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Tag: Ministry

How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 10)

In the wake of the Enlightenment, we all struggle with a lack of connection to others. Not only has the broader culture become highly individualistic, but so has the church. The small group strategy is a main way to counter this tendency1. While promising, this strategy faces two significant challenges, which I have addressed in my last two posts: difficulty in building deep relationships (often because group members are connected only by geography) and a tendency to deteriorate into a superficial, subjective type of Bible study. I discussed how to address the first challenge two weeks ago; in this post I will propose ways to address the second challenge (though some may not be possible until COVID restrictions subside).

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How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 9)

With the Enlightenment’s shift in thinking, we became much more individualistic. This shift has had some positive consequences but quite a few negative results, at both work and church. Last week I discussed one way the church attempts to respond to the loneliness and lack of community experienced by many in local congregations, and some ways we can do better. This week I’ll outline a second problem many small groups face, and the following week I will suggest some solutions.

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How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 8)

The Enlightenment caused many shifts in our thinking. Last week, I discussed three ways it changed how we think about involvement in a local church. This week I begin discussing a fourth implication of this excessive individualism–the loss of community in our local churches. I also discuss one way this problem is being addressed via two models, one more effective than the other in my opinion.

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How Not To Be A Chronological Snob (Interlude)

C.S. Lewis, the brilliant Oxford and Cambridge professor, observed fifteen differences between the way we are conditioned to think in our modern times, and conflicting ideas, assumptions, and values that those of earlier periods believed to be true. As we identify these differences, it becomes clear that not all new ideas are better. In fact, in these fifteen cases, new certainly does not mean improved!

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Succumbing To A Very Unchristian Idea (Post 2 of 2)

Last week I shared that recently two ministry leaders asked me for input (one on a book he is writing and another on a speaker he is hosting). I had bad news for them. This week I’ll share the email I sent to my friend writing the book on doing business as a Christian (removing any identifying features). I hope that you will more easily spot this unChristian assumption, bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment, and now so deeply entrenched in our culture that it is often hard to resist.

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Succumbing To A Very Unchristian Idea (Post 1 of 2)

Recently two Christian leaders asked for my advice, and I had to give them some bad news. This week and next I’ve decided to share with you my advice (removing names and other identifying information). I do so to surface again how insidious and pervasive non-Christian thought patterns are in our culture, and how easy it is for us, if we are not vigilant, to begin thinking “unChristianly” about important issues, rather than thinking Christianly about everything.

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How to Solve Moral Dilemmas (Post 2 of 2)

Sometimes we face real moral dilemmas—doing one thing we ought to do means doing something else we ought not do. What are we to do when we are in these hard spots? Last week I discussed one solution that won’t work. This week I’ll look at a second option that is better than the first, but still not a good solution. Then I’ll offer what I believe to be the best ways to solve these moral dilemmas.

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Three Lessons To Learn from Jim Sire’s Life: A Tribute

Last Tuesday I lost one of my heroes. Christian speaker, author, and editor Jim Sire passed “from the land of the dying into the land of the living” to a great reward at age 84. He not only had a massive influence on me and countless others through his many books (such as The Universe Next Door, which is one of four books I suggest each parent read with their children before college), he was also a friend and mentor to me and so many others. We can learn at least three lessons from Jim’s life.

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