All posts from “values”

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...

Ur Video: Dever Worries "Gospel" Isn't Individual Enough

February 28, 2012 12:00 AM

This interview by Ed Stetzer with Mark Dever caught me by surprise. They're talking about the renewed interest among evangelicals in a "larger gospel" that captures a kingdom theology. Dever sees it as exceedingly dangerous because a focus on doing...

Listening to Tullian Tchividjian at the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference

January 26, 2012 9:40 PM

I'm blogging semi-live live from the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference and it's the first time I've heard Tullian Tchividjian speak. Here's one thing for certain about Tullian: he's passionate and clear about one thing—the gospel. And for Tullian the good news...

Christian Saints vs. Cultural Celebrities

December 15, 2011 12:00 AM

Earlier this year, on October 5th, an influential and visionary leader died. His life forever changed the American experience, and his legacy will be felt for generations to come. An ability to see a future many thought impossible marked his...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 4)

October 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one, two, and three of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Four: Decentralized Service Over the last few years my travels have been taking me more regularly to Portland, Oregon. Portland is weird, and that’s how they like it. But...

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...

Ur Video: Chandler vs. Furtick

August 29, 2011 12:00 AM

Everyone in pastoral ministry has a bias. Some of us prefer deep doctrinal teaching. Others value ministry that is practical and immediately applicable. Others are all about reaching those far from God. And while there is nothing wrong with those...

Worship Through a Child's Eyes

July 28, 2011 12:00 AM

Back in college my professor of American religion gave us an interesting assignment. We had to visit a number of local churches, sit in their sanctuaries, and write down our observations of the spaces. Based on these observations, we...

Has Mission Become Our Idol? (Cont.)

July 20, 2011 12:00 AM

You may be thinking, “But we are called to do things for God. And what’s the alternative--continuing to allow the people in our churches to be self-consumed Christians seeking only their own comfort?” That is a very fair concern. And...

Has Mission Become Our Idol?

July 18, 2011 12:00 AM

“There is a first-rate commitment to a second-rate mission.” That is what Roger, a leader in global church planting, said as he looked at the rock climbers ascending a cliff in the Alps. Many of us called into ministry feel...

Why I Don't Sing the "Star Spangled Banner"

July 5, 2011 12:00 AM

I choose to belong to a strange tribe. Goshen College, my alma mater, made national news last month when its board of directors decided that the “Star Spangled Banner” would not be played before athletic events. As could be expected,...

Taming the Image

June 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The band is rockin', arms are swayin', and you're about to come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your perfect smile. Is this a rock concert? A...

Ur Video: Mark DeYmaz on "First Love"

June 15, 2011 12:00 AM

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Special Needs Boy Removed From Worship

June 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Many churches focus on providing a compelling worship experience. The desire is to attract people to an excellent production where they can sing, learn, and leave feeling renewed. For decades we've called this approach "seeker-sensitive." But does that sensitivity have...

All Ministry Is Local

May 18, 2011 12:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a gathering for small church pastors and lay leaders in rural eastern Michigan (locals call it “the thumb”). Eleven or so churches were represented; about 45 folks showed up, all members of...

Ur Video: Dallas Willard on Grace

May 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Well, I hadn't planned on posting the second part of Dallas Willard's video from Catalyst. But since you are all getting so animated about part 1, here you go. In this video he discusses spiritual disciplines and the role of...

Ur Video: Dallas Willard on the Gospel

May 11, 2011 12:00 AM

John Ortberg interviews Dallas Willard at Catalyst West about what the church is getting wrong today. In a nutshell, Willard says we're getting the gospel wrong. We'd love to hear your responses to this video....

Chuck Swindoll: We're Creating Spectators Not Worshipers

May 9, 2011 12:00 AM

In part 1 of Skye Jethani's interview with Chuck Swindoll, he spoke about the insecurity that leads some pastors to seek a crowd and to pander to cultural trends. Some of you felt Swindoll was just being old-fashioned and grumpy....

