2.14.2024

Will Someone Be St. Valentine?

The the love of St. Valentine points us all to the love of Christ.
1
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2.9.2024

How I Got Over: The Resilience of the Black Church

Many of us would agree that enduring in the face of trials is one of the pillars of our Christian faith.

Scripture repeatedly tells us that God walks with us through the fire—strengthening and refining us—as opposed to yanking us from it. And if there is any entity in the United States that has exemplified what it means to remain resilient in the face of obstacles, it is the Black Church.

Resilience means having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty—the ability to spring back into shape. And over the past 400 years, Black people have found ways to not only recover from the ramifications of slavery but thrive and keep the faith. Recently, I watched the AND Campaign’s How I Got Over, a five-part documentary series on the history of the Black Church. They highlight how the Black Church has shown resilience through a long history of obstacles. Let’s look at three examples from their series of ways the Black Church has exemplified what it means to never give up on God.

Origins of the Black Church

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”—Booker T. Washington

The documentary discusses the founding of The Black Church and its many denominations. The Black Church at its conception began because of longstanding racism and segregation—even within Christian institutions. The first Black denomination (AME) was created because white Christians refused to worship alongside Black Christians. And instead of using their rejection as a reason to give up on God, Black Christians showed resilience by clinging to their convictions and pursuing him further.

It would have been easy for any of them to give up—to decide that choosing a different God or a different faith would be more liberating. But when they decided to form their own denominations to continue their worship, they not only displayed God’s impact in their lives, but also revealed a conviction in their hearts that kept them moving toward the cross instead of running from it. They created and sang Negro Spirituals. They formed new churches. They embraced the stories of deliverance, justice, and freedom found in Scripture.

They kept going.

The Public Witness of the Black Church

“When the Black Church at its best is the public face of the witness of love and justice, it will be targeted.” —Cornel West

In How I Got Over, we also learn about the significance of the Black Church in the civil rights movement and how Black leaders used their faith in Christ to influence the secular world. Justin Giboney says in this episode, “For Black Church leaders, the gospel was more than a call to action—it was the theme music of the civil rights movement.”

The civil rights movement not only depended on the Black Church but also made huge progress because of it. The church served as a launching pad for many leaders, groups, and rallies. Going to church wasn’t just for spiritual nourishment in this era—political meetings happened at church, resources were mobilized there, and rallies and marches set their meeting points at churches. In addition, Black clergy and church leaders were some of the first Black people to hold positions in government. Black preachers served as politicians, and Black Christians, like Fannie Lou Hamer, fought against voter suppression motivated by strong biblical convictions.

Even though the public witness of Black Christians sparked more obstacles—like the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama in 1963 and many others like it—they harnessed their righteous anger to remain resilient, which eventually resulted in successes like the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Black Christian leaders knew that there was no need to separate the message of the gospel from the fight for justice and equality because taking the gospel seriously and standing on authoritative, biblical ideals meant standing against oppression and racism.

Education and the Black Church

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How I Got Over highlights a few of the different ways that the Black Church opened doors for educational opportunities in the Black community. I don’t know about you but I love school. And being a Black woman, I frequently find myself thanking God for the opportunity to learn from prestigious institutions because I know that it’s due to the determination of those who came before me. Education for Black people was illegal and dangerous for most of American history. And yet, despite being pushed out of opportunities left and right, they prevailed.

One of the main priorities that Black people pursued after emancipation was their education. And during this time, the Black Church provided opportunities for the Black community to learn in a safe and familiar environment. Over time, they were able to advance through the educational system and take advantage of vocational schools, colleges, and graduate schools.

Black people had the determination to take back their dignity and become educated members of society. They used the forced segregation from schools and educational systems to their advantage, creating and funding their own schools, universities, and carving out ways to educate themselves and prove those in power wrong.

All in all, the Black Church has contributed to the faith in many ways, but more than anything, the Black Church is an example of resilience despite the odds set against it. As believers, we know that God has called us to endure, and for the Black Church, endurance is at the foundation of its existence and the reason why it continues to thrive.


