Leadership Links 1/16/2019

SHEPHERDING

When discontent sheep show up (Nick Kennicott): Most pastors and elders have heard the complaints of visitors coming from other local churches. It is not uncommon for believers to grow discontent with their circumstances and begin looking elsewhere for a new church family at some point in their Christian lives. In America, it is all too easy to leave one congregation and join a new one a few steps down the road; but, pastors, elders and churches need wisdom to know how to engage discontent sheep. Read more at Reformation 21.

CHURCH

It’s time to regain first-generation faith (JD Greear): Second-generation faith is death to any movement. It is time for us and every church like us to regain first-generation faith, because God is not finished with his church. Read more at JDGreear.com.

8 attitude adjustments for church life (Philip Nation): As a church leader in the modern days of the West, temptations abound to read the insightful book, attend the impactful conference, or dream up the innovative plan that will leverage growth in a congregation. But before you initiate the next version of the old 2020 Long-Term Vision Strategy Looking Forward to Tomorrow Plan… allow me to offer up a suggestion. The culture of your church may need help. Whether it is growth, development, or a complete overhaul, make sure that the people are ready in heart and motivation for the movement that a new strategy will bring. Here are 8 attitude adjustments that may help your local church life. Read more at PhilipNation.com.

How to kill a church (Jared C. Wilson): Want to fatten a church for slaughter? The steps are below. This is a true story. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

SPIRITUAL LIFE

Three precious words for the troubled soul (Sam Allberry): It has been happening most mornings recently. I’ll wake up feeling crushed and exhausted. Condemnation. I’m doing everything wrong. And everyone knows it. It feels like when I wake, the whole human race rolls its eyes and sighs, Oh. It’s this guy. I don’t know why this happens, just that it does, and that it feels utterly real. And if this is what others think (and why wouldn’t they?), then what must God think? After all, they only see the outside of my life; he sees the inside. There’s no excuse for someone like me. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

10 triggers for godliness (David Murray): If you want to increase godly habits in your life, increase godly cues in your life. If you want to decrease ungodly habits, decrease ungodly cues. A cue is a trigger, a stimulus, that spurs your brain to initiate a behavior. Read more at Head Heart Hand.

Should Christians practice mindfulness? (Timothy Lane): If you are alive and reading these days, you have probably heard the term “mindfulness.” You might know people who are practicing mindfulness to help them navigate the pressures of daily life. Maybe it’s used in your school or workplaces as a tool to reduce stress and boost creativity. In recent years mindfulness has been promoted by public health bodies as a way to promote mental well-being, and as a treatment for depression and anxiety. The guided meditation app Headspace—one of dozens you can find in your app store—has been downloaded over 31 million times. So what should Christians make of the mindfulness trend? Should we jump on the bandwagon? Should we be suspicious and hold it at arm’s length? Or is there another way? Read more at The Good Book.

LEADERSHIP

8 signs that you’re leading on the defensive (Chuck Lawless): In a football game, the defense matters. In the local church, though, being on the defensive as a church leader is not a strong posture for leading. Check these markers of leading on the defensive, and see if any characterizes you. Read more at ChuckLawless.com

5 leadership practices churches should adopt from Chick-Fil-A (Joy Allmond): Mark Miller, vice president of high performance leadership for Chick-fil-A, recently addressed a group of pastors and denominational leaders at LifeWay’s Church Partners Summit. Based on his decades-long career at the successful franchise, here are five pieces of advice he gave on how to create an environment where existing and emerging leaders can flourish. Read more at Facts & Trends.

EVANGELISM

Is evangelism harder than it used to be? (Randy Newman): If we ever thought evangelism was easy, we failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation. If we ever relied on the power of our reasoning skills or the strength of our apologetic arguments, we succumbed to an arrogance that trusted in ourselves rather than God. Somewhere along the way, we forgot that people are “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). We thought they were just confused or misinformed or ignorant. We slipped into thinking people needed answers more than a Savior. But evangelism isn’t just difficult. It’s impossible. And that’s actually liberating. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

6 needed shifts for reaching the next generation (G’Joe Joseph) …over and over, my team is ministering to an audience completely unprepared to hear the gospel.  After scores of similar conversations with unprepared audiences, our team has been shifting its approach to evangelism. By no means are we proposing that we shift away from clear biblical teaching on important truths such as our legal guilt before God. We are merely saying that shifting intuitions may require new starting places in evangelistic conversations and discipleship relationships. Here are six shifts we believe are critical to meaningfully engage the next generation. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.