Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Carey Nieuwhof on 5 ways to become a better leader as you get older.

It’s tempting to think you’ve paid your dues, worked long hours and have some accumulated wisdom that everyone should be grateful to benefit from, but this attitude is also your death sentence. Nobody likes to be around a leader who thinks they’ve arrived, and your value to the organization plummets when you adopt this attitude.

J.D. Greear on What do you do when your church is too big and don’t know your pastor.

Here is the heart of my response: Why is the Senior Pastor the one expected to administer all the pastoral care? Doesn’t that presupposethe very “cult of personality” for which multi-site churches are often criticized? “I need to be known by my pastors” is a legitimate request. “I need to be known by that pastor because he is special” is not.

In praise of long pastorates.

Brothers, churches are not stepping-stones. It is wrong to pastor a church looking out the window for a bigger or better opportunity to come a long. The souls over which the Lord has made you an overseer deserve your best. For that matter, the Lord demands your best.

Does God give you more than you can handle?

I think God has promised us another, more helpful way to think through difficulty. But first we have to make an honest confession. God often gives us more than we can handle.

Kevin Bacon explains the 80′s to Millenials. 

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

Bryan Loritts on Stop sharing and preach.

There’s just something in us that stiffens its back when it comes to authority, and this is a problem of biblical proportions. If you have a problem with authoritative preaching you would not have liked Jesus as a preacher.

Tiffany Cooper on What your pastor’s wife would like you to know.

I want you to know that, in some ways, being a pastor’s wife is no different than being a doctor’s wife or a teacher’s wife. There are sacrifices that must be made and challenges that accompany every job. Just like you, I love my kids, I like spending time with my husband, I feel lonely and overwhelmed sometimes, I need encouragement, I doubt myself, I try my best, I want to enjoy God and know His pleasure, I struggle, I desire relationships with other women, and I don’t always know the answers. I want you to know that I need and desire everything that you do. I want you to know that I am often leading, planning, administrating, or hosting. Most women look to me to carry the conversation, initiate a relationship, answer questions, or create solutions. I want you to know this, not so you’ll think I’m something special, but so that you’ll know that I appreciate when other women allow me to not lead. When others show interest in me or take initiative in ministry, it is refreshing to my soul.

Thom Rainer on 8 of the most significant struggles of pastors.

Many pastors struggle with expectations by church members of their spouses or children. Others struggle with finding time for their families. Many pastors’ families struggle with the “glass house” syndrome.

Kevin DeYoung on The red letter nonsense.

The unity of Scripture also means we should be rid, once and for all, of this “red letter” nonsense, as if the words of Jesus are the really important verses in Scripture and carry more authority and are somehow more directly divine than other verses. An evangelical understanding of inspiration does not allow us to prize instructions in the gospel more than instructions elsewhere in Scripture. If we read about homosexuality from the pen of Paul in Romans, it has no less weight or relevance than if we read it from the lips of Jesus in Matthew. All Scripture is breathed out by God, not just the parts spoken by Jesus.

Why you should give guests a gift on their first sunday with your church.

First impressions are important as a church and this is strategic resources for you to invest. Your guests deserve it … they risked a lot to come to your church and you should reward them.

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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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9 lies in the not married life.

Singleness’s greatest sorrows are secretly reinforced every February in the souls of the not-yet-married still waiting for their wedding day. While many of our friends and family are inundated with dates, flowers, chocolate, and love notes, lots and lots of the valentine-less are overwhelmed with everything from impatience to bitterness, from shame to regret to confusion.

Rick Thomas on 5 sure fire ways to motivate your son to look at pornography.

Porn is first and foremost about the theater of the mind, where the young male can enter into his virtual world and be king for a day—or, in this case, king for a few minutes—as he satiates his mind with the risk-free intrigue of the cyber conquest.

Barnabas Piper on Why PK’s often hate the ministry and why so many are now in ministry.

