All posts from “change”

Driscoll Drops Acts 29 & Gospel Coalition

March 30, 2012 2:02 PM

On Wednesday Mark Driscoll announced his resignation from the presidency of the Acts 29 church planting network. The same day leaders from The Gospel Coalition said they received a letter from Driscoll announcing his resignation from the group's leadership council....

Should Churches Hire Family Members?

March 20, 2012 12:00 AM

The post mortem on the Crystal Cathedral continues. The iconic southern California megachurch pastored by Robert H. Schuller once represented the innovative and market-savvy dexterity of American Christianity. Schuller started his church at a drive-in movie theater, allowing visitors to...

A Southern Baptist by Any Other Name...

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM

Last month the Southern Baptist Convention decided to change its name, sort of. They have proposed using the informal designation of "Great Commission Baptists." It will serve as a kind of nickname for those congregations who deem "Southern Baptists" unhelpful...

Ed Dobson on Finding Purpose Outside the Church

February 23, 2012 12:00 AM

For the last two weeks we've been talking about the temptations and maladies created by our the celebrity culture within the church. Pastors are measured by the magnitude of their platform rather than the maturity of their faith. Ed Dobson...

Hello, Rob Bell

February 8, 2012 12:00 AM

Last year Rob Bell made waves with his book Love Wins which he describes as "a book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who has ever lived." The waves became a tsunami when John Piper tweeted "Farewell,...

Farewell Rob Bell

December 28, 2011 12:00 AM

This week marks the end of Rob Bell's leadership of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bell is moving on to new callings in California including creating a television show. A few weeks ago he said his goodbyes...

Is Video Preaching on the Decline?

December 21, 2011 12:00 AM

'Tis the season for presents, and parties, and pageants, and...predictions. At the end of every year we often speculate about what the future will bring. What trends will gain momentum, and which have 'jumped the shark.' Sam Rainer, president of...

Inside the Battle at Coral Ridge

November 16, 2011 12:00 AM

Tullian Tchividjian knows all about filling big shoes. Not only is he the grandson of Billy Graham, but in 2009 Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) stepped into another pair of Shaq-sized sneakers. He succeeded the late James Kennedy as pastor of Coral...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 3)

October 4, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one and two of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Three: Vocational Discipleship Last month I met with David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group, to discuss our new books. He wanted to talk about how the themes in my...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 2)

September 26, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of "Recipe for Church365. Ingredient Two: Cultural Flourishing As I discussed in my first book, The Divine Commodity, when church institutionalism grows out of control, we come to believe that programs rather than people are the vessels...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 1)

September 19, 2011 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago I had lunch with Darren Whitehead from Willow Creek. Darren is a great bloke (I can say that because he’s an Aussie), and we talked candidly about our experiences in the church, in leadership, and the...

Leadership Lessons from Superman's Underpants

September 14, 2011 12:00 AM

For years I’ve been trying to help people see that popular consumer culture is a form of religion. It offers us a sense of value, identity, and context that traditional religions once provided. Similarly, pop culture has sacred symbols. How...

Praying For The Weekend: Tim Keller

August 19, 2011 12:00 AM

As the summer comes to an end and a new ministry season launches in many congregation, I thought we should start a new segment on Out of Ur. So every Friday we will have a post about prayer called "Praying...

Blessed Redundancy

June 29, 2011 12:00 AM

I like airplanes, and given the amount I travel that is a good thing. Seeing these incredible machines--aluminum and composite monuments of human ingenuity--makes the atrocities of most American airports almost bearable. (My genetically tanned, ambiguously ethnic appearance must scream...

Ur Video: The Succession Dilemma

June 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Tim Keller and John Piper both lead very large churches. But what happens when they eventually leave their posts? It's a question that is facing many megachurches given that most were started by Baby Boomer leaders who are now entering...

The Church is Dead...

June 20, 2011 12:00 AM

Last week the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, gathered for its annual meeting in Phoenix. The media pounced when stats were released indicating SBC membership had shrunk for the fourth consecutive year. In addition (or should I...

Megachurch For Sale

May 27, 2011 12:00 AM

News comes from California today that the Crystal Cathedral is for sale. The megachurch founded and developed by Robert H. Schuller has accumulated so much debt that selling the iconic Southern California facility is the only option. Some point to...

The Red Bull Gospel

May 16, 2011 12:00 AM

Over the past year I've conducted dozens of interviews with 20-somethings who have walked away from their Christian faith. Among the most surprising findings was this: nearly all of these "leavers" reported having positive experiences in youth group. I recall...

