Monday, February 19, 2018

Two Free Bible Studies to Comfort in Times of Tragedy

The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted.
Psalm 34:18 teaches us that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  
In light of the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, group leaders across America now have an opportunity to speak life and the truth of the gospel into members of their group that are hurting and broken or wondering how to feel. Click the links below to download 2 free Bible studies we hope will be helpful to you as you navigate this time with your groups this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How to Offer Help and Counsel After a Mass Shooting

How to Offer Help and Counsel After a Mass Shooting

Unsure how to respond or minister to people after a mass shooting? These resources can help.

Group Photo
Sin has broken everything. When tragedy strikes in the form of a school shooting, it reminds us of this harsh reality and wrenches our hearts no matter how close or far we may be from the people and communities affected by the violence and grief. Because of the world we live in today and the speed and unfiltered nature of our access to news around the world, school shootings and other tragedies require us to be ready to counsel and lead our churches and loved ones through these situations at a moment's notice.
Whether you are counseling a family member of a school shooting victim, having a conversation with a child about a news report he or she saw on television, or taking preventative measures to protect your church from a similar tragedy, we want to help. Following is a collection of articles, Bible study discussion guides, video training, and podcasts to help you, your churches, and your families.

Articles


Bible Study Discussion Guides


Podcasts


Video Training

For the next two weeks, the Church Safety and Security training on Ministry Grid is available for FREE. Select a training below and log in with your LifeWay ID or register for a free account. Then click the “Add To My Tasks” button in the description to get started. 
The training includes:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Church Safety Training Is Now FREE

In light of recent events, we know church security is on a lot of people's minds, including our team, so we wanted to share with you a few FREE resources that can help you make sure your church is prepared for the unexpected before it happens.
For the next two weeks, we have made the church security training on Ministry Grid FREE. To access it, just log in with your LifeWay ID or register for a free account then add it to your tasks. The training includes:
We would also like to highlight these two helpful podcasts:
Please feel free to share with other church leaders who may be interested in these resources as well.
The LifeWay Leadership Team

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The New Smallgroup.com is Ready For You

 

The New Smallgroup.com is Ready For You

The smallgroup.com team is happy to share some exciting news with you! After two years of growth and a lot of feedback from you, we’ve been hard at work redesigning smallgroup.com to give you more of what you’ve told us you need.
Now, when you login, you’ll notice a drastically different and better look, new functionality and easier ways to create custom studies for your groups.
If you’ve signed up for a trial for smallgroup.com in the past but chose not to become a member, we want to invite you back! Simply use your same email and password to login and your trial will be reset. If you’ve forgotten your password, please use the “Forgot Password” tool to reset your password. Upon login, you’ll start a new 30-day trial of the new smallgroup.com.
If you are a member with a license for multiple groups, we think you’ll be especially excited about the “My Groups” feature. Click there to add groups, assign group leaders to your groups, and assign Bible studies to those groups. You can even give your group leaders access to choose and customize their own studies and always know who is studying what and when!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out or watch this short overview video.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Don't miss these Pastor Date Nights coming to Texas in March!


Don't miss being a part of one of these Pastor Date Nights coming to Texas in March! These will be great nights of fun, food, and fellowship for ministry leaders and their spouses. If you serve in any staff leadership role, register now! Registration deadline is one week prior to event.


Updated Registration Links:

