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Friendship in Singleness and Marriage

Even amid transition, we can intentionally pursue our friends and embrace the new stage of our friendship together by choosing hope, truth, and grace.

Most Popular Video Bible Studies for Fall 2023

As summer turns to fall, many church small groups are preparing to reconvene. At RightNow Media, we believe that one of the best ways to deeply connect with others is to study God’s Word together.

Whether you’re looking for Bible study video curriculum for adults, kids and families, or teens and youth groups, RightNow Media has something for you. Each one of our studies is thoughtfully designed to disciple viewers and spark insightful conversations that lead to spiritual growth.

Keep reading for a diverse list of RightNow Media Original video Bible studies for every ministry in your church.

Studies for Adult Small Groups

The Beatitudes

Matt Chandler

In this eight-session series, pastor Matt Chandler shows us what it means to live in the kingdom of God. Through Jesus’s teaching, learn what the blessed life really looks like.

The Cost of Control

Sharon Hodde Miller

We often claim to have everything under control—but do we really? In this six-session series, Bible teacher and author Sharon Hodde Miller discusses the way control can cost us a lot more than we could ever imagine and how we can walk in faith knowing God is in complete control.  

The Book of Nehemiah

Eric Mason

In this 10-session series, Dr. Eric Mason teaches us how God renews his people both physically and spiritually. Through the story of Israel’s plight and God’s faithfulness, we see how God preserved his people to carry out his mission of redemption.

Christian Shows for Families and Children


Dave Stotts

Explore Scripture, history, geography, and archaeology in each BIBLE BACKROADS series with Dave Stotts, host of Drive Thru History. Designed for all ages, BIBLE BACKROADS encourages families to dig deeper into the books of the New Testament together.

The Creators

The Creators are a group of friends who join forces to create fun and meaningful short films. Both clever and creative, The Creators weaves biblical truths through engaging stories for kids ages 6–12. Watch Seasons 1 and 2 now and stay tuned for Season 3 coming soon!

Stories from the Storyteller

Stories from the Storyteller is a wholesome, fun, and biblically based cartoon that follows the everyday adventures of Jonathan Evans and his family! Each episode features a parable from the Bible and shows kids how they can learn from the life of Jesus.

Bible Study Curriculum for Youth Groups and Teens

Heart of God

Francis Chan

In this six-session series, Francis Chan takes students on a journey of discovery to the heart of God. Students will walk away knowing God better and loving him more.

Fire and Faithfulness

Sadie Robertson Huff

Discover the lost art of faithfulness in a world that wants nothing to do with God. In this four-session series, you will trek through the story of four young Israelites with Sadie Robertson Huff. Like them, we all face a choice: remain faithful followers of God or follow the crowd. Which will you choose?

Truth and Love

Marquise Cox

Join pastor Marquise Cox in this four-session series as he shows us how to speak the truth in love, wrestle with doubts, and talk about Jesus with people who disagree with us. You don’t have to choose between being loving or truthful—in Christ, we can do both.

If this list doesn’t have what you are looking for, browse our online library of over 20,000 biblical video resources.

Our desire is for small groups, neighbors, friends, and families to live out Hebrews 10:24–25, “Let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

We pray the studies you choose help you grow closer to God and to the people in your life.


RightNow Media Around the World: Spotlight on Brazil

This fall, we are shining a spotlight on how God is using RightNow Media in Brazil!

RightNow Media launched in São Paulo, Brazil in April 2021 and currently serves over 400 churches across each state of the country. Through a strategic alliance with Nextgen Global Leaders, the team of eight brings quality RightNow Media content in Portuguese to inspire the Brazilian church to live out their faith in Christ.

The Team

Marcelo Robles

Brazil Manager

Marcelo is married to Susi Mary and has two daughters, aged 17 and 19 years old. He has served as a pastor and church planter for 30 years and as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Argentina for five terms. Marcelo has master’s degrees in accounting, divinity, and cultural anthropology and is a PhD candidate studying at the South African Theological Seminary. Before working with RNM Brazil, Marcelo spent fifteen years leading kingdom businesses in Latin America, overseeing staff teams of up to 40 people.

Dirley Oliveira

Brazil Leader

Dirley Oliveira is married to Juliana Bristot. He is a deacon in the Brazilian Presbyterian Church and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Agency for Evangelization and Communication. Dirley has a degree in social communication and a postgraduate degree in marketing and social media, with over 15 years of experience in digital project management for large companies.

Daniela Ortiz

Content Analyst

Daniela Serraino Ortiz earned a Bachelor of Science for the family, and is a professor of physical education and a social communicator. She worked in the publishing world for more than 20 years. She is an active part of the leadership of the Buenas Nuevas church in the city of Buenos Aires. Daniela is a wife and mother of three children.

Studies from RightNow Media in Brazil

Our library of original studies from Brazil continues to grow as we connect with trusted Christian leaders and teachers across the country. These series serve the global church by providing high-quality video content that focuses on discipleship, families, leadership, and more. While these series are not taught in English, we encourage you to look at some of their most recent original releases to experience how God is using RightNow Media content around the world.

Salt and Light Ronaldo Lidório
Father, Man of Courage Hernandes Dias Lopes
Paul, His Life and Legacy Hernandes Dias Lopes


God is using RightNow Media to help equip and encourage pastors and leaders to make disciples within their congregations and communities. Pastor Anderson Peterman of the Presbyterian Church of Limeira in São Paulo shared with us how the platform is supporting his church:

"The RightNow Media platform...contains series with short episodes and support materials in PDF format, which significantly assist the dynamics of discipleship. Everything is done with high-quality graphics, counting on the collaboration of pastors committed to the Gospel."

Our strategic alliance with NextGen Global Leaders in Brazil and beyond has allowed us to expand our ministry to 5,000 global churches across 121 countries. Read more about the impact RightNow Media is making in other regions around the world:

To see more original content with churches outside of the US, check out our International Voices library on RightNow Media.


How to Be a Successful Church Planter

Church planting is a lot of things: a risky calling, an entrepreneurial challenge, an administrative juggling act, and an overwhelming journey that forces us to rely completely on God.

In the early days, it can be thrilling to plant a church. There is so much potential, so much hope. We want to do everything we can to make our churches succeed. However, we often equate growth with success, and while we know that God is the one who builds the church, we may still feel an urgent need to manufacture momentum.

We want our churches to “get big” as quickly as possible, and for good reasons. Size creates financial stability, multiplies our impact, and lets pastors delegate responsibilities to gifted leaders. So why wouldn’t we want rapid growth and good momentum? Momentum creates excitement. Momentum turns congregations into movements. Momentum is what turns small house church planters into recognizable pastors with influence and acclaim.

But momentum can also be a poisoned chalice.

The Dangers of Momentum

While we rush to brainstorm growth strategies, we don’t often stop to consider the costs or pitfalls of growth. Church planting is demanding work, and we can assume that once we hit one hundred, five hundred, or a thousand members then things will calm down. Only too late do we realize that the work never slows down without us intentionally hitting the brakes.

