Here are a few links to love this week!
1. Why Russell Moore Matters, by Rob Dreher
This article is important on a number of levels, but specifically as it deals with issues within the Southern Baptist Convention. I have tremendous respect for Russell Moore – even if he may have overreached during the volatile Presidential election. Quite honestly, it seems this election was more contentious than previous years – sad!
“Russell Moore is many things, but he is not a useful idiot for the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party. I don’t agree with him on everything (e.g., I think I’m more of an immigration restrictionist than he is, but I completely support his advocacy for humane treatment of immigrants, illegal and otherwise), but he has undoubtedly become the most prominent and credible spokesman for small-o orthodox Christianity in the public square than any other church leader, including Catholics and other non-Protestants. Why? Because he’s nobody’s man but Christ’s — and what a rare thing that is among senior Christian leaders who engage in politics and public policy.”
2. The Crazy Story of the Professor Who Came to Stay – and Wouldn’t Leave, by Ian Gordon
“Elizabeth Abel walked up to the front door of her house for the first time in four months and rang the bell. She’d just flown halfway around the world to drop in, unannounced, on the man who’d taken over her home.”
3. 10 Major Trends for Churches in 2017, Thom Rainer
“Renewed emphasis on evangelism. Many church leaders want to know how their churches can better reach the non-Christians where they are. This emphasis on the “Jerusalem” of Acts 1:8 will result in more intentionality in evangelism and, thus, more people becoming followers of Christ.Worship center downsizing becomes normative. This trend was easy to predict. The Millennials are leading the way to attend worship services that are small to mid-size. As a consequence, the huge worship centers have lost their attraction. Church architects and design/build firms will be busy downsizing worship centers.Longer pastoral tenure. This trend is being led by Millennial pastors. These younger pastors do not desire to climb the ladder to larger churches. They are more desirous to stay and make a long-term difference in the community.”
4. Hot ‘New’ Church Growth Method, by Owen Strachan
“A new study just unearthed a remarkable finding: conservative doctrine grows churches.This isn’t necessarily what we’ve heard in recent years. Whether it’s the music, the attractive facility, or the feeling of community, we need something to keep the church growing—something besides biblical teaching. How surprising, then, that David Millard Haskell, Kevin N. Flatt, and Stephanie Burgoyne have found that doctrine grows churches. In their peer-reviewed scholarly article for the Review of Religious Research, a prestigious journal, the trio present findings among mainstream Canadian churches showing that—contra the stereotypes—doctrinally conservative churches that reach out aggressively often grow. Churches that soften biblical teachings and de-emphasize evangelism often shrink.”