Four reasons the wilderness is not a waste (Dustin Crowe): When we walk through spiritual droughts, we’re tempted to believe this time is an unusable, accidental derailment in our Christian journey. Maybe God was asleep at the wheel or took a wrong turn, but somehow, we’ve veered off the road and gotten lost in this desolate place. But nothing in our life is purposeless, not even our wandering in the wilderness. It’s not our destination, our home, and it’s not even a desired stop along the way, but God has good plans for us in every place He leads us. Read more at For the Church.
6 ways to increase corporate prayer in your church (Jonathan Howe): Like anything in a church, prayer will not increase without intentionality. Your church won’t become a praying church by accident. It takes focus, repetition, and a sensitivity to the Spirit to see a vibrant corporate prayer life in your congregation. That intentionality can be fostered through these six acts. Read more at Facts & Trends.
Can we finally break the silence around Tamar? (Jen Wilkin): Telling the uncomfortable story of “desolate” Tamar positions us to show a kind of compassion King David didn’t. Read more at Christianity Today.
A question to ask every time you open your Bible (Jairo Namnún): Every time you open the Bible, ask yourself: How does the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus affect this passage? How does this text point me to Christ? Let me assure you that by doing this, you’ll get to experience more and more of the eternal life that God has in store for those who are his, and better understand (and love!) the testimony of Christ. Read more at LifeWay Voices.
5 key questions you should ask if your church isn’t growing (Carey Nieuwhof): One of the best things any leader can do when they’re in a tough spot is to stop making assumptions and start asking questions. Our assumptions got us to where we are, but they won’t necessarily get us where we need to go. Here are 5 telling questions every leader can ask when their church stops growing. Read more at CareyNieuwhof.com.
10 people to say “thank you” to this weekend (Chuck Lawless): In the next couple of days, believers around the world will go to church, say “hi” to brothers and sisters, sing a few songs, hear the Word, and then have lunch – all the while missing opportunities to say “thank you” to some faithful Christ-followers. Maybe this list will cause you to think about thanking these folks as you go to church this weekend. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
Was George Whitefield a Christian? Dealing with the tainted legacy of America’s greatest preacher (Jared C. Wilson): What are we to make of evangelicalism’s historical “heroes” who carry with them still a tainted legacy of sin? Such is the question constantly facing the American Church as we contemplate the theological and evangelistic impact of men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, both of whom owned and, at points, defended the sinful institution of chattel slavery. Read more at For the Church.