We don’t have to look far to find friends or famous pastors who have burnt out and are no longer in ministry. We can all name fellow leaders who became enamored with church size or rooted their identity in their sermon views. Those stories don’t end well.

There are good and righteous reasons for a church to grow, but when growth is our goal, God can cease to be our aim. Is growth worth the potential cost? Would you drink that cup even if it sapped the vibrancy out of your relationship with God, your family, or your church community?

For many of us, the answer would be “no.” But how can we avoid the allure and dangers of momentum?

Easy: before we daydream about what our church will be in five years, we need to decide what success looks like today.

Redefining Success

In Hebrews 11:32–38, we find an odd pairing of saints. The first group “conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight” (CSB). The second group of saints was tortured, destitute, and misunderstood. Which group would you say was successful? According to the author of Hebrews, the answer is both. Saints are not judged by their circumstances or fates, but by their faithfulness.

Your value as a church planter is not found in your church’s size, but in being loved by God.

Your identity is not found in being a best-selling author, popular podcaster, or leadership guru, but in who God says you are. Your purpose is not to build God’s church, but to faithfully make disciples.

When faithfulness is our goal, the pressures of rapid growth look like nothing more than glittering distractions. Sermons are an opportunity to faithfully proclaim Jesus, not a platform for our personality. Leadership becomes an opportunity to serve rather than to domineer and lord over our staff and volunteers. The people in our church become our focus rather than the empty seats.

Your church’s size plays no role in your ability to be faithful.

Therefore, your church size cannot be an indicator of your success. If God does not judge your church by its appearance, why would we?

Being obedient to God will lead each of us to different outcomes. Some churches may launch with hundreds of people, while others never grow beyond a small group meeting in a living room. Both can be faithful, successful churches. God is the one who changes hearts and saves lives. He builds his church. We are servants in his house—there is no reason for us to manufacture what only he can do.

Our responsibility is to be faithful to him no matter where he takes us.


Habits Worth Honing

Our habits, whether good or bad, are shaping our work experience. What could it look like to establish positive habits at work?

When we’ve worked in one place long enough, we realize that the people—more than the product or service—are what make or break our experience.

Developing collegial relationships with coworkers and excelling in our work requires us to build habits—regular practices that govern our everyday behavior and which influence our potential to meet our objectives.

We all already have workplace habits. Some of us walk into the office every morning with a cup of coffee in hand, fueled for the day. Some of us work more isolated, with our headphones on, while others keep a more open posture to interruptions. There’s also the regular, mid-morning break we take at the same time every day to say hello to colleagues down the hall.

Not all habits, of course, prove helpful. Mid-afternoon gossip sessions erode relational trust, as will complaining without seeking solutions.

Our habits, whether good or bad, are shaping our work performance and experience. What could it look like to establish positive habits in the way we relate to our coworkers?

In his book Habits, author and speaker Marcus Goodloe highlights three relational habits that will bring us more fulfillment in our work. The better coworkers we become, the sooner we can improve our work lives and relationships for the better.

Assume the Best in Others

I was eleven years old when I first decided to follow Jesus. One of the first changes I made after becoming a Christian was deciding to believe the best about people until proven otherwise. The toughest test for my resolution was the little third-grade neighbor boy who tormented me at the bus stop. I walked to the bus stop reminding myself to not expect him to annoy me. Maybe he would, but I would begin the day by giving him the benefit of the doubt. When we expect people to disappoint us or react negatively, we set them up for failure and ourselves for frustration. We’ve judged them based on their past, or on our assumptions, neither of which encourages a positive interaction in the present.

As the year progressed, he didn’t bother me as much. Was he the one who changed, or did I? Very possibly, my new attitude somehow communicated itself to him, and we both changed for the better. My husband, a public school administrator who constantly interacts with parents, teachers, and other school employees, calls it “positive presupposition.” When we enter an encounter at work assuming the best, we offer the other person an open mind, a measure of trust, and dignity. If we can put our biases behind us and interact with others from a clean slate, we honor them.

Will some people disappoint us? Of course. But we will know that we gave them a fair shake. And don’t we all appreciate it when others approach us with positive presupposition? When we get into the habit of assuming the best, our work relationships will become healthier and more effective.

Treat Others as Sacred

One of the reasons we are to assume the best in others is that every person is made in the image of God. Everyone is sacred, or holy. The dignity inherent in each individual demands that we treat them with the respect and honor we all deserve.

Think about what makes you feel valued. Do you appreciate having people make eye contact with you when you are speaking with them? What does it do to you inside when you realize someone is actually listening as you share your concerns, ideas, or dreams? How do you feel when your supervisor asks about your family, remembers a significant day in your life, or assigns you a project that lines up with your passion? Small gestures carry a big weight because they tell us that we are seen and matter.

Seek Community

If you’ve ever played sports, you know the power of teamwork. Each player performs his or her role while depending on teammates to do theirs. Only together do they have a chance of winning. Even athletes in solitary sports like tennis or swimming will admit they cannot win without their coaches, trainers, family, and fellow athletes. We cannot succeed alone. Working in community is an exercise in humility, as we admit we lack certain abilities or talents. But that humility leads to thriving.

We think more creatively, more expansively, and more honestly when we are bouncing ideas off other people. We need each other for inspiration, support, and fine-tuning.

Let’s get in the habit of consulting others, encouraging colleagues, and creating a team that can rely on one another.  

The essence of a workplace is the people, not the product. The better we treat one another, the more fulfilling we’ll find our work and the more excellent our work will become. When we assume the best, relate to each other with dignity, and actively seek to work in community, we will make our workplace a place to flourish.


The Means and Methods of Christian Political Engagement

How can we take seriously the responsibility of civic engagement in a way that mimics and glorifies Jesus?

The United States is a unique place. We enjoy innumerable freedoms, prosperity beyond belief, and endless opportunities.

But what makes America especially unique is that our government, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In other words, the responsibility for ordering the life of the country falls squarely upon its citizens. We vote, advocate, and even call our representatives to account because we all have a share in the stewardship of this country.

But today, when American politics feels so topsy-turvy, it’s easy to fall prey to the political spirit of our age. The country seems as angry and divided as it’s ever been and, if we’re honest, the church is sometimes guilty of joining in that divisiveness ourselves. But Christians ought to serve as a contrast to much of what we see in the public sphere—not merely as good, civil people, but as those who engage in the way of Christ. So, how can we do that? How can we take seriously the responsibility we’ve inherited in a way that mimics and glorifies Jesus?

Christian Political Engagement

In his book Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, Dr. Russell Moore writes that “We are Americans best when we are not Americans first.” Stated differently, only when we prioritize our heavenly citizenship and apply its values here and now are we able to exercise our duties as American citizens most faithfully.

In many ways, the economy of American politics is at odds with what we value as Christians. Whereas politics values charisma, the kingdom values humility (Matthew 5:5); whereas politics values power, the kingdom values service (Matthew 20:24–28); whereas politics (in its current form) values and even incentivizes division, the kingdom values peacemaking (Matthew 5:9). There is a gulf, in other words, between the beliefs and ethics embedded in American politics and those we inherited upon gaining citizenship in the kingdom of God. But that doesn’t mean we’re being called to disengage politically; it means we’re called to engage.

