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

Thom Rainer on 7 ways pastoring has changed in the last 30 years.

We are out of clichés about change or the pace of change. Sometimes we forget how much particular vocations have changed in a short time. In fact, in thirty years pastoring has changed in ways we likely would have never predicted or imagined.

Mark Driscoll on 16 daddy Christmas tips. Here are mine.

Tis the season for Dad to drop the holiday ball, stress out as the money is being spent for presents, and miss yet another providential opportunity to lovingly lead his family.

Brian Dodd on The one thing every pastor needs to do to go to the next level.

As a leader it is always important not to project your personal experience onto others.  Their journey is not your journey.  What God is showing you may or may not be what He wants to show another leader.

Brandon Cox on 2 false assumptions to leave behind when you preach.

I realize that we pastors are going way beyond motivational speaking in our sermons. We are sharing the gospel and leading people to the cross. But we are still speakers and communicators nonetheless, and our effectiveness and influence depend on our understanding something about the nature of speaking.

Aaron Armstrong on Book hoarders.

Up until recently, A&E ran a creepy show called Hoarders, showing the struggles of people who can’t part with their stuff and their road to recovery. These are people who are living surrounded by overwhelming amounts of stuff—and often in terrifyingly unhealthy situations.

Mez McConnell on My ministry is harder than yours.

One thing, however, picks away at me as I travel and speak to church planters, pastors, leaders and lay people. It is simply this. The misconception that somehow what we are doing here in the schemes of Scotland is particularly brave or difficult and requires some sort of super human faith and character. Like it is actually hard graft.

Michael Horton on How Can Jesus Be the Only Way?

 

Sustainability Questions

book

I recently read Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, & Relationships that all of us Have to Give up in Order to Move Forward by Henry Cloud. He had a great list of questions to help someone determine if the life they are living, whether in work, pace or a relationship is sustainable for a long period of time. Here they are:

  1. Are you in an emotional state right now that is not sustainable? I am not talking about just a “hard time” or a time that you would not want to continue forever. Life is full of difficulties, but with proper support and other resources, we can endure them if we have to and if we have a good reason to. What I am referring to is a hard time that is truly not sustainable and often continues for no good reason. Are you in a state that is eating your heart, mind, soul, or energy in such a way that you are headed for some sort of crash or burnout?
  2. Are you in a physical state right now that is not sustainable? Too much travel? Too little sleep? Too much “on the go”? Too much taxing of your physical system? For a prolonged period of time with no end in sight? Too little exercise? Too much junk food?
  3. Are you in a state right now in your relationships that is not sustainable? Is there some relationship that is depleting or damaging you? Is there a context in which you feel compromised or forced to adapt to another person’s needs and demands out of fear? Are you in a situation where someone has power over you and is slowly diminishing you?
  4. Are you in a professional state right now that is not sustainable? In your work, is something going on in the culture or in your relationship with your boss that you cannot continue long-term without some sort of damage to your drive, talents, or passion? This does not include all difficult cultures or bosses, as most people have some period of time in a setting like that, which really builds them or equips them over time, even if it is hard. What I am referring to is something that is not equipping you or causing you to grow but is slowly wearing you down or killing something inside of you.
  5. Are you in a spiritual state right now that is not sustainable? In your spirit, is something causing you to be diminished? Is hope being deferred in some way that is causing a sickness of spirit? Are you losing a sense of meaning in life? Is something happening that is causing you to feel depleted of a sense of purpose, mission, transcendence, love, or other spiritual dimensions? A diminished belief in humanity or diminished faith? Is your ability to hope being affected?
  6. Are you in a financial state right now that is not sustainable? In your business or personal finances, are your expenses greater than what’s coming in, with no end in sight? Is the curve between investment and certain returns way out of whack? Do you not know how your real, fixed, non-negotiable expenses are going to be covered in the current path that you are on? Said another way, if something does not change, are you going to run out of money and have no options? If “cash equals options,” are you on a path of diminishing options?
  7. Are your energy reserves being depleted in a way that is not sustainable? Is there something so draining to your energy that you have to make yourself keep going? Do you have to drag yourself in a particular path continually? Is there a clear drain that is causing that? • Are you letting your strengths fall into disuse in a way that is not sustainable? Are you on a course where your strengths are not available to you? Are you being cornered, at work or elsewhere, in a way that requires you to be “not you” most of the time? Is the real you slowly going to sleep? Do you fear that it may not be able to be reawakened?
  8. Do you find yourself in a situation where you are overextended in some way, one that began as an anomaly but now has become a pattern? Many times this happens with a person’s schedule or workload. What they thought was going to be a lot of work or extra hours or effort for a while has now become what is required to keep it all going, as the entity or enterprise has become shaped and formed around exactly that ingredient, all that effort from just one source—you. So what was supposed to be a season has now become a pattern, the new normal.

[Image]

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. Why pastors should be in a study group.
  2. Jen Wilkin on Parents, do you think before you post something online about your kids. Great points for parents to think about.
  3. How to leave a church well. Such a good post. Most people leave churches quietly, but some leave with as much noise and destruction as they can muster.
  4. More honest church postcards. Good for a laugh.
  5. Tim Keller on Handling the question of the bible having contradictions.
  6. Check out the latest worship song from Soma. Such a great song.

How to start a Mumford & Sons Band. 

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
  1. Kathy Keller on A year in biblical womanhood. I haven’t read this book, but after reading how sloppy the author handled biblical interpretation, which is the main thrust of the book, seems like it would be a waste of time.
  2. Homosexuality and the modern church.
  3. Barnabas Piper on 7 things every pastor’s kid needs from their pastor/dad. Convicting stuff.
  4. Andy Stanley on Why a church environment matters more than we think.
  5. 10 rules about meetings every pastor should abide by.
  6. Russell Moore on iPads, iPhones and Christians parenting.