The Read and Share File

Not as many links for this post as I’d like but think these are certainly worth sharing. Click any image to read the related article at its source.

The first is a list of reasons Thom Rainer thinks we should reconsider keeping the old fashion church bulletin. It’s all about making guests feel welcome which may bring them back.

Screenshot 2015-09-14 at 12.11.07 PM

  1. Worship times. Many bulletins are retained for future use. It is thus imperative for the worship times to be prominent in them.
  2. Physical address of church. You want to encourage the guest to return, so include the physical address of the church for their GPS.
  3. Website and social media links. This is a primary means of communication for our culture. Your church must be speaking that language, and guests need to know where to find you online.

Continue reading

Do You Have the Right NOT to Wed a Gay Couple?

Legal opinions vary widely on what the U.S. Supreme Court’s mandate of nationwide same-sex marriage will mean for pastors and government officials authorized to perform weddings.

Some legal experts say government officials charged with performing weddings could lose their jobs for refusing to marry gay couples. But others believe both ministers and government officials likely will have freedom not to perform same-sex marriages that violate their religious convictions.

Continue reading

Silent Wisdom

wise man

The verse of the day from Bible Gateway is Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Our Daily Bread devotional for this day is also focused on being still, quiet, and waiting for the Lord to act.

From deep in The Master’s Table archives: Jesus, often known for saying exactly the right thing at the right time, also knew when to keep silent. Click here for more.

Read James 3. Perhaps we would all be wiser to say less.

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
-Proverbs 17:28

Age of Disinformation

We live in the Information Age. Pretty much the whole of recorded knowledge from all time is available in a few clicks. Most of us use the technology that makes this feat possible to look at funny cat pictures and argue with total strangers. The proliferation of social media and instant publish platforms means that any one of us can have a global audience, but you need a sensational event to document if you want your Facebook post or Instagram pic to go viral. Case in point: How many have seen this image in the last week which supposedly shows Houston under water?

Screenshot 2015-05-30 at 8.11.23 AM

Continue reading

How to Read the Pew Research Center’s Published Findings

Screenshot 2015-05-14 at 6.38.58 AMThe actual title of the article published by the Pew Research Center is America’s Changing Religious Landscape. You can read that article here, at their own website, rather than second or third hand if you wish. The story was reported by media outlets, such as CNN, with attention grabbing headlines like “Millennials Are Leaving the Church in Droves.”

Russell Moore takes a different perspective, suggesting that actual faith is not in decline but rather the false pretense of it. People without true faith have quit going to church to make a show. He suggests people are no longer attracted to “almost Christianity” but that real faith is alive and well. There are not more atheists than there used to be, there are more honest atheists. Please do read his article here. 

Ed Stetzer posted a similar story in USA Today, arguing that while Evangelicals make up a smaller percentage of the population than they did a few years ago their overall numbers have actually grown. While I think Moore’s article is better written, both make the point that raw data doesn’t tell the whole story. How we interpret that data is equally if not more important.

Remembering Internet Monk

Screenshot 2015-04-08 at 7.40.37 PMThe Internet Monk website is alive and well thanks to the efforts of Mike Mercer and some other talented individuals. This week marks 5 years since the passing of the original Internet Monk Michael Spencer. Whether your in the fan club camp or have no idea who I’m talking about, check out this collection of Michael Spencer quotes from the iMonk archives. If you still want some more, check out Internet Monk every Sunday for a series of “Sundays with Michael Spencer.” Continue reading

Please Do Not Feed the People

Screenshot 2015-03-09 at 2.28.28 PMIt made news last November when a 90 year old man was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, FL for feeding the homeless. 33 cities have either banned or are considering a ban on giving food to homeless people. It is not illegal to be homeless and the thinking, which is flawed, is that by cutting off support homeless people will go away. I used to wonder as a child why starving children shown on television didn’t just go somewhere else, where there was food and water. The world is a little more complicated than that, but city leaders are apparently susceptible to that line of thinking.

Loving people, providing for the needy, feeding the hungry, giving to anyone that asks – just one more thing Jesus would be arrested for today.  Continue reading