instructs the reader to use the 5-step plan for each model. Finally, That’ll Preach! offers sermon outlines and full sermons, as examples to illustrate the book’s teaching. The entire book stems from the author’s view that sermons must be engaging in order to be effective. This laser focus results in a book that is powerful and immediately useful, concise and purposeful. It is a book for every preacher.
Download and read online Synergy in PDF and EPUB The people are the church—not just the pastor. Yet, in many congregations there is a heavy imbalance in the ownership of ministry. Clergy and paid staff are seen as God’s agents in the world, and congregants as occasional participants. Sometimes, clergy and other leaders perpetuate this imbalance. Ann Michel presents a more inclusive, collaborative understanding of ministry, which affirms the gifts and calling of both clergy and lay servants. She uses the concept of “synergy” as a theological framework undergirding this approach. Michel lays out an inclusive and collaborative paradigm of ministry affirming the work of both lay and clergy servants. Synergy also provides practical advice on the day-to-day skills of synergistic or collaborative ministry – how to engage others in ministry, how to build teams, how to manage meetings, how to develop others as leaders, etc. The book helps church workers, paid and unpaid, understand how their ministry relates to the mission of God and the ministry of the church, and provides practical guidance on the interpersonal ministry skills essential to any expression of collaborative ministry. "Synergy is both a practical and deeply spiritual resource that helps provide a more collaborative way of thinking about ministry shared between clergy and laity. Ann has captured the challenges that can present themselves as laity serve in ministry not only from her research but also from her personal experience as a lay person and respected Seminary theologian, and she offers practical ways to equip laity to fully live in this call of lay servants and lay staff members. As a lay person who has served on a church staff for more than 23 years, understanding this synergistic energy articulated so well in Ann’s writing has reignited my passion and affirmed my call." - Debi Williams Nixon, Managing Executive Director, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
Download and read online Preaching in the Era of Trump in PDF and EPUB Now more than ever, it's time to preach. The election of Donald Trump left countless faith leaders across the country speechless. Now that he is president, silence must give way to prophetic preaching. Christians have long debated whether politics should be addressed from the pulpit. Following Donald Trump's controversial, divisive rise to power and the sweeping changes his fledgling administration has already proposed, that's no longer a question -- political preaching will be the order of the day, even for pastors who try to steer clear of controversy. It's up to preachers to make the church great again by leading it to embrace and embody God's concern for those whose lives are at stake in a Trump administration. Veteran teacher, preacher, and author Wes Allen offers a blueprint for addressing current events through a Gospel lens, persuasively and pastorally-- without engaging in divisive, antagonistic rhetoric. Available in EPUB, EPDF, and paperback (EPUB and EPDF will release March 28, 2017)
Download and read online Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don t Belong To in PDF and EPUB WHEN LILLIAN DANIEL APOLOGIZED to a total stranger for every bad thing that had ever been said or done in the name of Christianity, he was surprised that she was responsible for all that. "The Inquisition? Don't even raise it, I'm way ahead of you. I was mad about it before you even heard of it, that's how open-minded I am. Salem witch trials? I know! So embarrassing. Can I hang out with you anyway? You're too kind." "Religion is responsible for all the wars in history," they would say, and I'd respond, "You're so right. Don't forget imperialism, capitalism, and racism. Religion invented those problems too. You can tell that because religious people can be found at all their meetings." In this book, Daniel argues that it's time for Christians to stop apologizing and realize that how we talk about Christian community matters. With disarming candor laced with just the right amount of humor, Daniel urges open-minded Christians to explore ways to talk about their faith journeys that are reasonable, rigorous, and real. AFTER THE PUBLICATION of the much talked about When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God In Surprising Places, Even the Church, Lillian Daniel heard from many SBNRs as well as practicing Christians. It was the Christians who scolded her for her forthright, unapologetic stand as one who believes that religious community matters. The Christians ranted that Christians, by definition, tend to be judgmental, condemning hypocrites, which is why people hate them. By saying religion matters, she was judging those who disagree, they said, proving the stereotype of Christians. Better to acknowledge all that's wrong with Christianity and its history, then apologize. In this book, Daniel shows why it matters how we talk about Christian community while urging open-minded Christians to learn better ways to talk about their faith.
Download and read online What s Your Story in PDF and EPUB We all have a story. How can you live a great one?
