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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Michael Hyatt on If you want to be more productive, get more sleep.

Brandon Cox on You can have growth or control, but you can’t have both.

Our gut reaction to rapid growth is to immediately try to control it. We need more systems. We need more machinery. We need to stabilize the institution. I know… let’s form some committees…

Rick Warren on How to handle growing pains in church.

There is no growth without change. And there is no change without loss. And there is no loss without pain. A church that wants to grow without going through growing pains is like a woman who says, “I want to have a baby but I don’t want to go through labor.” Is the pain worth it? Yes, it’s worth it. People need the Lord and as long as one person doesn’t know Christ we have to keep reaching out. As your church begins to grow you’re going to face a lot of different criticisms. But there are three really common ones to prepare for starting with these three.

Ronnie Martin on Pastor, stop lying.

Here’s my concern: are we being honest enough with others to let them bear our burdens? Or does outward silence indicate inward boasting? When burden-bearing only goes one way, it ceases to be burden-sharing. Inevitably, we will fail to carry this weight on our own. I believe my friend succumbed to this temptation. But I didn’t realize it happened to me, too.

Daniel Darling on What Pastors Owe Their People.

As Dan points out, pastors owe it to their congregants to preach the whole counsel of God—including the tough passages.

Join Mike Leake & Tim Challies for 31 days of purity.

The 31 Day Purity Challenge will be similar to the other prayer challenges. I’ve written about half of them and Tim has written the other half. We will also have a few guest posts (from some people that you might know). Each day we’ll have a scripture passage, a short devotional, and then a prayer. Tim and I will post them on our respective sites and they’ll also be posted to our Facebook group.

This group, though, is different than the others. We are encouraging you to commit to 31 days of detox as well. This challenge will actually benefit you more if you can find a group of guys at your church to do this together. But we also have the Facebook group to assist in this. As we are praying we are also committing to aggressively pursuing purity in our lives.

Ray Ortlund on Faithful pastor, you’re not crazy.

A text message came in from a pastor friend.  I’ve known him for decades.  He is the kind of man for whom the adjective “saintly” was invented.  He pastored a thriving church for many years.  Then someone on staff stabbed him in the back and rallied others to get him thrown out.  The objections to his ministry had no substance.  “The issues” were not the real issues.  As Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, said to me once, “Some try to pull down a prominent man, not because they themselves wish to take his place, but because doing so gives them a feeling of power.” My friend had met with someone from his former church, wishing to reconcile.  But the person blew him off.  All that the meeting accomplished was to re-open an old wound. So here is what I want to say to my friend: You’re not crazy.  This has been happening to God’s men since Cain and Abel.  It is one way you identify with Jesus himself.

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