As we celebrate Black History Month, consider watching The AND Campaign’s How I Got Over, a documentary exploring the history and resilience of the Black Church and the impact it’s made in the public square and the education system. The series has five episodes full of information, history, and inspiring stories. You can also click here to learn more about the AND Campaign.
1
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1.19.2024

The “Boring” Part of Exodus

For those brave enough to embark on a Bible reading plan, the gears grind to a screeching halt around the second half of Exodus.

The tabernacle furniture doesn’t grab us the way the liberation of God’s people from Egypt does.

Our eyes may glaze over at building materials and measurements, but the intricate detail of God’s first home with the Israelites and the description of how Israel is supposed to act with God in this new space shows us the lengths to which God will go to be with his people. This isn’t just Israel’s story—it’s our story too.

God makes the purpose of this portable worship complex clear to Moses in Exodus 25:8: “They are to make a sanctuary for me so that I may dwell among them” (emphasis added). God will “dwell”—sakan in Hebrew—in the tabernacle similarly to how he “settled”—sakan—on Mount Sinai to give the Law to Moses in Exodus 24:16.

What Moses experienced up on Mount Sinai—talking with God and seeing his glory—God now wants to make accessible, in part, to all his people in the camp. The mountain-top experience will come down to the people wandering in the wilderness. God doesn’t ask his people to climb up to meet with him—he stoops down to live with his people. Starting to sound familiar?

The Tabernacle Then

When God moves into our space and time, he changes everything. With the tabernacle, the space between God’s heavenly home and Israel’s earthly existence didn’t just get closer—the two places overlapped and became something new. This new space points back to God’s presence with humanity in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1–2—the original dwelling place of God and people. God will make his presence known, like he did with Adam and Eve, in this new space where heaven and earth collide—a heaven-and-earth space.

The Garden of Eden imagery shows up throughout the tabernacle instructions. The entrance to the tabernacle was a curtain of blue, purple, and crimson fabrics (Exodus 27:9, 16)—colors not naturally occurring in linens but apparent in nature. There are cherubim—the same angelic beings who prevented Adam and Eve from returning to the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24—worked into the design of the curtains. These colors and images of angels signified that those entering the tabernacle were stepping into an otherworldly place. Importantly, however, instead of preventing humanity’s meeting with God in the garden, cherubim welcomed the people into God’s presence.

Another literary parallel to the Garden of Eden involves the progressively ornate materials the closer one gets to the center. The materials used in the outer courtyard are bronze and silver (Exodus 27:1–8; 30:17–21), and the materials used inside the tent are gold (Exodus 25:10–40). But inside the tent, there’s an even more special place—the holy of holies with more gold objects (Exodus 25:10–22). This was the place where God would manifest his presence and meet with the people. The purposeful move from bronze to gold—from the courtyard to the holy of holies—parallels Genesis 2. The creation story moves from the land of Eden—the region God chose to plant a garden—to the actual garden itself and even further to the tree of life “in the middle of the garden” (Genesis 2:8–9). The closer to the center, the more concentrated the divine presence.

So what? What does it matter that the tabernacle reminds us of the Garden of Eden? What is God doing through Israel with the tabernacle?

Just like God created humanity to be with him and to multiply his rule over the earth, God was doing a new work of creation in and through the people of Israel. God was remaking humanity—and the world—through the people of Israel with the tabernacle. When we see the Garden of Eden imagery while reading the “boring” parts of Exodus, we are reminded of God’s initiative to be with his people and to have his people share his presence with the whole world.

The Tabernacle Now

We can be tempted to miss the flashbacks to the Garden of Eden in the tabernacle instructions. But we should not only notice that God moved toward his people in the past; we should also notice that God is still moving toward his people now in the newest heaven-and-earth space—the church.

The same God who ordered Israel to build these precise structures now lives continuously with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

We don’t have to build precise structures to meet with God like the Israelites. The mountain-top experience that came down to Israel’s wandering camp has now, in the presence of the Spirit, been made available for everyone who trusts Jesus.

Our existence as the new tabernacle—the new meeting place—points toward the ultimate heaven-and-earth place—the renewed creation of Revelation 21–22. One day, God will completely fill the earth with his Spirit and live with us forever in an entirely renewed creation. Upon seeing a vision of God’s restorative plan, John exclaims, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them” (Revelation 21:1, 3).

