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

5 temptations every church leader, dad and husband face.

In the same way that almost every parent is tempted to engineer their child’s life from choosing a career, As a church leader, there’s pressure to want to engineer your child’s faith life. I have said it many times over. I want nothing more than for my children to be in a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. And you can be tempted to try to make that happen. You certainly can and should influence their decision. After all, you are the greatest influence in your child’s life. But you can’t make them love God.

Tim Challies on 4 simple steps to destroying a church.

Dave Bruskas on How to prepare a daughter for marriage.

One of the hardest moments in a dad’s life is giving away his daughter in marriage. Preparing her for that moment is even harder.

How to work ahead on your sermon prep.

Alex Chediak on Giving teens a biblical view of sex.

Sex is perhaps the most powerful God-created way to help you give your entire self to another human being. Sex is God’s appointed way for two people to reciprocally say to one another, “I belong completely, permanently, and exclusively to you.”

7 things I wish someone told me before I was a parent.

Justin Taylor on 3 reasons God cares who you sleep with.

1. Everyone cares who people sleep with, so why would God be any different?
2. If there is a God and he has a timeless ethical standard, wouldn’t you expect it to challenge every society somewhere?
3. Finally, why do we care so much whom we sleep with?

Questions you should ask if your church is not growing.

One of the best things any leader can do when they’re in a tough spot is to stop making assumptions and start asking questions. Our assumptions got us to where we are, but they won’t necessarily get us where we need to go.

 

 

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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.

book

Mark Driscoll on 3 pieces of advice for Easter.

Please pray for your preacher this week. This is not a normal week for them. They have already been running hard since the new year started and are exhausted, overwhelmed, and probably have a lot going on in their personal life that is taking their energy in addition to the ministry. Give them some grace and space. Encourage them. Let them know you are praying for them. Do all you can to take any other duties off of them this week.

Justin Taylor on Christianity is the world’s most falsifiable religion and has survived.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on I’ve earned my place in heaven.

The New York Times reports: But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

Russell Moore on Same sex marriage and the future.

So what should we do? Well, precisely what we should have done before and after Roe. We should recognize where the courts and the culture are, and we should work for justice. That means not simply assuming that most people agree with us on marriage. We must articulate, both in and out of the church, why marriage matters, and why its definition isn’t infinitely elastic.

Daughter Performs “Youth” (love this band)

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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

Jason Johnson on 5 things Christians should stop staying.

We mean well, don’t we? But sometimes our attempts to say something spiritual actually come out unbiblical, or at a minimum, not very helpful. Here’s the 5 I hear the most…

David Romano on God, gays and advice.

As a Christian walking away from the homosexual lifestyle, I have some do’s and don’ts I’d like you to keep in mind when addressing this issue.

Tim Challies on Mobility, Pornography and Privacy.

Did you buy your children an iPod or iPhone or other mobile device for Christmas? You just bought them the major porn-consumption device. So what are you going to do to protect them from it? One of the most popular articles I wrote in 2013 concerned The Porn-Free Family. I will be returning to the subject in the new year, but for now, I want to point out an important fact: Most of our attempts to block pornography and to use accountability software are effective only or primarily on desktop devices.

5 ways to relax on your Christmas break.

So you’re off for Christmas, but some of you for sure are going to have a hard time winding down. I know I do. Being a driven kind of person, the idea of doing nothing but resting is unsettling for me. But rather than secretly doing email while your family isn’t looking, pacing the house because you can’t sit still or being agitated most of the time, there is an alternative.

Brian Howard on How to remember 2013 and set goals for 2014.

Welcome to the day after Christmas! Each year between Christmas and New Years I walk through a simple exercise to help me think through the past year and plan for the coming year.  I originally learned this exercise from David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, and have customized it over the years. My wife and I both walk through it, and I use it with those I coach as well. Allocating an hour or two over the next week to walk through this exercise will help you to start the new year well.

Jon Acuff on The empty shelf challenge.

Empty a shelf in your house somewhere. Every book you read from now until December 31, 2014 goes on the shelf. (Waiting until January 1st to do something awesome is stupid and fake.) At the end of the year, I guarantee you will have read more than you did in 2013. Best of all, you’re scientifically more likely to accomplish something when you have people working on it with you.

Justin Taylor on How to read the whole bible in 2014.

Do you want to read the whole Bible? The average person reads 200 to 250 words per minute; there are about 775,000 words in the Bible; therefore it takes less than 10 minutes a day to read the whole Bible in a year.

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. If you want to be a great leader, you must have vision.
  2. Donald Zimmerman on How to structure your worship ministry. This makes me appreciate Paul Ingram all the more.
  3. Personal branding for introverts.
  4. Tim Challies on Do you have a personal relationship with Satan?
  5. Great leaders are rarely normal, well-adjusted people.
  6. Garrett Kell on How to destroy your marriage before it begins.
  7. Hannah Joiner on Secrets for dads with daughters.
  8. Stop trying to date yourself. Great word for singles.
  9. Chan Kilgore on What he wished he would’ve known about leadership, parenting and satanic attacks when he started pastoring. If you are a pastor or thinking about it, this is a great series of blog posts.
  10. Will people have a chance to repent after they die?
  11. Trevin Wax on When your kids say “Dad, I know all the bible stories.”
  12. What one pastor wish he would’ve known about critics and parenting when he started pastoring.
  13. Thom Rainer on 7 tips for introverted pastors.
  14. The most important interview Rick Warren has ever done. I watched this last night and was blown away while watching it. Really a moving interview.
  15. How to not make a hiring mistake.

An Awkward Interview on a New book

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. Brett Lott on Being a Christian and a writer.
  2. Eric Geiger on Is a pastor a leader?
  3. The secret to public speaking.
  4. Scott Cochrane on Why is matters how a leader invest their time.
  5. 9 things you need to know about demographic studies and trends.

Tuesday Morning Book Review || Sensing Jesus

bookEvery Tuesday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is Sensing Jesus: Life & Ministry as a Human Being (kindle version) by Zach Eswine. This is the second book I’ve read by Eswine. You can read my review of his book Preaching to a Post-Everything world here.

Here is my one criticism about Eswine and his writing. His stuff is great. It is challenging, soul stirring, makes you think. He just takes a long time to say it. What he says in 5 pages I feel could be said in one. Outside of that, his books are great and this one is no different.

That being said, if you are a pastor or thinking about becoming a pastor, you would do well to work your way through this book and chew on what Eswine lays out. Many pastors, in response to the call God has placed on their lives have forgotten how to be human or that their ministry is to human beings, not robots or masses.

Here are a few things that jumped out in my reading:

  • If there is anything exceptional about me and about this ministerial crowd of mine, it is that we are exceptionally broken.
  • God is the remembered one. But this does not mean we are forgotten – not by him. Not by a long shot. In fact, being remembered by him means we no longer fear being forgotten by the world.
  • We cannot fully magnify God without confessing that we are not him.
  • Greatness, even in ministry, cannot escape humanity.
  • Our goal of greatness is not the problem. How we define the word great is.
  • The problem we have rises when we suggest that obscurity and greatness are opposites, that fame in our culture and greatness as God sees it are synonyms.
  • You cannot glorify God by trying to become him.
  • The Bible simply does not teach us that if we say the right words, right things will follow.
  • How come so much of our Christian knowledge robs us of joy, wonder, awe, play, dependence, and the need to learn and humility?
  • Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
  • Going all out for God means more than going all out for our sermons.
  • One can receive accolades for preaching Jesus, yet at the same time know every little about how to follow Jesus in the living rooms of their ordinary lives.

Here is an interview that Zach Eswine did with Justin Taylor about this book:

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. Christine Hoover on 25 things a veteran church planter’s wife has learned about church planting. I couldn’t agree more with this list. So much truth here.
  2. What churches can do to prevent sexual abuse in their church.
  3. Darryl Dash on How many hours should a pastor work in a week.
  4. Victoria’s Secret is coming for your middle schooler. A must read for parents of daughters.
  5. Russell Moore on Should Christians boycott Starbucks.
  6. Knowing how much access to give as a pastor and leader. Great insights.
  7. An open letter to the church from a lesbian.

Links I Like

  1. Dear stay-at-home mom. Here is some truth every stay at home mom needs to hear. There is no greater way to make an impact in your family’s life and future generations than being a stay-at-home mom.
  2. 4 rules for preachers.
  3. Charles Stone on 5 ways to get people to pay attention to your sermon.
  4. Dealing with that post-preaching feeling. Have this feeling every week. Such a helpful post if you preach or how you can pray for your pastor after they preach.
  5. Thom Rainer on Two big distractions for pastors.

Links I Like

Links for Your Weekend Enjoyment

  1. How were the books of the New Testament chosen?
  2. Dave Stone on Leadership begins at home. Great post for parents. 
  3. Are Mormons Christians?
  4. Thom Rainer on Why I avoid writing negative or controversial blog posts.
  5. 4 reasons a student ministry grows part 1 and part 2. If you aren’t serving at Revolution and would like to serve in Rev Up, contact Jared Carter
  6. The best social media tip I can give you