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What I Read Online – 09/26/2012 (p.m.)

27 Sep
    • Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.[1]
    • There are thought to be more than 40 different street gangs in New Zealand. One estimate from the police association puts the number of full members at 6,000 with a further 66,000 “associate members” – partners and other family members involved in gang behaviour. That’s within a population of just four million.
    • The most helpful criticism is given in the context of mutual brotherly love
    • Be sure your motives are right. I’ve observed in some critics an unhealthy appetite for debate.
      • Sunday afternoon or Monday. Your pastor is already drained from the weekend’s output. Give him 48 hours to rest before sending that e-mail.
      • Sunday morning before the service. Don’t hit him with questions about last week’s sermon just before he goes into the pulpit. In fact, try not to ask questions about anything. Let him focus on the task at hand.
      • While he’s on vacation. Save it for when he’s on the job.
    • Criticize the right things. Your pastor doesn’t need you to flag every pulpit peccadillo.
    • Be careful. It’s dangerous to sit under the ministry of God’s Word with a critical ear.
    • Take your critics seriously. Almost every criticism contains a germ of truth.
    • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep up a healthy sense of humor. If you really mess up and someone tells you, relax. You’ll get another chance next Sunday.
    • Process criticism with others. None of us is objective when it comes to our own sermons.
    • Seek out helpful critics. Spurgeon said, “A sensible friend who will unsparingly criticize you from week to week will be a far greater blessing to you than a thousand undiscriminating admirers if you have sense enough to bear his treatment, and grace enough to be thankful for it.”
    • Never forget the greatness of the task you’ve been given. Preaching may be your job, but it’s not about you. It’s about the glory of God, the magnificence of Jesus, the beauty of the cross, the power of the resurrection, and the transforming power of the Spirit-breathed Word.
    • And one more thing: if you get the opportunity to sit down and discuss your sermon with a critic over coffee or lunch, be sure to pick up the tab.
    • I will continue to pray and trust that suffering has a purpose even when I cannot see it. I will pray with one eye on the back-story and by faith with hope-filled longing for the glorious end-story for forgiven sinners like me (Colossians 3:1-4). I groan inwardly as I wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 27/09/2012 in Current Issues

 

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