Reader's Picks: Best of 'Leadership Journal' 2013
Who doesn't like to peek over a friend's shoulder to see what they're reading? Well, here's your chance to see what your peers were reading at Leadership Journal this year.
The stand out trend of 2013 was sexuality—four out of our top ten dealt with tensions of sexual identity and culture (little surprise given our full issue on the topic). A runner up was money, with 2 pieces in the top ten. The remaining four? Well, you'll see, but each is certainly a classic Leadership piece—story-forward, practical, and full of earned wisdom from the local church.
Be sure to compare the list to our Editor's Retrospective (written before we pulled the year-end numbers) to see which pieces made both lists!
Which article from the past year has had the most impact on your ministry? Please let us know in the comments—even if you don't see it on this list of 2013's "Greatest Hits."
10: Going to Church Alone - Jason Johansen
"We are not meant to go to church alone. When we refuse our responsibility for those next to us, our gatherings become hollow rituals. But when, in Jesus name, we lay down our lives for one another, we become a powerful witness of God's love. So different from our consumer culture that uses people up and then excludes those no longer useful.
This will not be easy, nor popular, nor comfortable. The tide of culture is against us. What it will be is a revolution—a baptizing, praying, reconciling revolution. The quiet revolution of a family dinner."
9: The Gospel in an LGBT World - Peyton Jones
"When someone from the LGBT community walks through the doors of the church, our approach is crucial. If our first thought is, Are you going to stop "that" and change? we become spiritual TSA agents. Hypocritical ones, too—erecting moral metal detectors and demanding people empty out certain banned sins before we let them fly.
And to be honest, isn't homosexuality the only sin that we make a barrier right from the start? We preach God's grace and explain that God will receive, forgive, and cleanse. We emphasize that they've been given the righteousness of Christ, and that sanctification will follow along their journey. But for many Christians, with homosexuality the change needs to happen yesterday. But as Jesus told the Pharisees, we shut the door of the kingdom in people's faces."
8: Gay Marriage and Christian Volatility - Tony Kriz
"In the late 70s and early 80s, I was just a boy. It was at this time that the AIDS epidemic began to spread in America. I remember the fear. I remember the agitation.
At that time the church community chose to use its extensive power, platform, and influence to condemn the outbreak. We called it the gay-plague. We separated ourselves from it and judged—when we could have loved.
I believe that most of us Christians wish we could go back 30-plus years and use that same power and platform as an influence to love. We could have started hospices, given to medical research, and fought to stand with the infected—"for I was sick and you visited me" (Matt. 25:36). Regardless of our moral beliefs, we could have embraced that moment to stand with the homosexual community in love. We missed it. That was a God-opportunity that we can never get back.