Download and read online A New Day in the City in PDF and EPUB Many urban congregations remember days of fame and fortune—days when their prominence downtown or in city neighborhoods mattered. Population shifts, the decline of congregations and neighborhoods, and demographic changes depleted the dreams of many urban churches. But not all churches gave up hope. Many congregations are struggling to survive, but thousands of urban churches are thriving again. Churches with revived hope learn to let go of nostalgic dreams and tired habits and to walk with God into a new day of vibrant mission and ministry. Donna Claycomb Sokol and Roger Owens share lessons they’ve learned on the job and from other urban pastors. Along the way, they challenge clichés about church leadership and strategic planning by showing what congregational renewal can look like and how it can become a reality. Each chapter features a set of practical guidelines for leading a congregation to address the questions that matter most. “The urban church can be quite a challenge. I know because I’ve served a couple. Now, two thoughtful pastors with actual urban church experience take an affectionate, positive, honest, and hopeful look at the urban church and give practical wisdom for the revival of languishing urban congregations. There’s a remarkable revival of the urban church in North America. Donna and Roger can help you be part of it!” —William H. Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC; retired bishop, The United Methodist Church “Three things excite me most about this book: First, these two young pastors understand the strategic importance of urban ministry and are passionately committed to it. Second, they show that when you turn from tired ‘church growth’ and corporate paradigms, choosing rather to model your ministry on Jesus, new life happens. And third, they explain that transformation is about journeying faithfully with the questions rather than looking for quick-fix techniques. This book could change your ministry.” —Peter Storey, South African church leader; W. Ruth and A. Morris Williams Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC
Download and read online Fear of the Other in PDF and EPUB In this no non-sense book, reliable spiritual guide, Will Willimon, invites readers to consider the gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “Other” or outside mainstream Christian culture. Rooted in the faith of Israel and the Christian story and vision, Willimon brings a Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the "Other" as they are - without any need for them to become like us. Emphasizing biblical teaching to receive Others for who they are and their differences as gifts and mysteries bearing the grace of God, Willimon also offers a strong critique of the privileged who all too often rush to speak of reconciliation and evade the injustice of huge inequalities faced by foreigners and strangers - as well as the antagonism the stranger experiences. He identifies concrete, everyday ways persons are formed in welcoming others without annihilating their differences. Rooted in the New Testament understanding of Gentile outsiders grafted into the covenant community, Willimon invites readers to an on-the-ground faith that remembers the God who comes to us again and again through so-called outsiders, strangers, immigrants, and those without status. Beyond welcome, Christians must become “other” to the world, shaking off the dominant culture’s identity and privilege through practices of listening, humility, and understanding. “I love Will Willimon, and I love this book. Will writes with prophetic sarcasm, a touch of humor, plenty of self-effacement, and a pastor’s heart. And his words will make you laugh, cringe, cry, confess, and repent. This is a very timely book. I urge you, prospective reader, as you read this blurb on the back cover: buy and read it! You’ll be grateful you did.” —Adam Hamilton, senior pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS; author of Half Truths “This gutsy, biblically rich, theologically searing book by Willimon gigs everybody’s sacred cow. Not only is the one whom Christ loves Other but God is Other. The ground beneath us shakes the walls that divide us. If you are holed-up happy with people who look like you, don’t read this thing. It will screw up your world.” —Tex Sample, Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society, Saint Paul School of Theology, Leawood, KS “Timely and prophetic, Willimon’s call to love the Other will quickly take hold of your soul, changing your preaching and your life. This book is not just a reminder of our Christian calling to welcome the Other but a call to conversion, a new way of seeing the neighbor and a new way of being in the world God desperately loves.” —Karoline M. Lewis, Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN “Bishop Willimon’s new book should come with a warning: Do not read unless you are ready to be changed and want to change the world!” —O. Wesley Allen Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Download and read online Watching Over One Another in Love in PDF and EPUB Drawing on Wesleyan themes of grace and responsibility, Watching Over One Another In Love provides step-by-step guidance for creating a covenant-based ministry assessment process that holds persons accountable for fruit-bearing faith. At the same time, it enables the experience of ministry assessment to be edifying for both the church and the pastor.
Download and read online 1 DOGS FAITH in PDF and EPUB "I appreciate Tom writing this book and sharing his love of his dog." --Randy Boyd, founder, CEO, and Chairman of PetSafe "As a true dog lover, this book really touched my heart. This is a great example of how God teaches us to love and that is, unconditionally." --Louise Mandrell, country music legend and dog lover "Will resonate with dog lovers and show the family pooch in a totally new light." --Craig Miller, VP of Original Programming, INSP Network "Dog lovers of almost any age will love this! What a fun way to talk about faith." --Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, Holston Conference of the UMC "Tom's story is one that needs to be read and shared. It is an awakening." --Hallerin Hilton Hill, radio & TV host, teacher, trainer, author "You will be encouraged, inspired, and delighted as you read about Mango." --Dave Gorden, motivational speaker and former president, NSA "Don't miss the blessing that is right before you, wagging its tail." --Rev. Larry Trotter, Senior Pastor, Concord United Methodist "Tom and his dog, Mango, teach us to keep the faith through good times and bad." --Thyra Walker, DVM, Forest Park Clinic for Cats and Dogs
Download and read online A Sanskrit Reader in PDF and EPUB