“Most of our expressions of excellence are centered around our public worship services, and thus the temptation is to allow them to absorb a higher and higher percentage of the time, energy and resources of the local church, especially of her leaders (both volunteer and paid)… No local church has unlimited resources, and no leader (however gifted) has unlimited time and energy. By focusing so strongly on making our public worship more and more excellent, very often we are simultaneously choosing to cutback on our mission to the world. ”
(Via Alex Absalom.)
“Tough conversations are an opportunity to rehearse the gospel with our children. These are practice runs. These truths aren’t dusty. Everyone will meet circumstances where only the gospel makes sense of life. Rehearsing the gospel by having tough conversation prepares our children to respond well when those times come.
Athletes practice and practice and practice more to create muscle memory. They want to repeat their route, the play, or the motion so many times that when game time comes their bodies react instinctively. That’s gospel rehearsal. It’s spiritual muscle memory. We repeat the promises of God. We point them to Jesus Christ. We sear Scripture into their hearts. We teach them how to pray. These kinds of conversations may raise more questions. That’s okay. Without being candid with them, when ‘the sea billows roll,’ our children may falter. With tough conversations rooted in gospel rehearsal, they will see the other side.”
#3: Repenting is normal and expected.
“Wouldn’t it be great if the topic of repentance came up and your children responded, ‘Repentance? Yeah, we do that all the time in my family.’ It would tell everyone that you are a family of practicing Christians, followers of Jesus who are continually trying to grow their hearts and lives in a new and better Kingdom God provides. It would also set a pattern for your kids to follow when they grow up, get married, and have kids of their own.”
(Via Yancy Arrington.)
“There was once a time in the early years of our faith when we couldn’t get enough. We had a voracious hunger for truth. We lived with the humbling realization that there was so much we didn’t know. We loved to study the Word of God. We loved listening to peers and mentors who were further along. We were students.
But something happened along the way. Perhaps we got distracted by the world and began to live more like tourists than students. Perhaps we got discouraged and felt our study wasn’t helping. Or perhaps our hunger was blunted by a feeling of arrival.”
(Via Paul Tripp.)
“Experimentation. The best churches balance failure with success. A church without failures is a church not taking risks. If you’ve never had an event flop, if you’ve never had a program start stale, then you are not leading well. Additionally, it probably means you are not allowing your team to take risks either, which is dangerously selfish. Why stand in the batter’s box if you never swing? People will quickly pick up on your fear of swinging, and they won’t stick around to watch dullness degrade into disobedience. Great churches experiment—they try things without a clear understanding of whether they will work or not. If all your experiments are failures, then you lack discernment. But if you never fail because of a lack of trying, then that’s not leadership—it’s neglect.”
(Via Sam Rainer.)
“The church has experienced a plateau in numbers. It is no longer growing and in fact is possibly slightly declining though few members are talking about that. The congregation is beginning to change its age profile – it is getting slightly older and few young families or young people are joining the church. There is a missing generation. Leadership starts to look for quick solutions to bring growth but the focus is very much on growing the church to ensure that the church is still here for us, not on growing the church as a consequence of mission and engagement with the community. Attitudes towards the community suggest that the community is there to benefit the church by coming along to worship.”
(Via Together in Mission.)
“…liturgies are deeply formational. They shape our desires. They shape our habits. They make us certain kinds of people because they define what we love. In truth, there are lots of important things we do repetitiously. We do them because they are important, and they grow in importance because we do them with regularity. Repetition makes something part of who we are, whether it’s exercise, work, shopping, social media, or even worship. When we recognize that the form of the liturgy is gospel-shaped, we find that the regular praying of the liturgy will result in gospel-shaped loves, gospel-shaped habits, and gospel-shaped lives.
So, giving our hearts to the reading of the liturgy week-in and week-out is not going to undermine its importance by making it a matter of rote. To the contrary, weekly engagement in the gospel saturated form and content of the liturgy will form our hearts and bodies after the shape of the gospel. The way we pray on the Lord’s Day will work its way out and shape the way we live every other day of the week.”
2. A church that is too busy rarely evaluates the effectiveness of its activities. Leaders often erroneously presume that the busyness is a sign of fruitfulness.
3. Activity-focused churches are often inwardly focused. Those ministries are typically for the members and are rarely evangelistic or community focused.
4. A busy church can hurt families. Many churches have different activities for children, students, and adults on multiple days of the week. Family members rarely have time together.
(Via Thom Rainer.)
“It’s in the slow moments that God speaks to us through his word and we speak to him in prayer. This is when we step away from all the busyness in order to fellowship with our heavenly Father. This is when we come to his word for the precious purpose of drinking from the living well — Jesus Christ.”
(Via Desiring God.)
“There is little disagreement among Christians that women can and should teach women. But if it is true that the gift of teaching is given to women, how might a pastor properly value, cultivate and employ the gifting of women teachers?”
(Via Jen Wilkins.)
“Wives of pastors do not have to earn the affection of the congregants. Don’t let others impose extra-biblical expectations on you. Your Bridegroom Jesus, your husband and your children already love you, even though you are not perfect, First-Lady-like. Be the wife to one pastor that God is calling you to be and stop trying to be the perfect pastor’s wife.”
(Via Church Planting Dot Com.)
“4. What can we do to grow closer to God this week?
Busyness is often the biggest obstacle to intimacy with God. When my life gets busy, the first thing I give up is time with God. It is sad, but true. As a husband and wife grow closer to God, they grow closer to one another. Maybe there are spiritual connections you’re not making with one another simply because you’re not asking this question.”
(Via Refine Us.)