Galatians 5 shows us how to live and engage in a different way, as good citizens of both kingdoms: by the Spirit, with the fruit of the Spirit, for the good of our neighbors.

By the Spirit

How can we keep our footing in a cultural-political current rushing so swiftly away from truth? “By the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16).

In a disorienting time like ours, we are called by Christ to “live by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18); “be led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14); “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16); “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25); and “bear the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22–23). More concretely, living by the Spirit means that we depend on him for guidance in everything we do, from talking politics with family to engaging online to standing up for what’s true and good. A life lived in fellowship with the Spirit is a prerequisite, and ongoing requirement, of faithful political engagement.

Whenever we enter the political sphere, we should always ask, “What would be the most faithful way to honor God in this situation?”

With the Fruit of the Spirit

Much of our politics is seething with a spirit opposed to the way of Christ, wooing our hearts and our tongues to engage in “idolatry,” “hatreds,” “strife,” “outbursts of anger,” “dissensions,” “factions,” “and anything similar” (Galatians 5:20–21). But the people of God are commanded not to “practice such things” (Galatians 5:21).

Instead, when we live by the Spirit we will bear the fruit of the Spirit, engaging others—even those with whom we disagree—with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). We must resolve not to act in the way of the world, to fight fire with fire, so that we might be defined by the attributes of God.

For Our Neighbors

Living with the fruit of the Spirit is not merely an internal reality, but a commitment to serve others in a godly manner. Since our system of government, as Lincoln asserted, is “by the people” and “for the people,” we have the opportunity to leverage our political engagement as a means of obeying the great commandment (Matthew 22:37–40)—to create a government that works for our neighbors in love. And there are plenty of ways—large and small—that we can serve and engage for the good of others: we can vote men and women of character into office, advocate for policies that benefit the most vulnerable among us, engage in charitable dialogue with those “across the aisle,” and maybe even run for office ourselves!

We should be involved in politics as an exercise of love for our neighbors.

The muddled state of American politics can be disheartening. And if we’re not careful, we can convince ourselves to throw up our hands and disengage entirely. But we are invited by Jesus to “let [our] light shine before others”—from our homes to the halls of Congress—“that they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). As you look out over the state of American culture and politics, let your light shine by looking for ways to engage by the Spirit, with the fruit of the Spirit, for the good of your neighbors.

For an in-depth look at the way our faith should inform our political engagement and the specific issues Christians should be involved with, watch For the Health of the Nation, a series RightNow Media produced in collaboration with the National Association of Evangelicals.

5 Tips for Multigenerational Small Group Leaders

Here are five practices to help your multigenerational small group thrive.

When I was in my late twenties, I joined my first multigenerational small group.

I’d spent my whole life in stage-of-life groups with people like me—guys with similar interests and struggles. Those groups made connecting with other Christians easy, but this new group was a challenge. I felt I had little in common with the retired empty-nesters and college students in my living room. I struggled to ignore the chaos of the toddlers playing on the floor. And I had no clue how to counsel married couples.

But I hadn’t simply joined the group; I had been asked to lead it.

The people in my small group watched movies I’d never heard of, inhabited various corners of social media, held opposing political views, and even had different ideas on how to live the Christian life. How was I going to lead this group, much less help them build friendships with each other across their diversity?

I was facing the big challenge of multigenerational groups: connection. Because we gravitate to people like us, diversity can feel uncomfortable. But if we stick with the tension of getting outside of our bubble, we can find the richness of the body of Christ in all of our unique gifts, experiences, and wisdom.

Every group is different, and leaders can try many strategies to help their group form good, lasting relationships. But, as the leader, you need a strategy to help people overcome feeling disconnected from other group members.

As a start, here are five practices you can try out to help your group thrive:

1. Create a welcoming atmosphere.

Leading a healthy small group is like gardening: we can prepare the soil and water the seeds but only God can make the seeds sprout and grow. You can’t force friendships, but you can create a place for them to grow.

Think about the times you have felt most welcome in someone else’s home—what did they do that made you feel comfortable and appreciated? You don’t have to throw a dinner party; sometimes people just need to be asked about their day. Find the person standing on their own and strike up a conversation with him or her. Or if there is a young mother in your group, think about setting aside a space for her infant to sleep or nurse. A little consideration can make everyone who visits your group to feel valued.

2. Be curious.

The people in your group have a wealth of experiences and wisdom—far beyond what you as a leader have on your own. Instead of worrying about what you need to teach, think about the questions you can ask the people in your group. What do you want to know about them? What insights do they have that would bless the rest of your group? What have they learned about God and his faithfulness

If you have a hard time thinking of good questions, that’s okay! Most RightNow Media Original series come with free study guides full of great questions so that you can worry less about preparing lessons and focus more on the people in your group.

3. Spend time together outside of your small group.

Everyone is busy, and it can feel like a struggle to make it to small group every week. But if you want your members to share their lives with each other, you will need to spend time together outside of your small group meeting. Don’t make it too complicated—you could get coffee with one person in your group each week or coordinate group lunch after church on Sunday. The more casual interactions you have with people in your group, the faster you will build meaningful relationships with them.

4. Serve together.

Every church has different goals for their small groups, but we all share the same mission: to make disciples and build God’s kingdom on earth. And nothing brings a group together like working as a team. Talk to your group about the causes and groups of people God has called them to serve. What need can your group meet? If your group has little kids, consider partnering with a local non-profit that can be flexible in the way you serve and are open to family friendly projects. Or find a place to serve as a group in your local church—if you get stuck, ask your pastor or other group leaders for ideas.

5. Be patient.

No one wants the relationships in their group to remain shallow. Getting together week after week to talk about news, sports, or the weather is, quite frankly, boring. We want our groups to be hubs of deep community marked by friendships, support, guidance, prayer, and evangelism. But meaningful friendships don’t happen overnight. It can take months (or longer) for a group to feel like a community. Don’t get discouraged when relationships don’t progress as quickly as you would like. In time, God will weave people together in ways you had not imagined. Don’t give up.

The first few months of your small group will be the most challenging as people push through awkwardness and build friendships with one another. In my group, some of the most unexpected people—people who did not immediately click with one another—ended up best friends and were in each other’s weddings. They’ve built families alongside one another, leaning on each other’s wisdom and support.

Building a community is difficult, but it is far from impossible. With a little intentionality, a little time, and a lot of trust in God, the members of your group can become some of the most important people in your life.  

Behind the Scenes: Love In Chaos with Bob Goff

Behind the Scenes

One day. That’s not a long time to shoot a RightNow Media original series, but it was all the time we had with Bob Goff to film his new series Love In Chaos.


As the senior producer, Courtney Davis spent weeks scouting locations, double-checking equipment, planning car rentals and logistics, and scheduling her team to make sure everything went smoothly. “We brought extra people to make sure we could get everything shot. We had people at multiple locations ready to go so Bob could get the shot and move on. We normally have more time—a couple of days at least—so we were ready for the shoot to be stressful.”

But, thanks to Bob, the shoot was anything but difficult.  

A candid look at our production team at work. (photo credit Lindsey McNally)

When our video team spoke about their time with Bob, they didn’t talk about the logistics of a one-day shoot, the California traffic, or catching connecting flights. Instead, they told stories about Bob’s cars (every car in Love In Chaos is one of Bob’s) and how four sailors, all of whom were also named Bob, taught Bob Goff to raise the sails on a pirate ship. Then, how the ship’s owner had to stop Goff from climbing the ship’s mast.

A difficult day became fun. But Bob was more than an energetic person; he wanted to get to know the people he was working with.

“Bob was so kind, so engaged—the Bob you meet in his books is who he really is,” Courtney said.

“He wanted to take pictures with us! We’re usually the ones asking to take pictures at the end of a shoot.”

The team poses with Bob in beautiful San Diego, CA. (Photo credit Courtney Davis)

We are so used to being wary of strangers or assuming the worst of people online that encountering someone like Bob—someone who genuinely cares for the people around him—is refreshing, life-giving, and makes us wonder, “What’s different about you?” There is something irresistible about a person who loves Jesus in today’s world.


What if we, like Bob, made a point to let everyone around us know that we care about them, even those we disagree with? What if we swapped the division of our culture for the love of Jesus? That’s what Love In Chaos is all about.

What our production team captured in San Diego became a series that will exhort and encourage Christians to get out of their comfort zones for the sake of the gospel. “We’re so used to getting on social media and just seeing a lot of arguing,” Courtney said.

“But Bob encourages us in this series to actively care for the people around us. Jesus calls us to love people who are hurting, and I hope this series helps us do that more.”

When asked about how long the shoot day was, Courtney laughed. “We actually wrapped an hour early, which never happens.”


To see what our team shot with Bob and to learn about how to love others in a divided culture, check out Bob’s new series Love In Chaos when it releases on July 25.

Bob on set and at sea for Love In Chaos.

The Legacy of Maurice Mosley

In 1977, this ministry was founded by our grandpa Maurice Mosley. He passed away on June 3, 2023. We’re honored to keep his dream alive through RightNow Media.

From Brian Mosley (President, RightNow Media) and Scott Mosley (Vice President, Software & Experience, RightNow Media) on behalf of the Mosley family.

In 1977, this ministry was founded by our grandpa Maurice Mosley—a pastor in Elyria, Ohio.

His vision was to use the power of media to put the spotlight on world missions. Priority One International was born, and our grandpa and our dad began traveling the world to film the stories of faithful men and women who were spreading the gospel around the world.

In recent days, our grandpa was diagnosed with liver, colon, lung, and stomach cancer. It was a surprise to us that he had cancer and that it had spread throughout so much of his body. At age 86, he opted to not go through treatments and his body declined faster than we expected. He passed away on June 3, 2023, ten days after his diagnosis, with our grandma (his wife of 69 years) by his side.

When he learned of his diagnosis his first thought was for our grandma—he wanted us to pray for her peace and comfort through this trial and continue to pray for her after he was gone. During one of the visits to the hospital, he shared that he had two choices: he could grumble about his diagnosis or be content in all things, including this trial. He chose to be content and thankful for the life God had given him.

At his core, he was an evangelist who always looked for ways to share Jesus with anyone around him. His passion for people was inspiring. This two-minute video captures his heart for the world.

Grandpa would often preach a sermon about having a dream, telling a dream, and doing a dream. By God’s grace and goodness, grandpa’s dream from 1977 came to life, and now—45 years later—Priority One has evolved to become RightNow Media. He was amazed at what God did through the ministry over the decades to serve the church here and around the world.

There will never be anyone else like our grandpa. He will be missed. We hope and pray to continue his legacy of passion for the lost around the world. We’re honored to keep his dream alive by serving the church through RightNow Media.


RightNow Media Around the World: Spotlight on the United Kingdom

Learn about our video content from RightNow Media in the United Kingdom.
Around the World

This June, we are highlighting the transformative content being produced by RightNow Media in the United Kingdom.

RightNow Media UK was launched in 2020 and currently serves around 620 churches. The team consists of three members locally and a marketing team stationed in Atlanta, Georgia. RightNow Media UK has released six original series over the last year and has plans for more to come. Thanks to our strategic alliance with NextGen Global leaders, we’re able to reach the United Kingdom through RightNow Media resources.

The RightNow Media UK Team

Studies from RightNow Media in the UK

The library of content filmed in the UK is rapidly growing with series on topics ranging from keeping the faith in financial uncertainty to learning to hear God through his Word. We invite you to view some of the recent studies produced in the UK and hope that this content will serve you well.

Big Yes, Little Yes, Healthy Maybe Mark Greenwood
Faith as Currency in Our Finances Busola Sodeinde
The Lectio Course Pete Greig


The impact and reach of RightNow Media in the UK are significant. Not only are churches using RightNow Media resources to help individuals grow in their faith, but they are also equipping their small groups with easily accessible, biblically sound content. Jamie Haxby, assistant pastor of Hope Church in Lancaster, explains how they use RightNow Media in their church community:

[We’ve] found it to be an absolutely fantastic resource for our church. We’ve been using it in small groups, our life groups; we’ve been encouraging people to use it on a personal basis, as well as in our kids’, youth, [and] leadership development. All across the board, we’ve found it helpful in so many areas of church life.

Church planters in the UK are also using RightNow Media. Misheck Manhanha, church planting lead at the Assemblies of God in Great Britain, shares the way RightNow Media is able to serve their members:

“[I’m] encouraging our new church plants to use RightNow Media right at the onset of their journey because that also helps them to. . . find great material that will be helpful for them as a new church plant.”

Other Regions Around The World

Being able to serve churches like those in the UK fulfills our mission of working with the global church to inspire people to love others before themselves and Christ above all. Our strategic alliance with NextGen Global Leaders in the UK and beyond has allowed us to expand our ministry to 5,000 global churches across 121 countries. Read more about the impact RightNow Media is making in other regions around the world:


To see more original content with churches outside of the US, check out our Around the World library on RightNow Media.


Discipling Your Kids During the Summer

Summer gives us both the space to consider how we disciple our kids and the time to set good habits before the busyness of Fall.
Marriage & Parenting

In parenting, the days are often long, but the years are short. The thought may sound cliché, but it still rings true.

The busyness of getting our kids ready for school, going to work, and shuttling them to extracurricular activities seems to speed up the short time we have with our kids. We know teaching our kids about Jesus is important, but we don’t often have time to plan or walk through family devotionals. Thankfully, there is the summer.

You may not think of how perfect the summer is for discipling your kids. The season gives us both the space to consider how we disciple our kids and the time to set good habits before the busyness of fall.

When we think of summer discipleship, our minds may race to big events like summer camp or vacation Bible school. But discipleship doesn’t have to be a production. God transforms lives at summer camps, but he also works powerfully in little moments of faithfulness throughout a normal day.

Like Paul says in Ephesians 5:16, “making the most of the time because the days are evil.” The original Greek literally tells us to “redeem moments, because the days are evil.” As a parent, all you have to do is use little moments throughout the day to teach your kids about Jesus.

Here are a few ways you can use the little moments this summer:

Show Them Your Relationship with Jesus

The most impactful testimony to your children about Jesus will be the way you follow him. During the summer, they will likely be with you more than usual, watching how you live out your faith. Can they see your daily spiritual habits? Do you show them grace when they act out or when airline delays mess up your vacation plans? Your interactions and reactions can teach your children far more than sermons.

But be ready. Your kids will do more than watch you. They will ask you questions about the way you treat others, the Bible, church, and God. You are their most trusted resource. But that doesn’t mean you have to know all of the answers to their questions. Be willing to admit when you don’t know something, and make sure that you follow up by seeking answers with your kids to their big questions.

Regulate Media Engagement

Having no homework and too much free time in the summer can result in our kids over-indulging in video games or social media. Unplugging and taking a break from technology can create space for more meaningful connections and conversations. Instead of getting buried in your devices after dinner, make a summer habit of enjoying an evening walk with your family. You could even make the car a screen-free zone, choosing instead to listen to redeeming podcasts together or talk about the day with your kids.

When you do watch TV, consider replacing what you normally watch with something that will point your kids to Jesus, like The Slugs and Bugs Show, Worship in the Word, or Stories from the Storyteller.

Hold on to Important Commitments

The summer presents a welcome chance to untether from our weekly commitments. But while we may be thrilled to be done with after-school carpools, there are some weekly staples that we should make a point to hold on to. Even if the summer is busy, prioritizing family dinners, church attendance, and time together is well worth the effort. Everything can change during the summer, but what stays the same is often the most impactful.

Partner with Church Summer Programs

The summer is a perfect time to invest in your children’s spiritual growth by sending them to a sleep-away camp, vacation Bible school, or a mission trip. But what they learn at camp shouldn’t stay at camp.

You can help your child take what they experienced at camp or on a mission trip and let it influence the rest of the year. Talk to your kids about what they learned and help them apply it to their everyday lives. For example, if your child memorized a Bible verse, have them write it on a notecard and tape it to the bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of God’s love for them.

Summer offers us a space to get out of the regular habits of the school year. It can be a nice reprieve and an excuse to get very busy. But no matter your schedule, you still have little moments every day to influence your children toward Christ. God can turn our little moments of faithfulness into a lifetime of our kids following him.

If you struggle to know how to talk to your kids about spiritual topics or how to answer their questions about God, check out Natasha Crain’s series, Talking with Your Kids about Jesus in the RightNow Media library.


The Narratives of Evangelism

Learn how to mobilize your church to share the good news from Dave Ferguson, president of Exponential.

The following is an excerpt from www.Exponential.org, originally written by Dave Ferguson on January 8, 2023. For more wisdom from Dave, check out Lost Cause, a five-session RightNow Media video series on evangelism.

How do we create a culture of evangelism?

We need to create and use language that reinforces our values. We must be intentional about creating and consistently using vocabulary that mobilizes Christians to reach lost people. The clarity, consistency, and intentionality of our narratives, language, behaviors, and practices are an overflow of the clarity and conviction of our values.

Consistency Is Key

Consistency is one of the keys to effective storytelling. We need to use the same language, in the same ways, over a long period of time.

One of the things we learn as church leaders over time is that just when we get sick and tired of repeating phrases is when the congregation is just beginning to get it. We like to be onto the next new terminology, and often it works against us.

To create narratives that make it clear evangelism is important to us, we need to be willing to embrace repetition.  

Understanding the Story that Matters Most

The reason we need to pay so much attention to our language is that we are responsible for telling the most important story in human history: the gospel. This is the story of a redeeming God who came to live among us in the human form of Jesus before dying for our sins, coming back from the dead, and leaving his Holy Spirit with us to empower us to share this story widely and well. We are all responsible for telling this story in a way that makes clear the fact that all human stories lead back to Jesus’ story.

We are all lost and in need of our risen savior.

We see Jesus articulate this in one simple statement in Luke 19:10: “For the son of man came to seek and save the lost.” That was Jesus’ mission. And that should be our mission, too. And, therefore it certainly should be the mission of his church. If that was his mission, we should ask ourselves: how did Jesus live out his mission in the story of his life?

From the beginning, Jesus’ story expands beyond the religious institutions of his day. These spaces were often closed to outsiders and the lost, but through his actions and words, he expressed his values (and that of his father) to welcome people into a new story.

Creating Space for Stories

When you follow Jesus’ example and intentionally connect with people far from God you’ll begin to get questions about why you believe stories from the Bible, and about how your life story has changed as a result of your relationship with Jesus. Be prepared for these moments because they offer golden opportunities to open doors. They allow you to build bridges between the stories that others tell you and the story of Jesus.

We also see from Jesus’ examples that we have an easier time sharing our stories with people during meaningful moments that don’t necessarily take place in our church buildings. For many of us, this will require a shift in our ecclesiology, the way we come together and experience church. If you have a mindset that evangelism happens only in a building once a week (the common model for most of our Western cultures) you’ll miss opportunities to build relationships that create space for storytelling and story-sharing. It’s hard to build relationships while sitting in the pews listening to sermons, attending Sunday school, or taking communion.

Adopt a Helpful Storytelling Framework

As we seek opportunities to tell our stories, it can be helpful to use a simple storytelling framework that helps us connect to others around us. I use a simple three-part format to share my story and it’s been so effective I wrote about it in my book BLESS: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World. You wouldn’t believe how many stories have come out of this method.

Part 1: Describe your life before Jesus.

What was your life like before you met Jesus? Or if you grew up in the church knowing all about Jesus, what was your life like before you got serious about following him? Your story begins with who you were.

Part 2: Share how you met Jesus.

How did you become a Christ-follower? Did you go through a particularly tough time in your life that led you back to God? Did a friend invite you to a church service? Did a family member introduce you to Jesus? Did a life experience inspire you to get serious about following Jesus?

Part 3: Explain what following Jesus means to you.

What difference has following Jesus made in your life? How has knowing him impacted both the good and hard times? Yes, when telling your story, include both the good and the hard. People will be more impacted when you’re honest about the challenges you continue to face even when you’re following Jesus. And don’t give the Sunday school answer. Talk about how your life is different and how God is growing you in certain areas, but make sure you’re sincere about how it’s a process and how often you still make mistakes.

To learn more about developing narratives of evangelism in your church or community, watch Lost Cause, a RightNow Media original series made in partnership with Dave Ferguson and Exponential.


St. Patrick: The Myth and the Man

What can modern Christians learn from St. Patrick?
Church History

Saint Patrick—the cheerful bearer of shamrocks and chaser of snakes—is America’s favorite, and quite possibly only, Irish saint.

From Chicago to New York to New Orleans, and in dozens more cities across the country, Irish Americans and those happy to pretend they are flock to parade routes to enjoy the annual exception to the church’s Lenten fast—St. Paddy’s Day.

