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- Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story by Trip Lee—$2.99
- Hope Reborn by Tope Koleoso & Adrian Warnock—$3.82
Earlier this week, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted the 2015 For the Church conference. The conference messages are now available online, so if, like me, you weren’t able to attend, be sure to check them out at your leisure.
Digital technology spawned an entirely different reality. One could seek out pornography with no one knowing, and with the promise that no one would ever know. One could continue to try to feel good about oneself because the porn was part of something one was already doing—surfing the web—and one could pretend that one just happened to find oneself in a bad Internet neighborhood. What has been the result? The result is a pornography industry that has weaponized itself—leaving shame and guilt and broken marriages all over the world, especially among those who thought red states or Bible belts were force-fields against the Sexual Revolution.
The present reality is a strong pull on leaders. When a leader wants to rise above the day and look to the future, the urgent can quickly pull a leader back to focusing on today. The problems and challenges of today threaten to stop leaders from looking to the future, and from learning from the past. When leaders want to work on the organization/ministry, there is plenty to work in.
If you only look at the present, you are not leading well.
The Internet is in charge of everything. It is the authoritative word on ethics, morality, decency, politics, and now church discipline. Don’t believe me? Spend more time on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll be brainwashed in no time.
Sadly, we often see Christian leaders fall – affairs, leadership blow ups, ethical misconduct. Once upon a time that meant they worked through any discipline within their context (church, organization, etc.) toward restoration. Now, though, the Internet is in charge. This means that the Internet is where we look to see how discipline and repentance work.
It is an 11 step process.
When I look out upon our congregation on Sunday morning I see a wide spectrum. I see faithful and mature folks who have been walking with the Lord for decades and then some who have been Christians for only a few months. I see people in their 60’s and then folks in their 20’s. In addition to that there are many little 5 year-olds staring up at me trying to understand. There are people from a completely biblically illiterate background and then there are those who have grown up in evangelical churches but never heard the gospel. Then there are many guys who are running hard theologically and wanting to be challenged and fed.