The tabernacle in Exodus points us to the renewed creation—the ultimate heaven-and-earth space. And when we doze off reading about the different metals and linens, we can remind ourselves that behind those instructions stands a God who not only wants to be with his people but will stop at nothing to be with them.

Until we reach that ultimate “tabernacle,” Exodus reminds us that the same divine presence that was with Israel now exists in us—the church made up of diverse brothers and sisters trusting Jesus as we wander in the wilderness.
1
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1.5.2024

Behind the Scenes: The Book of Joshua with Louie Giglio

In the book of Joshua, we get a front-row seat to the power of God as he led the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. By faith, Joshua and the Israelites overcame the challenges and obstacles they faced with the courage God supplied. And by faith, with God’s strength, we can overcome the challenges we face too.

In 2023, RightNow Media sent a film crew to Atlanta, Georgia to film The Book of Joshua with pastor Louie Giglio. The book of Joshua follows the people of God as they work to secure the land God had promised to them.

While filming, our team asked Louie a few questions about preparing for this series and his hopes for small groups.

RightNow Media: What is the one thing you learned while preparing for this series?

Louie: I think one of the things that probably hit me the most preparing to teach through Joshua—and I mentioned it as we were moving through some of the early sessions—is just that Joshua was a man. And that’s important for me to remember, and for all of us to remember, we’re not looking at Bible characters. I was studying the other day about Lazarus, and we all know Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but he was about thirty years old when Jesus did that. And somehow, we have these “older Bible characters” and we don’t realize the disciples were twenty-somethings, and Lazarus was twenty-eight or twenty-nine or thirty. And Joshua was older when he was leading the people into the Promised Land, but he was just a human being. It’s like James reminding us that Elijah was a man like us, so I think I just saw through fresh eyes, through the book of Joshua, that this isn’t some superhero that just dropped down out of the Old Testament. But this is a guy of flesh and blood just like me, a person just like you, who is putting their trust in a supernatural source to do supernatural things.  

RightNow Media: What is the one thing you want viewers to walk away with after watching this series?

Louie: My big hope for every one of us that’s in this series together is that we will walk away with confidence. I think the enemy, if he could do one thing for all of us, it would be to chip away at our confidence in God and, ultimately, our confidence in ourselves as God is choosing to lead us. Because this is an important time to be alive on planet Earth and God has incredible assignments for every person. Not just special people like Joshua, not just for the special people like Moses, but God has an assignment for every single one of us in our lives. And he’s got an assignment for you. And so, I hope, as you’re going through Joshua with us, that you will sense, “wow, there is a calling on my life. It’s not to be a preacher or a spiritual leader or someone like Joshua—it’s a calling to this particular place and time, and these people.” And that you will sense that there’s purpose in that. That you’re not just spending time on Earth, but you have an assignment on earth to lead people into the fullness of what God has created them for. And I hope everybody sees that and feels more confident about stepping into that. Because there’s probably a river in front of you—an obstacle between you and that calling—and God wants to show you in this series how to grow in your confidence in him so that you can become everything he’s called you to be.

RightNow Media: Tell us about the most memorable moment of filming this series.

Louie: I think one of the moments I’m going to always remember most about shooting this series is just the incredible team and incredible shoot. RightNow Media, they’re not wanting me probably to say this, but they’re the best team and working with them is always an incredible experience for me. And just their vision of wanting to build the church and serve people and see people grow in their faith and become more committed followers of Jesus, it really is inspiring. And it doesn’t feel like we’re just here with camera and lights and background, and we’re making a theme, it feels like there’s a collective heart in this room right now to want to serve people. And I think that’s going to be for me the most memorable thing about this. I stand in front of a lot of cameras, I stand under a lot of microphones, there are lights on me a lot of the time, and you can tell a difference when it’s a job and when people really want to see hearts change. And I know I came here today because I have the honor and privilege of being on a journey with people to see their lives change, and see my life change, as we’re in this Word together, and I really believe that all the people in this room with me right now have that same heart. And that’s what makes a shoot like this enjoyable, but it also makes it satisfying and meaningful. And I’ve loved being a part of this journey together.

The Book of Joshua with Louie Giglio releases exclusively on RightNow Media January 23, 2024.

