Most read ideas

We've put forward a lot of ideas posts this year; here, in alphabetical order, are the ones that have received the most visits since we launched GoThereFor 2.0 in June.

Most visited articles on GoThereFor 2.0

Assessing maturity by Colin Marshall
How would you assess the maturity of your church? If you were designing a maturity survey for your members, what questions would you ask?
The best pastoral advice I ever received by Stephen Leston
Stephen Leston shares his surprising answer to a young minister’s question.
Beware of church assessments by Colin Marshall
I’m worried about the language and concepts of the human resources world being applied to churches and pastors. I hear questions like: What do we do with underperforming pastors who are not growing the church? Are we reinforcing their sense of entitlement by accepting and rewarding underperformance?
Calling to ministry by Tim Grant
Regularly when I sit down with someone, they’ll use the phrase ‘called to ministry’. I don’t have a dislike of this phrase, it can be very useful—only when most people use it, it isn’t.
The Christian bucket list by Stephen Liggins
I’ve just ticked something off on my hypothetical bucket list! A bucket list, for those who don’t know, is an inventory of things that someone decides that they want to do before they die (i.e. “kick the bucket”).
The Christian passport by Phillip Jensen
Passports are really important. You can’t enter the kingdom of heaven with the wrong one. You can’t use anybody else’s passport. You have to have your own. It must be current. It must not be a fake or forgery. It must be recognised by the government. Without the right passport there is no entry into God’s kingdom.
Disciple-making ministry tip: A tool for memorizing Bible passages by Dave Burt
Bible verses are hard to remember, because you’re trying to hang a tiny shred of Scripture on the flimsy hook of an arbitrary chapter and verse number. They lack context, which makes them not only harder to remember but less useful for disciple-making ministry, and potentially dangerous.
Disciple-making ministry tip: Don't count sheep! by Shirley Mainstone
Many older people—and some younger ones too—have difficulty sleeping right through the night, spending hours or minutes trying to go to sleep. Many years ago, I was discussing insomnia with Dr Paul White, the famous “Jungle Doctor”. He stated, “If I can’t sleep, I don’t count sheep, I talk to the Shepherd.” The idea fascinated me, as a very frustrating time could then be used for something worthwhile.
Disciple-making ministry tip: Prayer dice by Peter Chubb
When learning to pray, children (and adults!) often fall into a rut. They use the same words and pray the same things every time. I came up with an idea to help, to make praying fun, and to prompt the people praying to consider more things to pray about.
Don't mistake your leaves for fruit by Hannah Ploegstra
Leaves are essential to plants. But leaves aren’t fruit. Leaves aren’t what the vinedresser comes looking for. Leaves aren’t what he puts in his basket. Yet, in our Christian lives, I think we often mistake our leaves for fruit.
Families that break by Chris Drombetta
One of the bedrock families in our congregation just lost their matriarch. I’m thinking about ways that I could have been, and hope to be, more helpful to this family. So with minimal personal editing and the vulnerability of the moment, here are some things for us to remember as we walk with families that break.
Five biblical ways to face death defiantly by Hannah Ploegstra
Sympathy cards address the sadness death causes, but few acknowledge the rage. Yet that rage is real. It should be: death is the very opposite of God and all that he has created. We should hate it. Christ did.
Getting ready to forgive by David Mears
"Do we have to forgive people who aren't sorry?" How would you respond? Our instinct can be to rush in with some kind of ‘yes/no’ answer. What we may fail to do is consider whether or not answering the question as asked is the most helpful response.
How singing the psalms changed my life by Timothy Raymond
I did not grow up in a church which practised the singing of the Psalms. Growing up, I split my time between two churches with two distinctly different styles of music. The first was a large, very traditional Baptist church that cherished the folksy revival hymns of the late 19th century. Songs such as In the Garden, The Old Rugged Cross, and Softly and Tenderly still bring back memories of my childhood. Then in high school I got connected with a rockin’ charismatic youth group.
How the doctrine of election fuelled Jesus’ work by Hannah Ploegstra
The New Testament unanimously presents the doctrine of election as a glad and glorious reality of the gospel. The staggering news that God has loved Christ’s people from before the foundation of the world, creating us for mercy, blessing and joy, offers much-needed confidence and security as we walk by faith in the weakness of the flesh.
In defence of being busy by Hannah Ploegstra