Patrick himself would likely be somewhat mystified at the legend that has sprung up around his memory. He wasn’t even Irish. Born in Britain around 387, he was sixteen when he was stolen and enslaved by Irish marauders. While working for his master herding sheep, Patrick was drawn back to the faith of his family—his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest—and became a devoted follower of God. He wrote in his Confession, “More and more the love of God increased, and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved . . .”

Patrick credited God with coming to him in a dream to point him to a ship that would enable his return home. Though the coast was two hundred miles away, he traveled to the port and found a ship ready to take him. When they arrived in Britain only three days later, they embarked on a twenty-eight-day journey by land. They grew hungry as their food ran out, and the sailors turned on Patrick: “What about this, Christian? You tell us that your God is great and all-powerful—why can’t you pray for us, since we’re in a bad state with hunger?” Patrick answered by proclaiming God’s ability to provide, and a herd of pigs walked across their path.

St. Patrick’s Calling

Back in Britain, Patrick was reunited with his family and began his studies anew. Sometime later (records are sketchy—we don’t know how much later), he dreamed that a man brought him letters from Ireland, in which the people he had left “called out as it were with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us.’” From then on, he determined to return to Ireland to share the gospel of Christ with them.

His parents and friends, however, opposed his plan to return to Ireland. “Why does he put himself in danger among hostile people who do not know God?” they wondered. Patrick understood that they feared for him and wondered himself how qualified he could be. “I was just an unlearned country person,” he admitted.

But his call from God proved greater than family pressure, insecurity, and lack of training.

When the time was right, he returned to Ireland where he spent the rest of his life. He wrote, “I testify in truth and in great joy of heart before God and his holy angels that I never had any other reason for returning to that nation from which I had earlier escaped, except the gospel and God’s promises.”

Shamrocks and Snakes

The feeding of the sailors during Patrick’s return to England is the only miracle-turned-legend based on his own words. We learn this story straight from his pen. So where did the idea originate that Patrick used shamrocks, the common three-leaf clover, to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to local pagans? We don’t know who started that rumor, but we do know that Patrick was profoundly shaped by his trinitarian faith. In his Confession, he wrote:

There is no other God, nor will there ever be, nor was there ever, except God the Father . . . And his son, Jesus Christ . . . Let every tongue confess that Jesus Christ, in whom we believe and whom we await to come back to us in the near future, is Lord and God . . . He has generously poured on us the Holy Spirit, the gift and promise of immortality . . . This is the one we acknowledge and adore—one God in a Trinity of the sacred name.

And those snakes? Ireland has never had snakes—yet another reason we love the Emerald Isle—but they were sacred to the local Druids. The closest explanation for the legend we can get is to see it as an allegory: When Patrick brought faith in Christ, he drove out the Druids and their pagan influence.

St. Patrick’s Legacy

For decades, Patrick taught the pagan peoples of Ireland about the one true God. In the two documents still in existence written by his hand, we discover a humble man who remained grateful for God’s grace in his life. He was resilient, standing firm amid suffering, adversity, false accusations, betrayals, and more. Strengthened by his robust trust in God, Patrick the pastor loved his flock loyally. Writing his Confession late in life, he addressed a wide audience:

You all know, and God knows, how I have lived among you since my youth, in true faith and in sincerity of heart. Towards the pagan people too among whom I live, I have lived in good faith, and will continue to do so . . . I have cast myself into the hands of almighty God, who is the ruler of all places.

Patrick died March 17, 461. Saints of the church are historically celebrated on the anniversary of their death, rather than their birth, an acknowledgment that death was the “birthday” of their eternal life. Patrick graduated from life to life.

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, let’s remember the man behind the myth, a humble and caring pastor whose faith in God and love for people impacted a nation for generations.

*All quotes are taken from Saint Patrick’s Confession.

Questions for Reflection:
  • How well do you know God? What’s stopping you from diving into the Bible to better learn about the immensity of his majesty and the power of his sacrificial love?
  • What kinds of obstacles have you faced in your quest to obey God’s call on your life? How can Patrick’s example inspire you to persevere?


RightNow Media Around the World: Spotlight on Korea

Learn about our video content from RightNow Media in Korea.
Around the World

This March, we are shining a spotlight on the content produced by RightNow Media Korea.

As one of the newest regional partners, RightNow Media Korea has been able to serve over 150 subscribed churches with a growing library of Bible study video resources and original content.

The Team

Through our strategic alliance with NextGen Global leaders, we were able to expand our ministry to the Korean community with a team of eight led by Ricky Kim. Located in Seoul, this team serves both South Korea and Korean churches across the globe.

Ricky Kim

Regional Director of Korea

Ricky Kim serves as the Regional Director in Korea through NextGen Global Leaders. He has served as a missionary in South Korea since 2006 and has been involved in regional and international ministries focusing on family and Christian education. He earned a Master in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a MA of Theology and Ministry at Luther Rice Seminary. Ricky is dedicated to serving the Korean community and the Lord through his work at RightNow Media. He is married to Seung Joo Ryu and they have three children.

YoungDeok Kim

Sales and Customer Success Manager

YD has been a team member at RightNow Media Korea since it launched in June of 2021. He went to school for marketing, studied music in grad school, and received his Master in Theology. His role at RightNow Media allows him to pursue his passion for serving the church by connecting church leaders and members to resources that support discipleship, leadership, and family through the RightNow Media streaming platform.

Studies from RightNow Media in Korea

Our library of original Korean studies continues to grow as we connect with new speakers and churches. Each of these series carries the heart of our mission: to work with the global church to inspire people to love others before self and Christ above all. Although these series are not taught in English, we invite you to take a look at some of their most recent original releases to experience how God is using RightNow Media content around the world.

풍성한 삶을 향하여 HYUN SUNG
내 안에 있는 예수 KI SUNG YOO


The impact of RightNow Media has already expanded far beyond its Korean churches. The content and video resources on the RightNow Media platform have ignited honest, biblical conversations between parents and their children in their homes. Church leaders have seen the dynamic between families change for the better, allowing for a more authentic connection with one another.


“RightNow Media Korea has been a great tool to use [not only] in their church, but also at home.” – Ricky Kim, Director

Other Regions Around The World

Our strategic alliance with NextGen Global Leaders has allowed us to expand our ministry to 5,000 global churches across 121 countries. See the impact RightNow Media is making in other regions around the world:


Our mission at RightNow Media is to work with the global church to inspire people to love others before themselves and Christ above all. To see more original content with churches outside of the U.S., check out our International Voices library on RightNow Media.


An Underrated Characteristic of Healthy Relationships

Does your ‘Perfect Spouse’ List include this?
Marriage & Parenting

As teenagers and young adults, my peers and I were often encouraged to think ahead regarding what sort of qualities we wanted in a future spouse.

We made “The List.”

Loves Jesus                  Check.

Handsome/Pretty         Wowza.

Funny                           LOL.

Smart                           Brilliant.

Rich                             Has potential.

Similar interests         Amazingly, he/she loves all my favorite activities!

What was on your list of “husband/wife material”?

The List had levels, of course. Spiritual qualities ranked above physical attributes (or did they?), followed by all things we would have in common, along with more “mature” characteristics that would enable us to succeed in life. Our lists hid inside journals or got lost in computer files. Some of us tried to forget them entirely.