Book Review: "A God-Sized Vision"

April 7, 2011 12:00 AM

For me, the word “revival” usually brings to mind sweating, red-faced evangelists berating sweet old church ladies for letting their spiritual fires fizzle. I often offered my most fervent prayers at revival meetings during the 37th stanza of “Just as...

Skye Jethani: The Perpetuity Problem

March 29, 2011 12:00 AM

How do you define success? It goes without saying that those committed to Jesus Christ and his purposes in the world ought to define success differently than other people. After all, Jesus himself refused his culture’s narrow view of success;...

Matt Chandler: How Cancer Has Changed Me

February 17, 2011 12:00 AM

The upcoming March/April issue of Catalyst Leadership features an interview with Matt Chandler. Just over a year ago he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Through surgery and ongoing radiation and chemo treatments, Chandler has maintained his leadership role at The...

Multi-Ethnic Church Conference: Recap & Reflections

November 12, 2010 12:00 AM

It is widely known that by 2048, if not sooner, non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the U.S. population. Less clear is what these demographic shifts will mean for us who are living through these days...

Get Ready for Cape Town

October 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Leadership's editor-in-chief, Marshall Shelley, brought you live posts from the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta--one of the most influential and popular ministry conferences for younger church leaders. Next week senior editor Skye Jethani will be attending the Third Lausanne...

Ending Age-Segmented Worship

September 20, 2010 2:31 PM

Last month Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale ended its model of offering multiple worship services designed to appeal to different ages, likes, and styles. Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, said "The best...

The Jumbo Jet Generation

June 1, 2010 12:00 AM

40 years ago the Boeing 747 entered commercial service on route between New York and London. While the spectators marveled at the technological achievement—no one had seen 700,000 pounds of aluminum fly before—no one in the crowd realized that they...

A Church by Any Other Name ...

April 16, 2010 12:00 AM

Have you noticed that church names are getting increasingly strange? Our friend Dennis Baker has. He's been keeping a list of church names in order to document how far we've come from the days of "First Presbyterian" and "Springfield Baptist."...

What's Changing, What's Not

January 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, offers his state of the church in America, based on recent research and his own observations looking through the "keyhole" of large churches. Things That Are Changing 1. Multi-site churches. According to the...

5 Things to Love About the Emerging Church

January 22, 2010 12:00 AM

With everyone writing obituaries for the Emerging Church movement, I feel the need to take a timeout to remember some positives about the movement. Although the Emerging Church has been mixed, and in many ways lost momentum and splintered, it...

The Battle Lines Over Justice

January 15, 2010 12:00 AM

As I write this, Christian relief agencies, denominations, churches, and parachurch ministries around the world are mobilizing to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. But the call to alleviate suffering and rescue the oppressed is not only being...

Ur Video: Joel Hunter on Social Justice

December 3, 2009 12:00 AM

Catalyst Voices - Dr. Joel Hunter, "Social Justice" from Catalyst on Vimeo....

Quiz: Determine Your Ministry Age

October 15, 2009 12:00 AM

In recent years we have entered into lengthy discussions about how worship, spiritual formation, and evangelism are transitioning in the church. However, the most crucial area of transition, leadership, has received minimal attention. For more than 35 years, I have...

Catalyst Lab: Don't Pity the Poor

October 7, 2009 7:15 PM

Jessica Jackley was in first grade when she became aware of how the poor were being presented to her. She saw ads for parachurch organizations and appeals for missions groups that featured photographs of impoverished children with distended bellies and...

Discovering and Escaping Liturgy

April 3, 2009 12:00 AM

For years I served on the staff of a megachurch with a very contemporary style of worship. We had a state-of-the-art sound system, large video projection screens, pop-rock music, and a sophisticated lighting system. The worship services were programmed to...

The Hansen Report: Suburban Church Slump?

March 6, 2009 10:23 AM

What if your city never recovers from the current economic crisis? What if your entire region enters an irreversible long-term decline? Richard Florida dares to declare the downturn's winners and losers in his March cover story for The Atlantic. In...

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream for the American Church

November 14, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Amazing. How else can you describe what happened last week when Barack Obama became the first African American elected President of the United States? However you voted, whatever your politics, the election reveals something about the progress...

The Hansen Report: The Day After

November 4, 2008 3:50 PM

The view of America from Manhattan was pretty bleak on the morning after November 2, 2004. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, typically a levelheaded observer of world affairs, watched America become "two nations under God." "We don't just disagree...