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

Ur Video: Gospel and Social Gospel

April 18, 2011 12:00 AM

What is the line between the gospel and the social gospel? And how do we know when we've crossed it? Dr. Peter Cha gives some helpful indicators in this brief video from the Gospel Coalition....

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;...

Eleven Trends for 2011

January 24, 2011 12:00 AM

Will Mancini, church “clarity evangelist” and author of Church Unique, is committed to helping churches find their vision for ministry. His work gives him an interesting view of the ministry landscape. Below are his predictions about new and enduring trends...

Ur Video: The Church and the Arts

January 11, 2011 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: Brandon O'Brien

December 21, 2010 12:00 AM

"Over time, the experts have done for church what postcards and PBS specials have done for the Grand Canyon: they've made it difficult for us to appreciate our own experience apart from theirs. We have lost the ability to see...

Ur Cartoon: First Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Children's Ministry TODAY

November 3, 2010 12:00 AM

We cover a lot of topics on Out of Ur, but one area we have neglected is children. Let's be honest, children's ministry isn't the sexiest topic and it doesn't tend to draw the big names to the big conferences....

Lausanne Congress Day 4: Conflict and Reconciliation

October 21, 2010 2:33 PM

In the January 2011 issue of Leadership, we will be featuring an interview with Ken Sande, head of Peacemaker Ministries, which helps Christians and their churches respond to conflict biblically, and assists with reconciliation. This week, Ken Sande is in...

Lausanne Congress Day 1: History &Humility

October 18, 2010 12:00 AM

The Third Lausanne Congress was officially opened on Sunday night in Cape Town, South Africa. The evening was dominated by history and context. Letters were read from Billy Graham and John Stott, the two leaders most responsible for the first...

Atheists Split at Annual Conference

October 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Fans of the Beatles celebrated John Lennon’s 70th birthday this week. Lennon was killed by a gunman in 1980 in New York City, and his violent death is often contrasted with the utopian dream Lennon composed in his song Imagine....

Small Churches = Big Impact

August 9, 2010 1:01 AM

Brandon O'Brien, associate editor for Leadership Journal, has written a new book, The Strategically Small Church. In this work, he seeks to demonstrate how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture. Ed Stetzer interviewed O'Brien about his...

Be Careful What You Worship on July 4

July 1, 2010 12:00 AM

I’ve been a part of numerous churches that celebrated American Independence Day with abandon: 80-foot flags hanging from the ceilings, singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “I’m Proud to Be an American” and even— most disturbing to me as I...

Book Review: Making Ideas Happen

June 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Years ago I worked for a visionary pastor who saw ‘the city on the hill’ that he believed our church could become and then he proceeded to lead us there. Using his preaching, pastoral care and personal charisma, he got...

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."...

Rick Warren on Radical Membership

February 10, 2010 10:48 AM

Does your church emphasize, encourage, and value membership? In many places the notion of church membership has fallen out of favor. Rick Warren thinks that is a “serious mistake.” Speaking this morning at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church, Pastor...

Ur Video: December Issue of Catalyst Leadership

December 15, 2009 12:00 AM

Catalyst Leadership is a free digital magazine produced by the editors of Leadership Journal and the organizers of the Catalyst Conference. Sign up for your subscription today....

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...

Rob Bell Defines "Evangelical"

September 29, 2009 12:00 AM

While on his "Drops Like Stars" tour, Rob Bell spoke with Michael Paulson from the Boston Globe. (Read the full interview.) The conversation turned to the meaning of the word evangelical. Bell provides an interesting, and likely contestable, definition. The...

Putting Programs in Their Place

June 19, 2009 10:45 AM

In some circles, the term "church programs" has become an epithet for all that is wrong with the institutional church. For a generation hungry for authenticity and community, "programs" feel staged, impersonal, and cold. For a generation increasingly skeptical of...

