Leadership Links 12/19/2018

Stunning Letter From Detained Chinese Pastor Wang Yi, Anticipating His Arrest: We should keep this letter in front of us to remind us to pray and to challenge our own faith. Read the letter at The Stream.


Spiritual Life

What a friend we have in Jesus (Drew Hunter): You were made for friendship with God. God does not just want us to know about him; he wants us to know him — and to experience his friendship. Jonathan Edwards urges us to “Let it be [our] first love to enter into an everlasting friendship with Christ that never shall be broken” (WJE Online Vol. 44). The gospel calls us to trust Jesus as our Savior, submit to him as our King, and value him as our Treasure. It also calls us to enjoy him as our friend. But do you view him this way? What does it mean for him to be our truest friend, and how do we experience his friendship? Read more at Desiring God.

Our moment-by-moment choice: the agony of disobedience vs. the joy of obedience (Chuck Lawless): It’s really this simple, for every one of us. Temptation hits. The enemy wants to entice us across the sin line. The “fun” of sin powerfully pulls us. We have to make a choice – and too often, we choose based on the temporary lure, but without regard for the consequences. I hardly always make the right choice, but here’s how I think about the options. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.

Know who you are not (Marshall Segal): Many of the problems that plague us as Christians begin with misplaced identity. Read more at Desiring God.


Church

The number 1 reason for decline in church attendance (Thom Rainer): Stated simply, the number one reason for the decline in church attendance is that members attend with less frequency than they did just a few years ago. Allow me to explain. Read more at Facts & Trends.

10 bad reasons to not attend church this weekend (Chuck Lawless): I’ve been a pastor long enough to hear a lot of reasons for not attending church – some that just don’t make much sense. Here are some of those reasons I trust you will not use this weekend. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.


Culture / Ministry

Expressive individualism series (Trevin Wax): This fall, I have been writing a series of columns on expressive individualism and its challenge to the church in the 21st century. Several readers have asked me to bring these reflections together in one place for easy access. Here are links to every post in the series. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


Bible Insight

Romans 7: The mature Christian’s struggle (Jordan Standridge): Romans 7 is one of the most controversial passages in Scripture as far as debates are concerned. The big question people ask is, is Paul referring to a believer as he talks through Romans 7:14-25? Even among those who agree that he is speaking about a believer, there is much debate as to whether the person described is a mature or an immature Christian. I take the view that this is describing the type of Christian we should all strive to be. This, in other words, is the most mature of believers, and I have four reasons why. Read more at The Cripplegate.