Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Book: Making Sense of the Cross

The cross is central to Christianity.   Yet there is much to learn about its role for us.
This book draws us into a conversation between two people having an open and candid discussion about the cross. One assumes the role of teacher or coach, someone who has had the time and opportunity to study the faith in some depth. The other is curious, knows a little bit about the faith, and brings a lot of questions: 

  • So what’s with the cross? 
  • What does the cross say about God? 
  • What’s the big deal? 
  • Did Jesus have to die?

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Book: The Intergenerational Church: Understanding Congregations from WWII to

In The Intergenerational Church, Peter Menconi shows you why understanding today's generations is crucial for the survival and thrival of the local church. But understanding the generations is not enough. 

In this book you will learn how to: - Minimize generational tension. - Get all the generations moving in the same direction. - Develop leaders from all generations. - Deliver intergenerational preaching. - Cultivate intergenerational worship and community. - Stimulate intergenerational mission and outreach.

Main sections
Intergenerational Realities
Understanding today's generations
Toward an intergenerational church

Book: Faith for Exiles - 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon

Faith for Exiles focuses on helping people who live in a 2020 society where following Jesus can be challenging and even disheartening.

Some are experiencing Negative perceptions, Church dropouts, Prodigals and nomads. 
It's easy to get discouraged by all that's going wrong when it comes to Christianity and the emerging generation. 
Yet what's going right? 
In fact, signs of hope are springing up all around. In Faith for Exiles, the author of unChristian and You Lost Me unveils major new Barna research that uncovers what's working--five practices that contribute to resilience. Enter the world of resilient young adult Christians and learn how they are sustaining faith. Finally, you can find hope in all that God is doing among young disciples today.

In a world where always-connected smart devices and search algorithms educate and entertain, digital Babylon is the new context for discipleship. 
Faith for Exiles reveals findings from a groundbreaking three-year research study of young Christians whose faith remains resilient even in exile. Barna president David Kinnaman teams up with former executive director of Youth Specialties Mark Matlock to help you:
• Make sense of chaotic cultural changes and respond with compassion to the next generation of believers
• Recognize the biblical concept of exile as an essential framework for following Christ today
• Discover five research-based practices that cultivate faithfulness in digital Babylon
• Prepare young Christians to be on mission with Jesus in the world
• Empower Jesus followers of all ages to thrive in our current exile

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Book: The Gospel Driven Church

Many evangelical churches face the problem of the open "back door"--even as new people arrive, older members are leaving, looking for something else. Combined with this problem is the discipleship deficit, the difficult truth that most evangelicals are not reaching the unchurched at the rates they think they are. In fact, many of the metrics that we often "count" in the church to highlight success really don't tell us the full story of a church's spiritual state. Things like attendance, decisions, dollars, and experiences can tell us something about a church, but not everything.

To cultivate a spiritually healthy church we need a shift in our metrics--a "grace-shift" that prioritizes the work of God in the lives of people over numbers and dollars. 
Are people growing in their esteem for Jesus? 
Is there a dogged devotion to the Bible as the ultimate authority for life? 
Is there a growing interest in theology and doctrine? 
A discernible spirit of repentance? 
And perhaps most importantly, is there evident love for God and for our neighbours in the congregation?

Leading a church culture to shift from numerical success to the metrics of grace can be costly, but leaders who have conviction, courage, and commitment can lead while avoiding some of the landmines that often destroy churches. Wilson includes diagnostic questions that will help leaders measure--and lead team transparency in measuring as a group--the relative spiritual health of their church, as well as a practical prescriptive plan for implementing this metric-measuring strategy without becoming legalistic.

Most attractional church models can lean heavily on making changes to the weekend worship gatherings. And while some of these changes can be good, thriving grace-focused churches are driven by a commitment to the gospel, allowing the gospel to inform and shape the worship service and the various ministries of the church.

Chapter 1: The Dilemma
Chapter 2: The Metrics That Don’t Tell Us Everything
Chapter 3: The 5 Metrics That Keep Us On Mission
i. A growing esteem for Jesus.
ii. A dogged devotion to the Bible.
iii. An interest in theology and doctrine.
iv. A discernible spirit of repentance 
v. An evident love for God and neighbour
Chapter 4: Putting the Gospel in the Driver’s Seat
Chapter 5: Steering from the Stage
Chapter 6: Building Your Service Around Beholding
Chapter 7:  Press the Gospel reset of the church community
Chapter 8:  Moving toward mission
Chapter 9:  The three things you will need
Chapter 10:  Leading change in a graceful way

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Worship Planning Spreadsheet for 2019-2020 Year A

This Excel spreadsheet  assists with Worship Planning, using readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (Thematic).

Current fields include:  

  • Date 
  • Liturgical Day
  • Liturgical Colour
  • Old Testament Reading
  • Psalm
  • New Testament Reading 
  • Gospel Reading 
  • Alternative or off lectionary readings Reading
  • Worship Order
  • Musicians:  
  • Musicians:  
  • Invocation/Call to Worship
  • Confession
  • LORD'S Prayer
  • Holy Communion
  • Worship Activity
  • Guests
  • Music
  • Opening Song
  • Praise Song after forgiveness
  • Kids Song
  • Post Sermon Song/Offering Song
  • Sending Song

You can add fields for your specific ministry

Developed originally for Sydney Lutheran Parish

You can download the spreadsheet at