Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

3 Lies We Believe about Ministry

I often pray that God will help me be a minister of His Gospel instead of an event coordinator; a programmer. Turns out, it is so much easier to ‘program’ than it is to minister.

Answering “No” to One of These Questions Will Kill Your Evangelism

Answer “no” to any of these questions and your evangelistic passion will suffer.

Evangelism on the Rocks

Like missionaries in a foreign country, we inhabit a new mission field. We need to relearn the language, discover redemptive analogies, and reacquaint people with the true Christian story.

In Bondage to Pornography

One would not allow alcoholics to have the last word on liquor licensing laws or crack addicts on drug policy. Yet when it comes to sexual morality, that is the kind of world in which we now live.

Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 Rules For Reading

Ten rules for reading from Roosevelt's autobiography

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

23 Things That Love Is

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, here's a gospel-centered reminder about how to love. But, you don't have to be romantically in love to find this list practical. Every healthy relationship requires love and sacrifice, so if you're a parent, child, sibling, neighbor, pastor, or co-worker, this list is for you.

The Four + 1 Primary Tasks of the Senior Leader

I’ve outlined five straightforward tasks—directional clarity, strategic movement, culture cultivation, resource stability, and reason for being.

It will be very hard for an effective senior leader to get these five tasks done if she is tied down doing things that other folks can do. And if he doesn’t get these five things done, it may not show up today or tomorrow, but the organization is racing toward a needless detour or a screeching halt.

You Must Write the Manual

Many of the necessary Kingdom advances today require teams to write the manual as they go.

10 Pointers for Young Preachers

I am way too young to be called a sage, but I don’t get called young any more either. So while there is better advice to be found, here are some pointers from me for young preachers...

Three Reasons Why Singing is Essential in the Life of the Disciple

It seems that in the Bible, singing is not an option; it’s a command. And maybe even more than being commanded, singing is essential for the life of the disciple. Let me give you a few brief reasons why I believe this to be true...

9 Things You May Not Know About Introverts

Here are 9 things you may not know about introverts...

If All The Bible Translations Had A Dinner Party

English Standard Version (ESV): Hey everybody, can I have your attention? Great, thanks. Look, I’m so glad that you’re all here for this reunion of sorts. It sure is great to have all of us translations together in one...

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Rebuilding in the Off-Season

What if the "Rise Of The Nones" is actually a "Farewell Of The Fakes?" What if God is "rebuilding" His church in the off-season? What if rather than shrinking away into obscurity and death, God is simply investing in the next generation of "prospects" while the expensive and fruitless "cultural Christians" are "released" because their needs aren't being met anymore?

Deprogramming Your Ministry

What is the single greatest barrier to your ministry fulfilling its mission? The answer just might be that you’re making too many attempts at fulfilling the mission.

Be Helpful, Not Great

In preaching and teaching, aim to be helpful. Do not waste any time attempting to be great.

Spending an Evening with Atheists

We need more thoughtful and well-informed Christians in the marketplace of ideas, even in the hot spots. As Os Guinness has stated, most of American Christian evangelism is aimed at those who are already very interested in Christianity but don’t know how to become Christians. This leaves out a vast number of souls who are hostile to Christianity or have no interest in it at all. We are called by Jesus Christ to engage these people as well.

How Jesus Would Act in a Homosexual Bar?

The way you evangelize homosexuals is the same way you evangelize all sinners. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to deal with their individual sins, and He has his own timetable.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

The Biggest Obstacle to Spiritual Formation

In many ways, it's our exhaustion that has made us sick and it's our exhaustion that prevents us from getting better. So we cycle downward, deeper into a mindset of scarcity.

4 Ways to Become a Horrible Pastor

Being a horrible pastor is easy; you just need to love the wrong things.

Have You Thought about Revitalization?

A dying church robs God of glory in the community. It cheapens His grace, promise and plan in the eyes of those who drive by and live by the place where that church gathers.

When Your Church Is in Trouble: Tell the Truth, Face the Future

A leader who knows “what time it is” organizationally will not only diagnose the current situation and communicate the “brutal facts,” but the leader will also envision the future of the organization and take measures to pursue the path forward.

15 Worship Decisions We’ll Regret

  1. Dividing congregations along age and affinity lines.
  2. Eliminating choral expressions in worship.
  3. Worship leader ageism.
  4. Elevating music above Scripture, Prayer and the Lord’s Supper...

Rethinking Church Plant Funding

Less money must not mean less mission or we've missed the pattern of Paul, the call of Jesus, and the mission of the church.

One of the Clearest (and Earliest) Summaries of Early Christian Beliefs

This is a surprisingly thorough and wide-ranging summary of core Christian doctrines at a very early point in the life of the church. Once again, we can see that core Christian beliefs were not latecomers that were invented in the fourth century (or later), but appear to have been in place from the very beginning.

The Best Jobs for All 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Does your current job fit your personality?

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.