Featured Articles on Trans·formed This Week
5 Reasons the Ascension Matters. I can just picture the disciples standing there, staring into the sky like a bunch of kids watching all their balloons float away. The Messiah rode off into the sunset. What is that all about? Why wouldn’t Jesus stick around? You’d think a few thousand years would be enough waiting already. Did he really need to take off and make us wait longer? That’s like telling the kids on Christmas morning that they’ll need to wait until New Year’s to open their presents.
Big Church, Small Church. The rise of the mega-church is a commonly known phenomenon that’s now decades old. [...] Meanwhile, an interesting counter-movement is also well underway. The number of home churches is exploding. It’s hard to know the numbers since so many of these congregations fly under the radar, but most of us in church leadership circles recognize that we hear of and see more and more small churches sprouting up all over.
Depression: Hurtful Things to Avoid. She responded, “I have had the plan of killing myself on my fiftieth birthday.” I stopped and looked at her, trying not to let my alarm show. I said, “And now?” Susan broke into a big grin and responded, “Plans have changed. I want to celebrate what is good about my life with my friends and family. Suicide is no longer on the table.” Susan had decided to fight the grave pull of depression rather than give into it. She was clearly winning the fight.
How To Stay Young. One of the things I have noticed at the athletic club is that there are a number of guys, like myself, who are working hard at “staying young”. Nonetheless, it’s pretty evident that age is winning out; we are not staying young. But we still work at it. After our routines, be it on the tennis court, in the pool, or at the weightlifting machines, we converge and talk (which sounds strangely like the locker room chatter I remember in high school). Guys still try to talk big, tell jokes, and in general ways attempt to prove their manhood.
Other Posts of Interest from around the Web
- 11 Mental, Emotional & Spiritual Challenges Unique to Rural Pastors. If you are a rural church pastor what experiences have you had with any of these? Or perhaps you could add some that I have failed to mention. If you are thinking about going into rural ministry… you need to talk with the congregation about some of the things on this list if you value your marriage. If you are in the congregation of a rural church you need to take this to heart for the sake of your pastor and his family.
- The Cost of Church Revitalization. “Church revitalization does not happen much, but it does happen sometimes. I have been struck by how infrequently it actually occurs.” Talk about sobering! Church revitalization is possible, but it’s rare. According to statistics, most existing churches are in a state of plateau or decline. The good news is that these churches can be turned around, at least in theory. The bad news is that most of them will never pull out of their decline.
- The Craft of Life-Changing Preaching. At that late hour you will settle for a surface scan of the passage and call it a sermon. You will pirate the work of others even if you don’t know you’re doing it, and you will have little ability to portray the radical confrontation and encouragement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because you have not taken the necessary time, you will preach depersonalized doctrinal bits and pieces disassociated from the gospel of grace.