The last decade of the 20th century brought new vistas of adventure to the world of Bible study. The word of God was unleashed from the printed page to the digitized screen. For those pioneers who first encountered digital Bible study, it has been a fast-paced turn of events to a day where the Bible is now available for instant word-studies on the phone, quick word searches online, and sermons that can be shared to multiple platforms. Whether you get your devotions from a web page, your lessons from a digital platform or the tried and true method of paper and pen, consider these advantages to the new options in digital Bible study.
I’ve preached a lot of sermons. Some of them good, and some of them not so good. I now find myself in a different role. Instead of preaching several times a week, I’m at a place where I just get to listen. I listen to a lot of sermons. But I also spend a lot of time thinking about those sermons. What makes a good sermon? What makes a sermon memorable? How can I know those listening are going to live out this message? One of the ways to answer those questions is to have a good system to evaluate your preaching.
Vocal abuse is common today mainly due to ignorance as to how the voice works, but also due to the influence of unhealthy examples of singing that are prevalent today. As with other body parts, we only have one set of vocal cords that we must take care of throughout our lives. This is not just true for singers, but also other professions that require a lot of vocal use such as teachers, pastors, lawyers, news anchors, etc.
In Spring 2017, the SAGU History department hosted the seminar “Beginnings: Life, Culture and Politics in Early America.” Topics included the birth of the American Navy, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, The Electoral College, America’s Military Bands and many more. David Onyon discusses the Zenger trial, which was a remarkable story of a divided Colony, the beginnings of a free press and the stubborn independence of American Jurors.
As discussed in a previous post, venting is a two-way process that involves the person venting and the person hearing the vent. Healthy, positive venting is focused on how the person hearing the vent shows empathy, creates safety, and participates in active listening (Kurz, 2017; Bryant, 2009; Egan, 2007). Research has concluded that negative venting can lead to higher stress levels and other physical health concerns. Negative venting is not associated with the person venting but rather the active listener and his or her response (Bodie et al., 2015; Goldsmith, 2004).
As we have looked at the metrics that drive church health, we have seen the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. In fact, in the U.S. Assemblies of God today, a slightly higher percentage of large churches are plateaued or declining than are smaller churches. So if bigger isn’t always better, what is better?
Once again, we continue our look at the metrics that drive church health. As we have seen, the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. Just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. If bigger was always better, then doctors would stop bugging us about expanding waistlines.
But what is better? We’ve already looked at missional effectiveness and assimilation ratios. These have shown us how we’re really doing at doing the job Jesus gave us to do. How many of us does it take to reach someone with the Gospel each year? Are we maintaining contact with those converts long enough to get them into the waters of baptism?
Numbers are a somewhat controversial topic when it comes to the local church. Some chase them, believing the size of the crowd will speak volumes about their own effectiveness. Others simply insist that Jesus wants to reach everyone, so everyone is the goal. Still others focus their energies on smaller gatherings, searching for an intimacy the crowd can seldom achieve. Church isn’t a numbers game, and yet it really is.