1
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12.1.2023

Mary: More Than Mother of God

While Mary serves the miraculous and cosmic role of birthing the Messiah, she is also a faithful witness of what it looks like to model Christ’s action of mediating.

Interest in Mary peaks during Christmas.

As we unpack our nativity scenes from eleven months of storage, placing Mary next to the manger is as normal as singing Christmas carols or watching Buddy the Elf eat gum off the subway railing.

For many of us, though, Mary never leaves the manger’s side. She goes back in storage with the wise men and reappears next year. While Mary serves the miraculous and cosmic role of birthing the Messiah, she is also a faithful witness of what it looks like to model Christ’s action of mediating between God and humanity—telling others what God is like and bringing him their concerns.

You may be thinking, “Wait, isn’t Jesus the only one who mediates between God and humanity?” And that instinct would be right. I’m not talking about mediating salvation between God and people—that’s something that only Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection has accomplished. What I am saying is that, like the prophets in the Old Testament standing as a go-between by proclaiming God’s message to the people and representing the people’s requests to God, Mary shows us how to occupy the space between God and the world as a light that points people to God.

Mary doesn’t supplant Jesus’s role as the ultimate mediator. But inside and outside of the Christmas story, Mary does show us how to obey our call to live as Christ’s body on earth, sharing who God is and advocating on behalf of others.

Mary Proclaims God’s Character

Before traveling to Bethlehem for Jesus’s birth, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, who was also miraculously pregnant. Elizabeth recognized Mary’s unique role as the “mother of [her] Lord” (Luke 1:43) and pointed toward Mary’s faith that God would “fulfill what he has spoken to her” (Luke 1:45).

In response, Mary launched into her famous speech magnifying God’s character—the Magnificat. These ten verses are more than Mary simply responding to her situation with gratitude. Mary shares God’s words not only with Elizabeth but also with us as readers thousands of years later.

Many commentators say Mary’s speech falls in the genre of prophecy. In essence, a prophet served as a mediator between God and people to provide the people with revelation of who God is. Mary comments on her own “humble condition” (Luke 1:48) and how God exalts the “lowly” (Luke 1:52), like herself. By describing herself in these terms, Mary speaks to those who may similarly feel overlooked or unimportant—much like how the people of Israel likely felt at the time of Jesus’s birth. Mary says that God has “helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever” (Luke 1:54–55) with Jesus’s birth announcement, reminding God’s people that he cares and acts on their behalf.

Through her speech, Mary stepped into the space between God and his people by proclaiming the good news that God’s “mercy is from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50) and that “he has scattered the proud . . . [and] toppled the mighty from their thrones” (Luke 1:51–52). She reminds us that God “has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:53). Her song reads like many of the psalms in the Old Testament that proclaim the character of God to people in desperate need.

Mary models how we should be little mediators of God’s presence on earth—declaring his good news to people who need to hear it.

Mary Intercedes on Behalf of Others

The beginning of Jesus’s public ministry provides a stage for Mary to stand as a type of mediator outside of the Christmas story. Before Jesus began teaching and demonstrating his identity as Israel’s Messiah, he and his disciples were invited to a wedding Mary also attended. As John writes in John 2:1–12, the wine for the wedding in Cana ran out and presented the host family with a problem.

Running out of wine at a celebration in Ancient Near Eastern culture was a social faux pas that would have brought enormous shame on the host family. Seeing this risk and interceding on behalf of the wedding party, Mary went to Jesus with a request without a question, “They don’t have any wine” (John 2:3).

Not only did Mary initiate stepping in as an in-between for the wedding party, but she also went straight to the person she knew could act, revealing her faith. She saw a need and entrusted it to the person who could meet that need.

While Jesus’s response appears harsh (his calling Mary “woman” isn’t derogatory or dismissive as he uses the same word when speaking tenderly to her on the cross in John 19:26), Jesus explained that he was hesitant because he had not begun to reveal his identity as Messiah—which Mary presumably knew—to everyone.

Instead of feeling rejected, Mary reaffirmed her faith in her son by telling the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. Jesus may have chosen not to act and told the servants to stand by, but Mary accepted that possibility and left the decision in Jesus’s capable hands. In doing so, she communicated an important truth not only for the servants at the wedding but also for us reading the passage today—obey God regardless of what he calls you to do. Mary advocated for people who had nowhere else to go and instructed them on how they should respond to God’s command—much like how the church operates in the world today.

