Each Saturday we point you to the best preaching, leadership, and ministry content we have encountered on the internet during the week.
Links of the Week
I once had an unexpected, startling confrontation with another Christian. I was a speaker at a conference and walking from one event to another when an individual came charging up to me. He got right up in my face, like a batter arguing strikes with an umpire, and began to tell how I had offended him. I quickly learned I had done something he found irritating and he wanted me to know all about it.
We look at the preaching giants of history in awe and wonder. How did they do it? They speak with golden tongues, dispensing endless pearls of wisdom. It’s almost like they could do no wrong—like they could fart on stage and three people would give their lives to Christ!
Recently I was moving some books around on the shelf, and was drawn into reading around in a book I hadn’t read in many years. I was noticing my highlights, now faded on the page, and remembering what in my life had brought such things to mind. I put the book back on the shelf and thanked God for using the book the way he did in my life–to change me, in ways I know about and, I’m sure, in some ways that I don’t. This caused me to jot down a thought experiment of seven books that have changed my life.
The most robust people-connecting organization in the world is Facebook. This online tool is doing more to develop community and relationships than anything else in human history.
Work is a gift, and work ethic resides in men and women of character, but in our idolatry, we can easily make work our god. Pastors have warned me, “Ministry can be a great place to hide out and a great place to burn out.” Ministry can be a haven for the workaholic. In most jobs overwork feels sinful and neglectful, but when serving in ministry, overwork can wrongly feel holy. Ministry can attract workaholics, those who find their worth in their work and can’t walk away from it, and give them a reason to justify their addiction. The strokes and accolades that come to ministry workaholics can add fuel to the addiction.
I believe what we need in our day is not to presume the ineffectiveness of the Holy Spirit working through the preached Word but to repent of our decades of pragmatic methodology and materialist theology and to reclaim the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the power of salvation for anybody, anywhere, any time. The United States desperately needs churches re-committed to the weird, counter-cultural supernaturality of biblical Christianity. And this means a re-commitment to rely on the gospel as our only power.
Here are what I would consider to be 10 life changing sermons that I’ve heard (either in person or online) over the past 15 years:
I had a troubling conversation with one of the best church volunteers I know. After faithfully serving in his role for over 15 years, he is strongly considering resigning his position.
Last night I walked out of the room shaking my head.
God, I don’t know how you pulled this off, but this team is simply amazing.
You realize by now that influence is a precarious thing.
What can take years to build can be lost or squandered overnight. It happens every day to leaders, and often they’re the last to see it.
How Collective Feedback Creates Clarity and Innovation…