The Bumpy Road of a Blogger: From Gleichschaltung to Freedom

I started blogging sometime in the mid-2000s. Blogging was a new form of communication that was really nothing more than an online diary. The first blogs had impossible-to-remember web addresses like http://www.compuserve.com/user/eller-2f94e5643/. As a reader, it was awesome to get a glimpse into the minds of an untold number of people, some of whom were famous, while most we people …

Printable Resources for January 21, 2018

The following resources serve as a companion to the Lighthouse Lesson for the week of January 21–The Need for Margin. The Concentric Circles of Concern The Three Circles Worksheet  

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Sermon Handouts and Listening Notes: Pros and Cons

To do or not to do, that seems to be the question when it comes to sermon handouts and listening notes. Every pastor has their own opinion on this topic. Some avoid sermon notes because they feel it restricts their freedom during sermon delivery. If they provide an outline of their sermon and then opt to skip over some points, …

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Evaluating Your Sermon Series

Getting honest feedback about how you are doing as a teacher is invaluable. In a classroom environment, how your students are learning can provide feedback on how you are doing as a teacher. In a church setting, getting relevant feedback can be difficult, unless you ask for it. At First Family, we value input from our congregation. To do so, …

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Sermons in the Age of Twitter

The weekly sermon is as much a part of the traditional worship service as the bulletin and singing the doxology at the conclusion. But wait, we don’t sing the doxology at the conclusion of the service, and more and more churches are moving away from a printed bulletin in favor of a digital version. So much in our church services …

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The Value of the Long Tail in Ministry

Mention “the long tail” to most pastors, and they will think of the familiar caricature of the devil: spiked horns, pitchfork, and a long tail. The truth is, the long tail is a concept that has proven a very valuable resource for the church, and something that pastors should diligently work to employ in their own ministry settings. What is …