Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Weakness Has Its Benefits

Ben Reynolds, our music leader at Immanuel Nashville, wasn’t there in the early days. But he said to me not long ago, “Ray, my impression of the original core group at Immanuel is that you guys were so wounded and exhausted and hurting that no one in the group even had the emotional energy for selfish agendas.” I said, yes, that was probably true. Then Ben added, “And I think the Lord looked down on that and said, ‘Well, there’s a church I can use.'

Seven Principles of Sabbath Rest

Here are seven principles about Sabbath rest that I am learning. I share them in hopes they might help others fighting the battle of busyness, fatigue, and endurance.

Two Big Reasons Evangelism Isn’t Working

We need to see evangelism as a long-term endeavor. Stop checking the list and defeating others. Be incarnate not excarnate in your evangelism. Slow down and practice listening and love. Most conversions are not the result of a single, point-in-time conversation, but the culmination of a personal process that includes doubt, reflection, gospel witness, love, and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Eight Reasons Why Some Full-time Pastors and Staff Should Go Bivocational

Without a doubt, many churches will always need full-time vocational pastors and church staff. I am not suggesting all of you, even the majority of you, should go bivocational. But I do believe more of you should consider this path. Allow me to offer eight reasons why.

Three Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

Here are three leadership principles from Winston Churchill that I draw from Paul Johnson’s biography, each with a corresponding lesson for us in leadership today.

My Saturday Nightmare

Our creativity, charisma, and carefully crafted sentences are pathetic substitutes for truly preaching the very Word of God.

Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn

This is your ammunition — truths accomplished by God, knowledge given you by his grace.

Two Years To No Lies

Two years ago I took a vow never to tell a lie. Here is what happened.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Love the Church More than Its Health

We should love people because they belong to Jesus, not because they have kept the law of a healthy church, even though that law may be good and biblical. It means we should love them because of what Christ has done and declared, not because of what they do.

Assessing the State of Your Church and How It Got There

Don’t miss the importance of learning “what time it is” for a church and how it has progressed to this point.

Don’t Be Like Mike

Don’t be concerned about what others have–and what you think you lack for Kingdom impact. Our supposed inadequacies are God’s opportunities.

You Know You’re Really Preaching the Gospel When...

When we’re really preaching the gospel, both to ourselves and to others, it sets us free. And it results in the kind of success that lasts for eternity.

16 Ways to Think like a Leader

The first step toward becoming a leader is thinking like one.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Deep Habits: Read a (Real) Book Slowly

Reading a hard book, we must remember, is an experience that returns many rewards not generated by a pithy blog post (ahem) or online magazine.

5 Reasons to Pray for Other Churches

I propose that we act now with the greatest resource we have and for the greatest goal: that churches reflect the character of God.

Here are five reasons why churches should pray for other churches in their city.

Are You Willing to Doubt Your Doubts?

Zechariah and Mary are excellent examples of the two kinds of doubt—proud doubt and humble doubt.

Making The Church A Safe Place For Mental Illness

I want the church to be a safe place for messy people, including those, like me, who struggle with some form of mental illness. Is it easy to serve someone with a mental disorder? Of course not! But Jesus gravitated toward those who didn’t haven’t it all together, and he wants us to follow his lead.

4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness

Jesus shatters the myth that busyness equals faithfulness; he confronts all of our fears that lead to our busyness, then he points us to a better way forward—resting in him. We sit at the feet of Jesus, find our sufficiency in him, and only then fill our schedules with whatever he tells us.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

My All-time Favorite Post

Gospel + safety + time. It’s what everyone needs. A lot of gospel + a lot of safety + a lot of time.

What The Podcast “Serial” Taught Me About Teaching The Bible

Here are four reasons I think the success of Serial should encourage anyone that teaches the Bible.

Don’t Get Too Familiar with the Bible

Beware the deceptive wiles of familiarity — that sweet but double-edged virtue that makes you feel at home in the word of God.

The Most Important Trend of Church Trends in 2015 And What To Do About It

Your most committed people will attend worship services less frequently than ever in 2015.

You (Yes, You!) Should Consider Global Missions

Global missions? Don’t take it out of the realm of possibility. Don’t exclude the possibility that God might want to call ... you.

Why You Should Keep a Journal at Work

According to a recent working paper from Harvard Business School, setting aside 15 minutes to reflect at the end of the workday can boost your performance and impact your career success.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

5 Things Jonathan Edwards Teaches Us about the Christian Life

There are riches to be mined in Jonathan Edwards far beyond what you may have been exposed to. Reading Jonathan Edwards is not for historians and professors mainly, but for the rest of us.

Some Churches Should Die and Stay Dead

Replanting is a healthy approach to dealing with a dying congregation, and it should be considered as churches find themselves facing death.

Is Your Church Functionally Liberal?

Whatever your church’s commitment might be on paper, what is it that, in real terms, leads and guides and defines your church culture?

9 Lies that Keep Our Schedules Overwhelmed

Many of the lies we have been told since birth crowd out the things in life that matter most. Instead of enjoying the benefit of calm, intentional living, we hurry from one needless triviality to another.