20 Christian Women Who Died as Martyrs

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“For me to live is Christ; to die is gain,” says Paul (Phil 1:21), who was beheaded for the faith in Rome. In fact, all the disciples were violently killed except for John. Still the message spread. And martyrdom never stopped. Today, 322 Christians are killed for their faith every month, not counting the other violent acts perpetrated on Christians (according to Open Doors, www.opendoorsusa.org).

What follows are just over 20 women martyred for the Gospel. We hope their stories will inspire you to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Eph. 4:1) and to be renewed in taking up your cross daily no matter what it might cost you. (more…)

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10 Mistakes All Worship Leaders Make

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If you are a worship leader there is only one thing can you be certain of: at some point you will make a mistake, or two, or a dozen! Here are some of my best and worst mistakes. My hope is that you will find affirmation, comfort, and even resolve in the ones you too have made and perhaps be able to avoid the ones that you have yet to make.

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2016 Easter & Spring Sharefaith Product Releases

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Boy are we excited to tell you about our awesome new product release! We also have a ton of new features and upcoming releases that will make 2016 the biggest and best year yet! We’ve always said that you cannot find more value and quality at this price point anywhere, and that, now more than ever, is true! Your Sharefaith membership has once again quadrupled in value. We love it, and so will you!

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10 Tips for Building Strong Worship Teams

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There are some common realities with any project of a certain scale and scope. There is a plan for beginning, for development, and then for long term growth. Building a strong worship team is no different. There are things to be done at the beginning, in the middle, and for the long term to keep the team musically strong and spiritually healthy. Here, in no particular order, are 10 tips for making this very challenging task easier. (more…)

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10 Tips When Hiring Sunday School Volunteers

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A great Sunday School volunteer is worth their weight in gold. Now some of you on shoestring budgets might be thinking: “If that’s the case I’d like to trade in a couple.” But it’s true! A great volunteer multiplies your ministry’s influence and effectiveness. The opposite, however, also holds true. A lackluster volunteer makes children’s ministry harder than it already is. Carefully selecting and investing in your volunteer team is one of the most important processes a leader will undertake. To help evaluate where you are, here are 10 things to look for when hiring a Sunday School volunteer.

Passionate Follower of Christ: The greatest “ability” any volunteer will bring to ministry is a passionate love for Jesus Christ. And more than anything else, this is what our kids need to see in the adults that care for them. As the Spirit of God fills a volunteer with faith, hope, and love, they will outpour these very things into the lives of the children they serve. When interviewing a potential volunteer, a great opening question is: “Tell me about how you came to faith?” If their eyes well up with tears of joy, you have found the foundation of a great volunteer. (more…)

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15 Resolution Tips to Battle Conflict in Ministry

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Conflict and churches go hand in hand. There are many reasons for this, but the fundamental issue is that people are interested in what they invest in. And, members have a vested (financial, emotional) interest in church decisions. This interest often insights passion – which sometimes results in conflict.

A major source of conflict in the church is the tug-of-war over the utilization of ministry resources – people, time and money or over the philosophical or doctrinal direction of the church.

These can be very emotionally charged issues, if not managed appropriately. One way to minimize conflict is to have a plan and to communicate well. When everyone understands what the mission, vision and values of the church are; and the strategy by which the church hopes to achieve its mission, issues are filtered through that lens which can minimize conflict.

If your church is experiencing conflict, here are a few tips: (more…)

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10 Warning Signs a Pastor Is Ready To Step Down

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We all know someone who quit his or her job unexpectedly. Whether this is in a corporate environment or the ministry, employees often provide warning signs that lead to a sudden decision to quit their job.

It is said that hindsight is always 20/20. This is also true when reflecting on a great pastor who suddenly calls it quits. Church ministry teams need to be aware of warning signs so the ministry can intervene when possible and be prepared for a transition if necessary. (more…)

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10 Tips for Mixing For Church Worship

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Mixing for church worship – The ultimate 10 step guide. As a volunteer sound tech for your church, you probably have not done sound for a living and are looking for practical ways to get better. Here are ten helpful tips & tricks that have helped me over the years and will certainly bring your mix to the next level.

1. Relationship and communication with team.

If you are a member of a team, (I consider the worship and tech team to be one, not two) it will pay huge dividends if the relationships are strong. Imagine a guitar player or drummer, whom you don’t know that well, playing a little bit louder than usual. You say to him: “Turn down your amp!“ What would his response be? Not nice. However, if you have spent some time with him connecting on a personal level over coffee, getting together outside of church, you know his name, the music he listens to, what he does for a living, etc., the conversation might go like this:
Me: Hey, Johnny, I need a favor.
Johnny: What is it bud? Anything.
Me: I need you to turn your amp down.
Johnny: No problem.
A strong relationship solves a technical problem. Phil 2:1-11

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Top 20 Best Universities & Schools for Worship Ministry

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This curated list is brought to you by: Church Graphics for Worship

Top Worship School BadgeIf you want to be a worship leader or serve as a worship pastor and are looking for higher education options this list will give you a healthy start. We chose schools based on reputation for worship arts offerings, both in facilities and faculty. Larger and smaller schools both made this list as one size does not fit all. Also, regions were considered, giving a head start no matter where you live. Do you already have an undergraduate degree? We also made sure to list some schools that offered graduate level programs.

If you are a worship leader and currently lead worship in your church, do check out our amazing worship backgrounds collection featuring more than 2,000 graphics.

 

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Top 20 Bible Study Resources Available

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There are tons of options when it comes to Bible study resources. They often are presented as guides for women or men or some life stage, whether we’re young, old, or somewhere in between. Historically, and sometimes still today, denominations will offer resources in an attempt to have a baseline for everyone to work under. These approaches are worthwhile and try and get to a place where this top list of resources tries to influence as well: this is the day that the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad. And, seek first the kingdom and everything else will be given. And, take up your cross everyday. In a Bible study, a group comes together in order to fellowship and devote time to Scripture reading, discussion and prayer. It’s also a time of sending people back out into our unruly world with more of a sense of God’s presence working in and through them. Oswald Chambers, the famed author of My Utmost for His Highest, recounts an encounter with God in which he heard him say, “I want you but I don’t need you.”

We hope the list below provides helpful tools for Bible study leaders and members. God wants us to be part of his mission in the world, and, isn’t it better to be wanted by God than just to be needed? (more…)

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