Why are manger scenes so strange?

First off, there's Mary, always looking very fresh and calm and full of reflection - which is quite impressive considering that she just gave birth without any sedative.

Top 10 "Leading Ideas" articles of 2014

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers the 10 articles most popular with their subscribers.

Advent quiz: test your knowledge of the season

Courtesy, there's a daily quiz about the traditions and symbols of the Advent season.

Jim Harnish: Good News or Christmas drivel?

The near absence of traditional Christmas carols on the airwaves didn't make me angry or defensive. It made me sad.

Experiencing religion through story

The value of storytelling in religious education, especially for children.

Lovett Weems on the emergence of "Dones"

"Dones" have left and did not go to other churches.

In Advent, never mind the width

In Advent, dare to feel the depth. Never mind the width. If you're tired of waiting, go deeper, says the noted preacher.

When Bible movies aren't biblically accurate

We shouldn't be surprised when Hollywood doesn't nail the details.

Intergenerational worship is like Thanksgiving dinner table

Worship is like Thanksgiving dinner, with everyone at the table. You might not like everything that's served, but everybody experiences the meal together.

How could games be part of church?

Pastors live with a painful inner conflict - we often aren't doing the good we want to do. Games, which can connect us to others and to a larger purpose, might help.