Here’s a round up of leadership and productivity posts to read this week, particularly from the top ministry blogs I could find. You’ll also find a summary of this week’s content on www.equippinghispeople.com.
Here are the top five posts to read on leadership or productivity from the top ministry blogs I’ve read this past week:
As The Salvation Army (and other churches) continues the debate around membership (and its various forms) and inclusion, I found this article particularly challenging. Barry suggests in today’s climate, it can seem self-evident that the right course of action is to make it easier to become a church member. What if there were fewer doctrines to which people had to give assent? What if, once someone became a member, we asked less of them in terms of their responsibilities to other members? It seems obvious: if you lower the cost, more will buy. In fact, what if we just ditched the idea of membership altogether? But he quotes Aaron Renn who makes the case that contemporary Christianity has “low group cohesion,” because it offers a “structurally weak community.” In other words, the problems you may face with waning or stagnating membership is because your Christian community doesn’t give you much if you join, and doesn’t cost you much if you leave.
My own experience is that we’ve always had a problem with people bringing Bibles to worship meetings in The Salvation Army. I think back to my childhood, and don’t remember seeing many. But it seems to have gotten worse with the advent of presentation screens, where the Bible passage is put on to slides for everyone to see. Phil suggests the problem might be a symptom of a bigger problem, saying that research shows only 19% of churchgoing Christians read the Bible daily; only 25% of churchgoing Christians read the Bible “a few times” a week and 40% of churchgoing Christians read the Bible “once a month, rarely or never.” He concludes: “We wonder why Christianity continues to lose credibility in the world, and one of the biggest reasons appears every Sunday morning when Christians don’t even value scripture enough to bring it, read it and study it”. Ouch!
Scott says our difficulties can lead us to lose a true sense of who we are. We hear the negative voices in our head and pay more attention to the taunts of our soul’s enemy than we ordinarily would. Then we lose a genuine sense of who we are as followers of Jesus. Scott has the answer.
What happens when things go wrong in worship? Matt reminds us that all Christians are imperfect. “God knows what we really need — not a slick service, free of distraction, led by seemingly perfect people. We need to gather with his family, a community of weak and error-prone people, to be reminded that we are all imperfect. We need to learn to love those who make mistakes and value them because they are in Christ, not because of how well they “perform.””
6 Ways To Use PowerPoint (Yes, PowerPoint!) To Help Your Audience Become Better Listeners by Karl Vaters
Agh! Death by PowerPoint. Karl makes some great points about how to avoid it when preaching and teaching. Regular readers will know I think Karl’s blog is a top ministry blog, and this post is no different.
And why not look at some of the www.equippinghispeople.com posts to read you may not have seen this week:
- Self Denial: The Salvationist’s Most Effective Weapon
- Salvation Army Soldiership: A Radical Lifestyle
- We Believe | A Voice for the Voiceless (Proverbs 31:1-9)
- Bible Message Podcast: We Believe | It’s Your Call! (1 Timothy 6:11-21 CEV)
- I Want to Live Right | Watch Your Mouth! (James 3:1-12)
- Bible Meditation: Chewing on Scripture
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