Follow Mary as She Follows Christ

Maybe it is appropriate that we think of Mary most often during the Christmas season. Christmas often calls us to act in mediatory ways.

This may be someone’s first Christmas alone, and they need to hear from you that God sees them. Perhaps this Christmas someone received bad news and needs you to advocate for them on your knees in prayer. By imitating Mary as she imitates Christ, we can be God’s ambassadors, channeling his overpowering love for them.

We cannot imitate Mary’s honored role in the incarnation, but we can replicate her faithful ministry by following Jesus as he mediates for us.

1
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11.17.2023

Behind the Scenes: The Creators Season 3

Filming this season was bittersweet, because both the cast and crew knew that this season would be the show’s last.

The Creators Season 3 is the biggest season we have produced yet—there are pirates, original songs, and even a karate showdown.

There is something for everyone in the six episodes of Season 3.

But filming Season 3 was bittersweet because both the cast and crew knew this would be the final season.

When The Creators first began, some of the actors had never worked on a show before. But by the end of this season, the young actors had not only worked on a show but acted in episodes from over a dozen TV genres, flexed their acting muscles, and even recorded their own music.

Series producer Lindsey McNally shared how the cast visited a music studio to record their vocals for Season 3. “Season 3 is the first time each cast member sings their own music—they have all grown so much as performers.”

Series Producer Lindsey McNally poses with a special guest on The Creators set. (Photo Credit: Chris Ablaza)

The weeks of production included laughter, birthday parties (facilitated by the cast members' wonderful mothers), and the joys of watching the growth of the amazing cast. The show may be coming to an end, but make sure to keep an eye on the cast as their careers continue. Niko (Art) and Sydney (Zoey) have already done some work together for Nike, and we are sure there is more to come from these talented teenagers.

The Creators gather on the iconic leather couch one last time. (Photo Credit: Chris Ablaza)

“This type of production was uncharted territory for RightNow Media,” McNally said. “But we took the plunge—in the chaos of 2020, mind you—and God has blown us away!”

“It’s so cool to see how many young lives have been impacted. I don't think any of us expected there to be three whole seasons, but here we are almost four years later.”

We have loved reading your fan mail and watching the videos you were inspired to create after watching The Creators. And, while Season 3 will be the final season of The Creators, we will never forget how the show has entertained, inspired, and encouraged us all.

Catch the final season of The Creators coming in January 2024! In the meantime check out Season 1, Season 2, and The Creators Christmas Special.

Special thanks to Chris Ablaza for capturing the making of Season 3 on a disposable camera!
1
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10.27.2023

The Christian Calendar

Over the centuries, the church developed a year-long pattern of celebrating touchstone moments in our faith.

Birthday gifts.

Anniversary dinners.

Graduation parties.

Christmas gatherings.

Independence Day fireworks.

We love celebrating past victories and significant moments. The church is no different.

Over the centuries, the church developed a year-long pattern of celebrating touchstone moments in our faith. Many churches follow this liturgical calendar in their Sunday worship.


What Is the Christian Calendar?

The church calendar is a yearly cycle that starts in late November or early December and follows the life of Jesus, celebrating his resurrection in spring, and remembering the lives of saints for the remainder of the year. Three major holy days circle the season of Christ’s Incarnation and three occur during the Resurrection season, while Ordinary Time marks the other six months with regular Feast Days.

The Season of Incarnation

Advent

The church year begins with Advent, celebrated during the four Sundays leading up to December 25. During Advent, the church spends time reflecting on the birth of Jesus and his promised return. We acknowledge that we live in a world full of pain and confusion and that we are waiting for him to make all things new. It is a time of anticipation waiting for Christ’s return and the fulfillment of his kingdom.

Christmas

Also known as the Incarnation, Christmas celebrates when God became a vulnerable baby, marking a seismic shift in the cosmos. God. Became. A human being. Pause and reflect on that glorious truth. As the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” goes: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. For Christ is born of Mary . . .” But, unlike our cultural celebration, Christmas Day is only the start of the Christmas celebration on the church calendar. The celebration continues through the new year and, for the western church, up to January 6.

