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When I was a boy, my father always prayed that God would make us “wise beyond our years.” One of the ways that the Lord does this is by surrounding us with friends who are wise beyond their years. If you want to be the best doctor, lawyer, teacher, mechanic, chef, etc. one of the best ways to reach your goal is to study the lives and techniques of those more skillful than you in that field. In the business world, those who excel most are those who surround themselves with those who give wise counsel about what they did to excel and how to best go forward. As the Proverbs explain, “In the multitude of counselors there safety” (Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6). This is, of course, first and foremost speaking of the multitude of counsel in Scripture and from the Lord in prayer–but it also has applicability to the counsel of biblically mature and spiritually-minded men and women that God places in our lives.
Here are seven characteristics of friends with whom we should seek to surround ourselves.
Ligon Duncan gives a thorough response to the Victoria Osteen video that’s been floating around for the last week or so.
Without volunteer labor and ministry, our churches would not exist. The recruitment and retention of volunteers should be one of the highest priorities of church leaders.
While we typically honor our paid labor force on Labor Day, I want to take the opportunity to focus on volunteer labor in our congregations. Specifically, I want to share with you ten ways the most effective churches are recruiting and retaining volunteers. In many cases, they have more than doubled the success of those churches where these approaches are not taken.
Louis Markos shares a novel every Christian should read in Justin Taylor’s new blog series, and it’s a good one: Hard Times by Charles Dickens.
This is some impressive stop-motion work: