Tag Archives: Ministry

Tuesday Picks ~ 6-13-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

What Would Aristides Say About Your Church?Eric Geiger
The world watched how early believers cared for one another, how they supported one another in challenging times, and how they longed to meet together. The world always takes notice when Christians love one another as Christ commanded. Unity is always attractive, and unity among God’s people piques the world’s curiosity.

Aristides, a 2nd century Greek philosopher, wrote an apology concerning what he had observed of Christians. What he observed is a beautiful picture of the early Christian church. From his findings we get a sense of why their community was attracting so much attention, both favor from a watching world and persecution from those who hated Christianity. Below are a few things he noted about the Christians with quotes from “The Apology of Aristides.”


The Moment that Changed Eric Liddell’s Life
Jordan Standridge
Eric was having to make an important decision; of course, no one was going to force him to speak or to have a public ministry. But I’m sure that Eric was counting the cost. Some people may say no big deal, but this was a huge deal. Especially for such an introvert.

This decision was going to affect the rest of his life…

This year, we celebrate 500 years of the Reformation. And looking back at the Reformation, I think we can all be overwhelmed. As we hear stories of Luther, Tyndale, and Lady Jane Grey, we see boldness in the face of entire nations, popes, and scores of cardinals and executioners, and we wonder whether we would ever be able to stay committed to Christ when we could possibly be burned or lose our heads. But most of us will probably never have to face that test. Most of us will simply be called to be faithful in the circles God has sovereignly placed us.

The question is will we be faithful to speak unashamedly of our love for Christ when He calls us to?


7 Things That Get Harder as Your Church Grows
Carey Nieuwhof

2 big takeaways for me…

1. The point of church is not for everyone to know everyone. The point is for everyone to be known.

2. If you’re not fine with others receiving the credit, you’ll eventually stunt the church’s growth to the level of your insecurity.


A politically incorrect Father’s Day guide to sex, masculinity and daughters…

Dad Meets the Sexual RevolutionWilliam McGurn
…most dads accept that part of the job is a willingness to be the unfashionable one; that is, to love enough to speak unpopular truths when the world cheats your children with fifty shades of grey. For all the complaints about “toxic masculinity,” genuine masculinity seems hard to come by. Surely the greater male dysfunction of our time is perpetual adolescence, and a culture that encourages the man-child.

So this Father’s Day, looking over the three greatest blessings in his life, this dad pines for the day when we might again speak honestly and openly about the profound differences between male and female sexuality, when the heart might be taken as seriously as the orgasm—and when young men pursing young women might even rediscover the marvelous possibilities of moonlit summer evenings.


The value of a drummer?
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9aaXRzLzIwMTcvMDYvWml0cy4yMDE3MDYwOV85MDAuZ2lm
Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 5-30-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

4 Reasons Superstars Hurt Local Church Ministry
Eric Geiger
You have heard the statement “A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.”

In terms of building a sports team, the cliché challenges leaders to be concerned with the weakest player on the team, to be concerned with raising their skill. Some coaches and leaders live like this is true and focus their energy on developing the weakest links. Others place their energy on recruiting and keeping the strongest links on their teams…

Which approach is correct for staffing in ministry? Convictionally, it must be to develop all the people and not to focus on superstars. Practically, it must be to develop all the people and not focus on superstars. Here are four reasons superstars hurt ministry in a local church…


Yes, I’m sorry, this is another post about millennials. But it is a good one…

On “Listening” to Millennials (and What Does that Even Mean)Derek Rishmawy
listeningHonestly, I feel bad for churches and older leaders trying to get a handle on reaching Millennials. One of the biggest things the recent literature tells churches to do is “listen” to Millennials. But that can be fairly confusing…

Even more importantly, what does “listening” even mean?


Wise and InnocentMichael D. O’Neil
But what of those of us who are not so comfortable with aspects of the progressive social agenda, who perhaps even find them antithetical to Christian convictions? What are Christians to do when it is wrong to withdraw from public engagement, but threatening to so engage? What might appropriate response look like?

