Featured Articles on Trans·formed This Week
The Power of Why (Bert Downs): Our church world is much a world of what and how. It needs to become a world of WHY. Why? Because the church holds the greatest purpose, belief, value – WHY – that the world has ever seen and the only one it really needs. When that world sees the WHY lived out it will want to know the WHAT and HOW of becoming part of the winsome yet powerful experience it sees in action.
Understanding Change: Begin with the Results (Chad Hall): Change seems perpetually to be a hot topic among leaders and organizations, no matter the sector of society: businesses, government, education, charity, etc. As a consultant to churches and ministries for over 10 years, I know that the topic of change is incredibly important among Christ-centered organizations, especially churches. I also know change is a complex topic.
You Don’t Know All the Answers (Bev Hislop): It is interesting to me that God never gave a clear answer to Job’s gnawing question of why. Instead God asked Job seventy questions, none of which Job could answer. Job failed the test, realized his own understanding was finite, but he met God in the process. Job repented of his previous assumptions about God and admitted his own lack of understanding, that mankind never has all the facts as God does.
The Worship I Am Longing to Hear About (John Johnson): Each Spring, in my worship course, I give students an assignment to visit a church outside of their tradition. They must attend, engage, and give a brief field report. Each year, the students come back with accounts that range from the mundane to the strange to the fairly impressive. One student attended a Shabbat service at a Messianic church, where the pastor wore a fake beard and antlers to commemorate Purim. Another attended an African America healing center, where the stage became theatre. Another visited God’s Place for the Transformation of This City, where people were slain in the Spirit and demons (in this case a demon of pornography) were cast out of some of the members. Reports can be more domestic—others more bizarre.
What Does It Mean to Deny Yourself? (Bill Mounce): There are many descriptions in the Bible of the path of discipleship and why it is so different from the world, but my favorite is in the book called “Mark,” chapter 8, verse 34. This is the pivotal verse in my life when it comes to how I think about life as a follower. It changed the way I think, and actually led me to write this blog.
Other Articles on Trans·formed This Week
Other Posts of Interest from around the Web
- Earliest Manuscript of the New Testament Discovered? The papyri have confirmed various readings as authentic in the past 116 years, but have not introduced new authentic readings. The original New Testament text is found somewhere in the manuscripts that have been known for quite some time.
- Asking Better Questions: Today I’d like to make a two-part proposal: Let’s stop asking, “How many people go to your church?” And when someone asks us that question, let’s stop providing a direct answer.
- Churches Go Less Formal to Make People Comfortable (USA Today): Comfortable is a theme that’s becoming common among churches taking advantage of new, non-traditional spaces. Across the country, churches are springing up in unexpected locations: movie theaters, skating rinks, strip malls and old warehouses, among others.
- Win a copy of William J. Webb’s Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts.
- The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World (Newsweek): We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.
- Pastors, Don’t Let Your People Resign into Thin Air: If someone tries to resign mid-process in order to “escape discipline,” should the church just let them go? Of course not. That would defeat the whole point of church discipline. Instead, the church must retain the right to refuse someone’s resignation and send them out another way—through excommunication. (I have to admit that I’ve never heard of a church refusing someone’s resignation and kicking them out instead.)
- Prayer Is Your Spiritual Cardio Work: When we pray we are massaging our hearts with the pressure of God’s eternal perfections and subsequently producing in us the enduring praise to the glory of his grace. Prayer both prepares and sustains affections.
- Six Reasons Young People Are Leaving the Church: Six in 10 young people will leave the church permanently or for an extended period starting at age 15….For church leaders, the question is, what will we do about it?