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Category Archives: Curriculum & Books

Amazed and Confused Kickoff

Amazed and Confused released earlier this week, but this Sunday, I will be in Nashville for a live kickoff of the book and the other releases from #InscribedStudies. The cool thing is that you can join the festivities from anywhere! … Continue reading

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Abraham- Amazed and Confused

God promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation. Abraham waited. God promised again. Abraham waited. In Genesis 15, God renewed the promise, and Abraham believed. The Bible tells us “and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his … Continue reading

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Faith That Stands the Test of Life

“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” That was the answer the prophet Habakkuk received when he … Continue reading

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Why I Wrote Amazed and Confused

In just a little over eight weeks, my next book, Amazed and Confused, will hit the shelves. I’ve never been this excited or this nervous about a book being released. Excited because it’s the most raw and personal book I’ve … Continue reading

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Start Big With Starting Small: An Interview With Author and Pastor Ben Reed

Ben Reed is one of my favorite guys in the world of small groups and discipleship. Serving as the architect of group life and Discipleship Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Tennessee, Ben is smart, fun, and constantly pushing … Continue reading

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Faith Powered Profession

My friend Elizabeth Knox has been a leader at National Community Church for many years. In the many hats she has worn and roles she has played, I have admired the way she has walked in faithfulness and integrity, wrestled … Continue reading

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Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life

I just really like Michael Kelley. When I first met him, I was struck by his thoughtful affirmation of others, tenacious grip on hope, and a faith rooted firmly in the reality of God in the sometimes painful reality of … Continue reading

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InScribed

My next book, Amazed and Confused, is a part of a collection of books called InScribed. Basically, a bunch of women writers got together and decided that we wanted to produce books that would challenge individual readers and small groups … Continue reading

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Introducing Jenifer Jernigan

In 2014, a new collection of books will be released from Thomas Nelson: InScribed. It’s a collaboration of voices of women authors, and I’m excited that my next book, Amazed and Confused, will be a part of it. But I’m … Continue reading

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Live in Wonder

Last week, I preached at NCC that the core message of Christmas is “come and see.” A baby…lying in a stone feeding trough for animals…proclaimed as the hope of the world. Come and see. The Creator, come in the skin … Continue reading

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Why I Wrote Community is Messy

It was a familiar scene. Sitting, once again, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, with my own frustration about to send me into orbit. Wondering, once again…why am I writing this? For some reason, I had convinced a … Continue reading

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Boxes of Mess

I can’t escape the mess. Twenty years ago, I hauled around boxes of sampler bottles from Ben Hur Research Farm so I could run chemical analyses and determine biokinetic properties of the reactions in the swine farm treatment lagoon.  Today, … Continue reading

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I’m Writing…I Promise

My blogging has slowed to a paltry handful of posts every few weeks, so I thought I should offer an explanation. So…please take this post as it is intended. Not as self-promotion. But as a pitiful, lame, desperate excuse to … Continue reading

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God Anthology

We are kicking off a new sermon series, CD project, and small group curriculum at NCC this weekend. The God Anthology. Check it out here.

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Theology is Fun

Just wrapped up the last official night of lecture at Theology 101 this week. It’s been a great semester filled with lively banter and hungry nerdy minds. It’s been fun. We use two books: Who Needs Theology (Grenz) and Across … Continue reading

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A New Chapter

I’m entering a new chapter. Literally. Not metaphorically. No, I’m not leaving (despite the dream I had about that a few weeks ago). I’m staying right here in DC. But I’m literally working on a new chapter. It’s called “Everything … Continue reading

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Theology 101

Once a year, I teach our Theology 101 class at NCC, and behind The Story and Leadership Retreat, it’s probably my favorite part of the job. This semester, 40+ people registered for the group, which presented a new challenge. How … Continue reading

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The Leadership Year

Each year, I choose a new area for focused growth. Previous foci (yes, I just used the plural of focus) included theology, church history, communication, etc. This year, I wanted to return to leadership. About ten years ago, I was … Continue reading

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Convergence

“Jesus practiced spiritual disciplines.” Jesus. God Incarnate. Practiced spiritual disciplines. It seems so simple and obvious yet so challenging. That one statement could launch a deep and engaging discussion in any small group. Convergence is a new DVD-driven small group … Continue reading

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Loudspeakers, Telephones, and What We Learn From the Soviets

Just got through reading The Starfish and the Spider. Highly recommend it! Especially for us church leader people. I think it’s a great framework for understanding non-linear discipleship and free market small group models. Anyway– one of the statements that … Continue reading