Here’s what I learned from those PKs:

  • God’s grace is bigger than our frustrations and hurts (imposed on us or self-imposed) and bigger than our parents’ mistakes.
  • When we see mistakes our parents make that have hurt us or shaped us in ways we don’t like we become responsible for how we respond, either to follow Christ or not.
  • Whether or not our parents did a good job, being a PK is a unique blessing and creates an opportunity to serve God’s people that most don’t get.
  • The church is God’s people and part of God’s plan; to abandon it is to abandon what God has put in place.
  • Honoring our fathers and mothers is a really big deal and a really valuable thing. No, it doesn’t mean we must agree with them or imitate them, but it does mean we cannot resent them.
  • With few exceptions, our parents love us deeply. It’s worth figuring out how to connect with that love instead of holding on to hurt.

How Bill Hybels advises pastors and leaders to think about the Sunday service.

“Imagine if I could give you a newsflash, that the person you’ve been trying to invite to church for the last 3 years is coming this Sunday.” With those opening words, Willow Creek Community Church senior pastor Bill Hybels grabbed the attention of the 1000 leaders gathered at the Church Leadership Conference in Riga, Latvia. But Bill would then ask, and answer, a question that every church leader must come to terms with:  “What are you hoping will happen to that woman or that man during that one hour church service?”

Dan Black on How to maximize your personal growth time.

The most common reason I hear as to why a leader does not invest in personal growth is because they don’t have the time for it. Personal growth does not happen by chance but requires a few key ingredients.

Growing leaders crave silence and solitude.

When was the last time you had meaningful time alone?

No meetings, no appointments. No phone buzzing. No music in your ear buds. No distractions.

Just stillness. Solitude.

My guess is for many of us the answer is it’s been a while.

What if I told you that your effectiveness and maybe even your longevity as a leader depended directly on finding and establishing regular periods of solitude?

Keri Seavey on Your spouse is not Jesus.

Both husband and wife often start life together, from authentic love and commitment (and a bit of naïve self-assessment), blissfully aiming to meet or exceed every spoken or perceived expectation placed before them in their desire for a great marriage. They may even maintain their success for a while. Yet, given time, we all bump up against our (and our spouse’s) weaknesses, limitations, and tenacious self-centeredness. This is when things begin to get messy.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Feeling shame is not repentance.
  2. Thom Rainer on The stages of a pastor’s ministry. This is true in church planting as well. Makes me excited that I’m moving into Year 6 at Revolution.
  3. How to fire someone in ministry.
  4. Matt Walsh on You’re a stay at home mom? What do you do all day? Katie and I hear this a lot and it always blows my mind. Great way of putting it in this blog.
  5. What Sam Storms wished he had known when he started ministry 40 years ago. Tons of wisdom here for pastors.
  6. Tim Challies on The porn free family.
  7. Fat men can’t lead men.

The New Hobbit Trailer

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Aaron Armstrong on Are buildings a hinderance or a help to churches? I think the last question of, “do we need a building” is a question more churches should ask.
  2. Brian Dodd on 13 Habits Of Highly Friendly Churches.
  3. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield on DOMA and the Rock.
  4. Paul Alexander on the dark side of vision.
  5. Dan Black on Should church leaders adopt best practice business and leadership principles.
  6. 3 things dying churches can do to avoid going out of business.

The Biggest Mistakes Young Preachers Make

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Dane Ortlund on 10 ways to make your preaching clearer.
  2. Getting through a preaching slump. I can relate and this is solid advice.
  3. Luke Simmons on Money is a thermometer and thermostat for your heart, faith, trust in God, and shows your spiritual maturity.
  4. Quit calling your wife hot.
  5. Brad Hambrick on When policies in a church on sexual abuse fail. This is really helpful for churches.
  6. Colin Hansen on The new purpose of marriage. This is our new culture, but one that can be redeemed by what Scripture says about marriage, sexuality and identity.
  7. Thom Rainer on Helpful hints from visiting churches. This list is pure gold for pastors.

Base Jumping off Mt. Everest

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Why pastors should be in a study group.
  2. Jen Wilkin on Parents, do you think before you post something online about your kids. Great points for parents to think about.
  3. How to leave a church well. Such a good post. Most people leave churches quietly, but some leave with as much noise and destruction as they can muster.
  4. More honest church postcards. Good for a laugh.
  5. Tim Keller on Handling the question of the bible having contradictions.
  6. Check out the latest worship song from Soma. Such a great song.

