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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

How to Keep a Discussion from Becoming a Debate (Feature Friday 10/18/19)

It is so routine we are subtly used to it. It surrounds us every day in every way. Turn on any news channel at any time and you are sure to find it. Even ESPN is filled with it these days. But the reality is – so are a lot of relationships and interactions. What is it? Debating!

I don’t know about you but it is becoming increasingly more difficult or rare for me to watch others engage in conversation that does not eventually escalate into a full-blown debate. It happens daily at my house among my children. It fills the TV broadcast or news updates I listen to. Debating seems to have taken over our world. But it doesn’t have to be like this…nor should it for those who follow Jesus.

While relationships always involve conflict and interaction with other people will constantly require some tension, this does not mean it must devolve into debates. So what are we to do? How can one maintain discussions without debates? Jim Putnam gives us “3 Simple Habits that Keep a Discussion from Becoming a Debate“.

This is a needed and timely article. I hope you enjoy it and please pass it along. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and leave any comments concerning the article below.

Photo by cloudvisual.co.uk on Unsplash

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Changing Shifts (10/11/19)

He had the best news ever to share. The message he received was one that could change the lives of many. It would revolutionize the way people relate to each other, love one another and get things done. All he had to do was communicate the good news. There was just one problem…

Everyone he could or would tell the message too were from a very different culture. They spoke a different language. They had unique practices. And the values they held were sometimes counter to his own. How would he share this life changing message?

While this is a fictional story it reflects a reality for anyone who follows Jesus and desires to share His story with others. How does one share the best news ever in an ever changing culture? Carey Nieuwhof steps in to at least begin to help us understand by sharing “5 Important Ways Evangelism is Shifting in Our Post-Christian World“.

Sharing your faith can be difficult as a Christian but it’s not impossible and it shouldn’t be weird. That’s why I love Carey’s reflections here.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

2 Years Later…(Feature Friday 09/27/19)

Time flies. I hear it said all the time and I say it quite regularly. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into years. Time does fly, but no matter how much time goes by in some instances things are still hard.

Such is the case as we (specifically my wife’s family) enter and face this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since her dad passed away. I remember the first few months were difficult. The entire first year was hard. This past year it seemed like new normal was setting in, but this weekend will reveal just how abnormal her dad not being around really is.

Two years ago for his funeral, I was asked to give the opening remarks. As I re-read them this morning, tears came to my eyes again and I was reminded just how great of a man we lost and heaven gained. I hope reading my remarks on my father-in-law’s life gives you comfort, hope, and a gentle reminder of our purpose in life as it did me two years ago and again this morning.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Conflict Resolution (Feature Friday 09/20/19)

Put two people in a room and the inevitable will happen. Given enough time together, people will always have conflict. It is the nature of relationships. To relate with someone will require conflict resolution. The more people you add to the equation the higher likelihood and opportunities for conflict to arise. There is no antidote even in a small group.

If you’ve ever been part of a small group you know the reality of conflict is not only possible but almost guaranteed. You are joining a group of people together who have different backgrounds, experiences, situations in life, and viewpoints. All that together makes for a perfect recipe for conflict. So how do you manage that, as a leader, as a participant, as a human being…

Jim Putman provides some helpful insight by offering “2 Rules for Conflict Resolution“. He sets the stage and gives 2 great guidelines for working through issues. Jim also illustrates with a few examples – which I always find helpful.

Enjoy the article, leave a comment below with what other tips you use in resolving conflict and as always be with the Lord’s people in the Lord’s day!

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

Starting Small…Staying Small (Feature Friday 09/13/19)

Like every leader, I see growth as a good thing. I want the areas I lead to grow. I desire to see an upward and to the right trend year over year. However, that is not always reality. There are many causes for why organisms and organizations don’t grow, but many of those obstacles to growth can be removed.

While getting bigger is not intrinsically better, if I, as a church leader, am going to reach a community, growth is a healthy desire. Therefore, I must pay attention to factors that can not merely cause growth, but also those that may hinder growth. This is what Carey Nieuwhof’s article “Why Most Churches That Start Small…Stay Small.”

Even if you are not a church leader, Nieuwhof covers realities that apply to any organization and one’s that every leader to should be aware and attentive to. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day. Enjoy the article and I’d love to hear your feedback or response in the comments below!

Photo by Alem Omerovic on Unsplash

 

Get to Know People (Feature Friday 09/06/19)

Being a friend is inconvenient, takes time, and is often difficult. It was true of friendships when I was 9 years old and wanted to play baseball, but my friends wanted to ride bikes. It was especially true in college when a friend and I realized we liked the same girl. And being a friend to others as an adult is hard on so many levels. But being a friend is part and parcel to following Jesus.

As Craig Etheridge shares, “Jesus was called a ‘friend of sinners.'” And if you want or claim to follow Jesus you will need to work on being a friend as well. We are surrounded by people who simply need friends and ultimately need Jesus. The reality is that people may never know they need Jesus until they have a friend who is a friend of Jesus. This is exactly what Craig is getting at in his article, “Friend of Sinners“.

Jesus instilled in his disciples a heart for people and his followers today should still be evidencing that heart. How are you doing at it? Comment below some routine ways to develop friendships around you.

Enjoy the article and your weekend and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

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