We come across great articles and insights from writers, leaders, pastors and others sharing their passions and perspectives on topics of faith, discipleship, spiritual growth, and much more. Some articles we share regularly on our blog, and many others speak to us in one way or another. Whether it’s a current event, hot topic in the district, or something that relates to a personal season of life, we’d like to share the articles below with you that came across our inboxes during the last few months or so.
In the aftermath of the Camp Fire, it’s easy to have shifting perspectives of both gratitude and grief. Some of us are grateful just to be alive while others are mourning the loss of loved ones. Some have gratitude their home was spared, while neighbor’s homes next door or across the street were lost. We all have gratitude for how the communities have come together to shelter and support evacuees, but we grieve for the loss of a city, of people’s livelihood, that life will never be quite the same for anyone who has lived through and been impacted by the events of the Camp Fire.
Today I am sitting here at my computer remembering a great man.
“Grandpa Peters” followed Jesus with his whole heart. His love for Jesus worked outward to include a powerful love for the church.
My entire life Pastor Russ or as we loved to call him “Grandpa Peters” was a solid fixture of faith and wisdom. He lived out life with the people in his church, preaching every Sunday, officiating weddings, and providing comfort at funerals. He was truly a “fixture” of the community, a man who lovingly noticed the lowly and invested his love – and more importantly the love of Jesus – into any who crossed his path.
It’s time for the church to reclaim her voice in the world. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Hey pastors and friends!
I want to personally invite you to our upcoming Preachers School in Redding, CA, this coming November. Twenty five students. Three days. One purpose. To strengthen our preaching voice, to refine our theology, to fuel our creativity, and together, to tell and retell the story of God in the most redemptive ways possible.
At the heart of this course is the conviction that preaching still matters. In an age of opinions, confusion and skepticism, perhaps preaching has never mattered more. God is raising up voices on the earth, each one unique and vital to the church and the world. They will preach the gospel, stir the hearts, equip the body, and help the church transition from old failing paradigms to engage God’s future kingdom. The redemptive story of God is unfolding on the earth like never before, and if we get a group of us in the same room to listen, dream and explore, who knows what will happen.
Beyond the experience, our desire is to cultivate a family of preachers. Too often, we as leaders become isolated in our own ministry worlds, limiting our influence by our own choice. Yet, Preachers is an opportunity to lock arms with others, gaining access to a family of voices in today’s church and culture. We are always stronger together.
For those called to lead and preach, consider joining us this coming November 5th-8th. We are offering Half Off Scholarships worth $375 for all pastors, church planters, or emerging leaders within the CPD. For more information, see below or visit our event page.
Next Generation Leadership
Here are 7 things that many of our C&MA churches are doing to increase engagement with Alliance missions.
The Senior Pastor
The senior pastor is ‘leaning in’ to Alliance missions. He is passionate about the church being a Christ Centered, Acts 1:8, Family. He proclaims the global mission of the church and gives opportunities up front to promote and pray for Alliance missions. The senior/lead pastor diligently seeks God along with his leaders to discern where in the world to focus or partner. He is passionate about giving people an opportunity to glorify God and impact the world through the churches mission's ministries.
Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard about the recent shootings. Schools, concerts, and the church massacre in Texas.
Churches across the nation are asking the question, how do we protect our people, what should we do? Should we form a security team, encourage people to carry concealed weapons, lock our doors and strangers are not welcomed?
One of my goals as a church planter and pastor was to get people to follow Jesus. I remember as a young man doing everything possible to get people’s eyes off of me and onto Jesus. To this day, when I pray for people I never ask “How can I pray for you?” I always deflect attention from myself by asking, “What do you need Jesus to do for you?” While this desire to get people to follow Jesus and not me is often good and noble, it is not realistic and may not even be Biblical.
Who of us isn't overwhelmed by ministry? Or for that matter, life? And just when you think you finally have your head a little bit above water, people are shot and killed in Las Vegas, or a devastating fire breaks out in Santa Rosa. The fact of the matter is, there are always going to be things in life and ministry that are going to try to sideswipe us. What Keith writes here is not the whole answer - but it is a good start. I hope it helps!
Looking out from the top of a mountain in the Shasta-Trinity Wilderness, I am overcome by the amazing horizon. The view from up here is incredible! I keep looking at the map to find the names of valleys, river, hills, and mountains. Is that Castle Crags? I think that is Mt. Burney….am I seeing all the way into Oregon? My curiosity is fully engaged!
I heard a story about a child who had a difficult time doing what his parents told him to do. He would say, “I can’t.” His mom asked him to go and pray about it to see if God could help him. His prayer went like this. “God I need your help to make me do the things I should and not do the things I shouldn’t, but if You can’t help me right away it’s OK, I’m having fun the way I am right now.”
I wonder if we aren’t all a little bit like that boy. We enjoy the way we are right now.