Tag Archives: seminars

Church Inside Out seminars

I believe that the material in Church Inside Out is important for our churches. I have no illusions of getting rich off selling books. I do have dreams of the contents helping some churches become more effective in reaching out to their communities.

It was gratifying to hear that 21st Century Christian has already had to do a second run on the workbooks. I guess some churches are buying the book for their teachers and the workbooks for the class members. That works.

I’ll be presenting this material in four large events this year: the Pepperdine Lectures in May, the Red River Family Encampment in June, the Lipscomb Summer Celebration in June, and the Harding Lectureship in September. I also have several seminars planned at churches in the U.S., plus a request from the Dominican Republic!

I’d love to present this material at your congregation. The Church Inside Out seminar is a practical workshop for the congregation that wants to increase its impact on the community around it. The four sessions of the seminar are:

  • Session 1: The Church Inside
    Christians face new challenges when trying to reach today’s changing society: hostility toward religion, skepticism toward the Bible, apathy toward church membership. Yet the biggest hurdles we face are often inside our own congregations.
    In this first session, we will look at attitudes in our churches that distance us from the communities around us. We will also examine the role of Christians as ambassadors of the Kingdom.
  • Session 2: The World Outside
    In this session, we will look at how to analyze the make-up of our community and how to purposefully serve that community. We will also discuss the need to develop relationships with non-Christians to be able to share Christ with them.
  • Session 3: The Church Goes Out
    Conversion is a process, and church members need to know how to actively participate in every stage of that process. The third session will look at how to treat people who are at different points in their spiritual journey towards God. We’ll learn how to recognize when people are ready to hear the good news and how to share it with them.
  • Session 4: Outsiders No More
    When foreigners come to a new country, they go through something called acculturation. This is the process of learning the appropriate ways of doing things in their new culture. When new Christians begin meeting with the church, they go through a similar process. The final session deals with how to help new Christians become active members of the church.

Our seminars page on the Hope For Life website explains the costs:

The only cost to the hosting congregation is transportation, hotel, meals, and an opportunity to tell the Hope For Life story to the congregation, elders, or Mission Committee. Contact Bill Brant, bbrant@heraldoftruth.org or call 1-800-234-7995, for more information.

I hope to see you soon at a Church Inside Out seminar

A look at the first section of Church Inside Out

CIOOK, I want to share some more information about Church Inside Out, the book and workbook I’ve prepared that will be published soon by 21st Century Christian. I wrote the book as part of my work with Hope For Life (Herald of Truth) and will be doing seminars based on this material in local churches around the U.S.

Let me tell you about the first section of the book. It’s titled “The Church Inside” and has four chapters:

  • Church Inside Out
  • The Inward-Focused Church
  • Members Only
  • Accentuating The Negative

It’s a section of self-examination, encouraging church members to look at attitudes and actions that hurt our outreach to the community around us. As I mention in the book, it’s a bit like a visit to the doctor; you want to hear good things, but you know that you really need to hear what could be improved to make you healthier. I want to affirm what’s right in each congregation while challenging them to improve in other areas.

This is one section where I think a church could benefit greatly from a group study of the workbook (and the book, of course). The workbook includes a lot of questions and charts that will aid in diagnosing the current strengths and weaknesses of a congregation; when member share their views on these subjects, they can come to greater understanding of what their church is doing well and what could be done better.

And that’s my goal in all of this. I don’t want to stop at informing or educating; the goal of this book is to help churches increase the positive impact they are having on their communities. It’s all about getting church members out to help bring outsiders in.

Travel update

airplaneJust a note about where I’ve been the last few weeks:

  • Cuba — Feels funny to say that I went to a women’s conference. Actually, I wasn’t at the women’s sessions much, but did get to speak to a group of preachers that gathered at the same time. I also translated for some of the group from the Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, Alabama, as they addressed the men. Beltline sponsors the women’s conference. Most of the time, however, was spent with Tony Fernández, visiting radio listeners and studying a part of the province where he hopes to begin new mission churches soon. (Tony’s congregation has planted more than 40 churches over the last 10 years)
  • Kansas — I got to go to Lawrence, Kansas, doing my Christ and Culture seminar for the Southside Church of Christ there; that’s part of what I do for Hope for Life / Herald of Truth Great people, and they felt like the content I shared was very timely for their group.
  • Nicaragua — This is part of Herald of Truth’s Central American Project. Steve Ridgell and I travelled to Managua, meeting with radio listeners and preaching an evangelistic campaign. We also met with a brother who works in the area south of Managua, making plans to expand our work to that area in 2016.
  • Silver Spring, Maryland — I was invited to do a men’s conference at the Silver Spring Church of Christ, as well as speaking for their whole Hispanic group on Sunday morning and for an areawide event Sunday night. Another great group. It’s always encouraging to see what God is doing around the world.

What have you been up to?

Seminar on Long Island

Herald of Truth logoI just had a wonderful weekend on Long Island. No, it’s not really the time of year to visit the Hamptons. I was there for Herald of Truth, holding a “Christ and Culture” seminar at the Roosevelt-Freeport Church of Christ, then teaching Bible class and preaching for the East End church of Christ in East Hampton, NY.

The seminar at the Roosevelt church was actually a gathering of Hispanic church leaders from the area. There were representatives from seven different congregations, about 60 people in all. It was the first time I had done the “Christ and Culture” seminar in Spanish. Everyone seemed pleased with the material, and I felt good about how it went.

On Sunday, they were having a joint meeting between the East End congregation and a Hispanic congregation from Riverhead, NY. Everything was done bilingually. After doing that regularly for over 10 years, it’s surprising to see how many people are amazed at how smoothly it can go. Done right, bilingual worship does not interrupt the flow of the service.

As it has been the last few weeks, travel was a bit interesting. Going up there, it was mechanical problems. We left Dallas 90 minutes late, causing me to miss the 3:30 flight to Long Island. The next flight they could get me on was at 10:00 p.m.

Coming home, it was the weather. Actually, I expected things to be worse. I was only about an hour late getting home. The rides were bumpy, but nothing too bad.

It’s always great to be with brothers and sisters in different areas. Then it’s always good to return home again.

Seminar at Brooks Avenue

859499_10151318165338191_1846126711_oI was privileged to be with the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, this past weekend. They invited me to come and present the “Christ and Culture” seminar that I do as part of my work with Herald of Truth. I’ve talked about doing such seminars in the past… but this time I’ve got pictures to prove it. Here’s a few:


Ok, so I talk with my hands.


Technology was extremely helpful this time. I used an iPad to control the presentation that was running on my laptop. Allowed me to see the slides as well as some notes.


Some of the material that I present during the seminar is from Ray Vander Laan’s www.followtherabbi.com.


I presented the final session during morning worship on Sunday. That meant that I had to take a 45 minute session and present it in 25 minutes. Talking fast is good for the soul!


I told some friends on Facebook that every preacher secretly dreams of having Michael J. Fox playing guitar behind them as they preach. I used some still photos from “Back To The Future” to make a point about contextualization.


I hope that everyone took away that main point. As Christians, we are foreigners and aliens in this world, but we’re not mere refugees… we’re on a diplomatic mission!