In this context, Jesus’ words from Matthew 10:16 provide guidance: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” (NASB).

Because Jesus has sent us out, our place is indeed, “in the world,” and even among the “wolves.” Christians must not withdraw from public space and public dialogue, but their presence is to be wise and innocent. Sometimes Christian engagement in the public sphere is less than wise; at other times it is far from innocent. Wise engagement is required lest we be ravaged; innocence is necessary lest we give ground for accusation or inflame existing tensions.


Live Above the Culture of RevengeMichael Kelley
It begins with recognizing that I, myself, am not able to dispense true justice and therefore any attempt at revenge is always flawed. I don’t know who really deserves what because I don’t know the depths of my own heart and sin much less anyone else’s…

… our job is to recognize first and foremost that we, too, ought to have justice dispensed against us. And when we grasp the immensity of how grievous our own offenses are perhaps it takes some of the fire out of our own desire for revenge.


Watch Repair…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDUvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNTI1XzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Thursday Picks ~ 5-25-2015

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

Judgment is a Lazy Substitute for IntimacyMichael Kelley
Judgment is lazy. …when judgment rears up; that’s when I’m tempted to make a snap evaluation of a person based on a given snapshot I see before me.

What I don’t know is the truth of the situation… I don’t know, and I’m content not to know. That’s because judgment is, frankly, easy.

It takes no time. It takes no real effort. And it certainly takes no sacrifice. It is based purely on assumption. This is why you could say that judgment, among other things, is a lazy substitute for intimacy. And this is not the way of Jesus.


Most of these are way too common…

5 Ways Ministry Leaders Start the Journey to Failure
Ron Edmondson
One of the hardest things I do in ministry is interact with those who are no longer in ministry, but wish they were. They’ve been derailed. They messed up and either they got caught or the guilt got the best of them and they confessed.

In recent years, I’ve had numerous ministry friends who lost their ministry due to moral failure, poor leadership, or simply burnout…

Watching this process over the years there appear to be some common reasons failure occurs. It doesn’t start at the failure. It starts months – and, perhaps years – prior. My hope is if we expose some of them we can catch a few people before it is too late.

So, let me ask, do any of these apply to you? …


Is Performance A Dirty Word? (And What it Means for Worship Musicians)David Santistevan
IS PERFORMANCE A DIRTY WORD-In more conversations than I can count, I’ve heard performance thrown around as a dirty word.

“This is not a performance. This is worship.”

I get where these comments come from. Matter of fact, I’ve said them myself. What I want to guard against is demonizing performance. If you play music in your local church, there’s no need to avoid the word performance or think of it as something less than true worship.

Performance and worship don’t need to be mutually exclusive…


Not quite as intimidating as the original…

(But I gotta admit, these guys are pretty good.)


Just like at the movies…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDUvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNTIyXzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Monday Picks ~ 5-8-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

What I’ve Learned about Pastoral MinistryKevin DeYoung
lightstock_9791_medium_tgc…if you live long enough, you’ll find that everyone is hurting. You’ll discover people’s marriages aren’t as good as they seem, or their kids are more troubled than they let on, or there’s a miscarriage or infertility, or there’s a parent who’s sick, or someone whose death is still the source of constant sadness, or there is a strained relationship, or there is an addiction, or there is an invisible illness. There’s just a lot of pain out there.

Everyone you talk to is a sinner and a sufferer. As a young person filled with good theology, it’s easier to know the sinner part. And we can’t forget this, otherwise we will be poor friends, and I’ll be a poor pastor. Compassion without follow through or correction is not real love. But that’s only one part of the equation. You have to remember people are carrying around a lot of hurt, a lot of sadness, a lot of fears. I’ve had to learn that people are not just sinners; they’re sufferers too. And that shapes how you deal with sin and extend mercy. I hope I’ve learned that.


There’s a good way to complain…

The self-healing letter of complaintSeth Godin
Image result for seth godinYou’ve been wronged. The service was terrible. You went unseen, disrespected and abused. You didn’t get your money’s worth. The software is sloppy, the people were rude, the entire experience was lousy.

A letter to the organization is called for. At the very least, you’ll get an apology, some free samples, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll fix the problem for everyone who comes after you. How generous of you to dig in and share the vitriol.

Better put a sharp point on it, personalize it and make it sting…

Here’s a different tack, a selfish one that pays off for everyone involved…


I’ve encountered almost all of these erroneous beliefs at one time or another…

The 12 Mistakes Dead Churches MakeBarry Cameron
The Twelve Mistakes Dead Churches MakeEvery year thousands of churches, unfortunately and unnecessarily, have to close their doors. Why? Because they kept doing the things that did them in. To put it another way, they held some highly defective, very destructive beliefs that determined their demise. Here are the mistakes dead churches make.

Dead churches erroneously believe …


“I Just Want Her To Be Happy”Leonard Sax
https://www.firstthings.com/uploads/article_590361e549076.jpgIt is no use letting kids do whatever they desire unless you have first educated their desire. The first job of the parent is to educate the child’s desire: to instill a longing for something higher and better than video games or pornography or social media, whether that something be found in science, in music, in the arts, in nature, or in religion…

As an American parent, I struggle every day against the culture of “I just want her to be happy.”


Polar opposites…
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/antarctic.jpg
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Satan is a liar, sin is a killer, and we only have one hope.


I met an impressive young man in 1981. He was a 16 year old high school student and I was his youth minister. He was outgoing, funny, good looking, smart and energetic. He also knew more scripture than any of his contemporaries and many of his elders. He was committed to Christ and planned to be a preacher. Actually, in many ways, he already was.

I expected that God would use him to do great things for the Kingdom.

I think he expected God to do great things with him, too.

In 1986 I relocated to a ministry in another state and I sort of lost touch with him. I would hear things about him from time to time. Some good. Some not so good.

I heard he was a natural in the pulpit. His personality was perfect for it. He was a focused leader. I believed this was true because it fit perfectly with what I knew of him as a teenager.

He could also be brash and abrasive. He alienated long-time church members and focused only on newer folks. This was also believable.

I admit that I took some of the negative things I heard with a grain of salt because I’ve encountered many of those same complaints myself from people who didn’t like changes that were being made.

Then came the discovery of immorality. I don’t know all the details, but I know it was bad. He lost his ministry and his family.

His kingdom impact would never be the same.

In some ways, I suppose it’s the same old story of moral failure in ministry. But this one hit closer to home. This one was personal. I knew the guy. I knew his wife. They were kids in my youth group. Leaders, in fact. I loved them both. I still do. My heart hurt.

I attended his funeral recently. He was 51 years old. Cancer.

Even though I hadn’t really spoken with him or his ex-wife for many years, I felt compelled to be there.

There’s something about death that puts life into perspective.

It reminds you of some basic truths. These are certainly nothing new, and they aren’t filled with subtle insights and nuances. But they are hard truths that easily elude us.

Satan is a liar.

If you’re a minister, he will tell you that you have the talent and ability to do ministry on your own. Success in ministry is dependent on your gifts, your personality, your drive, your vision. Depending on God is a cop-out. It’s a sign of weakness and a lack of self-confidence. Also, you don’t need the accountability of other Christians. They would never understand you, anyway. You can’t let anyone else know about your temptations and failings. You must keep those things hidden. People would lose all respect for you. Your reputation would be ruined. – These are just a few of the lies he’ll tell. And I can tell you from experience that they’re easy to believe. But don’t! Ministry is not like building a business. Ministry is a spiritual battle. You and I don’t have the power to win this battle on our own. Attempting it just makes us a tragedy waiting to happen.

