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‘Cool’ churches are overrated

Like so many seminary students, I daydreamed about my future ministry while sitting in classes. By the time I graduated, I’d imagined my calling many times before actually experiencing my calling. I visualized cool programs, vibrant music and lively Bible discussions. I thought there would be children, youth groups and church retreats. Obviously, God thought differently.

The challenge of challenging behavior

An energetic new pastor arrives to the resounding “Alleluia!” of a grateful congregation. Two years later, she leaves in fury, blaming a toxic environment, with her health in tatters. The perfect call finally appears for the seasoned pastor hoping to ease his way into retirement. Within a month, the pillar of the church leaves the denomination altogether.

Minute for Mission: Evangelism Sunday

As I speak with church leaders, I notice that there is frustration and anxiety around the rapid change in our culture. Since some people are no longer showing up in our churches, I hear the need expressed for evangelism training. Even though I believe training is important, I don’t believe evangelism training will solve the problems the church faces in the winds of change.

‘Love is the prerequisite’

  Pakistani minister to share struggles, success in reaching people of different faiths August 6, 2017 Ministers of all Christian denominations can tell you about the challenges of sharing the… Read more »


The world may think that the HIV pandemic is under control, but trust me: It is not!” warned Debra Mwale, convener of the Chikondano HIV and AIDS Committee of Zimbabwe’s Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Harare Synod. Mwale, a nurse who does HIV testing and counseling, observed that while “people now know about HIV and preventive measures, they still have not accepted that they must change their behavior.”

A mother’s odyssey to understand her transgender child

To begin this story, we must start at what was almost a tragic end. The year was 2000. Y2K was not nearly as frightening as expected, Britney Spears’s music topped the charts, and many 14-year-old boys were enthralled with their PlayStation 2. But not Aaron. At 14, he attempted suicide.

Intergenerational Valentine’s Day event celebrates women’s friendships

The last thing that Laura Raffle wants to do on Valentine’s Day is have dinner out at a crowded restaurant. “Although we of course recognize the holiday, I find Valentine’s Day to be a bit overrated in terms of romantic love,” says Raffle, a member of the 1,300-member First (Scots) Presbyterian Church in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. “What I really love is the fact that it’s a fun day for my kids to get a special treat and to make Valentine’s Day cards, especially my four-year-old daughter, who is just learning how to write. For me it’s all about showing my love

Parenting changes everything

Who could be more vulnerable than a young girl in first-century Palestine, unmarried, and told that she is soon to be the mother of the Son of God? Who could feel more helpless than a young man who discovers that his soon-to-be wife has been made pregnant through the Holy Spirit?