Did Your Church Simply “Check the Box” during the Christmas Season?

The holidays are over.  Now what?  Is your church taking a deep breath, recovering from the build-up to Christmas worship services?  Maybe your church put together a couple Thanksgiving and Christmas service events in the community.  Events take tremendous time and effort to organize – herding cats to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.  Isn’t it time for a well-deserved breather? No. There may be comfort, but there is tremendous danger in falling…

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Be Missionaries Cleverly Disguised as Good Neighbors

Be Missionaries Cleverly Disguised as Good Neighbors One of the primary roles of pastors is to develop a mindset in the people God has entrusted to them to be missionaries cleverly disguised as good neighbors. When I think about the word incarnation, I remember back to learning about chile con carne in ninth-grade Spanish class—chili with meat. The incarnation was God con carne, when the God of the Universe wrapped himself in human flesh to be among us, as Emmanuel. “The…

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How to Convince People Jesus is the One They’re Seeking

Christmas is about the greatest act of love in the history of the world.  We know who God is not only by what He said, but by what He did – taking on human flesh, assuming the role of a humble servant, and dying a horrific death in our place on the cross. Israel had God’s Word before Jesus came – the Old Testament.  Yet somehow religious leaders in Jesus’ day missed the message God was trying to convey…

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with Ralph Drollinger (Government)

What is an “affinity sphere?” Missisiologically, the term “People group” is used to define a group of people who share the same language.  My understanding of the term “affinity sphere” relates to people who share the same vocation.  Given the fact that we are attempting to reach those who work in government, the term “affinity sphere” is a more appropriate descriptor of our actions. What is the impact/potential/significance of this sphere across our culture? Government leaders have tremendous influence. …

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7 Cultural Shifts We Need in Church Before Societal Culture Can Shift

By Joseph Mattera Most people agree that the nations of the West are headed in the wrong direction regarding morality and culture. While it is very popular in some circles to blame presidents, congresses (or parliaments), as well as local elected officials, the word of God makes it clear where to place the blame. To quote Evangelist Charles Finney: “The error that lies at the foundation of this decay of individual and public conscience originates, no doubt, in the…

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Forget Happiness: Experience Joy This Christmas

Happiness is overrated and overemphasized.  It is incessantly being sold to us, normally by those who believe this life is all there is or by retailers looking to profit from our pursuit of happiness.  We’re told, “You deserve this!” or “All your friends have it, so you should too!” Even many Christians fuel the commercialization of Christmas by getting caught on the holiday hamster wheel.  That’s why Meet The Need is encouraging us to #GiveAnEternalGift – experiencing and passing…

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A Little Less Religion, a Little More Faith

No season accentuates the difference between “religion” and “faith” more than Christmas.  CEOs (Christmas-Easter Only) show up at church for the first time in months.  Christian symbols are brought down from the attic and placed around the house and on the tree.  Believers pick up the battle where they left off the year before at the first mention of “Happy Holidays” and “X-mas”.  Christians find it tougher every Christmas to find a card with religious references.  TV commercials fuel…

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Engaging CHRISTmas Conversations

Greetings Neighbors, I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that now you are busy preparing your hearts and homes for Christmas. It is such a beautiful time of the year; lights brighten our homes inside and out, generosity flows and the smells of our favorite goodies baking in the kitchen fill the air. More than anything else this year, I am praying that the sights and sounds of people praying, caring and sharing fill our neighborhoods…

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