It may seem oxymoronic, but leadership requires humility. Think about who has had the most lasting positive influence on your life. Who do you admire? Who do you want to be like? Who is someone you would trust with your deepest self? I’d be willing to bet that the person you’re thinking of is not an arrogant, prideful, self-absorbed individual. It’s more likely someone whose life is characterized by humility. Someone who doesn’t hide behind a façade. Someone who is more interested in the welfare of another than advancing his own personal agenda.

Sin is a killer.

Because it’s so universal, it’s easy to minimize sin. Everybody does it, so it’s easy to let yourself off the hook with an “I’m only human” attitude. But sin is a killer. It ruins everything it touches. It wrecks families, and churches, and individual lives. It has destroyed nations. It killed Jesus.

It’s important to remember that sin is not simply a specific act, but a condition of the heart that manifests itself in specific acts. Sin is a heart in rebellion to God. Sin is a willful decision to behave in a way that you know God hates. This is why there is no hierarchy of sins. It’s true that some acts will have heavier consequences on this life than others, but Jesus’ point in the Sermon on the Mount is that anger and murder, adultery and lust, all stem from the same root cause. It comes from a heart that says, “I know what you said, God, but I don’t care. I’m gonna do what I want.”

That’s sin. And it’s a killer.

We only have one hope.

It’s not popular these days to make exclusive claims like this, but that doesn’t change the fact that our only hope is Jesus. Our hope is found exclusively in the wonderful, indescribable, undeserved grace that can be ours through the blood of Christ. Sin may have killed Jesus, but grace made his death our hope.

This is the gospel. This is the truth that must completely saturate our hearts and our work. Without this, what are we even doing? Why are we wasting our time? This is what keeps us humble, and it’s what keeps us bold.

Why is this so easy to forget?

Because Satan is a liar.

And he’s a good one.

As I said earlier, these are all basic truths that we all know. You’ve read nothing here that you haven’t heard before. But this stuff is easy to lose track of. It seems too basic to spend much time with.

In fact, the opposite is true. These things are so basic, so fundamental, that without them nothing else matters.

Ability, talent, personality and gifts all matter. They do. But a career in ministry built on these things is a building with no foundation. It might look great for a while, but it won’t last. And when it falls, it could be disastrous for anyone in it or close to it.

Anyway, these are some of the things that have been on my mind since my friend’s funeral.

Lloyd

 

Weekend Picks ~ 4-21-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

You already have a platform…

Only One Platform Will LastKaren Swallow Prior
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/only-one-platform-will-last-2.jpgI don’t think platform is quite what many imagine it to be.

Our real platform is the life we are living and the work and ministry we are already doing. Platform is our proven track record and the authority we’ve gained in whatever area God has called us to—whether we work out of the home and take care of children, or teach and research as a professor…

In the end, that’s what we’re all called to do with our platforms: serve others and, in so doing, glorify God. There is no place better from which to do that than in our everyday lives.


A few of these may seem counter-intuitive, but that’s exactly why they are so important to keep in mind…

5 Key Principles Every Leader Should Master
Carey Nieuwhof
Here are 5 principles I think about almost every day. The first three relate to the personal health of the leader. The final two are two of the key concepts that I think should drive much of what’s happening in church these days, but often don’t.

Like most worthwhile principles in leadership, these are easy to understand and much more difficult to implement.

But if you do stay focused on these 5 things, I believe you’ll see a marked improvement in your leadership and character. And that can only be a good thing.


David French is correct…

O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity CultureDavid French
http://c10.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/bill-oreilly-roger-ailes-fox-news-mike-flynn-tomi-lahren-conservative-celebrity-culture-character_0.jpg?itok=AMecipSj
The conservative movement includes some of the best and most admirable people I’ve ever met. It also includes its share of grasping, ambitious fame-hounds, people who live for the next Fox hit and angle to write this year’s version of the “liberals are sending this country to hell” bestselling book. But bad character sends a country to hell just as surely as bad policy does, and any movement that asks its members to defend vice in the name of advancing allegedly greater virtue is ultimately shooting itself in the foot.


