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5 Ways to Increase Bible Engagement at Your Church

A significant challenge in making disciples is bible engagement.

Rich Birch from Unseminary has some helpful ideas. Check out the post in this week’s Church Leader Insights.

5 Ways to Increase Bible Engagement at Your Church

If you get a group of pastors and church leaders together in a room and ask them what they wish they could change about their church, often the topic of discipleship comes up. Leaders want to see people more engaged in spiritual growth. Engagement with the Bible is high on the list of things that leaders see as part of a vibrant faith. Getting people more connected with the text is an important part of their spiritual journey.

It seems as if the general public has mixed feelings about the Bible. While a large percentage of Americans (79%) believe the Bible is sacred and important in life, a small minority (19%) actually read it four or more times a week. [ref] It appears that the people in our churches are interested in the Bible and what it has to say but they need help engaging the text directly. Here are some tactics for increasing Bible engagement in your community:

  • Consider the Translation // The best Bible translation is the one that people will read. Every translation is an interpretation of what the original texts say. You might have a personal bias toward one translation but you should encourage people to explore a handful of translations and find the right “fit” for them. Resist the temptation to be dogmatic. In a world where people have access to an unlimited amount of information in their pockets, you will come off as narrow-minded if you push one translation only. 

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bible engagement

6 Insights I Learned at the 2016 Willow Creek Leadership Summit

This year our church took over 55 to attend Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit at our local video venue in London, Ontario. 

As usual, I came away with many great leadership insights. In this post I summarize my top 6 learnings.

What I learned at this year’s Willow Creek Leadership Summit:

  1. The lens of leadership.
    • Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow, taught the first session of the day. He’s always super. He used eyeglasses as word pictures to describe these 4 different lens of leadership:
      • passion lens (self explanatory)
      • shattered lens (an unhealthy view of leadership)
      • performance lens (we have to get stuff done)
      • legacy lens (what we will leave behind)
    • The ‘passion’ lens insight stood out to me the most. He said that passion can be fueled by our dreams or even our defeats (lessons we learn about what does not work or lessons learned through failure). He also said that it’s our job to fill our passion bucket.
    • This statement profoundly impacted me: There are no do overs in leadership but there are makeovers.
  2. Culture mapping.
    • Erin Meyer, a professor at a university in France, and author of The Culture Map, gave a fascinating talk about her innovative research on how cultures differ in several ways. She has isolated eight different dimensions that any organization involved in cross-cultural work needs to understand.

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How to Have Energy for Your Spouse When Your Kids Exhaust You

All parents run into this. They want to spend time with their kids. They want to spend time with their spouse. They want to have friends, hobbies and a life. Yet when you have kids, you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day.

Katie and I often get asked how to have energy for your spouse at the end of the day when your kids exhaust you. Here are some of our thoughts:

4 ways to have energy for your spouse at the end of the day.

1. Evaluate your schedule. 

Why are you tired? 

Why do you feel like you and your spouse don’t have enough time with each other? 

How many activities are you running your kids to? 

Often the reason that you are too tired for your spouse is because of the season you are in; other times it is simply your fault. 

Many times we don’t put our spouse in our schedule. I realize how unromantic that sounds, but I say this all the time: You have all the time to do everything you want to do. And that includes time with your spouse. 

If you want to have time to be with them, put it in your calendar. Date nights don’t just happen. Conversations don’t just happen.

If you want to spend time with your spouse, you need to schedule it.

2. Decide ahead of time what the night will look like.

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Leadership Getting Hard? Resist These 3 Shortcuts

Have you ever been tempted to take a leadership shortcut?

Sure you have. Every leader faces the temptation at some point to avoid the sometimes hard, grueling, long road that leadership often requires.

This week I returned from a visit to Cuba, where I connected with leaders who face significant challenges on a daily basis. But what impressed me was their tenacity; their refusal to look for the easy “out”; their commitment to avoid leadership shortcuts.

Here are three of the most common, and deadly, leadership shortcuts to avoid…

1.  Creating policies

Moving people or organizations forward requires the hard work of leadership. It requires vision casting, team building, and difficult conversations.

But instead of doing this hard work, some leaders will opt instead to simply churn out a few policies.

Policies might have their place. Just don’t confuse them with leadership.

2.  Losing your cool

When a leader loses their cool, it’s like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Both are frustrated that they’re not getting their way. And so they pitch a fit.

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