Beaumont/Kountze

Corpus Christi

Thursday, February 8, 2018

LifeWay shares new vision for stores

Future shoppers will find fundamental changes when they visit LifeWay Christian Stores, trustees were told at their semiannual meeting Feb. 5-6.
LifeWay leaders shared a vision of stores where people will gather not only to buy biblical solutions for life but also to connect, learn and grow.
"The opportunities to do more are just amazing," LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer told trustees. "In God's power we seek to transform lives and serve churches."
Several LifeWay stores have begun testing the new approach with special events and places to gather. Eric Geiger, LifeWay's senior vice president and chief business officer, told trustees he is encouraged by the initial results.
"We have to change the way people see a LifeWay store," Geiger said. "It can no longer be a place you go to buy things, because you don't need to go to a store to buy things anymore. LifeWay Stores must be a place you go to learn, to experience, to connect to people and to discover resources."
Recent organizational changes at LifeWay integrated the resources and retail divisions to better serve customers, Geiger told trustees. "We want to do all we can to breathe new life into our stores because of the people we serve through them," he said.
"Our aim is to help people navigate their faith journey through creating and curating transformational content, while catalyzing and equipping local church ministries in their mission of making disciples."
Trustees began their two-day meeting with tours of LifeWay's new headquarters in Nashville, which opened in November 2017. While the new building incorporates the latest in technology, it also highlights LifeWay's 127-year history with displays of stained glass and other artifacts preserved from the previous campus.
"This new headquarters building has enhanced beyond my imagination what I thought a facility could do," Rainer told trustees. "For that I am grateful to God."
The relocation has brought more energy, excitement, enthusiasm and collaboration to LifeWay -- and those effects will continue, said Brad Waggoner, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"We don't view it as just something that happened back on November 13 -- we view it as an ongoing evolution of who we are," Waggoner said.
Tim Hill, senior vice president and chief information officer, praised the commitment of LifeWay's IT employees who worked around the clock to launch the new building. Multimedia equipment and high-tech meeting rooms make it easy for employees to collaborate and work remotely, he noted.
"We've set LifeWay up for the future," he said.
Major upgrades will roll out this year for LifeWay.com, Hill said. "This is all about helping customers find what they're looking for. It's to help them on their faith journey."
The ability to work from anywhere and at any time positions LifeWay to better serve churches around the globe, noted Selma Wilson, senior vice president and chief people officer. Already LifeWay distributes products in 164 countries around the world.
"We took a giant step forward into the 21st century," Wilson said.
Wilson also highlighted changes designed to help LifeWay draw in the next generation of employees. "We will always lead with our faith and mission, but we want the most talented employees to help us take this ministry forward," she said.
In his report to trustees, Rainer emphasized the need for continuous change to stay on pace with a world where disruption is happening more rapidly than ever before.
"We have to pivot, change and see ahead so that when disruption takes place, we are not only anticipating, we are responding and we are being proactive," Rainer said.
"This is a time for the Gospel to be demonstrated in its power," he said. "God's people must wake up to God's power, to do things God's way instead of our way."
In other action, the trustees:
-- Elected Joe Walker to be senior vice president of the Finance and Business Services Division and chief financial officer of LifeWay. Walker, 55, has served as acting CFO since the retirement of Jerry Rhyne in July 2017. A certified public accountant, Walker joined LifeWay in 1986 and was named controller in 2005. He is a member of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn.
-- Heard a financial report from Walker, who noted the new headquarters building was completed on schedule and on budget.
-- Learned LifeWay has received a "clean audit" from outside auditor LBMC. The audit covered LifeWay's operations and benefit plans.
-- Approved committee assignments for trustees.
-- Recognized seven trustees who are ending their board service in June. They are Travis Best of Caldwell, Idaho; Don Blackmore of Jonesboro, Ark.; Ken Carter of Lubbock, Texas; George Goudelock of Hartsville, S.C.; Greg Jackson of Camden, Ohio; Bruce Moseley of Mobile, Ala.; and Gary Richardson of Clinton, Miss.
Lisa Cannon Green is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources. Aaron Earls contributed to this article.

Churches on Solid Ground as Economy Rebounds

By Bob Smietana

Church collection plates were a little bit fuller last fall, according to Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

About 40 percent of Protestant pastors say their churches received more offerings in 2017 than in 2016.

Three-quarters say their church met or exceeded budget.

And only about a third say the economy gave their church trouble.

Those are among the findings of a new report from LifeWay Research, based on a survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors. LifeWay Research has tracked the impact of the economy on churches since 2009, said Scott McConnell, executive director, and this is the first time the majority of pastors said the economy isn’t troubling their church.

“The past decade has been difficult for many church budgets,” said McConnell. “But things seem to be looking up.”

Read more here...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Correction To Adult Leader Pack CD-ROM: Download Correct Teaching Plans For Spring 2018




The Incorrect Teaching Plans Were Included On The CD-ROM Included In The Adult Explore The Bible Leader Pack For The Spring 2018 Issue.

You can download the correct Teaching Plans here

We have identified how this happened and have taken steps to minimize this potential in the future. Thank you for using Explore the Bible and we covet our prayers as we do this work.