Leadership Links 1/30/2019

PRAYER

3 methods to keep you praying (Trevin Wax): As someone who has struggled to be consistent and regular in daily praying, let me offer three methods that have helped me keep praying. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


PREACHING

Don’t preach microwaved leftover sermons (Jared Wilson): I know more than a few pastors—and overhear many more besides—who cite the busyness of their ministry lives as the reason sermon preparation gets crowded out week to week. They are left to “find” time to work on their message, taking snatches here and there as available, staying up after the family is in bed to work on it or pushing it into the days they (theoretically) have off. Therefore, their sermons are made up of leftover time and microwaved in short bursts—they preach on Sunday “microwaved leftover sermons.” This should not be. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

How expository preaching should engage cultural concerns (Jason Kallen): Some good wisdom here to consider. Read part one at For the Church and part two at JasonKallen.com.


EVANGELISM

Three ways to share the good news like it’s actually good (Caroline Saunders): When we forget the freshness of the message, what’s meant to be vibrant can seem blasé. We shouldn’t be surprised when no one says, “Tell me more about that.” Here are three ways to communicate the “old, old story” in high-definition color. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Four essential elements of evangelism (Derek J. Brown): Evangelism is the faithful proclamation of the gospel (i.e., good news) through which we invite unbelievers to repent from their sin and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, full pardon and justification from God, and entrance into a new life of holiness. Note that evangelism includes four essential components. Read more at Southern Equip.


SPIRITUAL LIFE 

Brokenness (Julie Lowe): The reality is we must allow what we know to be true of God and his ways to reinterpret our brokenness. He is not inattentive, even when he seems silent. He is up to good, even when evil is before us. He is faithful and kind, even in suffering. Lamentations 3:32 reminds us that, “though he brings grief, yet will he show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” If everything in your life feels shattered, take hope in these truths. Read more at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation.

I can’t do this, God (Jon Bloom): We might know, abstractly, that God loves to use weakness and brokenness. We might find it encouraging in a Bible story or missionary biography. We might even teach or preach to others about it. But when it comes to our own qualifications, it’s almost always an unpleasant and perplexing surprise that God wants to highlight our weaknesses. Which is why we, like Moses, sometimes wish God would just choose someone else for the assignment. But God has a very strategic purpose for this design. One that, if we will embrace it, will make our weaknesses become a source of joy, not shame. Read more at Desiring God.

Satan will not leave you alone: Living in a world filled with devils (Burk Parsons): The forces of evil have set their sights on all true believers, and they are unrelenting. Read more at Desiring God.

10 Bible verses to lean into when you feel stressed (Art Rainer): A good list not only for ourselves but to share with others. Read more at ArtRainer.com.

3 incredible attributes of God and how they fill us with peace (Mark Altrogge): Together, the attributes of God’s sovereignty, wisdom and love make a bedrock for us to stand on. If God were only sovereign, but not wise or loving, that would be a scary universe. If he were wise or loving but not sovereign that would be scary too. But because he is sovereign, wise and loving, we can have great peace and confidence that he will guide, direct and work all things for his glory and our good. Read more at The Blazing Center.


CHURCH

The problem with using numerical incentives in church leadership (Karl Vaters): Why do we need the incentive of numerical increase to inspire us to lead our churches according to sound biblical principles? Shouldn’t we all be leading our congregations to be healthy, loving, Bible-believing and evangelistic simply out of obedience to God’s Word? When we require the promise of numerical increase to motivate us to behave biblically, something is wrong. Read more at Christianity Today.

10 marks of a happy church (Chuck Lawless): Once in a while, I get to know a church that genuinely seems “happy.” I know that term is subjective, but I trust you get my point – these churches are just different from the church that is dealing with dysfunction and turmoil. Here are some markers of happy churches. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.