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Is online church really church? New pivots for COVID-19

The newest buzz word in church leadership is “pivot.” In a recent Dallas Morning News article concerning the collective attempts to slow the Covid-19 virus, Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas County Health Director, said, “This is what we’re all trying to address and keep death down as much as we can.” Keeping “death down” is a profound goal in […]

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Is online church really church? A theology of technology and presence

It’s official: people stayed home for Easter. According to the Washington Post, cellphone data tracking Americans’ behavior showed a spike in attendance of more than 50 percent for Easter 2019. For Easter 2020, attendance plummeted by more than 75 percent. For Orthodox Christians, Easter was last Sunday. Their churches were mostly empty as well, as […]

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Preparing for a pandemic: Being led to lead

I spent nine years at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, as a student and then a faculty member. I don’t remember a single moment in a single class that prepared me to lead a church in a pandemic while forced to do nearly everything online.  And yet, nearly everything I experienced from faculty mentors […]

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The spiritual opportunities of an Easter like no other

This is an unusual Easter, to say the least. The only one perhaps stranger than this one was the first one! From a distance of two thousand years, we try to imagine ourselves in the events of this week: Cheering Jesus as he came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Watching him engage with both those […]

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Encouragement on this unique Good Friday

As everyone in the Christian world knows, this is the first Good Friday and Easter Sunday to be observed primarily online. For ministers, this fact is especially unsettling. We preach to people, not microphones and computers. We watch faces, not sound levels. We hug shoulders we can no longer touch and sit beside hurting people […]

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How do we ‘live with people’ when we must live apart from them?

“You must live with people to know their problems, and live with God in order to solve them.” —P. T. Forsyth Good Friday is a week from today; Easter comes in nine days. It will be the first Easter in history to be celebrated primarily online. How do we “live with people” when we must […]

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How has God prepared you for pastoring during a pandemic?

“You must live with people to know their problems, and live with God in order to solve them.” —P. T. Forsyth Good Friday is a week from today; Easter comes in nine days. It will be the first Easter in history to be celebrated primarily online. How do we “live with people” when we must […]

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Should churches apply for CARES funds?

This paper is intended to help churches and ministries as they consider whether to accept CARES funds. (NOTE: The information at that link changes nearly daily.) These funds are available through the US Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is part of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which consists of $349 […]

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VIDEO: A practical conversation with Nils Smith on how to do digital church

Nils Smith is an author, speaker, vlogger, podcaster, and consultant. He has a passion to come alongside church leaders and organizations in helping them maximize social media and new technologies in accomplishing their goals. His desire is to not just function in strategy development, but to partner in hands-on execution.

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Dealing with doubts: Coronavirus and my favorite prayer in Scripture

Topical Scripture: Mark 9:14-29 Delivered March 22, 2020 There is so much we don’t know about the COVID-19 pandemic. We don’t know when cases in the US will peak or how long they will last afterwards. We don’t know if surviving a COVID-19 infection means we gain long-lasting immunity or if we can become re-infected. […]