Here are a few articles worth your time.
While flying to Australia, I was catching up on some back issues of Leadership Journal and came across an article I missed-- from an old friend of mine, no less.
Monday Hello -- David Slagle
Every pastor, at some point, receives a Monday hello. It stings, for a Monday hello is, on one level, a rejection. You can put a positive spin on it and spiritualize it, but it will not change the fact that someone became a part of the church you pastor and left the church you pastor, rejecting something in which you have invested blood, sweat, and tears.
Maybe more painful than the Monday hello is the fact that many people will send no Monday hello. They will simply disappear and all efforts to contact them will be fruitless and the only thing they will leave, aside from your church, is questions.
Growing in our ability to respond to Monday hellos and disappearing acts is important for the same reason we need to grow in resolving conflict in a marriage. Both are inevitable. How can I respond in a way that honors God, demonstrates concern, respects the person's decision to leave, and allows me to move on in a healthy way?
• Do not respond right away
• Cry out
• Process it
• FTF, phone, or email
• Respect, inquire, love
I will be doing an interview on this book on an upcoming webcast of The Exchange, but here is an interview in the meanwhile.
A Conversation with Rob Plummer -- Rob Plummer
Editor Rob Plummer's interview with publicist Emily Vaner:
Why do you think there is such an openness from Zondervan at this time to hearing from converts to Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism?
It's undeniable that Evangelicals are converting to Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and some of them are doing so quite publicly. Zondervan is providing a service to the church by allowing for a discussion of this phenomenon. Why are people converting? Rather than speculating, let's listen to them in their own words. Then, let's respond in a respectful way that continues to recognize irreconcilable differences.
Did you set up any frameworks or organizing schemes to help the contributors express their thoughts yet keep a consistent list of elements for discussion?
One of my main goals as editor was to keep the tone of the book peaceable. This was not difficult because of the gracious contributors. But I didn't want to give the writers a pre-written script. I wanted to give them a chance to tell their stories. Also, I wanted the responders to address what they saw as the fundamental theological and biblical issues that were at stake. The resulting product is a collection of fascinating dialogues.
Tim Brister does a good job talking about spiritual gifts.
In the wisdom of God, He has designed that we are all ministers to one another in various ways through a variety of gifts. Have you considered what God is saying about us with the equipment of so many gifts? We are a needy people! You are a needy person. We do not realize how profound our spiritual needs are, but God does, and He has made provision for our needs through the gifts of His Spirit exercised through the lives of His people.
We could extend this exercise through the various lists of spiritual gifts, the point God is making to us is this:
1. We have profound needs in multiple areas of our lives
2. God has made provision for those needs to be met by the gifts of His Spirit
3. Members of the body of Christ supply the needs to one another through exercising the Spirit's gifts
The Christianity Today Out-of-Ur blog recently excerpted (and vigorously discussed) a part of an interview I did several years ago with Mark Dever.
Here are the full interviews: