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SBC DIGEST: Send Network relaunches NewChurches.com; Evans study Bible reaches sales milestone

Send Network relaunches NewChurches.com to fuel church planting

By Brandon Elrod/NAMB

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – Today (Nov. 5), the North American Mission Board’s Send Network relaunched a website dedicated to resourcing pastors and church planters to fuel the multiplication of new congregations. The site, NewChurches.com, features articles, a podcast and free web courses from experienced ministry leaders.

NewChurches.com began several years ago as an initiative of Lifeway Christian Resources, designed and led by Ed Stetzer who was then with Lifeway but now heads the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College and serves as dean of Wheaton’s School of Mission, Ministry and Leadership. Trevin Wax, NAMB’s vice president for resources and research, has spearheaded the development of the site’s redesign and relaunch, and moving forward, the site will be powered by Send Network.

“My heart beats for the local church,” Wax said. “One of the reasons I was excited to step into this new role at NAMB was because it would provide me with more opportunities to lead a team dedicated to serving pastors and planters with good resources that help them fulfill the Great Commission.”

The site is free for anyone to use. The revamped articles and podcasts are open to everyone. The web courses – which include a church-planting masterclass, courses on bivocational ministry and developing a core team, among many others – are free to anyone, with a simple registration.

The list of teachers includes renowned church planting and ministry leaders like Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, Ed Stetzer and Dhati Lewis. Each course features teaching from practitioners who have served in churches and on the mission field. New courses will routinely be developed and added to the list of options, including courses conducted in Spanish for the Hispanic context.

“Send Network has long brought the best church planters and thought leaders to the table,” Wax said. “We want to be open-handed with what God has blessed us with. We designed New Churches to be a one-stop shop for Christians everywhere to find reliable resources to start new churches well.”

Read the full story here.

Tony Evans Study Bible, Commentary achieve bronze status

By Aaron Wilson/Lifeway

NASHVILLE (BP) – The first study Bible and one-volume commentary published by an African American theologian has hit yet another milestone. “The CSB Tony Evans Study Bible” and “The Tony Evans Bible Commentary” recently won a pair of Bronze Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) for each selling more than 100,000 copies.

“The success of these resources is confirmatory of both the significance and faithfulness of Dr. Evans’ ministry over the last 40-plus years,” said Andy McLean, director of Bibles and Reference for B&H Publishing Group, the trade publishing arm of Lifeway Christian Resources. “The message and ministry of God’s missional kingdom is not only one that Dr. Evans has so clearly articulated and advanced, but also one he has faithfully lived out in his pastoral ministry, resulting in changed minds and hearts across the globe.”

The achievement coincides with the 40th anniversary of The Urban Alternative, a Christian Bible teaching and resource ministry founded by Evans to spread the teaching of God’s Word through Christian media with the goal of transforming lives. Evans is the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and has served as the chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for more than three decades – the longest standing NBA chaplaincy. He is also a former chaplain of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

“I’m humbled. I’m from urban Baltimore. I would never have thought I would be in this place,” Evans said when the study Bible and commentary first launched in the fall of 2019. The publications have since sold around 148,000 copies and 123,000 copies, respectively. “I know God could have used someone else. The fact that He’s allowed me the opportunity to do this with my weaknesses and with my flaws, it shows me grace, it shows me mercy, it shows me gratitude.”

Evans said he wanted to create “The Tony Evans Study Bible” and “The Tony Evans Bible Commentary” to “show the kingdom thread throughout all the books of the Bible and to help readers see how eternity and history are connected by this unifying theme of the glory of God through the advancement of His kingdom.”

McLean described the partnership between Evans and Lifeway as “deep and fruitful” with Lifeway stewarding many books, Bible studies and reference tools authored by Evans over the years.

Read the full story here.

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