Hello, my name is David Choate. Two years ago, before overseeing the Sunday School lessons of Sharefaith Kids, I was a Children’s Pastor in Medford, Oregon. Being a Children’s Pastor was one of the most rewarding and challenging seasons of my life. There is nothing as wonderful as sharing the Gospel with kids! Conversely, there was nothing quite as challenging as building, maintaining and equipping a team of committed volunteers. That is why I was so excited to have the opportunity to interview and pick the brain of Janet Christian.
Wayne Grudem is a professor of New Testament at Phoenix Seminary. He is author of “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine“, a well-crafted tool that I continue to refer to for answers. Before moving to Arizona some years ago, Dr. Grudem had a long tenure at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. That’s where I experienced his New Testament class. He brought the amount of energy that is expected when a football coach huddles his team together before a game. Every class began with a hymn, a very different, but memorable way to bring the Gospel down into our hands and to ready our hearts for its study. From that point on, it was go time. One particular day, he gave a seemingly easy assignment: take all four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and systematize them. In other words, make them flow as one story… because it is one story.
Easter Sunday, often called the Super Bowl of the church by many, happens but once a year. In other words, we put a lot of our eggs in the basket of Easter–more than we might be willing to admit at times. (Yes, forgive the intended pun.) Not too many years ago, I recalled one such game day. Easter Sunday services kicked off and ended with a booming playlist of radio pop music accompanied with beach balls, balloons, and fun. Of course, people were having a blast and the desired “feels” brought pats on the back and “attaboys” from church leaders for the service programming. What is wrong with feeling great, anyway? After all, people in our culture feel defeated and stressed by our lifestyle. Our emotions matter, too. We have to be willing to have empathy and even plan our worship around real people and where their lives are lived. Being in a bubble is a failure for a leader. The heart of the planning was to relate to such felt needs. This is what Jesus himself often did.
Co- founders of Bethel Music, Brian & Jenn Johnson just released their latest album, “After All These Years”. The husband and wife duo, parents to 3 children, share their inspiring story of overcoming and finding peace through Brian’s nervous breakdown in After All These Years. Vulnerable, moving and inspiring lyrics, all co-written by the two, are placed along a background of an 80-piece symphony orchestra giving way to a fresh take on worship music. We had the honor and privilege to interview Brian Johnson and ask him questions about their new album as well as questions about leading worship and building strong worship teams. (more…)
The church today and through the ages uses the days before Easter as a time of pilgrimage. We are asked to make our way with Jesus as he journeys toward Jerusalem. It’s a time of faith, courage, fear, hope, risk, miracle, belief, and prayer. It’s the narrative that forms our faith. Because we know where the story ends (with the cross) and begins again (with the resurrection), it’s worthwhile to consider retelling points along Jesus’ journey with our congregations, especially in their context as pilgrim stories leading us into Jesus’ passion. Below are ten stories to study afresh.
Sharefaith’s annual Easter Sale is here! Save up to 25% off your annual membership when you Renew or Upgrade! Go Complete and you’ll get access to over 80,000 church graphics and media, with formats in UHD 4K, HD, & Photoshop and a FREE church app valued at over $1k! Plus you’ll get access to Sharefaith Kids Bible lessons and curriculum, our online donations & giving platform, and our worship presentation software! You’ll get all of these church resources in one place, from one company, on one bill! But wait! You’ll also get FREE live phone, chat and email support as well! So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this amazing sale today!
Sharefaith’s annual Easter Sale is here! Save up to 25% off your annual membership, when you Join New, Renew, or Upgrade! Sharefaith has been the go-to resource for over 120,000 churches for the last 15 years, providing incredible outreach tools that help equip the entire ministry team and all ministry platforms to serve and teach with excellence. Go Complete and you’ll get access to over 80,000 church graphics and media with formats in UHD 4K, HD, Photoshop & more.
Try not to blink, because the kids in our church seem to be growing up faster than ever. Before the world around them indoctrinates them with what it means to be great in our culture, take time to come up with creative ways to teach them that true greatness is found in something entirely different.