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Soar Past Tithing On Your Way to Becoming Wildly Generous

A Travel Free Learning Article Money02

By George Bullard

Should we forget tithing? Is it passé? Does it set up an artificial target on which too few people actually agree? Tithing seems like an obvious principle–10 percent of your income–yet too often it becomes a negative point for confusion, rather than an experience of positive passion for celebration.

[See my previous article Does Anybody Really Know What Tithing Is? Does Anybody Really Care?]

I know that for many people tithing is a non-negotiable biblical principle. Many who feel this way are from the Silent or Builder generation, with fewer coming from the Baby Boomer generation. Less agreement, I suspect, is found among the younger generations called Baby Busters and the Millennials.

Tithing can also be a restrictive cap on financial discipleship. It can set up an arbitrary goal you seek to achieve, and when you arrive at the tithing finish line you declare your race over. Now you can rest. Now you can put on your Pharisee clothes and be proud that you are not like those non-tithers.

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The Secret to Congregational Vitality Revealed

God VisionA Travel Free Article

By George Bullard

The secret is really not a secret. It is well known by many congregational leaders. But, they do not accept it because they are looking for a magic act that brings quick vitality without deep commitment and persistent action.

Too many congregations are looking for a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution. They want a pastor who is a magician who can help them become something extraordinary without having to change their church in a way that moves it outside their comfortable zone. They want leadership that does not require them to alter their pattern of life, make sacrifices, or confront the fact that they prefer the comfort of their culture to the confrontation of living a prophetic lifestyle.

During a recent conference call as part of the FaithSoaring Churches Learning Community that I lead, I was reminded of the secret to congregational vitality that is clearly known by many Christian leaders, and clearly hidden to those who have not yet experienced it and believe it. It is simple, yet complex. It is easy, yet hard. It can start immediately, yet take years to become sustainable.

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Millennials and Why I Am Reading More in the Gospel of Mark

A Travel Free Learning Article Gospel of Mark

By George Bullard

When you are looking for a story or saying in the four gospels about the life and ministry of Jesus, which gospel do you go to first? I go to the gospel of John. How about you?

The gospel of John is my favorite gospel. It has been all of my life. When looking for a story or saying about Jesus, I look in John first hoping to find it.

But, I do not read the gospel of John near as much as I once did. I have read a lot in the gospel of Luke over the past decade or so. Recently I have shifted to the gospel of Mark.

Why?

A long time ministry colleague--Bob Dale of Virginia--suggested some years ago that the four quadrants of the brain each have one of the four gospel books that reflect the thinking style of that quadrant. In further conversation in a learning community we suggested that birth generations have a theme that also connects with one of the four quadrants and thus also with one of the four gospels.

This was not pop-psychology, but was based on some serious brain research. We had significant dialogue with the creator of a highly accurate thinking style assessment to be sure various implications we were building were foundationally sound. They were.

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This Kind of Denomination IS Dead

Denominations
A Travel Free Learning Article

By George Bullard

Anyone who has followed my lifelong trek through the maze of denominational staff service, and consulting and coaching with denominational organizations, knows that I believe in denominations. I also believe they have a future that respects their past and present.

The current era that many people like to call a post-denominational era I describe as a denominational transformation era. Denominations are not going away. They are simply being transformed–or morphed if you prefer–into a new form.

What is this new form? Let’s wait and talk about that later.

Before we can go there we have to talk about things that are no longer part of denominational organizations emerging out of the morphing phase. Many denominational organizations embracing these things are already dying. Way too many current denominations are still doing old things, and do not realize they are surrounded by dead bodies. Perhaps they are best known as the walking dead.

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