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. Aaron Armstrong on Are buildings a hinderance or a help to churches? I think the last question of, “do we need a building” is a question more churches should ask.
  2. Brian Dodd on 13 Habits Of Highly Friendly Churches.
  3. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield on DOMA and the Rock.
  4. Paul Alexander on the dark side of vision.
  5. Dan Black on Should church leaders adopt best practice business and leadership principles.
  6. 3 things dying churches can do to avoid going out of business.

The Biggest Mistakes Young Preachers Make

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/68609422]

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. Melissa Kruger on Is it better for kids to hear about sex in church or at school? Great point of view from this parent.
  2. Rob Bell on Whether we should call God “mother.” Rob Bell has always challenged my thinking, but he keeps getting further and further into bad theology.
  3. Ed Stetzer on What the changing opinion of same sex marriage in our culture means for churches and pastors. This is a dividing issue. It is not a civil rights issue as some would want you to think. Here are some resources I put together on how a Christians should respond to homosexuality through the lens of the gospel, along with 10 gospel truths about homosexuality.
  4. Seth McBee on How kids learn to follow Jesus.
  5. Brian Howard on Why family meals are so important. I couldn’t agree more.
  6. How to know if you have what it takes to be a preacher.

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • Yesterday was a good day at Revolution, but it had a weird feeling
  • It definitely felt heavier than it normally does
  • I don’t know if it was because of the tragedy from last Friday in Connecticut, the hustle of Christmas and people being tired, but felt a little off
  • In spite of that, the sermon and music were really powerful
  • I challenged our church with the reality that the goal of parenting is not to raise kids who act like Christians, but instead to help kids find their way back to God and be changed by the gospel
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • If today resonated with you, I’d encourage you to check out “Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus” by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, “Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God” by Voddie Baucham and “New City Catechism” (which is an app to take your kids through a catechism)
  • The last 3 weeks have been great as I’ve preached on marriage, dating and family, but the intensity and warfare is brutal
  • Really excited to preach a Christmas sermon this weekend at Revolution
  • And then wrap up Ephesians on January 6
  • If you are curious, we are going to start a new series on January 13th on the book of Ecclesiastes called Meaning
  • Got a crazy week coming up
  • Between MC, a staff Christmas party, family coming into town, a Christmas service and a wedding
  • Really looking forward to December 23rd and beginning a week of vacation
  • Went to see Lincoln this past week with Katie, what an incredible movie
  • I’m in the middle of Team of Rivalswhich is great, but the movie was simply amazing
  • Daniel Day Lewis was off the charts in that role
  • If the lines are too long for The Hobbit, check out Lincoln
  • This week I’ll post my favorite lists for the year
  • On Wednesday I’ll share my favorite books of the year
  • And Friday I’ll share my favorite albums of the year
  • Definitely don’t want to miss those if you are a book or music fan
  • If you haven’t written it down yet Revolutionaries, our Christmas service is Sunday, December 23rd at 10am

[Image Credit]

Links I Like

Links of the Week

  1. Can fidelity work in a movie?
  2. Brad Lomenick on Leadership lessons from playing point guard.
  3. 9 things pastors should know about how adults learn.
  4. Mark Driscoll on 6 ways sex is a gift.
  5. 9 keys to lasting in ministry. This is golden.
  6. Ron Edmondson on How to make your ideas better.
  7. 5 lessons small churches can learn from large churches.
  8. Jonathan Dodson on Getting through challenges to missional communities.
  9. 10 trends that will shape student ministries (and the larger church). This is a great list to consider.
  10. Voddie Baucham on The elephant room. I thought this was a helpful perspective.
  11. How to deal with anxiety as a leader.
  12. Rick Warren on Building a leadership structure for growth.
  13. 7 signs you are burning out and Finding relief from burnout.
  14. If Facebook tempts you. Some good thoughts here especially if you gave up Facebook for Lent.

Family Shepherds: Calling & Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes

Last week I read through Voddie Baucham’s book Family Shepherds. Like his other books (Family Driven Faith and What He Must Be…If He wants to Marry my Daughter), it was a fast read but packed a lot into it.