3 Problems with the Benedict OptionJesse Johnson
The fall of our culture didn’t start with gay marriage, the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, or even those darned hippies. The string that pulled the garment apart runs through segregation, slavery, and right to systemic racism produced by a supposed “Christian culture.” Is SSM bad? Yes. As bad as slavery? Yeah Right.

Imagine being an African-American and reading a book that claims the downfall of Western Civilization is indicated by Justice Kennedy’s incoherent ruling on gay marriage—as if that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so now everyone head to the hills! Christians could be comfortable in society through slavery and segregation, but Obegerfell is just too much?


Family Style…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDQvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNDIxXzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Weekend Picks ~ 4-7-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

This seems like an appropriate prayer for today…

Perfect Peace in a Perfectly Peace-less WorldScotty Smith
Image result for peaceMost kind and trustworthy Father, you haven’t promised us a storm-less, hassle-free, conflict-empty life. You offer us no formulas for decreasing the probability of upsetting things happening around us or disillusioning things happening to us. But you have promised something that transcends chaos and fear, wars in our world and wars in our hearts.

You’ve promised to give us your peace, no matter what’s going on…


Lay Aside the Weight of PassivityJon Bloom
So, the Holy Spirit speaking in 2 Timothy 2:3–7 wants us to have a soldier’s mind-set, which is very different from a civilian’s. A soldier expects to suffer the rigors and dangers of war; a civilian does not.

The Spirit wants us to have an athlete’s mind-set, which is very different from a spectator’s. “Every athlete [expects to exercise] self-control in all things” in order to win the prize; a spectator does not (1 Corinthians 9:25).

And the Spirit wants us to have a farmer’s mind-set, which is very different from an average customer’s. A farmer expects to work hard for long hours, over long months, in all kinds of weather, to realize a harvest; a customer does not.

Civilians are passive during war; spectators are passive during competition; an average customer is passive during the growing season. As Christians, we are not called to easy passivity, but to rigorous activity.


There’s an important balance to be maintained here…

Being Professional in MinistryNicholas T. Batzig
John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is one of the books that pastors in the Western world would do well to read annually. In that work, Piper puts his finger on the gaping wound of a corporate mindset that has plagued the church in North America for far too long…

Nevertheless, I have often thought that a complementary volume–bearing the title, Brothers, We Could Be a Little More Professional–might be in order for some. After all, there is proper use of the word professional (i.e. “to exercise mature competency and skillfulness in one’s vocation”) that should characterize the lives, preaching and pastoral care of ministers. All ministers should seek to be as professional as possible in those things in which God has called them. Here are a few areas that I have in mind…


This is a crucial insight for church leaders…

The Danger of RestlessnessDan Reiland
Leaders in very large churches tend to be driven and get restless when the church isn’t growing as fast as experienced in recent years or even just months…

This restlessness causes high capacity driven leaders to divert their primary and creative energies from core activities to launch new endeavors within their churches…

The irony is that this investment of leadership energy is often the very thing that slows or prevents the primary mission, to reach more people for Christ and help them mature in their faith.

The better investment of leadership energy is to dig deep into the basics and stay focused there.


Speaking of being professional, would you want this job? Mike Rowe should feature this one on his show

It Was Once Someone’s Job to Chat With the King While He Used the ToiletNatalie Zarrelli
King William III and his mid-17th century "close stool," which is on display at Hampton Court.In the 1500s, the King of England’s toilet was luxurious: a velvet-cushioned, portable seat called a close-stool, below which sat a pewter chamber pot enclosed in a wooden box. Even the king had one duty that needed attending to every day, of course, but you can bet he wasn’t going to do it on his own. From the 1500s into the 1700s, British kings appointed lucky nobles the strangely prestigious chance to perform the king’s most private task of the day, as the Groom of the Stool.


