Leadership Links 3/18/2020

CORONAVIRUS

A guide for church leaders in the time of the coronavirus (Justin Taylor): At this extraordinary moment, local leaders—people who lead groups of 10 to 1,000 people—have perhaps the greatest opportunity to shape culture in the United States that they have ever had. This is a guide for those of us who are Christian leaders at this moment. Crouch argues that with the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States, we need to rapidly “change the horizons of possibility” in two fundamental ways. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Anxiety, waiting and the coronavirus (Alasdair Groves): Writing about events while they are happening is always a bit dangerous. It’s easy to encourage over-reactions and reinforce unhelpful panic in our hearts. That said, the COVID 19 coronavirus provides us with an opportunity to think about how we respond to anxiety. Specifically, I want to think about how we can handle the particular strain of anxiety that comes when we are waiting for a threat that is gliding toward us, its fin visible above the surface. Thankfully, Scripture knows the fear of impending danger intimately and speaks to it repeatedly. Read more at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation.

8 reminders in these days of panic (Dane Ortlund): These are strange days, days of fear, days of hysteria—in other words, days that simply bring all our latent anxieties up to the surface, anxieties that were there all along and are now made visible to others. What do we need to remember in these days of alarm? Read more at Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology.

10 random thoughts about the coronavirus (Chuck Lawless): President Donald Trump has addressed the nation about it. Political leaders of other nations have done the same in their respective countries. Its news is on almost every station. Its spread has raised conversations about pandemics.“It,” as you surely recognize, is the coronavirus. Here are some of my random thoughts about this virus. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.

How one church is handling the coronavirus: This church’s response to the virus is a good model for shepherding our people. Visit McLeanBible.org.


CHURCH

9 reasons why churches think they’re disciple-making churches when they may not be (Chuck Lawless): I don’t often talk to churches who admit that they’re not disciple-making churches. Most see themselves as making disciples at some level. Here are some reasons, though, why they may see themselves as disciple-making when they really aren’t. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.

How to “disciple” your kids into church dropout status (Jared C. Wilson): A recent LifeWay study confirms the church dropout rate for young adults continues to hover around 70 percent. “The good news for Christian leaders is that churches don’t seem to be losing more students than they were 10 years ago. However, the difference in the dropout rate now and then is not large enough statistically to say it has actually improved,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

10 ways to bridge the generation gaps in churches (Chuck Lawless): In many churches, generation gaps are still wide. I’ve learned, though, that generations often resist one another without knowing each another.  In fact, it’s easy to blame others when you don’t know their names or their stories. Here are some practical ways to close those gaps by guiding the generations to get to know each other. Read more at ChuckLawlesss.com.


SPIRITUAL  LIFE

3 ways to fight your fears (Kristen Wetherell): When we can’t seem to reconcile a good God with hard circumstances, it takes a toll on our trust in him. Our minds spin with unanswered questions: What if my spouse dies in a sudden accident? What if I lose this baby? What if my test results come back positive? What if I don’t find another job? But we often fail to ask the most important question: How can I learn to trust God, no matter what happens? Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Bearing the fruit of peace (Paul Tautges): What does the fruit of the Spirit look like in the arena of peace? What does it look like to be more and more like Christ who is our peace? In Romans 12:16-21, the apostle answers these questions by giving three admonitions. Read more at Counseling One Another.

Sympathy is not the point (Kevin DeYoung): One of the marks of the confusion of our age is that we have come to value feeling the right thing over doing the right thing.That actually may be giving the current mood too much credit. It would be nearer the truth to say we value professing to feel the right thing over doing the right thing. We live in an age of sentimentality where feeling the joys, or particularly the pains, of another (or at least expressing that we do) is considered virtuous in itself. But surely sympathy, while often commendable, is not the main point. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


LEADERSHIP

The root of our leadership problems (Al Gooderham): There is a lack of leaders in evangelical churches in general.  I was at a conference last week which had a healthy focus on training the next generation of leaders.  And absolutely that is part of a pastor’s role, it is essential we are doing that. But I wonder if the real problem goes deeper than that. Read more at Al Gooderham.