This is our City

If you haven’t heard about This Is Our City, a new initiative from Christianity Today, I urge you to check it out. This Is Our City is being produced by a team that includes the great Andy Crouch, so you know it’s going to be excellent. And really, I bring this to you because it’s everything I think you will love (because I love it too):compelling stories about people and ministries making a difference, told with artistic excellence, and brought to you on the Web.

To find out more, watch the video below and read this overview. What then? Send it to everyone you know, of course.

HT: Collide Magazine

Links of the Week

  1. Christianity Today on Sex, money…pride? Why pastors are stepping down.
  2. Michael Hyatt on Why you don’t get retweeted.
  3. Discerning the idols of your heart.
  4. Guy Kawasaki on 7 reasons why your blog fails.
  5. A prayer for pastors before and after preaching.
  6. Videos from the gospel coalition conference on church planting. So good.
  7. Casey Graham on 3 mistakes pastor’s make when they talk about money.
  8. Depression claims more and more pastor’s.
  9. Jon Nielson on Why students stay in church after graduating high school. Stats are really bad in this area, but this is a great look at what keeps those students.

Links of the Week

  1. According to Christianity Today, being a pastor is a risky profession. This is a helpful article for pastor’s to know the dangers and for their churches to know how to support and pray for their pastor.
  2. Brent Thomas gives his favorite albums of the year so far. Admittedly, I have none of these, some were on the list, but they’re now moving up the list.
  3. How the gospel makes us generous and content with our money.
  4. Ed Stetzer on Freedom of religion has to be freedom for everyone.
  5. New Barna research on how churches are impacting their community and how they are viewed by their communities.
  6. Will Mancini on 6 ways to communicate vision every week. This is helpful and important for leaders to understand.
  7. The missional student ministry. Makes me grateful for the leadership Paul Samson gives to Rev uP.
  8. Pete Wilson Taking a digital detox. I cherish going on vacation, leaving my computer at home and handing Katie my phone so I don’t check it.
  9. Spiritual warfare in the home. This is real and you need to pray against it.
  10. Michael Hyatt on 5 reasons you need to get better at saying “No.”
  11. Instant churches. We are blessed to meet in another church, but I definitely could see us having 1 or more sites that meet in schools in the future.
  12. Charles Stone on 5 really bad ways pastors react when people compare them to more successful churches.
  13. Factors that predict multiplication of communities.
  14. R.C. Sproul on Understanding what the Bible says on homosexuality.
  15. Leadership red flags.

Links of the Week

  1. Steve Jobs on the branding of Apple. Branding is so important and churches miss the boat so many times. Branding can have to do with mission, your church name, logo, etc. Pastors need to think through branding more because it is how you can be easily remembered and identified in your city. This is why we named ourselves Revolution and use 3 dots for our logo.
  2. How Christians can be faithful and politically present in our culture. Interesting interview.
  3. John Piper spent 224 sermons preaching through the book of Romans, but you can listen to these 11 messages and get the big picture overview. You can download the 11 key messages here.
  4. Forbes on Nextflix killed Blockbuster, but Apple, Amazon and Microsoft won’t be so easy.
  5. Mark Galli on Insignificant is Beautiful.
  6. The next Acts 29 boot camp is in Phoenix next week. So excited about spending the week at it.
  7. Kevin DeYoung on What’s wrong with theistic evolution. This is an interesting interview with the editor of the new book God & Evolution.
  8. One year later: an interview with Matt Chandler and what having cancer has taught him.
  9. What pastors and business leaders can learn from each other.
  10. Al Mohler on What we know from the elections on Tuesday.
  11. Download the audio from Acts 29 Seattle Boot Camp. Great stuff.
  12. Have you bought coffee yet to support our adoption? You can do so here (it’s really good).
  13. Watch this video of Andy Stanley talking about momentum. Anything with Andy Stanley on leadership is worth listening to or reading.
  14. Will Mancini on The tyranny of more. He lists out the 6 myths that cause churches to try to do everything. Revolution is a simple church, which means we only do 5 things (worship, groups, mission, students and children’s ministry). It is this clarity that I believe is one of our strengths as a church. I just preached on it if you are interested.
  15. Changing a church culture. Cultures are hard to change because they are so natural in how they come about. You have to change thinking, not just what you do to change a church.
  16. Ed Stetzer’s thoughts on Jim Swilley (a Prominent megachurch pastor) who came out of the closet this week. Stetzer raises some great questions that churches and leaders have to wrestle through in terms of how we respond to homosexuality and what Scripture has to say. While Scripture is clear where God stands on it, we have often missed the boat in communicating that and all the layers to the discussion. We need to do better at communicating truth.

Happiness, Taxes & Judgment Day

“Thinking about eternity helps us retrieve [perspective]. I’m reminded of this every year when I figure my taxes. During the year, I rejoice at the paychecks and extra income, and sometimes I flinch when I write out the tith and offering. I do my best to be a joyful giver, but I confess it is not always easy, especially when there are other perceived needs and wants. At the end of the year, however, all of that changes. As I’m figuring my tax liability, I wince at every source of income and rejoice with every tithe and offering check – more income means more tax, but every offering and tithe means less tax. Everything is turned upside down, and perhaps, more appropriately, right side up. I suspect judgment day will be like that.” – Gary Thomas, “Wise Christians Clip Obituaries”

Links of the Week

  1. Tiger Woods trangression & the gospel. Great insights as to what we can learn from what has happened in Tiger’s life.
  2. Aaron Menikoff on Preparing to preach.
  3. Cody Brasher on the courage needed to be a leader.
  4. 7 ways to protect yourself and your marriage from an affair. I wrote something similar about the boundaries Katie and I keep, this is incredibly important for every couple, but especially for pastors.
  5. Mark Driscoll on When was Jesus born? This is a common question I get a lot from people and this is a good answer.
  6. Stuff Christians like asks the questions, “How do you invite people to church?” This will make you laugh.
  7. Pastors are always there for people who are hurting, but what about when they hurt? Who Pastors the Pastor? This is a great article in Christianity Today.
  8. Tim Keller on How to handle criticism.
  9. What if Target operated like a church? Great question, they would probably go out of business or at least turn people off.
  10. Perry Noble on 7 reasons church plants fail. This is right on.
  11. 5 hard truths for church planters. If you are a planter, thinking about planting, part of a church plant or support someone who is, you need to read this. It is hard to describe what planting does to a person and their family.

Links of the Week

  1. Catalyst on why numbers matter. It is easy to forget who we are trying to reach and what we are called to do as a church, but this is a great reminder why numbers matter. What if our churches adopted the rabbit philosophy?
  2. Click here if you are curious how Paul and Jennifer Ingram joined the team at Revolution.
  3. Jim Vining on 10 ways to ruin young pastors. Sadly this is very true. All of these things happened to me in my 12 years of working in churches. We need to do better than this.
  4. How Tim Keller found Manhattan. Great article about Tim Keller and his journey as a pastor and what his church has done in Manhattan.