Leadership Links 6/17/2020

CHURCH

10 reasons to come back to church after Covid 19 (David Gunderson): Many churches are now resuming our meetings, or will soon. But these new services feel strange. Our sensitivities are heightened, our differences are on display, and we have to endure restrictions and protocols that are awkward, inconvenient, and frustrating. Then, no matter how safe we make it, some of our church family still can’t come. With all this in mind, some believers may feel tempted not to come at all. If our restored gatherings are so different and restricted, our online options so available and convenient, and our physical presence a genuine vulnerability, why should we even meet in person? Read more at Crossway.

9 reasons many churches operate in their own power (Chuck Lawless): It seems to me that many churches operate more in their own ability than they do in God’s power. The evidence, particularly of North American churches, is that we’re not making much difference in reaching non-believers and driving back the darkness. Here are some reasons we operate in our own strength. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.

Physical presence is a spiritual gift (David Kakish): I’m grateful that I can call, text, email, FaceTime, or Zoom my small group, members, and accountability partners. It’s amazing that though we cannot meet in person, we can still conduct productive and necessary meetings of deacons or elders. I’m thankful for the ability to record a service. But without a physical gathering, it’s just not the same.  Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


THE GOSPEL 

Revival in Silicon Valley? Many turning to Jesus (Kevin Halloran): But there is a true revival happening inside of each and every one of these corporations. Eyes are being opened to the truth as this fight for civil liberties begins to reveal and expose the undercurrents of evil to the very generation so many thought was lost. Men and women thirty to thirty five years of age who were raised in faith-filled homes are right now reclaiming their faith by quietly, strategically pointing colleagues to truth. This is not our grandmother’s revival. This is most certainly will not be represented in the news. But a true revival is happening and it is harvesting of souls by thousands. Read more at KevinHalloran.net.

The gospel is the best story of all (D. Scott Hildreth): Stories are everywhere. People think in terms of stories. They live out stories. Communities are built around shared stories as much as around shared experiences. People read books, watch movies, and binge watch a series. What’s the lesson here? Quite simply: we love stories. God has made us story tellers and hearers. The gospel is a story and when we learn to tell the gospel as a story, we speak a language that people already understand, and we are also using a language we are comfortable with. Read more at LifeWay Voices.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

8 signs your Christianity is too comfortable (Brett McCracken): Why is it important that we avoid falling into comfortable Christianity? Because comfortable Christianity is far from the costly, inconvenient, idol-crushing, cross-shaped path for disciples of Jesus. Comfortable Christianity has little prophetic to say to a comfortable, consumerist world. Comfortable Christianity has little urgency in mission and little aptitude for growth. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

8 ways to battle comfort idolatry (Brett McCracken): One of Christianity’s greatest idolatries today is also one of the most subtle and insidious: the idolatry of comfort. Widespread especially in affluent Western contexts, comfort idolatry is the product of a consumerist context that frames everything—including spiritual things—in terms of expressive individualism, self-fulfillment, and “bettering yourself.” In this context, going to church is just one among many other curated things (which may also include podcasts, self-help books, juice cleanses, yoga, backpacking, the Enneagram, Jordan Peterson, and so forth) that can add something to one’s unique spiritual path toward wisdom and wellness and becoming a “better person.” Read more at For the Church.

Emerging from groundhog day (Trevin Wax): We’re emerging now from a season that (hopefully) we will never experience again. Now is the time to ask ourselves a few questions. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Peeking into the Devil’s playbook (Robert Spinney): Satan tempts us to compare ourselves to men whom we think are worse than we are. A 10-part series drawing heavily from Puritan Thomas Brooks, focusing on Satan’s strategy for tempting us. Read more at Reformation 21.

What you need to know about the Devil’s tricks (Andrew Menkis): The reality of life for Christians is that we have an enemy. From the beginning of human history, the Devil has been looking for ways to manipulate, tempt, hurt, and ultimately destroy God’s people. One of his oldest tricks is persecution. Today our culture is increasingly setting boundaries that determine what is or is not an acceptable belief. These boundaries are established through messages from news and entertainment media, popular opinion as well as politics. In some areas we even see the government beginning to legislate standards for acceptable religious practice. Read more at Core Christianity.


DISCIPLESHIP

6 reasons churches don’t disciple (Chuck Lawless): I believe more and more churches are working harder at what most churches call “discipleship” (which I define here as leading believers to obey everything Jesus commanded), but many churches still struggle with this task. Perhaps one of these reasons will help you to understand where/how your own church might work to improve your discipleship  process. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.


BIBLE INSIGHTS

Let go of lies about heaven: Eight myths many believe (Randy Alcorn): In an age when people try to make doctrines more appealing by ignoring or twisting biblical truth, here’s the irony — the true biblical doctrine of heaven is far more attractive than the dull, inhuman view of the afterlife that has long prevailed in evangelicalism. Read more at Desiring God.