3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, June 25, 2017: What’s a preacher supposed to do with these “hard” lessons for this week? If we set the discipleship bar too high, won’t that alienate the folks who want an easy life? Easy is not always the answer. In fact, most things truly worth having require expenditures of time, effort, and energy. Why should we expect the journey of faith to be any different? If Jesus’ life and ministry and the paths of his early followers are our model, most of us are in real trouble! (Photo: Barbara Kruger, Modern Art Oxford Creative Commons)

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Set Benchmarks for Christian Education

Benchmarks are useful for measuring progress or setting standards in lots of fields of endeavor, including athletics, work and education. Yet many Sunday schools and faith formation programs do not have benchmarks. For example, what can one expect a 12-year-old to know about the Bible? What about a 6-year-old? A 30-year-old? This article from explores benchmarks and how to set them. (Photo: Lauren Manning, Creative Commons)

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Here’s your July ‘Stewardship Toolbox’

This is a great all-in-one resource for your congregation’s monthly stewardship communications. You’ll find “cut-and-paste” short “Stewardship Snippets” tied to the RCL readings for every Sunday’s bulletin, articles for your monthly newsletter or website. Not only that, you’ll find links for resources to “Teach,” “Preach,” “Lead,” “Think’, and “Do” stewardship. Prepared by SOLI web editor Rob Blezard. (Photo: Tiffany Whitehead, Creative Commons)

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Know Your Congregation’s Unique Money Style

Every congregation has its own attitudes, ideas, understandings and suppositions about how church money should be gathered, counted and spent. You could call it their money style. Knowing their money style will enable a wise leader to set effective policies and procedures to keep tabs on the finances. This article from ChistianityToday looks at four typical church money styles and how to work with them.

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