The suffering of life doesn’t seem to pair with the goodness of God. I like to quote Anton Chekhov, the famous Russian short story writer, and a Christian. He says that there should be someone with a hammer at the head of every happy man, “reminding him with a knock that there are unhappy people, that however happy he may be, life will sooner or later show its claws”. That someone is often God, especially if we have eyes to see the brokenness in people’s lives. There is nothing easy about pain and there’s nothing easy about its instruction, both before it begins and in the mix of its weight in our lives. How should we teach about suffering? C.S. Lewis is a good person to turn to, to both feel the hammer at your head and also find some instruction on how to unravel the difficulty of pain. His book The Problem of Pain (1940) and A Grief Observed (1961) are helpful guides to working through suffering theologically and emotionally. Here are several points worth considering, especially in the role of pastor. (more…)
What is an artist? Is being artsy actually a good thing for worship leadership? Many parents might panic at hearing their son tell them of his dreams of being a dancer, or their daughter a master painter. How will you pay off that student loan? Get a real job. The liberal arts and the fine arts seem second class in a society built on industry and execution. The problem is that we need artists! And, we need the church to allow their worship leaders to be artists. Like any trade, the arts are part of how we build a great society with products and tools people use. One might build a house. Another person might design how that house feels, as well as functions. Lighting from windows, heights of ceilings, or placement of doors are some of the items that bring a home together. The artist describes how it should feel and look. The engineer makes sure it can withstand the wind and rain. The business manager gets it built on time and within budget. Basically, artists design–everything from what we sit on to the fonts we read on our computers. They create. In the case of worship leadership, a service is designed, and music, readings, and visuals are created. There is a side of it, like the businessman or engineer, that makes it happen 52 weeks a year. There is also another side that employs empathy, vision, and creativity in the design of a worship service. Do we give enough appreciation to the artistic side of worship leadership?
The Best Church Website Design Tips
A lot of flack has been given for poor church website design in the past, but that trend has progressively seen some change over the past few years. As time goes on, certain church website design choices and features have proven to make a huge positive difference in terms of public opinion and attendance from church website visitors. To help you make your church website the best it can be, check out these church website design tips that include quick, simple demonstrations on the easiest way to create a church website that leaves a lasting impression.
The serpent in Genesis brought with him a bag of tricks. The story describes him as crafty. Though the devil is not mentioned, he most certainly used the serpent to introduce the same lie that banished him from heaven. Imagine if this new creature, made in the image of God, believed the lie! They would also fall like lightning, be cast down, and left to rot. The lie was simple: disobey God and you will be like him; you will be able to judge what is right and wrong. Once the couple took from the tree, they were indeed cast out, forced to work in a fallen world that became violent in the trespasses of their sin. But the story carried redemption that the devil never saw before. We know its fulfillment in Jesus. We preach it every Sunday. We also know that the reality of God working in the world, from the care shown the first couple down to our own lives, hasn’t stopped the devil from sharing and spinning the same lie: “You will be like God.”
Color palette generators are becoming increasingly popular with the rapid development of technology. The creation and maintenance of websites are simplifying at a drastic rate. It wasn’t too long ago where we needed to hire “Website Designers” in order to maintain our website. Not to put down “Website Designers,” they are highly skilled and really good at what they do. The problem was the cost. It wasn’t cheap to hire someone to come in and make changes to your website, some would charge in the thousands to make simple changes. Today, there are more tools available to customize your own website without spending thousands of dollars to hire someone else to do it. (more…)
Sharefaith is the go-to place for all Valentine’s Day Backgrounds for churches all over! These Valentine’s Day Videos are perfect for use for your upcoming Valentine’s Day worship service at your church. With over 78,000 sermon and worship media, Sharefaith has all of your media-related needs, from sermon PowerPoints, church bulletin covers, church newsletters, worship video loops, worship backgrounds, church service video loops, church flyers and more! (more…)
How To Design A Website: The Ultimate Church Website Design Guide
With practical pre-designed templates
Excellence! Is what the church stands for…
However, what happens if you don’t know how to design a website, but you need a website for your church?
Never underestimate the importance of your website to new visitors. It represents the church. Your Homepage is the online entrance. Do you have “welcoming ushers” at your website entrance? In the online world, it’s easy to “turn around and walk away.”
A new visitor to your website takes 5-8 seconds to decide if he/she will stay or leave. If a guest doesn’t feel welcome, he/she will leave and never return. You know how to make strangers comfortable in your church, but what about making them welcome on your website?
Who is this guide for?
If you have:
• no formal design education,
• no coding skills,
• no experience in the web design industry,
• and you need a church website,
then this Ultimate Church Website Design Guide will teach you how to design a website, from start to finish! (more…)
Throughout Scripture, we see God working through unlikely people. God seems to always have a longer view in mind. It’s all backwards, upside down, and countercultural. Jacob the liar, Joseph the favored, Rahab the prostitute, Gideon the doubter, David the youngest – none of them might make it on our shortlist of ministry personnel. What did God see? We don’t entirely know, but we do see His good providence in the fuller story of the Gospel. Hebrews 11 lists each one, along with others, as a testimony to faith. “Faith,” verse 1 says, “is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” As we launch into a new year, how do we instruct our congregations about starting right with the end in view? Similar to those in Hebrews 11, we must have faith in God’s story, this side of Jesus.
Sharefaith Church Apps are leaps and bounds above any other church app on the market! We just added a brand new feature to the church app to make it even better. You can now add live streaming directly into your church app, providing easy access to your congregation so they never miss out, no matter where they are. In addition, you can easily connect your BoxCast or YouTube live stream or add your video archives from BoxCast, YouTube, Vimeo or other video platforms. This new feature is available to all current church app users. Learn more below.
Threads of deliverance in the Bible: Scripture is often enlivened when we see symbols or circumstances through the stories in the Bible. As we delve into particular events, there is rich and complicated meaning in real-time, but a bird’s eye view can also assess what’s occurring in light of what happens next. For example, Sarah wouldn’t know Hannah or Elizabeth or Mary, but the line of God’s mercy and providence in these unexpected mothers is profound, and comparing the songs of Hannah and Mary, even more. Water is another example. It nourishes the first garden, redeems us through Noah, delivers Moses, turns red with plague, comes apart several times, quenches wilderness thirst, saves Israel for a time with Hezekiah, breaks with the Son of God’s first breath, begins His ministry, changes to wine… and more. It’s a powerful, redemptive narrative. And this kind of patterned approach is applicable to our congregations. Water, for example, is something God still uses, inviting each of us into baptism and a life sustained by living water. How much more full is the symbol with the background of God’s story! Let’s read some stories of the threads of deliverance.