If I hear one more person—or myself—groan “I’m soooo busy”, I think I might explode. Or wilt. That gripe is getting really boring. Worse, I fear we are groaning about something that’s good.
Is it time to leave your church? by Ian Carmichael
It’s a word that drives just about any pastor to despair (although not necessarily because he sees it in his own heart and life). The word? Consumerism.
Keep on welcoming by Samuel Freney
After being in paid ministry for over a decade, I recently joined a church where I have no position, title, or responsibility beyond that of any other new member. Let me tell you, it’s an eye-opening experience of how churches operate.
Life in God’s waiting room by Jean Williams
I've been thinking about waiting. The waiting you do when your hopes and dreams have been deferred—again. The waiting you do when you're offered the opportunity you longed for but have to turn it down—again. The waiting you do when the future is uncertain and your plans can only be tentative and provisional—again.
Making meetings effective: Minutes and agenda by Craig Schafer
Before entering Moore College, I worked for six years as a management consultant for the world’s largest management consulting organisation. Life was an endless series of meetings where time was very literally money.
Putting the mini in ministry by Laura Blyth
What are the small things we can all do that make a big difference in our churches?
Redefining marriage by Sandy Grant
Amidst all the sound and fury about same-sex marriage, it’s often hard to find a straight-forward, clear, thoughtful Christian defence of what marriage is. Sandy Grant has had a crack, and a very good one, in this recent public lecture at St Michael’s Wollongong.
Sexual immorality: My personal insights by Anonymous
Married life was typical. It was filled with good times and hard times as the challenges of family set in. He was very open about seeking help and exploring new support groups, and so I thought he was progressing. So it came as a complete shock when he said, “There's something I need to talk to you about. Yesterday I did something really bad.”
Some questions on talking to Catholics about Jesus by Mark Gilbert
If one person asks a question aloud, then usually there are a lot more people wondering the same but without a chance to ask! Hear are my answers to some great questions a student at a theological college asked me about talking with Catholics about Jesus.
Still sick, but healed by Lauren Carmichael
A few weeks ago I had an interesting encounter with an older religious lady on our university campus. She noticed that my eyes and skin were discoloured by jaundice, and once I had explained the cause (a rare genetic condition that I’ve had from birth), she was filled with pity and told me that she would pray to her God for my healing.
Ten tips for leading church well by Rory Shiner
A good leader can determine the difference between a service that flows well and a service that flops.
Tips for being a false teacher by Tim Grant
So you’ve decided to forgo the straight and narrow and teach things that are… well… not strictly speaking true. It makes sense; after all, surely we’re all a little bored by the same Christian message year after year, millennia after millennia.
What I did on my long service leave by Dave Rogers
So I had long service leave for the first time this year. “How did that happen?” I asked myself, before hurtling back to reality as I remembered first my years of single ministry, rapidly followed by a church plant, getting married, becoming a rector, welcoming two small people into our world, leading a growing church, and dealing with the reality of struggling marriages and bodies ravaged by cancer.
What personality tests can't do by Jean Williams
I love personality tests. That’s not surprising, because people with my personality type enjoy self-analysis. My husband, on the other hand, dislikes personality tests. Yet he still uses them in ministry training because he appreciates how useful they can be in helping people understand themselves and others a little better.
What’s in the bad bracket? by Tony Payne
English evangelical vicar Melvin Tinker recently found himself the subject of a media storm for daring to say that homosexual sex was morally wrong. This was in response to the decision by his local Canon to support and bless a gay pride rally, including draping a rainbow flag on the steps of York Minster.
What your church needs to know about church by Tara Sing
People love watching and talking about trends. Trends in the stock market, trends in prices, trends in culture, and also trends in churches. And apparently, the trend for churches in 2015 is not a good one.
Why we don’t ask God for things—and why we should by Jean Williams
Nothing is too trivial for me to pray about, from the common cold to parking spots. But I often forget to ask for things that really matter, from big things like the growth of God’s kingdom to little things like daily help with my anxieties and ungodliness.

Last updated 15 September 2016.

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