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- Getting Back in the Race by Joel Beeke
- Torn to Heal by Mike Leake
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When I was in New York a couple of years ago doing a training programme for church planters, one phrase in particular stuck with me. We were told that a good church planter/leader was an ‘agile learner’. In other words, somebody who had not shut up shop but was still reading, observing, listening and processing almost all of the time. They had not shut themselves down to people outside of their tribe or to people with new and different ideas. What I have learned is that a good leader does not shut down if the person opposite him is not from his tribe, is slightly irritating and may not even be sound (as I define it). We need to be fighting these (sometimes sinful) urges inside us by considering the following.
I believe most—hopefully all—of us can agree on one vital indicator of health: People in our churches should be telling others about Jesus and inviting them to worship services. And ironically, successful churches in this area will often be viewed as unhealthy. Why do some healthy churches look unhealthy from the outside?
I don’t write this to downplay the significance of a sincere apology—without them, reconciliation and the healing of hurts can never happen. What I’m referring to is the culture of obligatory public apology that fills our TV screens and newsfeeds with insincerity. It’s risky to challenge any apology since it calls motivation into question, but sometimes it’s as clear as a 7-year-old’s self-defense tactics.
I’ve managed to provoke a wide range of responses and emotions in my recent post on homosexual behavior and the human conscience. The response isn’t altogether surprising. It’s representative of the climate and world we live in. As many evangelical leaders have pointed out, we’re at the point now where there’s no longer any dispassionate position on homosexuality. You can mention it once in 20 years like Louie Gigglio, or you can be a former homosexual who only sings and preaches the grace of Christ like Donnie McClurkin, and you will find yourself vilified for opposing this behavior. It’s a time for God’s people to be full of grace and truth, sacrificing neither and proclaiming both.