Moms know best…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9aaXRzLzIwMTcvMDMvWml0cy4yMDE3MDMzMV85MDAuZ2lm
Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 4-4-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

For worship leaders and worshipers…

Stop Hating And Start Loving Your Church
David Santistevan
Stop HatingHere’s what I’ve noticed in my own life: when I’m closest with Jesus, the less I criticize and find fault in every environment and leader around me…

Of course, I don’t agree with everything. Of course, imperfect people lead me, pray for me, preach to me, and lead worship. But… Rather than defaulting to criticism, I pray for them, understand the struggle of ministry, and stay focused on the right things.

But when I wander, when I try to live in my own strength, I start to get offended and hurt by every little thing… I’m only concerned with how I’m served and treated.

Should I press in to the church or withdraw? I’d rather have a bias of pressing in. Of being who God has called me to be. Of loving what Jesus has chosen to love.


Five Ways to Grow a Culture of TrustJ.D. Greear
https://jdgreear.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/spiritual-inconsistency-2-1.jpgOur natural tendency is to fill the gap with suspicion: He was late because he’s lazy; she didn’t consult me because she doesn’t value my opinion; he said that because he’s a racist. But cultivating a culture of trust means choosing to fill those gaps with trust instead.

We might think this is difficult, but there’s one person in our lives that we tend to treat this way already—ourselves… We “fill the gap with trust” all the time with ourselves. What we need to do is to extend the same kindness to others.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” right? Shouldn’t the Golden Rule extend to the way we interpret others’ actions?


I appreciate so much the hearts of the missionaries I know. I don’t know Stacey Hare, but it’s the same heart…

African Traditional Religion Keeps Them PoorStacey Hare
Missionaries are generally disliked by the secular linguistics/anthropology community. Why? Because missionaries do not come to the field as neutral observers, but with a desire to see change. Missionary linguists do not come to merely preserve and describe languages, but to see the Bible translated and then confront the culture.

Do not get me wrong, there are aspects of Bakoum/Cameroonian culture that I love and miss…

But then there are some aspects of their culture that I cannot accept because they are harming the neighbors I have come to love. So much so, that they are actually ensuring that an already impoverished people remain in poverty. What I see around me in Cameroon is not a tribal religion that supports a rich culture among its people. Instead, I see a commitment to a system that enslaves its followers…


https://www.challies.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Challies_April2-8-01.png
Graphic by Tim Challies

“We measure worship by how we feel as we worship. True worship is measured by what God thinks about our worship.” -Kevin DeYoung


http://podcast.farnoosh.tv/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/seth-godin-pic.jpg“All we have to do is be the person we say we are. No need to shop for a better you, or to work overtime to make bigger promises. Keeping the promises we’ve already made is sufficient.”
Seth Godin


Abstraction…
http://bizarro.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bizarro-04-01-17.jpg
Bizarro

Weekend Picks ~ 3-31-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

We are in a “strange place” indeed…

Pence and PrudenceJonah Goldberg
http://c8.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/mike-pence-wife-marriage-practices.jpg?itok=mTYe6Xb2…it’s worth pointing out that infidelity needn’t be the issue. I doubt Pence would be a lothario save for those rules. Perhaps he followed them simply to reassure his wife? Or maybe this is none of our business? That would certainly be the attitude of many liberals if Pence were a Democrat and had actually cheated on his wife…

It’s a very strange place we’ve found ourselves in when elites say we have no right to judge adultery, but we have every right to judge couples who take steps to avoid it. But ultimately, I don’t think the important double standard is about marriage or adultery. It’s about traditional Christians. If the Pences were Muslims and followed similar rules, as devout Muslims indeed might, I doubt there’d be anything like this kind of liberal scorn. Of course, that’s unknowable. But liberals spend a lot of time and energy defending accommodations for religious Muslims — burqas, veils, gender segregation, etc. — that they would never make for committed Christians.


Why I’ve Stopped Reading All Those ’10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing’ ListsKarl Vaters
Why I've Stopped Reading All Those '10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing' Lists
…I talk to a lot of pastors who are also in your target audience. Like me, they want their churches to grow. And they’re looking for help.

