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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Carl Lafterton on 6 ways to look godly without really growing.

This time last year, I mentioned six ways to look godly while not growing in your faith — and then spent 2013 battling them, falling for them, and finding several other ways, too. So here, for 2014, are six more ways to look great while doing little…

Kevin DeYoung on The 10 commandments of twitter.

And the Lord of Twitter spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God, who gave thee computers and tablets and smartphones, the Holy One of all social media who foreknew the internet before the foundation of the earth, yea even when the world of handles and hashtags was without form and void.

5 ways to fight entitlement in your kids.

On the one hand, you want to provide your child with every advantage. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like when you do that, you’re feeding an incredibly unhealthy characteristic in our culture.

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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.

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Pray For Your Daughter – Mike Leake is beginning a 31-day pray for your daughter challenge. It kicks off January 1.

Steven Furtick on Point the way, clear a path.

Ultimately, there’s nothing we can do to force people to grow in Christ. Nothing. So whether we offer a 26-option discipleship program or a 4-option one really doesn’t matter. If someone really doesn’t want to grow, they’re either going to say no 4 times or 26.

Breaking the 7 barriers of leadership.

Leaders desire what they don’t have and reach for what they haven’t reached. Unfulfilled passions frustrate. Drive encounters barriers. Barriers block the future and frustrate the present.

Marshall Segal on Are you pastoring your pastor?

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors. These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

The pride of pastors.

My church is better than your church.  Our way is better than your way. We’ve figured out something you need to know. But pride is a deadly force.  It will lift you up on platforms and pedestals, setting you up for shame and mockery when you fall.

Christmas at Elevation 2013 (so powerful)

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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  1. Anthony Bradley on Millennials leaving the church.
  2. Brian Howard on How to build the perfect church staff.
  3. Rick Warren’s first sermon since his son’s suicide.
  4. Steven Furtick on Fences bring freedom.

How to write a worship song:

My Notes from Preach Better Sermons

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In case you missed them today, here are all my notes from today’s online preaching conference, Preach Better Sermons:

Steven Furtick

The whole worship service is one thing, not separate parts, it is one thing. The service is won and lost in transitions. Preaching and a worship service communicate what your values are.

Louie Giglio

Louie’s 6 rules of preaching: (1) Have something to say, (2) Be faithful to the text, (3) Lead people to Jesus, (4) Don’t be boring, (5) Prepare, (6) Be led by the Holy Spirit.

Donald Miller

You need to show up everyday because you don’t know when creativity will strike or when something will hit.

Brad Lomenick

A great communicator moves people and inspire people.

Dave Ramsey

If an audience doesn’t laugh every 7 minutes, you lose them.

Mark Batterson

Would you rather be a great preacher or a great pray-er?

Darrin Patrick

Would your sermon work if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead?

Jon Acuff

The greatest way to ruin a speech is ego.

Crawford Lorritts

You’ll never preach any better than who you are. Effective ministry always comes out of the overflow of your heart and walk with God.

Pete Wilson

When you attach your identity to the success or failure of your message, you are in for a roller coaster ride and it is dangerous.

Nancy Duarte

People should leave a sermon and feel unstuck.

Andy Stanley

The foundation of our faith is not Scripture, the foundation of our faith is Jesus.

Ed Stetzer

Maximize your study by minimize your searching.

Mark Driscoll

God’s people are on mission to see more people become God’s people.

Overall, tons of great content for preachers.

Preach Better Sermons || Steven Furtick

bookI’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers was Steven Furtick, who is the founding pastor of Elevation Church. He’s also the author of Greater and Sun Stand Still

Here’s what I got out of Steven’s segment:

  • Steven plans 4 months in advance and finds this keeps things fresh in his mind. 
  • Steven is very involved in the creative elements and process of each service because of his passion for that.
  • For a successful creative sermon process: listen to the pastor’s vision, let the artists work on what comes to mind from this (separate from the pastor), bring it back to the pastor. This brings a greater vision and sometimes different from what the pastor would do, which can be a good thing.
  • The whole worship service is one thing, not separate parts, it is one thing.
  • The service is won and lost in transitions.
  • Preaching and a worship service communicate what your values are.
  • I really appreciated hearing how Steven prays and confesses sin before preaching. Loved hearing his heart on that.
  • You can’t preach better than you pray.
  • The more preaching is about the people and less about the performance, that’s when passion comes and God shows up.

