Courtney T. Ball

Category - Faith

This Program Will Save Your Church!

The pitch. Friends, let me tell you from experience. If you faithfully implement this proven program in your church, you are guaranteed to see results. Follow the authors’ time-tested principles, and watch your congregation transform into a more active body of disciples working together to grow God’s Kingdom right there in your...

I Never Met a Muslim I Didn’t Like

Photo of Imam Hassan Selim Yeah, okay, so I know they’re out there. We see them every day on the television, these “radical jihadi terrorists” bent on America’s destruction. It’s just that I’ve never met one. I’ve only ever met nice Muslims. Yesterday, I sat down to lunch with Imam* Hassan Selim, a young...

Our Response to Brokenness

Warning: this article contains profanity and may not be suitable for children. I heard angry yelling coming from the street outside. Up to that point, it had been a relaxing Saturday morning in the summer. I walked out onto my front porch to see what was happening. I live in the city in what could be called a modest middle-class section of town...

Ten Steps to a Great Sermon

I wrote this for pastors, but I think it could be helpful to other public speakers or writers. I come from a family line of preachers. I married the daughter of a preacher. I’ve heard a lot of sermons in my life, covering the spectrum from awe-inspiring to so-lousy-I’m-angry-at-the-preacher-for-making-me-sit-through-it. If you want to...

We Don’t Need More Christians

We’ve Come a Long Way In his day, Jesus was mocked, beaten, and publicly executed for his ministry. He was called a blaspheming treasonous criminal. Today, an empire similar to Rome might call him a terrorist. This was a tenuous and painful beginning for a movement that has since grown to become the largest religion the world has ever...

The Disgraced Lover

“When the church and government get in bed together, it’s the church who gets up disgraced in the morning.” I heard this memorable statement from Emanuel Cleaver, an ordained United Methodist pastor who had recently been elected as a U.S. Congressional Representative from Missouri. I was in my first year of professional ministry and...

Pastor Bucky and the Mardi Grass Scare

Early in his career as Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Pastor Bucky was given the task of preparing the ashes for Ash Wednesday, a holy day which marks the beginning of Lent. He accepted the job without knowing much about how to carry it out. All he knew was that the ashes were made of palm fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday...

One Christian’s Reflection on 9/11

It was the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, my first day of orientation at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. Emmy and I placed Anyssa in her car seat and began the short drive from our new apartment to Iliff, where I would begin my graduate studies. If all went well, in three years I would complete a Master of Divinity degree...

Sunday Lunch at the Knouse House

These are stories about my great grandpa and grandma Knouse. My dad shared these with me when I visited with him last week. Wallace Hines was not a well-educated man. Most of his book learning came from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which he read religiously and memorized sections of. He ran a strict house, and by the time his daughter Daisy became...