In Case You Missed It

Keelan Cook proclaimed in a recent blog post: “Missions is changing, and we need to keep up.

Our great-grandchildren will read about this moment in church history textbooks, if the Lord does not return first. Global changes are taking place that will forever affect the way churches fulfill the great commission, and our generation is standing at a major turning point in the history of the church.

I like to call this change the democratization of global missions. That is really a fancy way of saying that for the first time in history, every, single member of your local church can be directly involved in international missions. I am not referring to praying for missionaries or giving to support their cause. These crucial tasks have always been available to church members, and they are perhaps more important than ever. But now, every member can actually participate in cross-cultural ministry.

Chuck Lawless addressed the issue of why pastors have few deep friendships in a recent blog post:

I’ve heard it so many times that I almost expect it: pastors are lonely. They often minister among people they say they love, but don’t know well. They have few deep friendships. Here are 10 reasons why we struggle with finding friends.

At First Things, Peter Leithart published an article discussing what we get from worship.

It is often said that we come to worship to give and not to receive. That is a dangerous half-truth.

Praise, thanks, adoration are all part of worship, of course, and God delights in our praise. But in worship as in all of life, we have nothing to give unless we have first received. We give praise to God because He first gives gifts to us, and our gifts to Him are simply an Amen to His gifts to us. We come to worship to receive, so that we can give.

Earlier this week Thomas S. Kidd published and article which addressed the issue of how and when to say ‘no’. Dr. Kidd writes:

When do you say no? How do you choose between many promising-sounding opportunities? And how do you say no without seeming like a prima donna?

The key to this discussion is grasping that you need to focus on your core calling(s), and that the nature of your work in those callings changes over time. For example, if you are single, or if you are married with no kids, or are empty nest, then the question of saying no looks different than if you have kids at home. Or if you are a doctoral student writing your dissertation, saying no looks different than if you are a tenured full professor.

The basic principle is that a modicum of success or career progress, or additional family responsibilities, normally requires more saying ‘no.’ Instead, people often keep trying to shove more stuff into their schedule, leading to mediocrity across the board.

Finally, Amy Medina, who is has been serving in the East African city of Salaam since 2001 recently published an article: “Sometimes Africa Scares Me.” Pray for Amy and her family as there is potential for some political unrest where she is located:

The elections are two weeks from today.  But what can we do?  We stock our pantries; we fill up our gas tanks.  And we pray:  for peace, and for a government with integrity.  We pray for safety but remember that’s not always the most important thing.  Instead, that the gospel might go forth, no matter what.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.  

Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.