Discussion-based Lessons

Discussion-based lessons have groups talking and changing. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. "Instead SPEAKING the truth (not just hearing the truth) we will grow." Ephesians 4.15 https://www.youtube.com/embed/lduldVUA8-4

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How to make a difference in this world

So how do we go? How do we become that kind of church member who makes a difference in our Jerusalem? Let’s first go back to the issue of belief and motivation. Do you really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation? Are you then more motivated to share the...

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What is a kingdom?

Everyone has a kingdom—in the biblical sense. Your kingdom is that little sphere in which what you say goes. Your kingdom is the “range of [y]our effective will.”[9] People learn they were made to have kingdoms early on. It’s why we don’t like to be told what to do....

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A Life Beyond Amazing

At two o’clock on Sunday afternoon, January 8, 2017, a giant fell to the earth, causing the ground to tremble like a palsied hand. One of the best-known giant sequoias, the Pioneer Cabin Tree, collapsed amid California storms. Pioneer Cabin, so named because its...

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Why guests don’t return to church

I remember vividly my internal reaction in the first interview. This lady, I thought, really liked the church. Her answers seem to contradict her actions. Why didn’t she return after the first visit? Well, my final question should get to the bottom of this enigma:...

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Actions Are Not the Essence of Worship

Or consider the way Jesus talks about the heart worshiping him. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me” (Mark 7:6–7). In other words, external actions—even religious ones directed toward God—are not the...

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The gospel according to you

What is the gospel according to you? We all—religious or not—build our lives on some gospel, some “good news” that we believe can redeem our existence. Maybe it’s money or success or reputation or health or marriage. Everybody has a gospel. This is Jesus’ gospel: God...

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What would Jesus do?

A quick reading of the New Testament will give you an easy answer to that question. The scene is Jesus with His disciples. The mother of James and John, identified in the text as “the mother of Zebedee’s sons,” addresses Jesus. She speaks boldly to Him: “Promise that...

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Forgotten God

If I were Satan and my ultimate goal was to thwart God’s kingdom and purposes, one of my main strategies would be to get churchgoers to ignore the Holy Spirit. The degree to which this has happened (and I would argue that it is a prolific disease in the body of...

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Loving God as Treasuring Him

Now let me try to unpack it and defend it. Why do I define loving God mainly as treasuring God? Why do I believe that love for God is most essentially an experience of the affections, not mere thought or mere behavior? When Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep...

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What is the gospel?

So what is the Good News that Jesus himself proclaimed? When that question was first posed to me, I had been a pastor for many years. I had been through seminary and then some. I was a “licensed minister of the gospel,” and if you are licensed in something, you should...

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How to close the back door of your church

Several years ago, I had my own wake-up call about the power of groups when I was leading a research project. I would report the research in my book, High Expectations. I asked my research team to review the records of hundreds of church members who had joined their...

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Loving God

He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me (Psalm 144:2). FYI: This is a very personal psalm from David. Saul had hunted David for years in order to kill him. David even had to...

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Best friends make church better

It has been discovered that when best friends attend the same church, They attend more regularly; They feel more connected to the church; and They feel closer to God and display a more integrated faith. This being the case, why not leverage it? Put an emphasis on...

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What is true worship?

True worship flows from the heart in recognition and response to the magnificence of Christ, and because of an understanding of the grace found solely in the gospel. Embracing these truths through the practical experience of daily living is imperative in our...

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How to get to know your community

Here are a few ideas as to how you might learn more about your community: Get a demographic study. Drive or walk your community and pay attention. Do “get-o-graphics”—getting into your community, serving people, and listening to their needs. Go to the Chamber of...

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Worship must change the worshiper

No worship—no preaching, no singing, no praying, no fasting, however intense or beautiful—that leaves us harsh with our workers on Monday, or contentious with our spouses at home, or self-indulgent in other areas of our lives, or angry enough to hit somebody, is true,...

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How to have a unified church

Let’s be clear. The Bible mandates us to have an attitude of unity in the church. But look at what it requires: humility, gentleness, patience, and acceptance of one another in love. Have you ever been to a church business meeting where some of those requirements were...

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Loving God Rather Than Loving God

This is a very relevant warning for us in a day of great worship renewal. Many people are discovering the joy of meeting God in extended times of emotionally charged singing to the Lord. I personally find such seasons of lingering before the Lord a very rich communion...

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5 marks of a good outreach event

Our outreach plans must be viewed as what George Hunter describes as “links in a chain.” We are only part of the process, but we never know when or if our link will be the one that fastens them to Jesus. I suggest the following be kept in mind as you develop your...

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LOVING GOD BECOMES VISIBLE IN LOVING OTHERS

But still, Jesus does say that treating others as you want to be treated “is the Law and the Prophets.” He does not say here that two commandments are the Law and the Prophets, but only one. This seems significantly different from Matthew 22:40 where the Law and the...

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9 Characteristics of Postmoderns

In his lecture given at Talbot School of Theology in January 2007, George Hunter augmented his insights to the secular person with observations on postmodern folks. He shared nine characteristics: They assume truth is relative. The do not assume the authority of...

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Loving God; Loving People

First, Jesus distinguished the first and second commandment. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as...

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Ten Characteristics of Secular People

George Hunter in his book How to Reach Secular People identifies “Ten Characteristics of Secular People.” They are as follows: They are essentially ignorant of basic Christianity. They are “ignostics”; that is, they are simply ignorant of biblical information. They...

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Can a church be TOO friendly?

About one out of seven guests told us, surprisingly, they did not return because the people were too friendly. Some noted that issue in the context of the stand-and-greet time, while others said it was an issue at all points in the church. “I came away worn out from...

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Top Nine Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests

Unfriendly church members. This response was anticipated. But the surprise was the number of respondents who included non-genuine friendliness in their answers. In other words, the guests perceived some of the church members were faking it. Unsafe and unclean...

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How to muzzle a talker

It is a sin to bore people with the gospel

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Sunday School University

For nearly thirty years, Dr. Bill Tolar and Dr. Brian Harbour have helped thousands of Sunday School teachers prepare their lessons by means of video.  Each week, they  provide an insightful walk through this week's scriptures and provide concrete Bible-to-life application points for you to make with your class this Sunday.  Their video lesson previews are available for both the Life and Explore Series materials. We have arranged a special one-month free trial of their videos for anyone who mentions joshhunt.com.  Click here for more information or to get your free trial.

Josh Hunt believes in the power of the small group ministry in your church. And, his belief is contagious. In his new book, Make Your Group Grow, Josh presents sound application to easy to understand research that will benefit every size and style of church. Your groups and leadership will benefit from this book.

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President of
LifeWay Research, www.edstetzer.com

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