But when an already-discouraged pastor reads a list telling them their church isn’t growing because they’re visionless, self-serving and petty, it doesn’t lift them up, it beats them down. Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages.

Besides, those petty attitudes aren’t true for us. Pastors who don’t care, don’t read church leadership blogs.

You know who is reading your blog? Good pastors. Hard-working pastors. Caring pastors. Discouraged pastors. Write with those pastors in mind.


Yes, there is another one. I find myself wearying of these, but I don’t want to succumb. I don’t think it’s a good idea to look away…

Five Takeaways from the New Undercover Video from Center for Medical ProgressTimothy Brahm
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/aeINzcwb3qU/maxresdefault.jpgDr. Taylor: Well the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right? And like, you know, because the thing is the law states that you’re not supposed to do any maneuvers after the fact to try to cause [fetal] demise. So it’s really tricky. It’s really tricky so, most of the time we do dig, and it usually works. And then we don’t have to worry about that because Arizona state law says if any, if there’s signs of life, then we’re supposed to transport them. To the hospital.


‘One Anothers’ I Can’t Find in the New Testament
Ray Ortlund
coverjudgepeople-1The kind of God we really believe in is revealed in how we treat one another… Our relationships with one another reveal to us what we really believe as opposed to what we think we believe, our convictions as opposed to our opinions.  …when the gospel grips us down in our convictions, we embrace its implications wholeheartedly. Therefore, when we mistreat one another, our problem is not a lack of surface niceness but a lack of gospel depth. What we need is not only better manners but, far more, true faith.


A sustainable plan…

https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9aaXRzLzIwMTcvMDMvWml0cy4yMDE3MDMyN185MDAuZ2lm

Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 3-9-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

In ministry you need to have the right motive and depend on the right power

The Day Jack ChangedDarryl Dash
170309I return to Jack Miller’s story often. Whenever I begin to wobble, which is often, his story reminds me of the importance of two foundational issues in ministry: the right motive and the right power. Get these right, and everything flows out of them; get these wrong, and ministry will become dead and joyless.

When Miller served for his own glory and the approval of others, he became disappointed and angry. He wanted to be liked, and became timid. He saw his church as a jury passing judgment on his sermons and ministry.

It’s so easy to be motivated by the desire to prove ourselves and to earn the approval of others. I recognize in my own life the constant desire to make ministry about myself. It’s a sure path to discouragement and anger.


Yes we do…

American Evangelicals Need Leaders Like Russell MooreKaitlyn Schiess
Russell Moore
Instead of regurgitating the words of pundits, we need courageous leaders willing to reclaim their role of guiding their communities towards better political expression.

Russell Moore is an example of just that. He’s managed to courageously model a faith-based approach to public policy that respects other perspectives without compromising his own convictions. No one is going to agree with any person or institution all the time, but the approach Moore has taken should be respected by even those who disagree with him, because it has been compassionate, fair, and full of conviction. He has prioritized the advancement of the Gospel ahead of partisan bickering, but he has demonstrated that better political engagement is an integral part of this goal…

After an election that left most evangelicals politically exhausted and religiously exasperated, Russell Moore is modeling an approach that will inspire courageous political engagement from those who otherwise see few examples worth emulating.


 

Pleasing my father and not wanting to disappoint him have always been my most powerful motivations…

Yes, You Can Please Your Heavenly FatherKevin DeYoung
lightstock_215907_medium_tgcOver and over, more than a dozen times in the New Testament, we have this motivation. We ought to be generous. We ought to be godly. We ought to love and live a certain way because it pleases God.


There is encouraging truth here…

In Faith Leadership, Some Days We Walk Blindly
Ron Edmondson
We seldom see the good God is doing through us as we are doing it.

In fact, sometimes it can be months or years after our obedience before we realize the good God was allowing us to be a part of leading.

And, I’m not sure we’d be as successful – in God’s eyes – if we did.


Polite honesty…
http://assets.amuniversal.com/540e5d60da8d013455fd005056a9545d
Dilbert – Click image for a larger view.