Epiphany

The season of Epiphany begins on January 6, the Day of Epiphany, at the end of the traditional twelve days of Christmas. Epiphany means “manifestation” and refers to Jesus being made known to Gentiles—first privately to the three Magi who traveled to find him after his birth, then publicly through his baptism and first miracle. The season “has a narrative arc beginning with the Magi and ending with the Transfiguration. The overall emphasis is the manifestation (showing forth) of the glory of Jesus Christ,” says Rev. Fleming Rutledge, Episcopal priest and author. Our Bible readings progress through the childhood of Jesus into his early days of ministry.

The Season of Resurrection

Lent

Forty days before Easter, the church inaugurates the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, a holy day on which believers are encouraged to fast and pray. Lent is traditionally a time of self-denial and repentance, with churches swathed in dark colors. Special church services are held where ashes are smudged on the hands or foreheads of attendees. The traditional phrase pastors speak over congregations is, “From dust you came, to dust you will return,” though some offer an urgent “Believe the gospel!”

Easter

The pinnacle of the church year celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the one who defeated death and brings hope to all who call him Lord. He is risen! we tell one another. He is risen, indeed! we respond.

The Easter season lasts fifty days, as we follow Jesus's post-resurrection life to his Ascension forty days later and end with the feast of Pentecost.

Pentecost

Pentecost celebrates the new body of Christ, his church sent and empowered to share his love with the world, and falls fifty days after Easter. On this day, we celebrate him sending his Holy Spirit to indwell, fill, and empower his disciples. Churches focus on texts that highlight the Spirit and decorate their sanctuaries in red and white, symbolizing “the tongues like flames of fire” through which the Spirit descended upon the disciples (Acts 2:1–4).

The Season of Ordinary Time

The first half of the church year focuses on Christ while the rest of the year broadens its scope to the entire family of God. Ordinary Time focuses on the lives of biblical characters, telling us that our daily, ordinary lives matter to God and should matter to us as well.

Major Feast Days

Each day of the year is a feast day dedicated to the memory of a particular saint whose life offers us inspiration. Feast days tend to memorialize martyrs on the day of their death, which early Christians considered to be graduation from life to life. The feasts of Patrick and Valentine remain cultural touchstones even today.

Why Observe the Christian Calendar?

For those who worship in non-liturgical churches, consider some benefits you could gain from observing the church calendar. You don’t have to become fully liturgical, but you may end up adding a few elements common to other denominations to your habit of worship. So, why should you bother?

We reorient our view of the world.

The church calendar helps us to see the world through the life of Jesus our King. We live in an era where political messiahs come and go. One way to de-emphasize the politics of people is to proclaim the politics of heaven.

It offers a comprehensive exposure to the life of Christ.

We need to walk through Jesus’s whole life and emphasize different events so that God’s people can know the whole story. Easter is not complete without an Ascension Sunday. Celebrating the church calendar helps us understand the total Christ and his total life.

It is a tool for discipling children.

The church calendar gives parents, grandparents, and teachers beautiful ways to catechize, or teach, children about Jesus. It offers a structured way for kids to learn about the life of Christ, the hope of his second coming, and the rhythms of expecting what comes next in the Christian life.

It is a tool for discipling adults.

The church calendar helps us grow in our understanding of significant doctrines. Regularly remembering God’s work through Christ and other Christians will encourage us in our own faith.

It is a tool for evangelism.

Our neighbors and friends will see us giving something up for Lent or regularly attending church and they will ask, “Why?” Each feast day or new season gives us an opportunity to talk about Jesus and why he matters so much to us. And sharing those regular observances reminds us that we are part of something larger than ourselves. We love and follow a God bigger than the troubles of this world. That’s good news for us—and our neighbors.

1
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10.13.2023

10 Studies from Black Ministry Leaders

Discipleship

The Black Church is more than just the people—it serves as a specific expression of the Christian faith that we should not only appreciate but glean from.

The origins, traditions, and stories within the legacy of the Black Church offer a perspective of Christian history that many times gets lost and, therefore, so do its voices.

