“What people need," says Karl Vaters, "is familiarity and relationships. They need to be in places that they know with people that they know and love.”
"When there’s so much uncertainty," says Ryan Wakefield, "go back to the things we can be certain about. We can be certain about the kingdom of God and the local church and the good news. And we can be certain that that type of ministry flows out of relationships.”
"More and more pastors shared with us," says Jimmy Dodd, "that there was really no place to go just to be honest about their lives."
"I've always felt unqualified," says Steven Furtick, "and I discovered it puts me in pretty good company."
“God wants believers to cause other believers to love him more," says Francis Chan. “Are we producing lovers of Jesus and each other so much that the world notices?”
"Being a pastor," says Eugene H. Peterson, "for so many people, is competitive. And when you're competitive, you're a lot more interested in winning than helping."
"Women are becoming frustrated as disciples," says Aimee Byrd. Part of the problem, she believes, is the church's misunderstanding of the idea of "biblical" manhood and womanhood.
"For those outside [the church], our unity is a very important witness," says Dr. Timothy Keller. Without true tolerance, however, we will remain polarized.
"One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life," says Ian Morgan Cron, "is to assume that your way of seeing the world is normal."
"I feel like we’re fighting to keep people in the Kingdom," says Skillet's John Cooper. "Young people are so confused...we are in a life and death urgent situation—I believe that with all my heart."
"Standing in the pulpit is nothing to play with," says former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry. "The devil will put a choke hold on you. He will strangle you if you're not equipped. I learned that early when I got into ministry."
"I thought a mom who used drugs when she was pregnant must not love her child," says Christina Dent, "[but then] I saw this mother who loved her son just as much as I loved my three sons, this fierce love, this desperate desire to do the right thing."
Both Matt and Laurie Krieg are primarily attracted to women. Yet God has used their "impossible marriage" to display the power and beauty of his love for us.
"No matter who is in the White House," says Kathy Branzell, "no matter the health concern, no matter what’s going on in the world, we can pray, ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'"
"We need to root out toxicity by being Christ-like," says Scot McKnight, "by listening and by responding in a way that takes into consideration who that person is and what their story is."
It's hard to pastor Christians in the age of outrage. In a time of bitter arguments and divisiveness, Ed Stetzer offers leaders a thoughtful way to approach the hot-button issues of the day.
"Somebody who is a very good negotiator can tell you exactly what they do when they negotiate," says Steve Cunningham. "Similarly, if we are living out [Jesus’] commands, we can tell you exactly how to do it."
"It’s not just the megachurch pastors," says Chuck DeGroat. "There are small church pastors who lead with this grandiosity, these narcissistic characteristics."
“When you feel as if people in your family have turned their back on you," says Lecrae, "it’s extremely painful, and you’ve got to realize that your identity is not wrapped up in their acceptance of you."
When it comes to online small groups, says Allen White, "This is a time that is wide open for experimentation, and those experiments have produced some pretty amazing things in the church this year."