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3 Steps towards Speaking without Notes
by Paul Michael Vacca

Public speakers who maintain a conversational tone have a better chance of keeping their audience engaged. Constantly looking down at notes hinders the conversational nature of a presentation and causes your audience to lose interest. So how can you prepare and then speak without notes? Below I will present three steps towards speaking without notes, but first you must remember that practice makes perfect. There is simply no substitute for experience. The more you speak without notes,... Read More

New Devotional from Ross Lester – Selah: Devotions from the Psalms
by Cory Mansfield and Ross Lester

“I love the Psalms. I love the rawness, the awe, the beauty, the anger, the vulnerability, the sorrow, the joy, the hope. There is nothing sterile, aloof, cool, safe, or glammed up about them, and that is what makes them useful to real people like you and me, who wrestle with real experiences of faith and doubt that exist hidden behind our “highlight reel” lives that we continually self-publish to the world on social media” (Lester, 1). Ross Lester is the Lead ... Read More

Weaving Gospel Fluency into Every Sunday Message
by Jeff Vanderstelt

The apostle Paul instructed the church in Ephesus that the means by which we help each other grow up in every way in Christlikeness is by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). What is the truth? In verse 21, Paul says “the truth is in Jesus.” In other words, if we are going to grow people up into Christlikeness in every way, we need to learn how to speak the truths of Jesus Christ into everything. I call this gospel fluency. I believe God wants... Read More

An Open Letter to Those Frustrated by Their Progress in Sanctification
by David Powlison

Dear friend, We all love it when life leaps into forward gear and we make all kinds of progress. Problems just seem to fall away. Perhaps in your life you’ve had a season like that, a season when your life seemed to shine and flourish. Maybe it was when you first became a believer or during some period when you were very well nurtured by good community and wise input. Then there are those seasons where things go very slowly. You wonder, “Is this all there is? Why d... Read More

9 Tools You Need for Your 4th of July Sermon
by Cory Mansfield

Fourth of July weekend is a great time to bring your church together to celebrate freedom. What’s even better, however, is that you have the opportunity to guide your congregation to seeing this holiday through the eyes of faith. There are certainly a great number of directions you can take as you approach this topic of freedom including: Freedom from the power of sin – Old habits– Gossip– Idolatry&ndash... Read More

Marriage as Ballet
by Gary Thomas

Famed Russian-born ballet choreographer George Balanchine once said, “Ballet is woman.” The best male dancers recognize that their role is all about showcasing the female dancer’s beauty, particularly during pas de deux—couples’ dancing. People generally go to the ballet to see the beautiful form, grace, balance, coordination, and strength of the female lead, but all of those qualities are even better showcased when the ballerina has a male dancer who can set her... Read More

The Hottest Thing at Church Today
by Tim Challies

According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not o... Read More

Trembling in My Hands
by Michael Card

I was 14 years old when the Bible started to tremble in my hands. Raised in a Baptist church in north Nashville, having “walked the aisle” six years earlier, my experience in and of church was much like anyone else’s. It was 1971—the year that Apollo 15 landed on the moon, James Taylor released “Mud Slide Slim,” and Mount Etna erupted. But all these were insignificant compared to the fact that the Bible began to tremble for me. Up until that time, i... Read More

The Dangerous Work of the Pastorate
by Mark Batterson

I’ve been a pastor in Washington, DC for more than 20 years. I have seen administrations come and go. The party in power one day is shown the door the next. Yesterday’s hero is today’s scoundrel. Often it can feel that way in ministry. One moment everyone is praising your latest sermon; the next minute, there are complaints about the latest... Read More

How to Have a Packed Church on Memorial Day Weekend
by Angela Bainter

Memorial Day weekend is almost here and that means it’s time to hit the beach, amusement parks, or go camping. Wait, that’s what happens on Memorial Day weekend for most people. But life as a pastor requires you to be at church instead, right? Chances are your church crowd on Memorial Day weekend will be light, and as such, your staff may not feel the need to do anything special for t... Read More

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