At RightNow Media, we not only value diversity but believe that Black ministry leaders have a unique perspective on Christian history and the gospel. Their experience and unique history can help all of us see the sustaining grace and deliverance of God in a special way. In our extensive library, you’ll find Black teachers and speakers in series covering race relations in the church, books of the Bible, Christian living, and even faith in the workplace.

Keep reading for a list of RightNow Media Original video Bible studies from Black ministry leaders.

Studies on Race Relations and Black Christian History

Through Eyes of Color

Lisa Fields

In this six-session series, Lisa Fields, founder of the Jude3 Project, walks us through the common apologetic questions raised by the Black community and helps us understand how to respond to hard theological questions concerning race.

Urban Apologetics

Eric Mason

Many young people in the Black community are disinterested in Christianity, feeling like the church strips them of their dignity rather than reminding them of their God-given identity. As a result, they turn to ethnocentric ideologies, revisionist history, conspiracy theories, and mystic cults. In this series, Dr. Eric Mason addresses twenty big questions unique to the Black church.

Walk Through a Book of the Bible

The Book of 1 Timothy

Dr. Charlie Dates and Rev. Dr. James Meeks

Join Rev. Dr. James Meeks and his protege Dr. Charlie Dates in this seven-session series as they explore the major themes in Paul’s first letter to Timothy and address the essential questions we need to answer if we want our churches to thrive.

Exodus

Dr. Phillip Pointer

Exodus explores the foundational story of the Israelites and reveals an all-powerful, intimately personal God. In this six-session series, Rev. Dr. Phillip Pointer explores the major themes in the book of Exodus and helps us understand God’s redemptive plan for all humanity.

The Book of Nehemiah

Eric Mason

Whether we’ve felt spiritually stale or devoured by doubts, we’ve all wanted God to renew us. But what does spiritual restoration even look like? In this ten-session series, Dr. Eric Mason shows us how God renewed his people both physically and spiritually.

Studies for Christian Living

The Power of Knowing God

Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans believes seeking to know God is life’s greatest purpose. In this practical, six-session video series, he shares strategies and skills for how you can live victoriously as a child of God.

Work as Worship

Nona Jones

Many of us find our work lives to be hollow and lacking in purpose, but the joy of worshipping God can be experienced even in our secularized work environment. In this six-session series, business executive and international speaker Nona Jones shares how our work carries deep spiritual significance and is directly tied to our identity as God’s people.

God’s Uncommon Man

Tony Dungy and James Brown

Do you ever wonder what it looks like to be a man of faith? In this three-session series, sportscaster James Brown and former NFL coach Tony Dungy will teach us what it means to be an ”uncommon man“—a man who follows God faithfully.

Studies for Youth

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.

Different

Jonathan Evans

In this series, Jonathan Evans will walk students through the parables in Luke to teach what it looks like for God to rule our lives. Though a life sold out for Christ might look backward to everyone else, it actually points us back to how God intended our lives to be when he first created us.

Consider watching through one of these series with your small group or as a personal study. We want you to grow closer to God and thrive in your community with the help of diverse voices. God has given us all a voice, and if we want the church to flourish, we must lift every voice.

1
min
9.8.2023

Most Popular Video Bible Studies for Fall 2023

Discipleship

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

BIBLE BACKROADS

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.

1
min
9.1.2023

RightNow Media Around the World: Spotlight on Brazil

Learn about how God is using RightNow Media in Brazil.
Around the World

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

Impact

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.

1
min
8.25.2023

How to Be a Successful Church Planter

Church planting is a lot of things: a risky calling, an entrepreneurial challenge, and an overwhelming journey that forces us to be completely reliant on God.
Church Leadership

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.

1
min
8.11.2023

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?
Faith & 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.

To learn more habits that will improve your work experience and lead you to greater success, check out Marcus Goodloe’s new RightNow Media @ Work series, “Habits.”

1
min
7.28.2023

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?
Christian Living

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.
1
min
7.14.2023

5 Tips for Multigenerational Small Group Leaders

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

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.  
1
min
6.23.2023

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.
1
min
6.9.2023

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.

1
min
6.1.2023

RightNow Media Around the World: Spotlight on the United Kingdom

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

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

Impact

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.

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5.19.2023

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.

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.

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