Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…
This is Jamie Brown’s response to a very interesting study I shared here. I encourage everyone involved in leading people in worship to think think deeply about these things…
Feed My Sheep:
My Response to the “Waning of the ‘Worship Wars’”
“This is the question that every single pastor and worship leader needs to ask themselves. Moving forward, if the results of the National Congregations Study are right and worship in the 21st century will be marked by informality, contemporary music style, and movement away from the expressions of the past (all of which happens every century, by the way), we have to decide if the congregation’s engagement in worship is integral or incidental.”
The Not-So-Quiet Quiet Time –Colin Smith
“In the past, what Evangelicals meant when they talked about having a quiet time was a regular time of Bible reading and prayer. Christians, rightly, through the centuries, believed that God speaks to us through the Bible and that we speak to him through prayer.
But as large parts of the church have drifted away from the Scriptures, many people have latched onto the idea that we can listen to God simply by being quiet.
It has become common among Christians to think that listening to God means being quiet and listening to our own hearts. But here’s the problem with that:
God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).”
God’s Cleaning His House…the Church –D. A. Horton
“God is cleaning house in the American Church. Through current events dealing with ethnicity, race, and systemic oppression, He is exposing our dirty laundry (the systemic segregation in our churches, interpersonal networks, and theological formation) because He loves us.
Specifically, in Evangelicalism, polarized interpretations of publicized crisis moments are being put on display for the world to see. They’re watching our dismissive, hateful, and pithy interactions online and attributing our sinfulness as outcomes of the gospel we claim to share a common view on.
Although things are bleak and challenging, we, as a movement, are not without hope…
It is for this reason I want to challenge us to employ three practices that will put us on track to steward the timeless message of the gospel during the muddled times we inhabit.”
I wrote a plea along these lines to my fellow Christ-followers about this several weeks ago…
The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb –Sean Blanda
“Sharing links that mock a caricature of the Other Side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It signals that we’d rather be smug assholes than consider alternative views. It signals that we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand those who are not.
It’s impossible to consider yourself a curious person and participate in social media in this way. We cannot consider ourselves “empathetic” only to turn around and belittle those that don’t agree with us.
On Twitter and Facebook this means we prioritize by sharing stuff that will garner approval of our peers over stuff that’s actually, you know, true. We share stuff that ignores wider realities, selectively shares information, or is just an outright falsehood. The misinformation is so rampant that the Washington Post stopped publishing its internet fact-checking column because people didn’t seem to care if stuff was true…
Institutional distrust is so high right now, and cognitive bias so strong always, that the people who fall for hoax news stories are frequently only interested in consuming information that conforms with their views — even when it’s demonstrably fake.”
The shocking truth behind most selfies…