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3 Things To Do When People Leave Your Small Group Small Groups. We’ve all been in one where the numbers continue to whittle down until it’s just you and the leader left.

But when you’re the one leading, what do you do if people start leaving yours?

Here are three things to do when people leave your small group: Continue Reading...

5 Reasons The Church Today Needs Matthew Paul Turner & Our Great Big American God

I’ve known Matthew Paul Turner for more than a decade.

We co-wrote Everything Twenties and 20 Things You Should Read together years ago. I remember his short-lived stint as an editor at CCM. Over the years, I’ve watched him grow and mature as a writer, editor, thinker, husband, father, and follower of Jesus. I’ve also had the privilege of watching Matthew—even from a distance—grow into who He was always meant to be—a provocative thought leader.

That said, I’ve never met anyone who has read much of Matthew Paul Turner, his wildly popular blogs, or his books including Churched and Hear No Evil that hasn’t gotten fire-engine-red faced angry. I’m sure that person exists.

Along with fairies, elves, and Sasquatch.

If you’ve read MPT for years and never once had your nose flare, show yourself. Then go to a doctor. You may not have a pulse.

This week, I read his newest book, Our Great Big American God, which provides a travelogue of God from the time He crossed the Atlantic until He arrived in what has become jesUSAMERICA. Beautifully written, Turner forces us to look at how Christianity has been influenced by nationalism, the economy, politics, entertainment, greed, agendas, and the history we prefer to ignore.

In his trademark playful style, some of Turner’s observations made me wince, others left me fuming, still others proved aha! moments. Some vignettes, much like a Gladwell book, only provided a sliver of the true tale, but still a shard we need to be aware of—even if it’s doubtful, questionable, or suspicious.

The reason the church today needs Matthew Paul Turner so much is because:

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Let me introduce you to my friend, Kara. Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Recently named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women shaping culture and the church, Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith, Can I Ask That?, and Deep Justice Journeys.

This fall, I've invited friends around the sticky barn door table to share what God is teaching them. My hope and prayer is that their words are a blessing and encouragement to you.

9 Words to Add to Your Vocabulary Starting Today

by Kara Powell

Snorkel equipment. Check.

Books for the airplane. Yup.

Exhaustion and a sense of being overwhelmed. In spades. 

So went my packing list for our family vacation at the start of this summer. Fatigue and a sense of overcommitment weren’t on my list, but they were so embedded in the weeks leading up to our trip that they snuck into my luggage uninvited.

Busyness has always been a struggle for me. Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Micha. Micha (pronounced "MY-cah") Boyett is a blogger, writer, and sometimes poet. She shares her story of rediscovering the simplicity of prayer in her recently released memoir Found: A Story Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer. Boyett and her husband live in San Francisco with their two boys. Follow Micha on Facebook and Twitter.

Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Prayer is an invitation to lift our souls to the God-Already-Here. by Micha Boyett

As a girl, I learned to thrive in my church culture. I was sweet, a hard worker, the sort of second grader the grown-ups asked to pray out loud. I was the kid who racked up the most gold stars on the class chart.

I knew the rules for pleasing God.

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Free 40-Day New Testament Reading Guide to Refresh to Your Daily Routine

Are you ready to experience some of the most life-giving, perspective-changing, hope-filled days of the entire year?

During the 40 days leading up to Easter, over 50,000 people from around the world joined the #LentChallenge—a fast and furious adventure through the entire New Testament.

Even if you didn’t participate during the #LentChallenge, you can still read the New Testament in 40 days, too. We’ve created a free PDF download reading guide  for the New Testament that can be used throughout the entire year.

And if you did join us for the #LentChallenge, we have something special for you, too. After slews of requests, we created a PDF reading guide to read the entire Old Testament in 40 days. Continue Reading...