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Every Christian is called to a life of missions, and sometimes, you don't even need to leave your neighborhood.
So much of our attention in congregational development is spent dealing with internal issues and opportunities that we turn more and more inward. Even our “outward” work smacks of our “inward” bias as we invite people to our events and ponder how to make our events more compelling for those who aren’t part of our congregations. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is known for saying “the world is our parish.” Simply stated, the streets are our sanctuary. Our communities are our congregations. Yet too often congregations ignore their neighborhoods. They don’t consider the vast resource of people surrounding their church and seem to forget that Pentecost, the very event that gave birth to the church, happened in the streets. It's time for churches and congregations to engage with the people around them—most of whom have not yet made a faith decision but are hungering for the grace that only God can provide. Participate in this study of Nehemiah and discover what people God is asking you to encourage, what walls God is calling you to repair, what ministry God might be calling you to lead or do, and where you should start. This book will give readers inspiration and practical tools for engaging with their communities in ways that help congregations and communities become whole.
Bigger, stronger, better! Russell Anderson has taken the most original and successful lectionary resource in history and improved on it. He has kept all of the traditional features that have made it a classic, such as: overviews of each liturgical season; commentaries compatible with the Revised Common, Roman Catholic, and Episcopal lectionaries; an introduction to the featured gospel narrator (Luke, in Cycle C); theological reflections for exploring the relationships between the texts, and wide margins for note-taking. Instead of stopping there, he added: a 7"x10" one-size-fits-all format, a suggested sermon title for each week, a Sermon Angle briefly explicating the theological theme for the day (sometimes providing two or three), and two to four illustrative stories per chapter. "Contained are crisp, tightly written lectionary helps that zero in on the critical themes of the texts, augmented with illustrative materials. The Prayer of the Day suggestions summarize and apply the themes in helpful language." The Reverend Dr. Dennis Anderson President, Trinity Lutheran Seminary "Pastor Anderson's ability to relate eternal truths in the language of our 20th century society will enable those informed by his writings to communicate the TRUTH in a way that will gain attention and guide the living of life." The Reverend Dr. Reuben T. Swanson Former Bishop, Nebraska Synod, Lutheran Church in America Former Secretary, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Russell F. Andersonis pastor at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his master of divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and his doctor of ministry degree from McCormick Theological School in Chicago. He has published his own worship and homiletical resources under the banner "Worship Windows.""
In Nehemiah on Leadership, we are going to delve into the Biblical story of Nehemiah and what his example can mean for us in this contemporary day. You see, I believe that the story of Nehemiah and his success can help us become better parents, better executives, better employees, better friends, better team members…better people. Why? Because the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is all about leadership. Leadership is the key to all success. When we become better leaders, we become better--at everything! Leadership expert Dr. John C. Maxwell said this about Nehemiah, “The man saw a need, rose up, captured a vision, laid a plan, and mobilized others to join him in his cause. In a nutshell, that’s the story of Nehemiah, a classic case study in leadership.” (The Maxwell Leadership Bible). If you enjoyed Nehemiah on Leadership, help us get the word out posting a review of this eBook on
The loss of a pastor throws a congregation into emotional turmoil. Sometimes bad circumstances force a pastor to leave. Sometimes an effective pastor moves to a new congregation or retires. Either way, the congregation is thrust into a unique journey through change and loss. People often fail to identify or understand the emotions of loss churning under the surface. Whether a congregation embraces a good future or gets stuck in the dynamics of the past depends in part on skillful and wise leadership. When faced with confusing signs, transitional leaders seek wisdom about the unique dynamics of a congregational system in flux. How can one leader adapt to the sudden and surprising needs inherent in transitional leadership? Firmly rooted in the biblical narratives of leading through journeys of transition, this book matches those narratives with case studies and other stories to connect the present practice of transitional leadership with the deep wisdom in the biblical accounts. The perseverance and hope inherent in the Bible's story of redemption deeply engages the dynamics of transition, suggesting ways to lead congregations to embrace a renewed mission. This combination of narratives points to a new level of understanding what is happening within communities in transition.
With the full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, fresh analysis of the evidence presented can be ? and indeed, should be ? made. Beyond the Qumran Community does just that, reaching a surprising conclusion: the sect described in the Dead Sea Scrolls developed later than has usually been supposed and was never confined to the site of Qumran. / John J. Collins here aims to deconstruct ?the Qumran community? and show that the sectarian documents actually come from a text spread throughout the land. He first examines the Community Rule or Yahad. Rather than confirming the general assumption that this rulebook relates to a monastic-style community living at the site of Qumran, Collins finds instead that the Essene accounts themselves emphasize that they had settlements in every city. He also considers the Teacher of Righteousness, a pivotal figure in the Essene movement, discovering that he was probably active in the first century bce rather than in the Maccabean era. After examining the available evidence, Collins concludes that it is, in fact, overwhelmingly likely that the site of Qumran housed merely a single settlement of this widespread movement.
You can do things in your small church that a larger church can't -- find out how with these practical, real-world suggestions for making the most of your small church setting.

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