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. Rich Birch on How to evaluate a sunday service.
  2. Make sure the books you read actual have a biblical message. Just because it is a “Christian” book or written by a “pastor” doesn’t make it theologically correct.
  3. Russell Moore on How Christians should be involved in politics.
  4. Tim Challies on 18 things I will not regret doing with my wife. Great advice for husbands.
  5. A biblical approach to dating.
  6. David Mathis on Why it’s important for a preacher to find his voice.
  7. Tim Challies on 18 things I will not regret doing with my kids. Dad’s, read this.
  8. How to call people to follow Jesus without an altar call.
  9. Mark Munsey on Quit Mothering.

Preaching as Warfare

Preaching is warfare. It sounds outlandish to some, but if you preach or are close to a communicator, you know the truth of that statement.

I was reminded this recently at Revolution that when a pastor steps up to preach, they are stepping into battle. I know this, I’ve felt it before, but have felt the heat turn up recently as we prepare to move as a church. A good description of what is going on when a pastor preaches is found in Paul David Tripp’s book Dangerous Calling:

Every worship service is a glory war. The question of the gathering is, will the hearts of this group of poeple be captured by the one glory that truly is glorious or by the shadow glories of the created world?

I know when I preach, I am addressing the single lady who has set her heart upon the affection of a certain young man whom she thinks will deliver to her the happiness she has been craving. Sitting before me is the teenager who can’t think beyond the glories of Facebook, Twitter, and the Portal2 video game. In the congregation is the middle-aged man whose heart is captured by the glory of somehow, someway recapturing his youth. A wife is sitting there wondering if she will ever experience the glory of the kind of marriage that she dreamed about, the kind she knows others have. A man sits in the crowd knowing that he feeds his soul almost daily on the dark and distorted glories of pornography and has become a master at shifting spiritual gears. Some listening are more excited about a new outfit, new home, new car, new shotgun, newly sodden lawn, the opening of a new restaurant, a new vacation site, or that new promotion than they are about the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Of those who have gathered for worship, there are those distracted by grief, anger, discouragement, loneliness, envy, frustration, despair, or hopelessness because the glories that they have looked to for their meaning, purpose, and inner happiness have failed them once again. These glories have proven to be more temporary than they thought they would ever be. They have been more elusive than they seemed at a distance. They have blown up in their faces or dripped like sand through their fingers. And even when they were wonderful to experience, they didn’t, in fact, leave their hearts satisfied. The buzz was short and the satisfaction elusive. So they sit there empty, hurt, angry, and confused.

They come into worship in the middle of a war that they probably don’t recognize. It is a war for the allegiance, the worship, of their hearts. In ways they probably don’t understand, they have again and again asked the creation to give them what only the Creator can provide. They have looked horizontally again and again for what can only be found vertically. They have asked people, situations, locations, and experiences to be the one thing they will never be: their Savior.They have looked to these things to give them life, security, identity, and hope. They have asked these things to heal their broken hearts. They have hoped that these things would make them better people. So a war rages, and wounded soldiers sit before you. It is a glory war, a battle for what glory will rule their hearts and in so doing, control their choices, words, and behaviors.

Links of the Week

  1. Why smart pastors fail.
  2. Scott Williams on Ladies, stop lusting after your pastor.
  3. How Bill Hybels and Andy Stanley think about the weekend services. This stuff is gold.
  4. Tim Keller on Why churches should be allowed to meet in public schools in NYC. Ed Stetzer also has some great thoughts about why this is a problem that you can read here.
  5. A letter from Mark Driscoll about the state and the future of Acts 29. This is one reason I’m thankful Revolution is part of Acts 29.
  6. Justyn Smith on Leading leaders.
  7. What a young husband ought to know.
  8. J.D. Greear on Avoiding burnout part 1, part 2 and part 3. This stuff is so, so helpful.
  9. Grace Driscoll on 10 ways to honor your husband. Grateful for Katie and how she lives these out in our marriage.

Transitioning Children into Worship

We have 2 services at Revolution for a variety of reasons: wanting to give options to people, having more room for guests in the service and in Planet Rev, allowing our volunteers in Planet Rev to attend a service and to allow kids and students to attend a service.

It can be hard to bring kids into the service, to transition them, but it is crucial. I believe that you should bring your kids into the worship service with you as soon as possible. But, the question of how can be difficult.

Jen Wilkin, a member at the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, writes a great blog on raising children to worship God. Here are a few posts that we recommend to parents with young children:

Worship Together 

In this post Wilkin speaks candidly of her experience with her own children in worship and emphasizes how important is is to model to them what ‘big church is all about.

Big Church for Small Kids 

Here Wilkin gives parents more of a ‘how to’ when it comes to bringing your young children into church. Very practical and very helpful.

Thanks J.D. Greear for the links.

Links of the Week

  1. Craig Groeschel on Breaking barriers
  2. Todd Rhoades on Fun with church bumper stickers (this is pretty funny)
  3. Steven Furtick on Setting the atmosphere in worship
  4. Tony Sundermeier on Contemplative activism