In previous decades Wilkes County was known for moonshine, but today prescription drug abuse along with methamphetamine addiction is prevalent. Nearly half of our county identifies as “None” when asked about denominational affiliation. While many evangelical congregations scatter Wilkes County’s 70,000 residents, great need exists for churches to engage the prevailing socioeconomic and moral challenges with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Below are six important insights about Bible Belt Christianity.
Nine things might be overstating it, but there are many helpful points here.
We are fanatics for productivity. Some of us are like miniature corporations ticking off our project objectives and meeting our target points. And for many, productivity is the canon for self-evaluation.
I started to realize this about myself early in my marriage when I would get flustered by changed plans. A late wife, a crying baby, a crashed computer. When these things kept me from accomplishing my goals, I would grind my teeth and try to quell rising frustration.
Jonathan Howe gets it.
So after moving to Nashville almost six years ago, I still looked for ways to serve a local church body. I became a teaching pastor at a church and led a Sunday School class for young married couples before I began serving churches as interim pastor. My second interim was a church right where I live, just a few minutes from our home, and I loved and connected with the people very early on. In time they asked me to move from being interim pastor to serving as bi-vocational senior pastor. I was honored and prayerfully jumped at the opportunity. And I greatly underestimated the weight of being the senior pastor. I calculated correctly the time it would take to prepare sermons, meet with pastors on the team, and give direction to the church. I scheduled, blocked off, and fiercely protected the appropriate time. But no amount of time management can decrease the weight of being a senior pastor. It is no exaggeration to say that being an interim preacher weighs less than 1/10th of being the senior pastor—even when the senior pastor is “bi-vocational.”
If you’re looking for a helpful book to add to your reading list or to share with someone who wants to know the basics of how to read the Bible, I’d highly recommend Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul.
A favorite (book review) from the archives:
Some time ago, an excellent article appeared online reminding us that “pixels are people.” Behind every podcast, blog, and book we consume, there is a living, breathing human being made in the image and likeness of God.
Including those with whom we disagree.
Perhaps nowhere is this point easier to forget than in the origins debate. For some, this is a clear dividing line—if you subscribe to evolution in any form, you’re selling out the gospel. Others would rather stick their fingers in their ears and run away than engage the conversation. The debate gets too heated too quickly, and, when we’re not careful, people get burned.
This is what happened to Tim Stafford’s son, Silas. “Silas got burned by the fight over Genesis,” he writes in his latest book, The Adam Quest. Silas loved geology and chose to major in it in college, but his love for this scientific field began to cause friction with friends who insisted the earth is young.