Links of the Week

  1. If you lead something complex, loneliness will follow.
  2. Perry Noble on 5 core values of a declining church.
  3. Why I quit following celebrity pastors on twitter and why you should too.
  4. Ed Welch on An intrusion into the Christian bedroom. Some helpful things here.
  5. The historical reliability of the Bible. Helpful stuff.
  6. Michael Horton on Application in sermons.
  7. The gospel and marriage explain one another.
  8. Ed Stetzer interviews Scot McKnight on his book The King Jesus Gospel. You can read my review of the book here.
  9. 5 suggestions on raising boys. Love the last one, one of our dreams with our kids is to have the house their friends want to come to.
  10. Fight the funk.

Why Read Books on Big Faith

I was asked the other day after posting about The Circle Maker if I like books on big faith. Books like this or Sun Stand Still are always favorites of mine.

The reason is simple, I don’t have big faith.

There I said it.

While my life has often seemed like an episode that needed big faith, lots of people have lives that need bigger faith than I need. In thinking back, moving to Tucson 5 years ago was a moment of lunacy. We had family and friends try to talk us out of it. Church planting doesn’t work they said, especially in this economy. Adopting. Why spend that time and money on it? Plant more churches.

Those are just things I’ve heard in the last year.

But when I hear those, they reinforce the doubts I have, they don’t push me to have bigger faith.

Enter books like The Circle Maker or Sun Stand Still. I am always pushed by men and women who have big faith, pray crazy prayers. I think we see in Scripture that God is honored by big and small prayers. I think there is something to big prayers though that gets at the heart of God because it takes a dependency on him that small prayers don’t. Big prayers reveal his father’s heart because it reveals our heart as a son or daughter that is dependent on him.

In the course of this conversation then, I was told how much God loves small prayers, that it shows his care for the small details in life. This is true. I love how God cares about the lilies of the valley, the birds of the air. It shows how he is big enough for anything, but cares about the smallest details. I chuckled because that is my first inclination, but as I pointed out in this conversation, it reveals my lack of faith. Because that keeps me from taking a step where I have to trust for the impossible.

Links of the Week

  1. Speaking well of your spouse. This is crucial in any marriage, I also find it dictates if a marriage is healthy.
  2. Russell Moore on Who’s afraid of a woman president?
  3. Revival and preaching.
  4. Steven Furtick on Make the ball come to you. Great leadership principle.
  5. Relevant Magazine wrote two articles, 6 Things That Divide Christians & 6 Things That Unite Christians. Great reads.
  6. Ted Kluck on What happens when the worship leader is the one being worshiped?
  7. James MacDonald on Preaching.

Links of the Week

  1. Tim Challies on Should Christians embrace evolution?
  2. What Christians hope for in preaching. This was an eye opening article based on a study of 10,000 persons who attend church and what they hope to get from preaching.
  3. 11 books every leader needs to read according to Al Mohler.
  4. D.A. Carson and John Piper on How to teach the Bible confidence.
  5. How boys become Christians men.
  6. Ron Edmondson on how he accomplishes so much. I agree with him on this secret, helps a ton.
  7. A warning to women from a woman concerning marriage.
  8. The New York Times on How the deficit got this big.
  9. Titus 2 is not just a woman’s to do list.
  10. Justin Taylor on It only takes one generation for a church to die.
  11. Beware of romantic pornography. So true.
  12. 9 things your pastor wants to say to you but won’t.
  13. Steven Furtick on Ambition vs. Arrogance.
  14. Kevin DeYoung on biblical manhood. Helpful stuff here, a good preview to our next series at Revolution.
  15. Jeff Vanderstelt on Gospel fluent thinking.
  16. 25 ways to engage your neighbors. As we challenge people at Revolution to be on mission, this is a big part of it.
  17. Motherhood, sacrifice, and worship.