There are not a lot of books out there that actually call men to be men in a biblical way. It either comes off as calling men to continue to abdicate their God given role and be weak, or to continue to abuse that role through sin. Most books about what God calls men and women to be spend most of their time saying, “This is what submission and leadership are not” but then never really say what it is. On top of this, most men and women who follow Jesus genuinely want to know what the Bible calls them to be. Most men want to lead their families, they are just not sure how.

If that’s you, Voddie Baucham’s books are a great place to start, particularly this one. The book is broken up into 4 parts: what the Bible calls husbands and fathers (family shepherds is what he calls them) to be, how to disciple your wife and kids, building a foundation in your marriage, and then how to evaluate your life and pace to fulfill what God has called you to.

What is a family shepherd? Baucham said he uses the term for a number of reasons, “It reminds me of the goal of my work. I’m shepherding my children toward Christ. My goal is not to raise children who conform to my hopes, wishes, dreams, or standards; my goal is to raise children who walk in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).”

Overall, the book was incredibly helpful for me. While some parts are things he has written on in other places, I especially found the chapters on family worship and discipline to be helpful. Katie and I have been talking through how you parent with the gospel instead of moralism (stop doing this, do that). The chapters on discipline were helpful in this way.

One of the other things that I learned was how important prioritizing your marriage over your children is. While I know this, have preached on it, Baucham added a reason I never thought of. I’ve said his first 2 reasons in sermons before: your kids will leave one day so they can’t be the foundation of your marriage and prioritizing your marriage over your kids brings security to your kids lives. The third reason he gave was important to me, when he pointed out that as parents you are training your kids to be married. While I knew this, it is easy to forget that I am teaching my kids through my marriage to be married.

Here are a few other things that jumped out:

  • Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won’t embarrass us. We’re working toward something much more important than that. We’re actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
  • We must not present the gospel to our children as though it were a fairy tale. They must know that these are truths worthy to be believed. These things are verifiable; they really happened. Moreover, because they really happened, their implications are inescapable.
  • We must know the difference between what the gospel requires and what the gospel produces.
  • Family shepherds must see the spiritual leadership of their families as their God-given duty. This is not a program! This is the responsibility God has laid at the doorstep of every man who carries the title father. Those who neglect the spiritual welfare of their families are therefore derelict in their duties in the same way a hired hand would be if he were caught sleeping on the job.
  • A seismic shift is represented by changing the focus from one that says, “I’m a lawyer, and that defines the way my family is shaped,” to one that says, “My wife and I entered a covenant relationship designed to bring forth, train, and launch a generation of godly offspring, and that’s going to direct all the rest of my decisions.” This isn’t to say men should slack off at work. It is, however, to say that they should not slack off at home (something we almost never hear). This is a radical change of perspective.
  • There are at least 3 reasons that make prioritizing our children over our marriage both foolish and dangerous. First, our children will eventually leave home – and if they’re the foundation of our family, then their departure will mean our family’s demise. Second, our marriage forms the cornerstone of our children’s security. Finally, one of our primary goals is to prepare our children for marriage.
  • The greatest source of security our children have in this world is a God-honoring, Christ-centered marriage between their parents.

Here is an interview Voddie did about the book.

I highly recommend this book to men who are looking for ways to lead their families or are unsure about how to do it.

Restraining the Sin in Your Children

If you say you cannot restrain your children, this is no excuse; for it is a sign that you have brought up your children without government, that your children regard not your authority. When parents lose their government over their children, their reproofs and counsel signify but little. How many parents are there who are exceedingly faulty on this account! How few are there who are thorough in maintaining order and government in their families! How is family-government in a great measure vanished! And how many are as likely to bring a curse upon their families as Eli (1 Samuel 3:11 – 14). -Jonathan Edwards

Links of the Week

  1. The leadership of the Apostle Paul.
  2. Scott Williams on Leadership is like riding a bike.
  3. Jonathan Dodson on Keeping missional communities healthy.
  4. Voddie Baucham on his new book “Family Shepherds.” Anything he writes on biblical manhood and womanhood is worth reading.
  5. Stream the new worship album from Austin City Life. So good.
  6. 12 signs someone is not a good leader.
  7. Relevant magazine on When revolutionaries grow up.
  8. Why the world is wrong about marriage.
  9. Tony Morgan on How leadership teams empower leaders.

Recommended Resources on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Tonight, I preached on Biblical manhood and womanhood from Genesis 2 – 3. Katie joined me on stage to share her two cents and as always did an unbelievable job of painting a picture of what the gospel can do in a woman’s life and a woman of God is called to be. I’m so proud of the journey she’s been on and what God has done in her life. She really is a great example to women of what it means to be a strong woman of God. Too many people think biblical womanhood means you are a doormat or push over with no opinion. I love that Katie can kill that perception.

There are a ton of books on marriage, what a man or woman are supposed to be. Over the 9 years that Katie and I have been married, we have read probably close to 50 books on these topics. Below are our favorites and the ones that have been the most helpful to us and challenged us in our marriage. Hope this list helps.

Top Books of 2010

Along with music, books is my other love that I don’t have enough money to give to. What makes this list different is that the book doesn’t have to be released in the year of 2010, I just read it in 2010. It was cool putting this list together because it was a great reminder of the things I learned this year through the books I read. It was also cool seeing that I hit my goal of reading 30 books this year. I think I’m going to bump that up to 50 in 2011.

Here are my top 10 books for this year:

  1. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for our Sinful Behaviors and Negative Emotions by Tim Chester. This was easily the best book I read all year. It speaks to how to break free from sin, additions, sinful thoughts, habits, the broken places in our lives. The one line that rings over and over in my head from this book is, “Everytime you sin, you are believing a lie.” You can read my review here.
  2. Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches by Russell Moore. As many of you know, we are adopting. This was the first book we read after making that decision and it clearly lays out the doctrine of adoption and how that should be lived out by followers of Jesus. Adoption is not something that is optional for followers of Jesus, all of us are called to play some kind of part in it (James 1:27). Can’t recommend this book high enough. You can read my review here.
  3. Gospel Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley. I did a parenting series this past year at Revolution and this was one of the books I read for it. So many great and practical parenting things in here, but it is also about the why behind parenting. Too many books focus on how to parent, which is good to a degree, but this gets into the why and what the gospel has to do with parenting. If you aren’t shaping your parenting and children with the gospel, how will the gospel infiltrate your family? You can read my review here.
  4. Total Church by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis. This book was recommended to me by Jeff Vanderstelt when I met with him to talk about leadership, gospel and missional communities. It has given us at Revolution a clearer picture of what the next level/step for us as a church is. Marrying together gospel & community. If you’re curious about what 2011 and beyond will look at Revolution, this is a book worth checking out. You can read my review here.
  5. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. This book was incredibly stretching and came at the right time as we were thinking through the adoption and how to move forward. Too many Christians are trying to mix the American dream with Jesus, and it doesn’t fit. It leads to what everyone else has, and what everyone else has, Jesus doesn’t give you, He gives you life. This book could easily be #1 on this list. You can read my review here.
  6. The Painful Side of Leadership: Moving Forward Even When it Hurts by Jeff Iorg. If you have been a leader for longer than 5 minutes, you know leadership can hurt, especially if you lead in a church setting. I highlighted this book more than any other book this year. So many times I could think of situations in my life as a pastor that this book spoke to. If you are a leader you need to read this book. You can read my review here.
  7. Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne. This book has done a lot to shape how we do teams and think about leadership at Revolution. Really helpful book on teams and leadership. You can read my review here.
  8. Family Driven Faith: Doing what it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham. This book was another book I read for the parenting series I did in the summer. Unlike other books that talk about passing on your faith, this one gets right into the family, where it should be. I was challenged by this book and after Katie and I read it, we really took a hard look at how we are raising our kids and passing on our faith. This was also the book that really pushed school at home to the forefront of our minds (which we now do and love). You can read more about that here. You can read my review here.
  9. What He Must Be…To Marry my Daughter by Voddie Baucham. If you want a book on what a man of God looks like, how to raise a son that is worth following or worth marrying, or how to teach your daughter what kind of man she should look for, this is the book. This is easily the best book I’ve read on what a man is. You can read my review here.
  10. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes. This is a great preaching book, even though it doesn’t set out to be a preaching book. Humes looks at great speakers and leaders throughout history to see what communicators can learn from the. Highly recommended if you speak in front of groups on a regular basis. You can read my review here.

Honorable mention reviews:  Deep Church, Sun Stand Still, Leaders Who Last, and Soccernomics.

If you’re curious about what my favorite books of 2009 were, you can see that list here.