Leadership Links 1/23/2018

CHURCH & GENDER ROLES

5 myths about complementarianism (Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger): These are myths that may surface in your church, and it is good to address them. Read more at Crossway.org.


THE GOSPEL

Gospel doctrine, gospel culture (Ray Ortlund): Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace, as Jesus himself touches us through his truths. Without the doctrines, the culture alone is fragile. Without the culture, the doctrines alone appear pointless. But the New Testament binds doctrine and culture together. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


PRAYER

We beg you, church members, pray for your elders! (Geoffrey Kirkland): The Christian has no more powerful weapon that is constantly available to him than the glorious privilege of prayer. Intercessory prayer proves to be the greatest — and at the same time, the hardest — blessing that Christians have for one another! We can and must minister biblical truth to each other. Yes we must encourage. And sure we must reprove and confront when needed. But how frequently do we read of Paul begging believers: “pray for us” (1 Thess 5:25; 2 Thess 3:1; cf. Heb 13:18). Faithful shepherds would resonate with this simple plea to every church-member, “Brethren: pray for us!” How, you ask? Pray for your elders in the following suggested ways. Read more at Vassal of the King.

Take them to the tower (Matt Boga): Whether it be your own private prayer, prayer with a friend, or prayer in a group, this may be the best advice I can give you regarding prayer at anytime: lead them to the tower. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” This means that God’s name is the refuge for His children when they’re in need. And prayer is, at it’s heart, a proclamation of our neediness. Read more at Boga’s Blogs.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

If you’re a Christian, you have one job (J.D. Greear): If you don’t do your job, how will it get done? Read more at JDGreear.com.

Why Christians should not be optimists (Akos Balogh): Is optimism the attitude Christians should have, as we navigate this fallen world with all its joys and challenges? It may sound like a strange question: after all, isn’t optimism better than its polar opposite, pessimism? Given the choice between the two, wouldn’t you rather be an optimist? Isn’t optimism a godlike attitude? As provocative as it sounds, I don’t think Christians should be optimists (at least not in that sense). And here’s why. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Worry is practical atheism (Paul Tautges): Anxiety takes God out of the picture, causing us to respond to a situation as if he were not present. That’s what I mean by practical atheism: we are thinking and living as if God has vacated the throne of heaven. Clearly, then, anxiety is no small sin. But not only that, it is not a solitary sin; it spawns others. Worry is a sin that gives birth to ugly offspring. Read more at Counseling One Another.

8 steps for real repentance from Psalm 51 (Catherine Parks): Often we treat repentance as a statement—an “I’m sorry, please forgive me” that checks a box and (hopefully) alleviates our guilt. But if we look closely at Psalm 51, we see that repentance is a turning away from sin and a turning toward God—a process that doesn’t merely alleviate guilt but cultivates deep joy. So how do we grow in a joy-giving habit of repentance? Here are eight steps. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

How to reset your joy in God (David Murray): You started last year with a tankful of gas — overflowing with energy, motivation, joy, and optimism. Twelve months on, you were empty, running on fumes, joyless, and dreading the new year. You wonder if you can even go another day, far less another year. Three questions are on your mind: What went wrong? How can I get refueled for this year? How do I make this year different than last year? Read more at Desiring God.


LEADERSHIP

Five perspectives that help me deal with criticism (Thom Rainer): I am thin-skinned. I do not like criticisms. Perhaps many of you can say both of those statements with certitude. I know exactly how you feel. As one who has received criticisms over the years, I want to share with you personally five perspectives that have helped me deal with them. To be transparent, I don’t always focus on these perspectives. But, when I do, I find God working in me in a redemptive way. Read more at ThomRainer.com.

5 expressions of love in leadership (Dan Reiland): The church does not exist for itself, but for God’s glory. The purpose (Eph. 3:11) is the revelation of God by reconciliation through Christ. My leadership can’t exist for itself, it has to be for God. So how do we carry the love of God and His purpose into our leadership? How do we make this practical? Read more at DanReiland.com.

10 ways to keep your meetings short (Chuck Lawless): Let me get right to the point: I think many, many meetings are too long. Sometimes, what we do in an hour meeting could have been done in a fifteen-minute meeting. Here are some ways to keep meetings short. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.