Q&A with Frank Viola

May 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Unlike his previous volumes (Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church), Frank Viola's new book From Eternity to Here is not about church practices and forms. Instead, it tells the story of God's eternal purposes in redemption from Genesis to Revelation. "I...

Church Lessons from HGTV

April 30, 2009 8:40 AM

I was sick in bed, my poor wife by my side, during a class reunion weekend in South Carolina this past weekend. I usually make sure I get the remote control quickly in hand, so I can steer the programming...

Pastors or Personalities?

February 5, 2009 12:00 AM

I think I was in college when I first saw that title of a magazine that brazenly called itself SELF, and it was so bold it could have been called SELF! Nurtured in a theology that drew its juices from...

Audio Ur: Jon Trott on Community and Ministry

January 29, 2009 8:00 AM

On my bookshelf here at my Leadership office is a growing collection of books about intentional living--about new friars and new monastics and communes made up of multiple families under one roof. As with all such things, we wanted...

Miracle on the Hudson

January 16, 2009 1:00 PM

by Gordon MacDonald This morning I took a few minutes to watch video of the remarkable rescue effort in the Hudson River yesterday. For a long, long time, this will remain in the minds of people as a highpoint in...

Tim Keller Weighs in on Missional Debate

December 8, 2008 12:00 AM

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has offered his two cents on the missional v. attractional conversation. You can find his comments on David Fitch's blog. I've also included a few videos in which Keller...

Defining "Missional"

December 5, 2008 4:00 PM

Everyone's debating what exactly being "missional" means. There are a number of really interesting articles floating around the web on the subject, and Alan Hirsch includes his definition in the latest issue of Leadership. Here's Michael Frost (co-author of The...

The Brokenness Behind Nicea

December 5, 2008 12:00 AM

by Scot McKnight Whether we heard it first in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, in a Church history class, or in a book, most of us were probably surprised by the political machinations behind The Nicene Creed. I first heard...

Cartoon: Image is Everything

December 1, 2008 12:00 AM

This image reminds me of something James Twitchell writes in Shopping for God: "Megachurches concentrate on what makes the brand powerful: growth. What you sell is the perception that whatever it is that you are selling is in demand."...

Audio Ur: Paul Metzger on Profits and Prophets

November 5, 2008 1:17 PM

In the Fall issue of Leadership journal, you'll find David Swanson's review of Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church, by Paul Louis Metzger. Metzger, a professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at...

What We Evangelicals Do Well

October 31, 2008 12:00 AM

I'm proud to be an evangelical. I think we do many things well. Some will roll their eyes at those first two statements. Why? Criticizing evangelicalism is fashionable and evangelicals have joined the fashion, sometimes with apocalyptic fervor. I wonder...

Professional Mystery Worshipers

October 15, 2008 11:33 AM

The Friday (Oct 10) edition of the Wall Street Journal contained an article whose title and deck pretty much say it all: "The Mystery Worshipper: To try to keep their flocks, churches are turning to undercover inspectors, who note...

Live from REVEAL: Getting the Weekend Right

October 15, 2008 9:07 AM

by Skye Jethani This morning kicked off with a time of singing led by the worship band from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas - one of the churches being highlighted at the conference for their strong REVEAL survey results. One...

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...

Stiff Necks and Bruised Reeds

September 12, 2008 12:00 AM

Sometime last year, a short passage of Scripture lodged in my brain. It's been rubbing and needling there ever since and challenging the way I think about ministry. The passage is from Isaiah 42. Describing Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the...

Out of Context: Dave Gibbons

July 10, 2008 12:00 AM

"I love the church. It's God's vehicle for transformation. But I don't want the church to become so centralized that it can't reproduce, can't adopt multiple forms. And that works better when you're small, when you're on the verge,...

Cartoon: Community Church

June 2, 2008 12:00 AM

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They Love the Church but Not the Institution (Part 2)

March 12, 2008 12:00 AM

In the first part of this post, I discussed my suspicion that we have confused the church (the community of God's people) with the church institution (the 501c3 tax-exempt organization). This leads to a myopic understanding of Christian mission and...