Eventually, my friends and I graduated from mere daydreaming and began experiencing the adult dating life, for better or worse. The older we got, the more we evaluated acquaintances and dates as potential spouses. And for those of us who married, we finally got to see how our idealism matched up with reality.

Help Wanted

When I realized my dating relationship had some serious potential, I thought back to The List I’d made. He was good looking, loved Jesus (see that order?), smart, had so much in common with me . . . He checked a lot of the boxes. But so had a couple of other guys I’d previously dated. Surely there was something I’d missed.

I turned to a friend with over a decade of marriage experience. “What do I look for? How do I know?”

Among many important characteristics, she told me, don’t neglect one basic quality:

“Is he kind?”

She elaborated: “How does he treat his mother? What little things do you notice about how he acts around other people, including you? Do you see arrogance or gentleness, selfishness or a servant’s heart? When you mess up, how does he react?” Not a concept I’d considered for The List, but she had a point.

Key to God's Character

Sometimes people misunderstand kindness, thinking of it as somehow weak. But God himself is described as kind, shown in his sending of Jesus. The apostle Paul warned those who would reject Christ: “Do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). God wants us to trust his Son. In Jesus, he shows how eager he is for us to turn toward him, the one who offers new life.

Jesus was often motivated by compassion for the hurting and confused. His hands healed blind eyes and deaf ears, his eyes overflowed in empathetic grief, his teaching brought life to dead hearts. And through the thorns and scourging and nails borne on Calvary, “the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared—he saved us . . .” (Titus 3:4–5). The cross was kindness in action.

When we give ourselves to Christ, he gives himself to us through the Spirit. We begin to reflect God’s values in our relationships with others. Paul tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

There it is—kindness. Not weak or submissive, but strong and active. Kind people serve others, sometimes at great cost to themselves. Kind spouses put each other first, seeking ways to empower, uplift, energize, and equip the one they committed their lives to.

What does it look like?

Kindness is love in action. Healthy relationships simmer like soup on low heat: tiny bubbles of kind acts, some behind the scenes, enrich the flavor and warmth of the relationship. The little things count. No grandiose acts required. Rather, kindness can look like the smallest gesture:

A steaming cup of coffee waiting on the kitchen counter.

A text checking in to see how your appointment went.  

Asking a follow-up question after you’ve shared a difficult moment from your day.

An apology for forgetting to do whatever you asked them to help with.

Praising your latest accomplishment to their colleagues.

What does kindness from your spouse look like to you? Don’t be surprised if you have to stop for a few moments to think—not because your spouse isn’t kind, but because often we don’t recognize and acknowledge our spouse’s little acts of love. Once you start noticing, find ways to communicate your appreciation and gratitude.

What kindness have you offered your spouse today? In the days to come, make them feel seen and cared for with small and big gestures. Be intentional in putting him or her first in ways you haven’t considered in the past.

Notice the examples of small kindnesses listed above can apply to any relationship, not just a marriage. All friendships thrive on kindness. How can you show it to your friends, roommates, colleagues, and neighbors?

If you’ve written The List in your mind, on paper, or via your online dating profile, double-check your priorities. My friend’s advice clinched it for me, and I’ve been reaping the benefits for over twenty-five years.  


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

How should we, the church, respond to the Christmas season in light of the pain in the world?

Christmas is . . . complicated.

Yes, it is bright, merry, joyful, and the most wonderful time of the year. A season to celebrate Emmanuel, God with us. But it can also be the most difficult time of year for those who are lonely, are walking through the loss of a loved one, or have contentious relationships with their family. Even some of our most treasured Christmas songs are complicated. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was written from the point of view of World War II soldiers, dreaming of home while living in the horrors of war, while Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” resigns to “muddle through, somehow,” hoping her troubles will be gone next year. That’s not very merry or bright.  

Even so, Andy Williams was right: Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But the contrast of love, joy, peace, and hope with the reality of the wounds, wars, and worldliness of our daily lives can be jarring. How should we, the church, respond to the Christmas season in light of the pain in the world?


One solution is to ignore the darkness that surrounds us, to not talk about the news and ignore the struggles of the holidays. But that won’t do, especially for the people commanded to be light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14). We don’t have the option of hiding under a bushel to preserve our peace. 

Another response would be to reject the joy of Christmas in an effort to highlight the necessary needs of the world, becoming cynical toward the ignorantly holly-jolly attitude of the season. Joylessness is not an appealing option, especially for those of us who love the decorations and music of Christmas. But a muted, honest response may feel like the only way to address the real hurt in the world around us. Is this season about Christ or the excess of materialism? Where is the joy we sing about for the starving in Yemen? Where is the peace that is heralded through the speakers of our shopping centers? Why is it here but not in Ukraine or Uvalde? In this world, Christmas can feel like glossy wrapping paper around a lump of coal. Like Frank Sinatra sings in the too-often-ignored carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”: 


I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

But in despair I bowed my head,
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said,
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’

Yes, the world is broken and can appear hopelessly irreparable. And, yes, our cultural values have infiltrated Christmas. But cynicism towards Christmas isn’t a path to wholeness. Quite the contrary: our only hope in life or death is that baby in the manger, the “reason for the season.” The world needs our celebration of Jesus. We can’t solve a crisis on the other side of the world, but we can share the joy of Jesus’s birth with everyone we meet.


So, we cannot avoid the complications of Christmas, but we also cannot reject the happiness of the holiday. We walk a third path, the way of Christ, of intermingled joy and sorrow. We groan and weep because of sin and its effects but we can do nothing but rejoice in the hope we have found in Christ (Romans 8:22–25; Philippians 4:4–5). 

Just think about the way we celebrate Christmas. In the coldest season of the year, when darkness overwhelms our non-working hours, we emblazon our homes with lights and warm ourselves with hot chocolate. We brave the winter weather to be near to family, bearing gifts to (what can seem like) everyone we know. We focus on giving, serving, and compassion toward the needy in our communities. We defy the present darkness to proclaim our hope in Jesus (John 1:5). That is the Christian life!


The spirit of Christmas is neither avoidant nor despairing; it is defiantly hopeful. We are caught between the two comings of Christ and choose to live in the assurance of the second while acknowledging that we can do more to spread light of his first. Yes, we are awash with pain, loneliness, grief, war, poverty, and illness, but it will not always be that way. We can stand where and sing triumphantly with Frank Sinatra into the wintery night:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.’

Merry Christmas. Come, Lord Jesus. 


Gratitude: The Holy Habit of Noticing

For Christians, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to reflect on all God has done and is doing and thank him. ‍Learn to make gratitude a daily habit.

If you live in the United States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

A holiday brimming with delicious food, time with family and friends, and lots of football, Thanksgiving is also a day to remember what we’re thankful for. For Christians, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to reflect on all God has done and is doing and thank him. 


Gratitude should mark the people of God, but we can be tempted to reserve it for a holiday or mealtime prayers. Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” His command feels extreme—does he really want us to give thanks in everything? If so, what does gratitude even look like? How can we start building a habit of thanksgiving?


