Kindle deals for Christian readers
- When Missions Shapes the Mission by David Horner—99¢
- Unlocking the Scriptures by Hans Finzel—Free (ends today)
- Andrew Fuller by Paul Brewster—99¢
- The Mind of Christ by T.W. Hunt—99¢
Today is also $5 Friday at Ligonier, where you’ll find a number of great resources for sale, including:
- God’s Love by R.C. Sproul (paperback)
- Jonathan Edwards Teaching Series by Stephen Nichols (audio and video download)
- Holy, Holy, Holy: Proclaiming the Perfections of God (ePub)
- Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson (ePub)
For years it has bothered me that, although the majority of churches in America have fewer than 300 people, most church leadership advice comes from pastors of huge churches. The assumption that bigger is better pervades the church leadership culture. What if that’s the wrong tack? Here are five reasons your church might be better off focusing on faithfulness instead of success… even if it that means it will Shrink.
Here is the dark side, I think, of the chastity industry: it creates the sense that anyone who has failed sexually is broken and unclean. But this is a repudiation of the gospel. Would it be better if he or she had waited until marriage for sex? Of course it would, and we should not downplay the value of sexual purity for singles and youths. But we do believe in forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. Don’t we? It is one thing if the person is still practicing sexual sin and folly. But if the person is genuinely repentant and committed to honor the Lord with his or her body, then we rejoice in the redeeming grace of our Savior.
And about time, too. Now if Christian publishers would stop producing them.
I’ve been in pastoral ministry since 1980, when I came on staff as a pastor-in-training in our church. I was ordained in ‘81, and became Senior Pastor in ‘82. In the last 30+ years I’ve learned a lot, made plenty of mistakes, and feel like I still have a long way to go. I don’t consider myself an expert on pastoral ministry, but thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned over the years (not in any particular order) to encourage you. So here we go…
I grew up in inner-city Minneapolis and had the chance to interact with people from many different cultures. When I was twelve my family adopted a black baby girl, my sister Talitha, which opened my eyes even more to the ways minorities are treated differently. My high school football team started multiple Southeast Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and Native Americans. Interactions about racial and cultural differences were normal for us. They weren’t always pleasant and it wasn’t the perfect melting pot, but it was a context in which openly discussing race was ok as long as it was done with respect. I appreciated the chance to learn, observe, listen, and ask questions. I graduated and moved to lily-white Wheaton, Illinois for college. My first week on campus I was roundly chastised by a fellow student, a J. Crew type and Northface type, for referring to a friend as “black.” I was told it was “racially insensitive” I realized I had entered a different world, one where well-intentioned whites were both clueless and and stuck when it came to race issues.