Ministry Link Roundup (May 12, 2016)

Links

Recent articles about ministry, pastoring, and church leadership I found interesting and helpful (in no particular order):


Should You Stay or Go? (Mark Dever)

Sometimes young Christians hear the command to “go” and treat it like the basic command of the Christian life. That’s a fairly short-sighted way to think. Once you go, you have to stay. If you’re always going, nothing will ever get done except the accumulation of more frequent flyer miles. In order for the go to have any meaning, you need to stay for a significant amount of time—a few weeks, a few years, maybe the rest of a life.


Advice for Preaching Funeral Sermons (H.B. Charles, Jr)

I also offered offered several pieces of advice. It was a text-message. Not the way to elaborate. Yet I shared this advice with my friend: Brief. Gospel-centered. Be sensitive to family. There are other important factors to consider when preaching funerals. But these three pieces of advice are a good place to start.


How to Remember Someone’s Name (Scott Slayton)

For followers of Jesus we want to love our neighbors as ourselves, and this begins with learning their name when you meet them. Therefore, we want to give attention to learning the names of people we meet as an extension of our living on Jesus’ mission in this world.


10 questions to ask before you lead a meeting (Steven Kryger)

Steven Kryger shares 10 questions to help you plan and lead better meetings.


Lessons I Learned From My Mistakes in Preaching – Kevin DeYoung

Link Roundup (May 9, 2016)

Links

 

Here are some recent articles and links I found helpful and/or interesting (in no particular order). Emphasis in quotes is typically mine.


A Basic Income Should Be the Next Big Thing (Paula Dwyer, Bloomberg View)

This may be happening with the concept of a universal basic income. The notion that government should guarantee every citizen an annual stipend of, say, $10,000 — no strings attached, no questions asked — is being studied by politicians, economists and policy experts worldwide.


Is This For Real? (Stacey Hare)

Our lives here in Cameroon are becoming our “new normal” but every once and a while we look at one another and say, “Is this for real?” Here are some funny examples…

Our church is pretty much made of leaves. We have palm branches for the walls and woven leaves for the roof. Often, in the middle of our services, our dog comes running full speed through one of the walls in the church to find us. It is so embarrassing.

One day a lady sitting behind me laid her head down on my back and fell asleep.

Today in church there was some sort of large (winged?) creature right over my head eating through the roof trying to get in. Would it be rude to look up to see what kind creature is about to fall on my head? Or should I just ignore it?  Luckily the service ended before the creature could get in.

There are tiny biting ants that fall from the ceiling in church and bite all of us during the services.


American Christians, You Might Need to Start Living Like Missionaries (Amy Medina)

Before you get offended, let me assure you that I am in no way belittling the millions of American Christians who are already living out gospel-centered lives in their communities.  As you learned in Sunday School when you were five, we all are missionaries.

But I’m not talking about living as a proclaimer of the gospel, I’m talking about living as if America is not your country.  As outsiders.  Exiles.  As if you are living in a country that is not your own.  


The Projected Improvement in Life Expectancy (Bill McBride)

[For those born in] 1900, 25,2% died before age 20.  And another 26.8% died before 55.

In 1950, 5.3% died before age 20.  And another 18.7% died before 55.  A dramatic decline in early deaths.

In 2010, 1.5% are projected to die before age 20.  And only 9.7% before 55.  A dramatic decline in prime working age deaths.


Science Turned Me Away from Atheism | Alister McGrath, PhD (Theology, Philosophy and Science)

Link Roundup (May 2, 2016)

Links

 

Here are some recent articles and links I found helpful and/or interesting (in no particular order). Emphasis in quotes is typically mine.


Parchments (Mike Wittmer, Don’t Stop Believing)

Each copy of Romans would have taken 2-3 days to write out, and scholars estimate this epistle would have cost Paul at least US$2,275 in today’s dollars. Books such as Luke and Acts are twice as long, and would have cost at least US$7,000 each, not counting Luke’s research expenses. Perhaps Luke dedicated his books to Theophilus because he was the patron who covered his costs (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-3).


How Do You Explain the Trinity to Children? (Russell Moore)

Sometimes we seek a quick analogy [for the Trinity] for children because we want to put our kids out of their mystery. If the Trinity is an easy explanation (it’s like a shamrock; it’s like water, ice, and steam), we can “move on.” We’re afraid if we say that the Trinity is in some ways beyond comprehension that our kids won’t trust us to tell them with confidence about the truth of the gospel.


Is it Biblical for Churches to Require a Tithe? (Jonathan Leeman, For the Church)

We should instruct the congregation as a whole to give (see 2 Cor. 8-9; 1 Cor. 9:14), but we cannot require it of any individual, say, by threatening them with excommunication. After all, people should give “not reluctantly or under compulsion,” but cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7). We cannot compel them.


The Biggest Issue Evangelicals Will Face For the Next 50 Years (Josh Daffern, New Wineskins)

As important is issues of religious liberty, sanctity of life and biblical standards of personhood and sexuality are, they are all symptoms of a much bigger narrative. The biggest issue American Evangelicals will face for the next 50 years is how we handle our transition from a moral majority to a prophetic minority. We are living in a post-Christian nation. The golden years of Christian influence on government and culture are behind us.


Bill Mounce: Can We Trust Bible Translations? (Seedbed)

 

Link Roundup (April 28, 2016)

Links

 

Here are some recent articles and links I found helpful and/or interesting (in no particular order).


Death to the Vague Facebook Status (Your Mom Has A Blog)

Why do we tell somebody off in the most passive-aggressive way, making everyone read what is intended for one person (someone we blocked who will never see the status)? Why do we try to pull all of the world, former school teachers, pastors, teenagers, acquaintances, into our very awkward drama? And, how can we claim to be Christians, people who are living by the light of the gospel, who have been forgiven so much, when we can’t even let some little offense pass by without posting a vague, leading, gossip-feeding status update about it?


Together for the Gospel 2016 conference videos

T4G has posted the sessions from their 2016 conference “We Are Protestant” including presentations by Matt Chandler, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and many others.


3 Reasons You Should See Going to Church as a Privilege, Not a Chore (Trevin Wax)

One of the dads in my small group said that he corrects his kids if they ever ask about having to go to church on a weekend. “We never have to,” he says, “we get to go.” I like that. He’s policing the language of the house because he knows that the way he talks about church will send a signal to the rest of the family about how to view Sundays – as chore or as privilege.


Pioneering Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield: Why Don’t We Have Intellectual Seizures? (Evolution News)

Fascinating article about neuroscientist Wilder Penfield.  Observations Penfield made while performing brain surgery led him to convert from materialism (the mind is a product of the brain) to dualism (the mind is separate from the brain).


The Importance of “Accuracy” for Every Christian Believer