5 Helpful Articles I Read This Week

June 24, 2017

Here are 5 of the best articles I read this week.

Art Rainer   |   5 Ways A Christian’s Retirement Years Should Differ From Everyone Else’s

A beach. A hammock. A golf course. A fishing pole. What images go through your mind when you dream about retirement?Many consider rest and relaxation to be the primary activity of retirement. Or you might say that retirement is about the absence of activity for many.

But is this what God wants out of our post-paycheck years? Or does He want something different? Something better.

The golf course is good. So is the beach. And there are times to enjoy those things.But the Christian’s retirement should look different than most. How? Here are five ways:

Chuck Lawless   |   8 Ways to Improve Your Preaching and Teaching

I make no claims to be a preaching and teaching expert, but I’ve been a preacher and seminary professor for more than 20 years. All of us, beginning with me, can improve in communicating the gospel. See if any of these ideas will help you improve:

Carey Nieuwhof   |   What To Do When People Want A Church To Grow…But Not Change

One of the tensions many of us wrestle with as leaders who are trying to navigate change happens when people tell us:

I want our church to grow. I just don’t want it to change. 

Every time I hear or read that, my brain says “Ugh”. As much as I think that’s a dumb reality to live in, it’s a reality so many of us face in leadership. How do you respond when people want a church (or organization) to grow, but not change?

Christian George   |   5 Ways Spurgeon Coped with London’s Terror Attacks

On September 30, 1888, “Jack the Ripper” murdered his third victim, Elizabeth Stride, only five miles from last Sunday’s terrorist attack in Finsbury Park. Terror seized Spurgeon’s London. Would the murders continue? Who would die next?

In the recent wake of suicide bombers, knife attacks, and runaway vehicles, here are five ways Spurgeon coped with terrorism in London:

Thom Rainer   |   Ten Steps to Deal with Inward Drift in Established Churches

By almost any metric, the majority of North American congregations are established churches. They often include discouraged leaders and frustrated members. Conflict in these churches is often normative.

So how does a church move from an inward drift to an outward focus? Though I provide ten succinct steps, I do not want to leave the reader with a false impression. I am not suggesting that these steps are necessarily sequential, nor am I suggesting that they are a quick-fix for any and every congregation.

5 Helpful Articles I Read This Week

June 17, 2017

Here are 5 of the best articles I read this week.

Chuck Lawless   |   10 Children’s Ministry Issues

As my church consulting team does congregational interviews, we often hear concerns about children’s ministries. Listed in no particular order, here are the most common concerns we hear:

Mark Dever  |   9 Ways to Raise Up Leaders in Your Church

The New Testament is filled with instruction on discipling believers generally. But now and then it also focuses on raising up church leaders in particular. For instance, Paul tells Titus, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). Then he describes what these elders should be like. Similarly, he tells Timothy to find “faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).

Eric Geiger   |   3 Ways to Spot “Christian Backstabbing”

Jesus said that the world would know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. According to the Scriptures, if we don’t love one another, we cannot claim to love God.

With that in mind, here are three ways you can spot “Christian backstabbing” (I put “Christian backstabbing” in quotes because there is nothing Christian about it):

Joe Carter   |   The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About the Alt-Right

“What I point out is just how dangerous and present the alt-right is. . . . When people recognize what it is that the alt-right believes,” Moore added, “I haven’t talked to anyone who doesn’t immediately reject that.”

Here is what every Christian should know about the alt-right:

Carey Neiuwhof   |   7 Things That Get Harder As Your Church Grows

Your struggles as a leader don’t go away when your church grows. They simply change.

Here are 7 things every leader of a growing church or organization struggles with.

5 Helpful Articles I Read This Week

June 10, 2017

Here are 5 of the best articles I read this week.

Pete Scazzero   |   4 Unhealthy Beliefs About Church Leadership

As I was writing The Emotionally Healthy Leader(Zondervan, July 2015), I was reminded again of how deeply in our bones many of us carry the following four deadly, faulty beliefs:

Chuck Lawless   |   7 Characteristics of the Greatest Leaders I Know

I’ve had the privilege of working with some phenomenal leaders. In fact, I could write several posts on the different characteristics that have made these leaders so strong. Here, though, are the characteristics I’ve most often seen in the greatest contemporary leaders I’ve known.

Thom Rainer   |   Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church

That question could be answered from a number of perspectives. But one of the key explanations is simply an attitude problem. There are several dangerous and debilitating attitudes in churches that are killing evangelism. Here are six of them:

Peter Adam   |   Answer These 14 Questions Before You Preach

When it comes to preaching, pastors typically struggle with the preparation more than the delivery. The earlier you start preparing, the better. In a recent workshop at The Gospel Coalition National Conference, Peter Adam shared 14 questions (below) to guide preachers to make the most of their sermon preparation.

Jeremy Roberts   |   7 Misconceptions About Pastors

One of my favorite things about pastoring a church that has a lot of un-churched and de-churched folks is hearing their misconceptions about pastors since they haven’t been around pastors very much. These misconceptions are far from serious, but are definitely prevalent.