How to start a Mumford & Sons Band. 

How is Predestination Encouraging?

B.J. Stockman guest posts a great piece at Zach Nielsen’s blog on 5 Encouragements from Predestination:

1. God chose you because he loved you. Ephesians 1:4-5, in the ESV translation, says, “in love God predestined”. Therefore predestination is motivated by love. This means that God’s choice of you derives from his love for you. Sovereign choice doesn’t detract from God’s love it is the fountainhead of God’s love. We don’t go deeper into love by sidestepping predestination. We go deeper into love by diving into its deeps. We are familiar with the fact that God so loved the world that he gave his Beloved Son, but need to become more familiar with the fact that God so loved the world that he predestined adopted sons in the Beloved from all eternity (Eph. 1:5).2. You are a gift of love from the Father to the Son. John 17 reveals that your salvation was planned in the heart and mind of the Triune God before there ever was a you (17:2, 24). This means that God’s love for you is bigger than you. It is tied to the love for which the Father has for his Son. And the reason this is encouraging is because the size of God’s love for you is not to be gauged by his love for you but by his love for Jesus. From his very own mouth, Jesus said, “[Father] you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (17:23). The astonishment that we should feel at being loved by God becomes even more mind-blowing because God’s love for us flows in the same stream as God’s love for God.

3. Your present sins may be many but your future sinlessness is certain. Romans 8:29 tells us that we have been “predestined to be conformed to the image of [Jesus].” As a son of God, you are guaranteed one day to look like the Son of God. Therefore you fight sin in hope not in defeated depression. Your Christlikeness is not dependent upon your performance but upon God’s predestination.

4. Your very identity is “elect” because God has named you that. The apostle Peter begins his letter to those in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia by calling them “God’s elect” (1 Pe. 1:1). Contemporary Christians don’t normally go around calling each other “predestined” or “elect” or “chosen” or “called”, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t. In fact, if we were named this by God, what stops us from calling each other that? What kind of massive encouragement would it bring to believers to have spoken over their lives the fact that God has picked them? Psychologically we see in various social situations that many times a person lives up to what they are called to. If you are called “loser”, “failure”, even “sinner”, and the like over and over again you will probably live up to it. If you trust Jesus, you can be confident that God has given you a new name. You have been chosen. God has called you something that you are not in and of yourself to make you something that you are in him. So act like it. Be who you are. Be what you have been called to be. Live up to your name.

5. God’s predestination of you enables you to live life to the highest purpose of your existence, namely, “to praise of the glory of [God's] grace” (1:6). All of us have heard the phrase “do everything to the glory of God” and too often it becomes a cliché that means nothing in practice. The little phrase “to the praise of the glory of God’s grace” helps us see that one of the best ways to do everything to the glory of God is to do everything celebrating and enjoying God’s grace. Predestination has a unique way of drawing this out of us because it drowns out our propensity toward boasting and relying upon works and establishes the fact that it flows from the sovereign heart of God uninfluenced by human decision and work. Election strips us from taking one ounce of salvation and putting it in our portfolio and propels us into praising God exclusively for everything. Predestination is exceptional at displaying that every piece of salvation is gift, and one’s who have been given such a great gift will joyfully praise and glorify the Giver. We live “to the praise of the glory of the grace of God” when we recognize that predestination is all of grace and for God’s glory.

Read the whole thing.

HT: The gospel coalition

Links of the Week

  1. Do your church start with the why? This is a great question to wrestle with for pastors.
  2. Justin Holcomb on Sex-trafficking at the super bowl. According to stats, the super bowl is the largest sex-trafficking event in the U.S.
  3. Churches to watch in 2012.
  4. Bob Franquiz on 5 factors you need to double this Easter.
  5. The goal of a leader.
  6. Brad Lomenick on How to honor your leaders.
  7. Wal-mart’s wrong headed re-organization. Good leadership advice for pastors.
  8. Perry Noble on You should probably not date him if. This is great advice for single women.
  9. How much is a homemaker worth?