Kris Beckert

For our church, Advent was going to be a little different this year. While church people have been preparing themselves for the coming of Christ throughout the season of Advent, the reality is that there is another group of people who have been preparing themselves for the coming of something else this December—The Force Awakens. […]

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Gannon Sims

Lyricist Charles Jennens picked these words from the third chapter of Malachi. George Frederick Handel put them to music in the oratorio Messiah: For he is like a refiner’s fire. And he will purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer the Lord an offering in righteousness. These words get to the core of […]

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Luke Edwards

  My favorite part of Advent is getting to dust off that old Book of Isaiah. Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming kingdom paint a picture of peace and harmony better than anything we could imagine. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The wolf will live with […]

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Travis Collins

One of the most popular developments in church life over the last fifteen years is that of churches having multiple sites, or campuses.  “One church in multiple locations” is the new by-word of growing numbers of churches. Congregations are multiplying their reach by launching smaller versions of themselves across their cities and, in some cases, […]

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For Christian leaders, especially those committed to established churches and denominations, it might be hard to be thankful these days. There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the media about the reality of the “nones and the dones.” There’re a lot of “old standards,” whether they be events, sermons or songs, that just don’t […]

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Ken Carter

I have recently concluded a couple of weeks of study and renewal, a time that also included some teaching, meals with students and conversations with academic leaders. I lived in an extended stay hotel; I chose it because it was comfortable, economical and adjacent to the school where I spent time each day. A Sunday […]

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Kris Beckert

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” He boarded the boat, not for a cruise or a fishing trip but for what he thought would be the next step in his ministry, his walk with God, his life. A recent seminary grad and new pastor, he had a deep desire to change the world, to […]

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Ken Carter

One of the key insights in the Fresh Expressions movement is the emergence of the power of networks in the western world at the beginning of the 21st century.  As the team writes in Mission Shaped Church (MSC), “networks have not replaced neighborhoods, but they change them”; and, at the same time, “community is increasingly being […]

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Kris Beckert

Where I live, campaign signs have become part of the landscape since mid-April. Just about all of the primary winners have allowed their yellow, flamingo pink, and multicolored corrugated cardboard representations to become regular décor in the middle of yards and on the sides of highways. Poor Mr. Hersey, who “borrowed” the trademarked candy bar […]

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Gannon Sims

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door and he preached the word to them. -Mark 2: 1-2 We don’t often picture Jesus at home. Most often, we picture Jesus on the […]

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