Everyone loves a good story of redemption. Our joy swells when we hear how someone came to believe in Jesus. Add some candid footage, spacey guitar riffs, and it’s gold. I love it. I’m sure you do too. But I have one bit of counsel when it comes to the video crew.
Slow them down.
Fresh sprouted stories come with a higher risk profile. It could derail before you know it. The story could be dead by next year. I’ve seen it firsthand.
The point is pretty clear. We’re the blind men groping in the dark, and God is the elephant. We’ve got to stop being so narrow-minded and dogmatic and open up our minds a little bit.
Respectfully, as the saying goes, “It’s good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.” I worry that many of the well-intentioned “wise” of our day may have loosened the hinges on their mind a little too much.
Go download a copy of this study guide, and a copy of The Imperfect Disciple if you haven’t already.
While most branches of American Christianity are shrinking, one strand continues to grow—non-denominationalism. But is that the most healthy situation for the faith?
According to a newly released Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who identify with a Protestant denomination has fallen 20 percentage points in just 16 years, from 50 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2016.
We all know loneliness is not a good thing. At the very beginning, God told us that it is not good to be alone (Gen. 2:18). But perhaps it is beyond “not good,” – harmful, detrimental even.
That’s what Billy Baker from the Boston Globe discovered as he researched the effects of loneliness in his article, The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.
What do all businesses, schools, non-profits, and churches have in common? They all have leaders. Leaders are important. They are the ones who determine the vision and set the direction for the future. They are also the ones making sure everyone is equipped to play their part in the organization. Without leaders, organizations flail. They meander around until they disappear. Good leaders are important.
A favorite from the archives:
One of the classic texts for apologetics is 1 Peter 3:15, where we read that we should always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”. Certainly this is true, but we’re missing something kind of important. I was reminded of this afresh as we studied this text together at church on Sunday, and our local missions pastor made an important point:
The primary action in this text is not to make a defense, but to honor Christ in our hearts. Remember, the verse in full reads, “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (emphasis added).