Audio Ur: David Swanson on Urban Ministry

October 22, 2008 8:51 AM

A couple of weeks ago, Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien spent a day talking with Out of Ur friends and contributors in Chicago. The result of his efforts is a series of podcasts we'll be releasing on Ur over...

Why I am Hopeful

October 20, 2008 12:00 AM

Has the economy got you worried? When pundits are throwing around statements like, "The worst market since the Great Depression," it's natural to get concerned. But Andy Crouch has a different take. He's written a really insightful article for our...

Live from REVEAL: Bill Hybels on Self-Centered Christians

October 14, 2008 9:27 AM

by Skye Jethani Last week it was Catalyst in Atlanta. This week's it's Willow Creek's REVEAL Conference in South Barrington, Illinois. (At least I'm closer to home.) I'll be here for the next two days with a number of updates...

Third Way Faith

October 10, 2008 10:24 AM

I've noticed a trend lately among Christian writers, thinkers, and leaders: they are framing their approach to faith as an alternative to left/right categories. Some stake out a via media between two poles, while others critique the very essence of...

Urban Exile: Suburban vs. Urban Church Politics

October 7, 2008 12:00 AM

by David Swanson As on any other Tuesday, my wife and I hosted our weekly small group on Election Day of 2004. A quick scan of the TV stations after the Bible study showed that we'd have to wait until...

Pagitt on Emergence, Emergent, & Emerging...Huh?

September 22, 2008 2:13 PM

In this video, Doug Pagitt explains the relationships between the terms emerging, Emergent, and "emergence." It strikes me as trying to decide which layer of the Incredible Gobstopper is the actual Gobstopper. But you should decide for yourself. --Url...

R.I.P. Emerging Church

September 19, 2008 12:00 AM

by Url Scaramanga "The emerging church will disappear." That is what my informant told me as we shared drinks at our clandestine watering hole. I felt like Luca Brasi being handed a dead fish wrapped in newspaper. The hit had...

The Hansen Report: Where Are You From?

September 4, 2008 12:02 PM

Where are you from? No, where are you from from? If you live in a suburban or urban area, you have probably asked and answered these questions countless times. The follow-up question is meant to uncover something about your conversation...

Olympic Shifts

August 22, 2008 12:00 AM

Shifts happen all the time - shifts in economics, politics, theology, church, and culture. But we usually don't comprehend the full nature of the shift until much later. One subtle shift happened in Beijing last week. You may have missed...

Out of Ur Repents?

June 25, 2008 12:00 AM

In October 2007, Out of Ur posted what has now become a much read and much quoted commentary that we titled "Willow Creek Repents?" It was based on comments that Bill Hybels and Greg Hawkins, Willow Creek's executive pastor, presented...

Bill Hybels Responds to REVEAL

June 6, 2008 10:02 AM

In a video released on June 5, Bill Hybels discusses the "unfortunate" reporting that has revolved around Willow Creek's REVEAL survey. The video refers to a recent Christianity Today article and Out of Ur posts as examples of "misinformation." You...

Audio Ur: Tim Keller's Gospel

May 28, 2008 12:00 AM

Is there only one gospel? And what is the difference between the gospel message and the implications of that message? Can we preach one without the other? In this podcast Skye Jethani , David Swanson , and Matt Tebbe...

Why We're Rethinking the Gospel

May 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Our friends over at Preaching Today have launched a new series on preaching the gospel. They're asking, "Is our gospel too small, or is it too big?" and "What does it mean to preach the gospel in today's culture." They've...

The Emerging Synagogue?

May 9, 2008 12:00 AM

While following a relatively uninteresting trail of research recently (which I won't retrace here), I happened upon Synagogue 3000 (S3K). This consortium of rabbis and other Jewish leaders is committed to offering "challenging and promising alternatives to traditional synagogue structures."...

Out of Context: Dave Terpstra

May 8, 2008 12:00 AM

"I think our generation is approaching ministry more as an art than a science. Since the Enlightenment, 'doing church' has been seen as a science, and it was seen as linear, organized, with clearcut leadership principles. Our generation doesn't see...

Live from Shift: Bursting the Christian Bubble

April 11, 2008 1:44 PM

The final session of Shift 2008 featured Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and regular contributor to Leadership and Out of Ur. Kimball shared some insights from this book, They Like Jesus But Not...

Live at Shift: Deep Ministry in a Shallow World

April 11, 2008 12:52 PM

If there is one thing that everyone in youth ministry seems to be talking about it's how to keep students following Christ after high school. That's been a hot topic here at Shift, and this morning Kara Powell addressed...