The good news is we can become grateful people by the power of the Spirit, and we can begin growing in gratefulness with one simple step: noticing what God is doing in our lives. 

What to Notice



Paul mentions fourteen times in his letters that he thanks God for the people he’s writing to. Have you ever stopped to consider why he mentioned his gratefulness for his fellow Christians? Whether he is about to write words of rebuke or correction or encouragement, he still thanks God for the church—for people. He notices them. More importantly, he notices that God has orchestrated his relationship with them, that God put them in his life for a reason, and that God works in and through them. 


People, and our relationships with them, can stir up gratitude in us, just as Paul’s friendships produced thanksgiving in his heart. Who in your life are you grateful for?



Just as God brings people into our lives, he also places us in our neighborhoods, jobs, and churches. When he created the world, he put humans in it to live, grow, and take care of creation. Taking time to notice the world God put you in—your workplace, your home, your car, your church, your neighborhood park—can help cultivate gratitude in your heart. Yes, difficult places exist. Brokenness riddles our world. But God’s goodness, faithfulness, and kindness always shine forth through the brokenness for us to witness and thank him for.

Where has God placed you? What about those places are you thankful for?



Have you ever paused to notice a moment? Maybe the giggles of a playing toddler, the taste of a home-cooked meal, or the words of a hymn in Sunday worship. Or maybe you look back on past moments, spending time to reminisce with old college friends or to remember a loved one who’s passed away. 


Past or present, moments encapsulate beauty. Slowing down to notice important or even seemingly insignificant moments can make us more grateful.

Is there a moment you’re thankful for? What could it look like to pause and notice the beauty of a moment today?

How to Notice


Taking notice of your people and your world—and seeing all of it as God-given, as proof of his love and grace—is the first step toward gratitude. When we know what to notice, we can move from simply observing our lives to giving thanks to God. Thanksgiving can look different for all of us, but there are a few practical ways we can weave it into our lives.


Keep a journal.

Keeping a gratitude journal is trendy for a reason. When we put pen to paper and list what we’re grateful for, we acknowledge what God has given us in a physical way. Regularly slowing down to thank God helps solidify gratitude in our hearts and builds our thankfulness muscle. Journals can also help us remember what God has done for us when we’re facing impossible, difficult situations. In many ways, it is an act of worship to write down what we are grateful for. Grab a journal or a pad of paper and try writing down three things you’re thankful for every day, then turn your list into a prayer of praise.


Tell someone what you notice and why you’re grateful for it.

Gratitude is contagious. When we tell others what we’re thanking God for, we point them to gratefulness. Take a walk with a friend or call a family member and weave gratitude into your conversation organically. Notice how speaking with thankfulness about your life affects others. Or tell a significant person in your life that you are thankful for him or her and why, just as Paul did for the churches he wrote to.


Memorize a verse, song, or prayer for when it’s hard to be grateful.

Hardship often makes gratitude feel as impossible as asking the rain to stop pouring. When we face difficulty, the habits we’ve formed in calmer times come in handy. They give us the words to say when we have none to offer. Find verses on gratitude and memorize them (consider Psalm 100; Philippians 4:6–7; or 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Make a playlist of songs that express thanksgiving to God and return to it often. Or find a written prayer that thanks God that you can pray when words don’t come easily.


What happens when I notice and give thanks?

Gratitude transforms us. When we give thanks, we acknowledge God and his work in the world. We lift our eyes from looking at ourselves to see the spiritual reality of our lives.

God is at work. He always has been and always will be.

As you enter the holiday season, look for ways to build a lifestyle of gratitude. Invite your friends and family to join you and see how God grows joy, love, and hope in you as you thank him.


What a Friend We Have in Jesus

We are made for community—for friendship. Here's how you can rest in the friendship you have with Jesus and be a friend to others.

Friendship is one of the most important and formative features of the human experience, and one of its sweetest pleasures. Because of its significance, literature is filled with moving examples of friendship, from Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings to Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Harry Potter series. These stories, and others like them, invite us to make friendship a priority.


The Bible also speaks of friendship’s important, formative effect on our lives. From the example of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1–5) to the language Paul uses in his epistles to Timothy (1 and 2 Timothy), the witness of Scripture testifies that friendship is a blessed good. Solomon himself reveres friendship, using words like “sweetness” (Proverbs 27:9) to describe its joys and “love” (Proverbs 17:17) to convey its depth and devotion.

Friendship is not just a blessed good but a generous gift from God.

Since we’ve been created in the image of the triune God (Genesis 1:27), we are made for community—for friendship. In some ways, it comes natural to us. We gravitate to others, finding common bonds, common interests, and common loves. And yet, because we and the world have been fractured by sin, friendship is hard. We sin against our friends, they sin against us, and relationships suffer and sometimes break.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners


In Genesis 2 and 3, the Bible implies that life for Adam and Eve was to be marked by fellowship (or friendship) with God. It was apparently normal for them to speak with God and to walk with him. But then, Genesis 3:6–7 happened—the fall—and their fellowship was disrupted. With one fateful bite of fruit, Adam and Eve effectively “unfriended” God. And to this day, we live in the shadow of the fall. Like Adam and Eve, our friendship with God has been disrupted.

How would you respond to being so grievously betrayed? Would you overlook the offense? Would you abandon your friend entirely? How do you think God should react?

The New Testament tells us how God responded to our betrayal: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4,), the “friend of sinners” (Luke 7:34, emphasis added), and made him “who knew no sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21) so we might have a right relationship with him once again. Do you hear that? In response to our sin and our ruptured relationship, the Son comes and befriends those who betrayed him.

What’s most shocking about Jesus’s friendship is that he calls us friends. Though we have betrayed him, he “chose” us (John 15:16). By his grace, he has come near to us and, knowing our disloyalty and all our fears, sins, struggles, and anxieties, he has said to us, “my friend.” 

Jesus, the Greatest Friend


Knowing ourselves, we may wonder, “Is Jesus truly—I mean, really—my friend? Will he stick by me, even if I betray him again?”


We can know Jesus is our friend with certainty because of what he says to us in the Gospel of John: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, CSB). Jesus is the greatest friend because he laid down his life for us (John 19).

We know from Proverbs that “a friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Since Jesus is our friend, we can be certain that he loves us entirely, perfectly, forever—at all times. And we know that, despite what we have done or have yet to do, he “is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). 

So, we ask: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:35), this friend of sinners, this great friend of mine? No one. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus. 

Go and Do Likewise


Knowing that Jesus is a devoted friend should encourage us. It should also inform the way we view and exercise friendship ourselves. Each of us needs good friends in our lives; but if we’re not careful, we might begin to think like the lawyer in Luke 10:25–37 who tested Jesus: “And who is my [friend],” we might ask (emphasis added). 

While that question is not an inappropriate one, what if Jesus first wants us who have experienced his friendship to be the same kind of friend to others? What if, upending our sensibilities as he did with the parable of the good Samaritan, he is calling us to go to our neighbors who are isolated and lonely, and befriend them? Who among us will prove to be a friend to the friendless?


Jesus has come and called us friends. Today, he tells us: “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).

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