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4 Excellent Bible Study Resources That Are Biblically-Sound

I consider myself somewhat of a Bible resource nerd. I am always excited to dig into a new study or resource that will help propel me to a closer relationship with Jesus. I do need to be careful not to focus on resources and content above and beyond spending time reading God’s Word, but I strive to find biblically sound resources.I am the Women’s Ministry Leader at my church and am constantly trying new resources and searching for solid content to share with my ladies. There are many biblical resources for studying God’s word and talented people that God uses powerfully to bring His message of salvation to the lives of believers and those seeking God for the first time.One thing that I make sure of is that all the teachings line up with the truth of the Bible. It can be so easy for a writer or leader to get caught up in their opinions and accidentally share them as truth. No matter what we are studying or reading, we must set it up against the Bible. If it doesn’t line up, then we don’t want it.Before starting a new study or teaching, praying and asking God for discernment in all you are reading and learning is a good habit. God can speak to us through so many different avenues. I believe He uses people, their creativity, experiences, and talents to share truths with us.Here are some of my favorite Bible study resources:
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10 Pointers for Praying in Public

In a typical Southern Baptist church – if there is any such animal! – the ministers handle most of the pulpit duties. The times when deacons lead in public prayer are more likely to come prior to the offering and inside the Lord’s Supper.When an inexperienced layman approaches the pulpit to lead in prayer, there is no telling what will happen. If it’s true that most pastors have never had training in public praying, it’s ten times as sure that the laypeople haven’t.What we get when the typical layman leads a prayer in the worship service is often some or all of the following:– trite statements he has heard other people pray again and again– vain repetitions– awkward attempts to be genuine and fresh– uncomfortable attempts to admonish the congregation about some issue, usually their laxity in giving– a complete unawareness of the time element. He/she may be too brief or go on and on and on.The typical layman feels out of place doing this. There are exceptions, thankfully, and some wonderful ones. But in most churches, the deacons and other lay leadership would rather take a beating than to pray in public.When a pastor friend announced to his deacons that they would no longer be leading offertory prayers, he expected resistance and was prepared to respond to it. Instead, without exception, they cheered the news. “They felt like a burden had been lifted off their shoulders,” he told me.I understand that. But I regret it. In truth, this could be a wonderful time for a man or woman of the Lord to render service of an unusual nature to the congregation and indirectly to the Lord.Here are ten suggestions on how any of us–preachers, staffers, deacons, laity–can improve our public praying.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/qingwa

13 Suggestions on Recovering from a Cult-Like Church

If you’ve recently left a church that either was a cult or had cult-like practices, recovering from that experience will take time. Here are some general suggestions for helping you to deal with the aftermath—and get on the road to recovery.

4 Biblical Reasons Women Can Be Leaders in the Church

As long as a woman feeling led to contribute to a church meeting respects the authority of the pastorate, she can scripturally teach. Also, a married woman would need to agree with her husband about her teaching role to prevent strife and discord in the home. When these two conditions are met, the Bible gives us four reasons women can be leaders in the church.

4 Ways Christians Can Cultivate Discernment Against False Teaching

Discernment is a lost art in the church today. When it comes to teaching, anything goes as long as it sounds good to the hearer. As a result, many Christians are swept away by the winds of heresy since they are unable to stand firm in biblical truth.Why is this such a serious case in the body of Christ today? One reason I believe discernment is lacking amongst Christians has to do with the lack of biblical literacy. In other words, Christians don’t know their Bible! While they may know their favorite verses, passages, and stories, they lack comprehension due to insufficient time in the Scriptures and taking the text out of context.Another reason is due to the presence of false teachers today. Scripture makes it clear that false teachers have crept into the body of Christ today (Jude 4) and that professing believers will fall away from the faith and “follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Sadly, many well-meaning Christians are deceived because they’ve grown accustomed to messages that have little to no biblical basis. For that reason, they are more entertained than properly equipped in light of these messages preached from the pulpit. And preachers who deliver these kinds of teachings today must give account to God, for which they will be judged more severely (James 3:1).That being said, I will spend the duration of this article sharing what discernment entails and four tips Christians can use to cultivate discernment against false teaching.Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/allanswart

The Top 7 Most Dangerous Church Cultures

Every church has its own culture.I’ve seen lots of different cultures while consulting and working with churches for over a decade.Regardless of what some believe—there are some healthy churches.And there are some who are not so healthy.It always breaks my heart to encounter a church that is ready to implode. Frankly, some churches live in that tension continually. Some cultures are dangerous—toxic even.Sadly, according to numerous statistics, more churches are in decline or have plateaued than are growing. Certainly, not all growing churches are healthy. I would never define a “healthy” church exclusively as growing church. I do believe, however, most healthy churches will eventually grow.Some of that health in a church depends on the culture of the church. How do people respond to church leadership? How do they respond to each other? How do they react to change? How are decisions made? What upsets people most? What is the atmosphere—the mood—of the church during the week and on Sunday? How does the church treat vocational staff?All those are usually relative to and indicative of church culture.So, I decided to post about some of the more dangerous church cultures I have observed. Most likely you’ll have some of your own to share.Here are 7 of the Most Dangerous Church CulturesImage Credit: ©Unsplash/isaac-ordaz

8 Things You Should Know about Gay Marriage

Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at [email protected] Roger, What do you think about gay marriage? I’d like your take on the issue.Dear The Many Who Have Asked Me About Gay Marriage,First, let me say that my wife Julie and I disagree about some of the things that I intend to share. That’s okay. There are many ways to look at this issue. She thinks one way; I think another way. And we both think we’re right.These are the eight perspectives from which I look at this important, charged topic.Photo Credit:©Getty Images/Geoff Goldswain

How Should I Respond to My Homosexual Friends and Family?

What would you say to someone who states that they can't “help” their homosexuality? I’m thinking of someone who believes that they were born that way and that they can't help the way they feel. I'm always at a loss for words when this comes up, and I don't know exactly where to point them in Scripture.

10 Responses to Claims of Hypocrisy in the Church

Hypocrisy has been listed as a leading reason young people are abandoning the Church or being turned off by the Christian faith. Here are 10 ways that we should respond when people say, “Christians are a bunch of hypocrites!”

10 Great Ways to Show Support for Military Families

If you live in a community with active duty military families but have never been a part of the military yourself it can be difficult to know how to support them. You may want to meet their unique needs but don’t know where to begin. The military family makes unique sacrifices to defend the freedoms that we all enjoy and a little bit of effort to encourage and support them goes further than you may ever know. So what can you do? Here are ten ways, among many, to show your support to military families: Jeremy Stalnecker is the Director of Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs. He served as a USMC Infantry Officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom and then became a pastor when he returned to civilian life. Through Mighty Oaks, Jeremy has brought together his ministry experience and military background to serve and minister to many hurting veterans, service members and their families. Jeremy, his wife Susanne and their four children live in Central California.

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How to Overcome Biblical Illiteracy

In a time when less and less Christians are reading the Bible, how can we learn it well and pass on what we've learned to others? These tools aid biblical literacy in individual and church settings.

10 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask about Heaven

Dear Roger,I am so excited about going to heaven. I am ready for the rapture. I hope it comes right now! But I don’t know enough about heaven. Can you fill in some of the details for me?Sincerely,JulieDear Julie,There are ten common questions I hear all the time from people who are seeking to know more about heaven. I’ve collected them here, along with some biblical answers and practical application. I hope they’re helpful for you!Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/grakozy

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