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Be a Triple Threat

I just got through reading Alan Danielson’s Triple Threat Leadership. Again. It’s worth the second read. In this e-book, Alan shares the essentials of game-changing leadership. If you can hold your nose and gag your way through his ridiculous obsession … Continue reading

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Relational Intelligence

“Our day-to-day interactions will determine the quality of our lives more than the tasks or work we do, whether it’s in our careers, in leadership, or in any other arena of life” (Steve Saccone). The older I get, the more … Continue reading

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Learn as Much as You Can

Whenever a brand new small group pastor asks me where to begin in establishing a small group program at their church, I encourage them to first learn as much as they can from the people they will serve. And then … Continue reading

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Leading on Empty

I recently read Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro. Book #3 in my leadership focus year. Before I get started, I’ve just got to say how much I love and appreciate Cordeiro’s heart for the Word of God. I stand … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads: Basil the Great

Incarnational discipleship happens when we grow closer to Christ by becoming his hands and feet to the world around us. It happens through missions, social justice, and service to our communities. The missions movements of the 18th and 19th centuries … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads: Thomas a Kempis

Personal discipleship was brought to the forefront of church history by Pietists and Puritans who sought to connect the mind of the reformed with the heart of a personal revivalist. Personal discipleship was fueled by the observation and practice of … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads: Clement

Intellectual discipleship burst onto the stage of church history during the Protestant Reformation. It was fueled by a desire to learn and was captured by Martin Luther’s statement at the Diet of Worms, “unless I can be convinced by Scripture … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads: Johann Sebastian Bach

As the church transitioned from a movement to an institution in the late fourth century, the Relational mode of discipleship gave way to a more Experiential mode of discipleship. Buildings for worship were constructed, incense was burned, music was composed, … Continue reading

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Primal Leadership

I recently completed Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence. Book #2 of my leadership-focused reading list for 2010. This heavily researched and referenced book by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee explores the “soft skills” of leadership- … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads: Dawson Trotman

Relational discipleship was the primary approach to spiritual growth in the early church. There were no church buildings, hymnals, financial campaigns, or even creeds. The church was just people. And people grew closer to God as they grew closer to … Continue reading

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2009 Book List

I promised one of our leaders that I would post my 2009 book list. I only read about half the books last year that I normally read in a year, but I will blame that on the Sacred Roads writing … Continue reading

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Voices From the Sacred Roads

In the study Sacred Roads, I introduce readers to five discipleship trends- relational, experiential, intellectual, personal, and incarnational. While each seemed to play a dominant role in a specific period of time, all of them have been practiced throughout Biblical … Continue reading

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Blog Review 2009

I just spent the last couple of hours reading through my 2009 blog posts. It’s not a complete journal for me, but it does give me a snapshot of the major events and guiding ideas for the year, and it’s … Continue reading

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PRIMAL

At the risk of sounding like a brown-nosing staff member, let me just say this: I love Mark Batterson. His new book, Primal, is the most accurate reflection of his heart and mind that he’s written yet, in my humble … Continue reading

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Building the Bridge as You Walk On It

One thing I love about cross-country flights is the ability to knock out huge chunks of reading. During my Christmas flight from DC to Chicago to San Francisco to Medford, I read Batterson’s new release, Primal, and Robert Quinn’s Building … Continue reading

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Book List- Theology

I’m posting book lists from previous year reading focus lists. In 2007, I focused on theology. Here’s that list. Again, I don’t necessarily agree with the perspectives of all of these books, but I found them helpful. Who Needs Theology? … Continue reading

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Book List- Communication

In 2008, I focused on developing my communication skills. The books listed here reflect a wide variety of preaching philosophies, but I found them all to be helpful: Communicating for a Change (Andy Stanley) The Passion-Driven Sermon (Jim Shaddix) Preaching … Continue reading

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Book List- Discipleship and Small Groups

A few folks requested that I post book lists from previous focus years. In 2005, I focused on learning all I could about discipleship and small groups. This is not a comprehensive list (and some of them were read before/after … Continue reading

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Leadership List

Thanks to everyone for all the fantastic leadership book recommendations. Someone asked me to post the books that I have already read, so I will do that now. Once I have developed my to-read list for 2010, I will post … Continue reading

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Leadership Development Books

What are your favorite books on leadership? Each year, I pick an area of my job that I want to be intentional and strategic about growing in. One year it was discipleship and small groups, one year it was theology, … Continue reading

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Sacred Roads Winner!

AND…we have a winner for the free leader kit of Sacred Roads: Exploring the Historic Paths of Discipleship. Theresa Haskins– small group leader at Northside Christian Church in Virginia. (Winner chosen by random.org) Congratulations, Theresa! Stay tuned for more Sacred … Continue reading

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