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via Missio Alliance: Four Ways to Practice the Peace of Christ at Christmas

The Christmas narrative resounds with the expectation of peace. The heavenly choir that sang at Jesus’ birth declared, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors” (Luke 2:14, emphasis added). The newborn King lying in a manger is Isaiah’s promised Prince of Peace whose “authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom” (Isaiah 9:7).

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Revitalize Your Sunday School: Adopt a Philosophy

Loving God with all your mind means being in an ongoing Bible study. Pastors, preach it from the pulpit that every follower of Christ who loves God with all their mind needs to be in an ongoing Bible study! You do a great job in helping them grow. A small group Bible study helps them ask questions about life application to scripture. You also should preach that they should reach someone else.

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Fresh Expressions Brings Clarity, Confidence, and Courage

Clarity brings confidence, and confidence brings courage. This word from Pastor Jeff Hudgins in Floyd, Virginia, has informed the journey he has been on as he develops ways of being church outside the walls of his church—Floyd Baptist. He’s calling the initiative Grace at the Edge.

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Role Reversal

Christmas is that time of year that seems to bring out the best in us. It’s the time when we experience a role reversal, as we think of others before thinking of ourselves. Perhaps this is a hidden by-product of Christmas. Is this role reversal a fluke? Or in the original Christmas event, did God give us an example of putting others first?

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What Are You Waiting For?

Waiting seems to be woven into the fabric of Christmas. We wait for the season to begin, and then we count down the days left until Christmas Day. We wait in lines when shopping in stores, wait for parking spots at malls, and wait for planes or trains to arrive.

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Revitalize Your Sunday School, Step 10: Follow Up Fanatically

It is sad to say, but Walmart does a better job of welcoming people than many churches! They have assigned parking for people with disabilities and for expectant mothers. They have a greeter at each door. They smile and say, “Welcome to Walmart,” and provide stickers for children. Any employee is ready to help you find what you need. They smile when you leave and provide a warm goodbye. Following up with first-time guests at church and creating a comfortable environment is critical in this culture!

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The Missing Ingredient of Thanksgiving

Some of the best meals are somewhat simple in their contents, but when prepared with love and slow-cooked with time-tested techniques, they become the food of kings. Several months ago we watched a television show where the chef sought to discover the secret ingredients of traditional meals—sometimes still prepared over open fires, or slow-cooked. His discovery is summarized in this statement: “Time is the missing ingredient in our cooking today.” And there is much truth to this statement.

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Upton Celebrates and Challenges Virginia Baptists in Executive Director’s Report

During the Tuesday morning session of the 196th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), John Upton continued the meeting’s theme, “Renew,” in his executive director’s report. He thanked God for all he has done in this past year and for the exciting places he is leading BGAV in the future. Upton highlighted BGAV’s continued involvement in theological education, plans for the future of BGAV, and the ending of the “More Than Nets” missions partnership.

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BWA World Congress: Rio 2020

Virginia Baptists are invited to attend the quinquennial BWA World Congress wvwnt, Rio 2020, from July 22-26 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thousands of Baptists from across the globe will gather for five days of worship, fellowship, communion, and service. There is no other event quite like it!

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Revitalize Your Sunday School, Step 9: Know Key Numbers

Numbers do matter! Ask sports teams about sabermetrics and analytics. Since 2001, when Manager Billy Beane of the Oakland As started using them to have a competitive MLB team, sports teams in the colleges and pros use numbers to increase their chances of winning. Sunday School specialists have been using certain numbers to increase the overall health of churches since long before 2001!

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Follow the Invisible God

When Jesus invites people to enter into a relationship with himself, he uses the words: “Come, follow me.” We often read over those words and miss the meaning of the word “follow.”

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