Leadership Links 4/17/2019

CHURCH / MINISTRY

Must your church have a ‘vision’? (Steve McAlpine): The gospel of Jesus Christ has enough wisdom, depth, wonder, utility, power, attraction, compulsion, and desire within it to plant and grow a church (Col. 3:6–7). And yet there’s been a church-planting culture over the years that says unless you can come up with some funky, original vision that nails it—or gives the impression that you know what you’re doing and are therefore trustworthy enough to follow—then this thing won’t fly. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

8 critical signposts of a healthy church (Michael Kelley): This article identifies eight domains of the Christian life that lead to spiritual health in a believer. These attributes of discipleship serve as signposts on the pathway of discipleship. In other words, these are the characteristics that ought to be present, in increasing measure, in the life of someone who is growing toward Christlikeness. Read more at Facts & Trends.

When churches can’t do everything (Kevin DeYoung): The simple—yet disappointing—fact is that no local church can do everything there is to be done. Or to put it more pointedly: Your thing may not be your church’s thing. This is usually tough for pastors to communicate and even tougher for church members to hear. And yet, the church and pastor that try to be all things to all people normally end up doing much less than they could be doing for God. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Commitments of a Great Commission church (H.B. Charles, Jr.): What does it mean for a church to be on mission for Christ?Here are ten commitments of a Great Commission church. Read more at For the Church.

Strong churches speak the language of lament (Mark Vroegop): The missing element in our grief was a familiarity with lament—the heartfelt and honest talking to God through the struggles of life. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

The American church has talent but what it really needs is . . . (Mike Leake): The American church has got talent but what we really need are more Priscilla and Aquilas. Think of all the Apolloses who are leading ministries. Great speakers. Knowledgeable. Passionate. Fervent. Gaining a following. Writing books. Headlining conferences. Missing something vital. Read more at MikeLeake.net.


EVANGELISM

A task too big for one: The third person of evangelism (Elliot Clark): No one individual is sufficient to match our calling. Like Moses, each of us has legitimate cause for doubting our abilities as a spokesperson for God. But in our insufficiency, God reminds us of his power and presence with us — and he gives us helpers. We’re not left alone to accomplish this task. We’re members of Christ’s body, and I believe we need to rediscover the value of doing evangelism in this God-supplied community. Read more at Desiring God.


CULTURE

Artificial intelligence: An evangelical statement of principles: We desire to equip the church to proactively engage the field of AI, rather than responding to these issues after they have already affected our communities. In light of this desire and hope, we offer the following affirmations and denials about the nature of humanity, the promise of technology, and the hope for the future. Read the full statement at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

Love actuarially (Jared C. Wilson): Christian, the Lord knows you are not an asset to the organization. He knows what a tangled-up knot of anxiety, incompetence, and faithlessness you are. He knows exactly what a big fat sinner you are. He knew exactly what he was getting into. Eyes wide open, and arms too, he comes to embrace you. He’s not playing the angles, calculating the risks, hedging his bets. Nothing is a risk to the Lord who sovereingly upholds the universe, anyway. He emptied out to go “all in” on you. That’s what love looks like. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Anything less is less than love. Read more at For the Church.

Enjoying God is a command (Sinclair Ferguson): Enjoying God is a command, not an optional extra: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). But how? Scripture gives us insight into how to enjoy God. Read more at Ligonier.

You’re dead, now start acting like it (Chris Thomas): Fellow minister of the gospel: “You’re dead, start acting like it!” — despite others who hold high regard in your tribe, the ones who seemingly publish at will, or have ‘people’ to help manage their speaking schedule — you have everything you need in Jesus. Lay aside the pursuit beside the bruised and battered body of your crucified Lord, and see in his sacrifice the only sufficiency you will ever need. Read more at For the Church.


LEADERSHIP

10 habits of discerning people (Hannah Anderson): What do discerning people do that makes them uniquely capable of navigating a broken, complicated world? At least 10 things. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


SHEPHERDING 

3 things I’d tell my younger pastor self (Dave Harvey): I’ve been in this for more than 28 years. Over the decades, I’ve learned some things I wish I would have known as a freshman pastor. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.