They Love the Church but Not the Institution

March 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Dan Kimball, a regular contributor to Leadership and Out of Ur, has written a book titled, They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from emerging generations. The book chronicles the attitudes of younger seekers - they feel a strong...

A Big Can of Worms

February 27, 2008 8:43 AM

David Swanson agreed to leave frozen Chicagoland to labor in sunny San Diego at this year's National Pastors Convention. He'll be sending us updates throughout the week of the goings on there. This is his first post. I arrived...

McChurch: I'm Lovin' It

February 1, 2008 12:00 AM

"Church plants," "sister churches," and "satellite congregations" may be a thing of the past. In 2008, the language of missiology is changing, so look for "church franchises" in your town. Eddie Johnson, the lead pastor of Cumberland Church, espouses the...

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...

An Alternative to “Excellence”

January 2, 2008 12:00 AM

Last year I met with a team of leaders from my church. Our task: to rethink and rearticulate the guiding values of our congregation. The work was relatively easy. Upon investigation we determined that most of our core values hadn't...

Hero Boycott

November 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Angie Ward, Leadership contributing editor, calls for a boycott on worshiping ministry heros. It isn't the popular Christian leaders that she has a problem with, but the clouds of zealous followers that seem to follow them wherever they go. Below...

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...

A Former Pastor Goes Church Shopping

July 26, 2007 12:00 AM

How does a former pastor choose a church? That is the question Andy Rowell and his wife are facing after their relocation to a new community. The process has opened their eyes to the differences and blessings of denominational and...

Out of Context: Mark Labberton

July 18, 2007 12:00 AM

"This disparity between economics and justice is an issue of worship. According to the narrative of Scripture, the very heart of how we show and distinguish true worship from false worship is apparent in how we respond to the poor,...

The Disappearing Middle

July 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Leaders should be concerned about the disappearing middle, according to Chad Hall. That bulge in the middle of a bell-shaped curve that represents the great mass of consumers and citizens and churchgoers and volunteers is getting squeezed. The result is...

The Measure of a Ministry

July 6, 2007 12:00 AM

This week Americans are celebrating their independence by watching parades, enjoying backyard barbeques, and by not going to church. If your congregation is anything like mine you know that during the summer worship attendance slips noticeably, and the week of...

Out of Context: Mark Batterson

March 16, 2007 12:00 AM

"Maybe the central task of a worship leader is to keep worship from becoming routine? Maybe the central task of a teaching pastor is to keep the Bible from becoming routine? Maybe the central task of a lead pastor is...

Out of Context: Chad Hall

February 21, 2007 12:00 AM

"When a church focuses on trying to grow, the larger mission suffers and the church can actually become less attractional." -Chad Hall is a ministry coach living in Hickory, North Carolina, and the co-author of Coaching for Christian Leaders (Chalice...

Burned by Branding

November 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Believe it or not, not everyone loves Starbucks. The Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy has written about the growing resistance the Seattle-based coffee cartel is facing in many communities. The issue - Starbucks ignores local culture in favor of maintaining...

Out of Context: Donald Miller

September 28, 2006 12:00 AM

"The church has bought into this idea that if we make Jesus look cool, we win. But we're really trying to make ourselves look cool, not Jesus. We certainly need to repent of that." -Donald Miller, author of Blue Like...

Church GPS: Where are we and where should we go?

August 28, 2006 12:00 AM

David Fitch was recently invited by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School to speak on a panel during their new student orientation. Each of the five panel members was to present a response to the question: "Where is the church now and...

Erwin McManus at Catalyst: Formulas Don't Work

October 9, 2005 8:19 AM

The following is from Jennifer Oxford, one of our Leadership team in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference. Erwin McManus took stage and continued to expound upon the very clear message of the entire Catalyst event...that it's not about formulas...the church,...

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