7 reasons church members don’t come to prayer meetings (Chuck Lawless): Most of us pastors have led prayer meetings with low attendance—and we get discouraged when only a few people gather to pray. I suspect, though, that we don’t help ourselves when we jump to conclusions that people just don’t care about prayer. Having studied and written about prayer for a number of years, I think these other reasons—reasons I’m convinced we can fix—also contribute to this issue. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
SUFFERING / TRIALS
God will daily bear you up (Scott Hubbard): Our salvation does not rest merely somewhere in the past, at that first moment of repentance and faith. God did save us then. But as long as we are in this world, we need daily saving. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up.” Read more at Desiring God.
No matter where you are, religious freedom is getting worse (Griffin Paul Jackson): A decade of analysis from Pew details what global faith leaders already know: From China to Europe, from the Middle East to the US, persecution is climbing. Read more at Christianity Today.
9 things you should know about the first communion service on the Moon (Joe Carter): This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people in history to walk on the Moon. But it’s also the anniversary of the a lesser known event—the first celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the Moon. Here are nine things you should know about the first communion service on the Moon. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Checkpoints for spiritual drift (Michael Kelley): Drifting is something that happens over time. It’s slow and steady, almost imperceptible. It can happen so gradually in fact that it goes without notice. And just as a boat in a body of water so also is the human heart. We have the tendency to drift. And the real problem with drifting spiritually is that you don’t know it’s happening until it’s already happened. But what if you could? Are there certain checkpoints that, if they appear in your life, you know that the drifting has started? Read more at MichaelKelley.co.
Discipleship from the inside out (Rick Brittain): When a new believer enters the kingdom-family, it is easy to focus them on the things we can measure: attendance, service, stewardship, study, reproduction, etc. And certainly, these things are critical parts of what it means to be a Christ-follower. But what of internal things? What of foundation? Do we owe it to the newborn disciple to offer them a place to live from? I think we do, and I believe Jesus had these very things in mind as He trained his own disciples. Read more on the Replant Blog.
Orientation identity and the church (Barry York): The author observes a troubling trend in some church circles and gives a clear biblical push back to this cultural trend creeping into the church. Read more at Gentle Reformation.
When Christians just don’t read the Bible (Tim Challies): Our church is biblically literate and theologically conservative. Many people have come to it specifically because they crave sound doctrine and expository preaching. It would be tempting to believe that in a church like this the majority of people would be in the Word just as much through the week as they wish to be on the Lord’s Day. But I’ve long since learned this isn’t the case. Even in a church like this, many people struggle to do what they believe they ought to do. Read more at Challies.
5 resolutions for pastoral ministry (Brad Gray): A pastor, sparked by Jonathan Edwards resolutions, gives five of his own that are helpful reminders to all of us as shepherds in the church. Read more at For the Church.
Stop photobombing Jesus (Garrett Kell): The desire for God to be glorified through me is the height of my created purpose. But there is a fine line between wanting God to use you for his glory and wanting everyone to know it. It’s the fine line between pure worship and idolatry. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Should Jesus be the point of every OT sermon? (Jesse Johnson): Does every passage in the Old Testament point to Jesus? Should every sermon on an OT passage point to Jesus? For the faithful preacher, there is not a bigger question to tackle than “how do I as a pastor get my congregation to the cross while staying faithful to the passage?” Read more at The Cripplegate.