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When you hear the words “church government,” what do you think? Members’ meetings? Elder board rooms? Fights over the budget or the color of the carpet? Too often it can seem that way.
Yet church government should involve so much more. In fact, it should tie into the everyday life of the church. And everyone has a role to play.
Boys need their moms—I am convinced of it. Even teenaged boys, boys who are nearly men. I see this when I look back at my own life. It wouldn’t be overstating it to say that my mother was my primary counselor and most trusted companion through those turbulent teenage years. It’s not that I didn’t have peer friendships, but that none of those friends influenced me as much as she did. I would often spend that time between school and dinner chatting with her while she prepared our meal. I would come along with her on errands just so we could talk. I confided in her and depended on her wisdom and her interpretation of my thoughts and feelings. We talked about girls and God and pretty well everything else I was thinking and experiencing. I relied on her for physical affection. In so many ways I wanted to be like her, to model much of my life and character after hers. It was really only when Aileen entered my life that this friendship, this dependency, began to diminish. The relationship I enjoyed with the most important woman in my childhood slowly declined as the relationship with the most important woman in my adulthood increased. The first had in some way prepared me for the second.
The most Canadian song ever
I don’t think this kind of moment is unique to me. In fact, the temptation to let social media monopolize our waking thoughts isn’t so much a “bug” of the mobile information age as it may be a feature. That realization is precisely what led Alan Jacobs, professor of humanities at Baylor University, to unplug from most social media—for good. Jacobs wrote last December of the measures he has taken to withdraw from the tug of constant online connection, including unfollowing everyone on his Twitter account (so as to make his profile simply a place where his new writings can auto-share) and downgrading from a smartphone to a “dumb, dumb phone.”
I started this blog last year to help pastors and church leaders because I love the local church. Leaders and laypeople alike are some of God’s greatest gifts to us, and I love being in the dozens of churches where I speak each year. At the same time, though, laypersons sometimes have misperceptions of pastors that I think hurt their leaders. Here are some of them.
I watched this video for the first time the other day, and when it ended, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Man. He is so, so close. But still so far away.” Naturalistic, atheistic existential sort of philosophies have always boggled my mind in their inconsistencies, but if you’re not going to be a Christian, it seems to me that this sort of pantheistic Eastern spiritualism makes the most sense.