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Israel: the planning process –10 tips for faith-based travelers

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Whether it’s your first trip to Israel or your tenth, one thing is certain: Planning well — in advance — is essential for a truly transformative experience in the Land of the Bible.

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An introduction to church facility stewardship

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I’m a firm believer that everything on earth belongs to God. Our money. Our houses. Our cars. The word of God. Our families. The people we encounter — and the facilities in which we worship. God has entrusted us with the stewarding of all these items.

For me, stewardship is less about what we give and more about taking care of what we have been given — of all that’s entrusted to us.

So, how do we define “entrusted”?

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Using 360-degree evaluations for improved performance

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In work or professional settings, the best feedback is face-to-face. However, I have found it is very difficult and utopian to expect that everyone will act this way. As a result, we have implemented the use of 360 feedback as a part of our annual reviews and, on occasion, as a part of time-sensitive feedback needs.

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Project team member combinations to avoid

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In the world of church facility construction, renovation and development, there are several integral roles and responsibilities that are required for every project. They might or might not be paid professionals for each role, but they are present and the responsibilities to the project are no less important. Here are the basics that virtually every project must have as part of the church’s team.

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3 leadership practices every young minister can do right now

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I recently had coffee with a young(er) minister. He asked a great question: What can I do right now? The young minister (he’s around 20) wanted to know how he could lead better. Starting today. He caught me a bit off guard. After all, leadership is learned and refined over time. Pastors spend years growing. He knew that, but he also wanted to know what could be done immediately.

I’m not that far removed from being a “young” pastor (at 35, many might still categorize me in this way), but I have learned — some things the hard way — from pastoring for 10 years. There are a few practices young ministers can do right now that will help them grow immediately. Here are three leadership practices I shared with him.

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Stop worrying about Millennials

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Everyone is buzzing over the new Pew Research study that suggests Millennials are continuing to leave Christianity for the ranks of the “nones” (the religiously unaffiliated). A closer look at the data shows the bulk of the slide has occurred within Mainline Christian denominations and Catholicism, with Evangelical Protestants essentially holding the fort. While the bulk of the study didn’t isolate Millennials, its implications aim toward them. This means of course, the obligatory freak-out among some Christians who are afraid we are losing the next generation.

Here are some brief thoughts of my own.

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Appropriate boundaries for a healthy relationship with children

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We frequently ask ourselves questions such as, “What’s an acceptable way to show affection to youth in my care?” or “How should I react if a child runs up for a hug?”
These are important questions, because boundaries promote a lifetime of healthy relationships.

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PHASE 4: Commitment

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For church leaders, preparing for a capital campaign “commitment service” is similar to football coaches preparing for the Super Bowl. Here, Paul Gage weighs in on how to maximize this giving experience.

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A tale of two church cafés

Cup of Blessing was a passion project for Brother Bud Owen, senior minister of First Church of Christ in Garrett, IN.

Today, churches are offering a lot more than a cup of joe in a Styrofoam cup. With beverages and atmospheres that rival secular franchises, their champions have learned a lot in the process.

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Social media risk — a spot check for the church?

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Recently, I convened a panel of experts for a conversation about where the Church stands relative to capitalizing on the remarkable evangelization opportunity of social media. The key questions:
• Are churches actually embracing
social media?
• If so, how are they doing managing the risks?
• How can churches establish boundaries as they row in these unchartered waters?

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