Live from Shift: Willow Implements REVEAL

April 11, 2008 12:48 PM

Here we go again. Willow Creek's REVEAL study has been a very hot issue on this blog. Rather than recapping all the history, I encourage you to review a few previous posts. Willow Creek Repents?: Why the most influential...

Live from Shift: Switchfoot Podcast

April 11, 2008 11:19 AM

For the third podcast recorded here at Shift, we sat down with Switchfoot band members Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas. In it, Drew and Jerome discuss the ways in which they've seen student culture change over the past 10...

Live from Shift: Ministry 2.0 in World 2.0

April 10, 2008 3:44 PM

Darren Whitehead leads the student ministry of Willow Creek. He compared the church in our changing culture to his own experience as an immigrant (he's from Australia). Most immigrants suffer from "cultural freeze," he says. This is the tendency...

Live from Shift: The Perfect Storm

April 10, 2008 10:21 AM

The second day of the conference began with Brian McLaren's breakout session, "Onramp to the Postmodern Conversation." This was designed to help newcomers to the issue understand the shift that is happening in the culture. He compared this change...

Live from Shift

April 9, 2008 9:05 AM

I'm sitting in Willow Creek's auditorium as hundreds of youth leaders and students slowly make their way in. In a few minutes Shift 2008, Willow's student ministries 3-day conference, will begin. As previously mentioned, for the next few days...

We're Going to "Shift"

March 27, 2008 12:00 AM

In two weeks the Willow Creek Association is hosting a different kind of student ministries conference. Shift 2008 will address the cultural changes that are impacting the way we think about reaching the next generation. Out of Ur is excited...

Disarming the Boomers (Part 2)

January 17, 2008 12:00 AM

David Swanson is back with the second half of his post about working with a church leadership team dominated by Boomers. He believes there are a few simple strategies that can help a younger leader not only survive in a...

REVEAL Revisited

January 14, 2008 12:00 AM

The research conducted by Willow Creek and published last year in the book REVEAL: Where are you? has generated a great deal of conversation on this blog. Some have heralded the findings as conclusive evidence that Willow's popular philosophy...

Disarming the Boomers

January 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Let's be honest. The distance between the Boomers and Busters isn't just a generation gap - it's a generation gorge. The cultural, technological, and philosophical shifts that have occurred in recent decades have given these two generations fundamentally different perspectives....

Willow Creek Repents? (Part 2)

October 26, 2007 4:40 PM

Last week's post about Willow Creek sparked a lot of conversation. It all flowed from comments made by the church's leaders following a three year self-evaluation of Willow Creek's ministry effectiveness. Your comments caught the attention of Greg Hawkins, Willow's...

Willow Creek Repents?

October 18, 2007 12:00 AM

Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow, through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This...

Out of Context: Rick Warren

October 10, 2007 12:00 AM

"The American church as a whole needs to move from selfish consumerism to unselfish contribution. Those are poles apart. To start with a woman who's most interested in how many diamonds she's got in her tennis bracelet, and move her...

The “We’re In, You’re Out” Mentality

September 28, 2007 12:00 AM

Friend of Ur, David Fitch, is back with a few thoughts about the deficiencies in evangelicalism and the emerging movement’s reaction. But he’s not exactly enamored with the emerging church solution either. Fitch is a pastor at Life on the...

Justice, Do It

June 29, 2007 12:00 AM

Nike has gotten a lot of marketing mileage from its straightforward motto, "Just Do It." In part two of David Fitch's post on social justice his message for church leaders is equally simple - just do it. Fitch argues that...

Justice-ified by Faith

June 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Recently we discussed Scot McKnight's belief that the gospel typically preached by evangelicals is too individualistic, and how it actually makes the church an unnecessary part of following Christ. David Fitch, pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community in...

Faith & Politics After the Religious Right (Part 2)

June 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Brian McLaren believes the Religious Right movement has lost credibility, but what will replace it? In part 1 of our interview McLaren called for a more mature Chrisitian engagement with politics, and warned about linking political ideology with our identity...

Faith & Politics after the Religious Right

June 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Last month the politically polarizing founder of the Moral Majority, Rev. Jerry Falwell, died. Falwell has been credited with mobilizing millions of evangelicals to engage the political process. The religious right, as the movement came to be called, has been...

Is Your Gospel Robust?

June 12, 2007 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago Scot McKnight shared how the gospel we preach is having an adverse impact on the church. Last week at the Spiritual Formation Forum he spoke in greater detail about this problem. He called the standard evangelical...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (part 3)

May 22, 2007 12:00 AM

In this final installment of Angie Ward's report on the impact of youth ministry on the American church she talks more with Tic Long, Youth Specialties' president of events. Long shares his thoughts on the lasting impact youth ministry has...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (Part 2)

May 18, 2007 12:00 AM

In part 2, Angie Ward continues her reflection on the emergence of youth ministry and its impact on the church. The first generation of youth ministers, she points out, grew up to lead the seeker-driven movement that has dominated evangelicalism...

How Teenagers Transformed the Church (Part 1)

May 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Seeker churches, emerging churches, ancient-future churches, mega-churches, house churches, Boomer churches, Gen-X churches. There is a debate occurring in American evangelicalism about the future of Christianity and what form the church should take within our culture. But is it possible...

Getting the Gospel Right

May 9, 2007 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago Dave Johnson questioned our adherence to a gospel that does not call forth or expect transformation in our lives. In this post professor and blogger extraordinaire Scot McKnight continues the discussion. He contends that many of...

No Transformation Necessary

March 27, 2007 12:00 AM

Dallas Willard has said, "We fail to be disciples only because we do not decide to be. We do not intend to be disciples." But which is the greater problem, the person who does not intend to be a disciple...

Out of Context: Sarah Cunningham

March 1, 2007 12:00 AM

"Few people see Christianity as a shift of allegiance that prompts us to make personal changes in beliefs, habits, and lifestyles. We must continually examine our churches to make sure our message is one that requires transformation." -Sarah Cunningham is...

What's In a (Church) Name?

December 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Gordon MacDonald told us a while back that the church he serves was considering changing its name. It has finally happened. His account of a 180-year-old congregation's year-long wrestling with its identity is amusing and instructive. Read on. About a...

Picking up the Pieces

November 28, 2006 12:00 AM

In the old nursery rhyme "all the king's horses and all the king's men" tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Likewise, when a pastor falls, a great amount of energy can be poured into the leader's restoration. But...

Purpose-Driven Conflict: churches split over the popular ministry model

September 14, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article discussing conflicts caused by pastors seeking to implement the popular Purpose-Driven Church model in their congregations. Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, and one of our...

Scum of the Church 2: What churches should learn from ‘80s youth ministry

August 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches are struggling to reach young adults. The conversation on Out of Ur for the last two weeks has wrestled with this problem. Brian McLaren believes we need to be asking different questions of those who've grown up in...

Scum of the Church: How the drive for “excellence” is driving young adults from the church

August 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Recently, Brian McLaren challenged us to ask new questions about the absence of young adults in most churches. Mike Sares, pastor of Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, continues the topic by discussing the divergent values he has encountered...

Axis Denied (part 2): What should we learn from the demise of Willow’s Next-Gen ministry?

July 18, 2006 12:00 AM

In part one Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, discussed the inherent difficulties of the church-within-a-church model that has been popular with churches wanting to reach the next generation. In many cases the divergent values...

Axis Denied: What should we learn from the demise of Willow’s Next-Gen ministry?

July 13, 2006 12:00 AM

Ten years ago the leaders of Willow Creek Community Church realized that 18-30 year olds, popularly known as Gen X, were largely missing from their church. In response, the "seeker-driven" church launched Axis to help "the Next Gen connect with...

Image Isn’t Everything 2: depth and transparency offer hope for GenX

April 30, 2006 12:00 AM

In part 1 of his post, Andy Rowell lamented the preoccupation his generation has for image management, and the way GenX church leaders have adopted this vice. In part 2 Andy offers a few antidotes to younger church leaders seeking...

Image Isn’t Everything: the uneasy conscience of a GenX pastor

April 27, 2006 12:00 AM

Not long ago I attended a young adult ministry conference. My wife commented that I looked out of place because none of my clothing was torn. I showed her the frayed cuffs of my pants to verify my young-church-leader credentials....

National Pastors Convention 3: David Anderson Reminds Us “Shift Happens”

February 25, 2006 12:00 AM

Developing a multicultural congregation is something many people have talked about but few have done. David Anderson is one of the few. As founder and pastor of Bridgeway Community Church, a multicultural church in Columbia, Maryland, Anderson knows the challenges...

Ministry Taxidermy: Don't Stuff the Dog

October 26, 2005 8:29 AM

(Our friend Angie Ward is a writer, mentor, and ministry leader in North Carolina. She is the founder of Forward Leadership, a ministry coaching ministry. She is also a regular contributor to Leadership journal and our e-newsletter, Leadership Weekly.) When...

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