Leadership Links 12/18/2019

PREACHING

10 reasons why your sermons shouldn’t be too short or too long (Jared C. Wilson): It is a perennial question pondered by the preacher — how long should my sermon be? In general, I agree with the dictum that the best sermons can’t be too long and the worst sermons can’t be too short. But all things being equal, I do think there’s such a thing as a sermon that’s too long and a sermon that’s too short. Here I suggest five reasons for each error. Read more at For the Church.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

Grace-fueled obedience is absolutely necessary for Christlikeness (Steven Lawson): Throughout one’s Christian life, John claims that genuine believers will continue to “keep his commandments.” “Keep” is in the present tense, indicating an ongoing obedience throughout the entirety of a believer’s life. Here is the perseverance of the saints. All who are born again will pursue obedience to the end. “Commandments” is plural, indicating obedience to the full spectrum of the divine requirements. Following Christ does not allow for selective obedience. Rather, we must obey all the commandments of God, not merely the convenient ones. Read more at Ligonier Ministries.

Ten ways materialism brings us to ruin (Randy Alcorn): Materialism begins with our beliefs. Not merely what we say we believe—not our doctrinal statement—but the philosophy of life by which we actually live. So even though true Christians would deny belief in the philosophical underpinnings of materialism (they couldn’t be Christians if they didn’t), they may nonetheless be preoccupied with material things. Materialism is first and foremost a matter of the heart. Read more at Eternal Perspective Ministries.


EVANGELISM

6 tips for sharing Christ with skeptics (Dan DeWitt): Sharing the gospel with skeptics isn’t an endeavor to take lightly. In addition to risking your public reputation, you’re forced to come face-to-face with your true convictions. Your views will be laughed at, and your commitments scorned. Unless you’re adequately established, you’ll be tempted to dilute your beliefs in order to earn credibility. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

8 marks of evangelistic churches (Chuck Lawless): Most churches in North America are not evangelistic. My role as Professor of Evangelism and Missions, though, allows me to learn about churches that are breaking this trend. Here are some characteristics of these churches. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.


CHURCH

You’re not a healthy church unless you care about Titus 2 (Sam Emadi): If you don’t care about equipping women to teach other women you’re not a healthy church. Many recent conversations about women in the local church focus on matters of representation or the need for more prominent female voices in the church’s life. Those are important matters. But the main reason your church should care about women discipling women is because God cares about it: it’s in the Bible. Read more at 9 Marks.

1 simple step to encouragement (Al Gooderham): My simple one step to encouragement is this: turn up.  Be there.  Attend.  Encouragement begins with your presence – because you can’t encourage others if you aren’t there. Read more at Al Gooderham on WordPress.

9 good reasons to attend church weekly (Thom Rainer): Why is it important for us to attend church services regularly, usually weekly? Allow me to share nine reasons. Read more at ThomRainer.com.


WORSHIP 

A textbook pastoral prayer (Tim Challies): A couple of Sundays ago, Paul Martin prayed a pastoral prayer at Grace Fellowship Church that I think stands as a textbook example of how a pastor can pray for his people when they gather to worship. If the pastoral prayer is the time for the pastor to intercede before God on behalf of his church, I believe he did so in an especially powerful and effective way that Sunday. Please read and benefit from it. Read more at Challies.