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Lake Superior State University compiled its annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness” for 2013. The list, which was first launched in 1976, accepts nominations for banned words year-round. Matt Steen and I take a look at the words for 2013, and add a few of their own that we think should be banned from the church world in 2013. MB-forbidden-words CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  5 min 46 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What words would YOU add to the list?  Leave a text or video comment here…
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According to CNN, Washington’s National Cathedral is set to bless and wed same-sex couples: When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation’s most prominent churches – the Washington National Cathedral. Most Americans know the house of God, also called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, as a place where sacred rites are carried out on behalf of the nation. It has been host to the funerals of numerous presidents and of inaugural prayer services for four presidents, including Barack Obama. But it is also an active house of worship in the Episcopalian Church, said the Cathedral’s dean, Gary Hall. The denomination has developed a blessing rite that mirrors current wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples and allows each bishop to decide to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or not. Bishop Mariann Budde decided to allow the rite, since same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and now in neighboring Maryland as well, Hall said. It was Budde’s decision that led Hall to create the same-sex rite. He sees it as “another historic step toward greater equality.” The states of Washington, Maine and Maryland all legalized same-sex marriages in referendums during the 2012 general election. It was already legal in the nation’s capital. // Read the whole story here… Thoughts?
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Josh Reich shares five key things you should do when you’re discouraged and disappointed in ministry life.  We’ve all been there.  It’s depressing.  Here has what Josh has learned.  I hope these can help you the next time you’re ‘there’:
  1. You’re still called. Remember that you are called to where God has you. The moments that are the hardest in life and in ministry are typically when God is trying to teach you something, your church, family or team.
  2. Stay focused in your area. When leading is hard, everyone else seems to have an easier time. When a Sunday is mediocre for you, just go on Twitter and you will find 20 guys who just had a revival while you preached to the sleeping masses. Don’t look over the fence. Don’t brush up your resume. Don’t look up churches looking for a pastor. This isn’t the time.
  3. Keep everyone focused. If you are a disappointed, it will eventually bleed into your team. You as a leader must keep them focuses on the vision and away from disappointment. Celebrate whatever you can think of.
  4. Don’t sin. When you are at a low point in life, sin is right around the corner. Whether it is jealousy, gossip or falling into an addiction. Keep your guard up, be aware. Don’t fail in the midst of disappointment.
  5. Take a break. When you are disappointed, it might be time for a vacation. You may be burning out, simply running out of things to give those around you and you need to get a better handle on life and ministry.
Read more of Josh’s thoughts here at his excellent “My World” blog.
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From the Huffington Post:  On Sunday, Britain’s first atheist church held its very first meeting at The Nave, a former church-turned-performance space, in Islington, North London. According to the Islington Gazette, stand-up comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans founded the so-called godless church because they wanted a space where non-religious folks could commune and edify one another. The Huffington Post UK explains that the church, dubbed “Sunday Assembly,” has been “championed as [a] chance for disillusioned former believers, nostalgic atheists and anybody searching for a sense of community, to meet and ‘turn good intentions into action.'” According to the Independent, about 200 worshippers showed up to the service, held on Jan. 6. The congregation focused on the theme of “Beginnings,” deliberating over ways that success can be achieved by letting go of past failures and avoiding “mental booby traps.” Instead of a sermon, the church invited Andy Stanton, a popular children’s book author, to talk about overcoming the odds and achieving success; and instead of praying together, those gathered were encouraged at one point to close their eyes and meditate on their fears of inadequacy and failure. With Jones taking the stage as MC, the congregation was also treated to some stand-up comedy. A rendition of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” was even sung during the gathering. Going forward, the “Sunday Assembly” is scheduled to meet on the first Sunday of every month. // Read more here… Thoughts?
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The average pay of a senior pastor serving a Southern Baptist church in America for 2012 was $60,774.  That’s for pastors that live in church housing.  For those who don’t, the average is more like $72,840.  That doesn’t include cash payments that most pastors get as reimbursements (like for mileage, conference reimbursements, books, etc. That’s the synopsis from SBC Voices. LifeWay and GuideStone collaborate on the compensation survey. The  latest is available here. Thoughts? Does this strike you as high, low, or just right?
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Rick Warren’s statement about Hobby Lobby:

Every American who loves freedom should shudder at the precedent the government is trying to establish by denying Hobby Lobby the full protection of the First Amendment. This case is nothing less than a landmark battle for Americas FIRST freedom, the freedom of religion and the freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience. Religious liberty is often called our First Freedom because it is the first phrase of the first sentence of the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. Freedom to practice your religion is listed before the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and the right to bear arms. The first American settlers, Pilgrims, came to America for this very reason seeking the freedom to PRACTICE their religion, which they were denied in Europe. This is the freedom that made America unique from all other nations.

Today, the government has tried to reinterpret the First Amendment from freedom to PRACTICE your religion, to a more narrow freedom to worship, which would limit your freedom to the hour a week you are at a house of worship. This is not only a subversion of the Constitution, it is nonsense. Any religion that cannot be lived out at home and work, is nothing but a meaningless ritual.

What do YOU think?

Is this Hobby Lobby situation a real red flag, or is it overblown?

// Read more here…

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A recent article in the Harvard Business Review makes a point that businesses often wait far too long before officially training leaders. Truth is… the church is also guilty of this. Join the conversation with Matt Steen and I on why, when, and how to train church leaders… early on in the process. MB_church-leadership-early-often CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  4 min 56 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What do YOU think?  Leave a text or video comment here…
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Eddie Wilson, spokesperson for FBC Hammond responds to Jack Schaap’s request for reduced sentencing.  He told the Christian Post: “Yes he was under a tremendous amount of stress such as anyone who runs an international ministry, however this does not excuse his behavior… He was a gifted leader who led the church to start many new ministries, and the church experienced growth under his leadership, but this does not give anyone the right to justify sinful actions.” Sentencing was supposed to be January 15… but has recently been delayed. Wilson continued: “Right now we are expecting the courts and justice system to determine what is fair while we continue as a church do our best to minister grace to his family as well as the victim and her family. Our church will not comment on what is fair or just. From the very beginning we have turned everything over to the authorities and will be content with whatever they decide.” // Read more here…
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