I’ve been out-of-pocket, hence the deafening sound of blogging crickets. But on to more important matters.
If you’re an elder/pastor/shepherd/overseer, or have any aspirations to elder (or know someone who does), then this 30 minute Mortification of Spin podcast on elders and wives with Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt is priority listening.
Really–if possible, right now turn off your cell phone, stop surfing the web, reading e-mail, etc. and just listen carefully to the podcast for a mere 30 minutes. I cannot commend it highly enough. And after you’ve listened to it, if you’re married, listen to it with your wife. Like me, you’ll likely have some repenting to do.
(Now why are you still reading this?)
Two great books on church, mission, community, and the Gospel are on sale for a paltry $1.99 (e-book format) till August 6:
While both are excellent, Total Church (which was published first) is essential reading, while Everyday Church is more “how to put it all together.”
Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, the books’ co-authors, are experienced practitioners of a church planting group in England. Both books are robust with biblically/theologically sound content.
Whether you’re a pastor/elder, aspiring church planter, small group leader, or anyone with any degree of influence in a local church, pony up the $4.00 for some great reading on minimal church centered on the Gospel.
I am not, of course, saying, ‘Do traditional church well and mission will follow.’ Far too much traditional church has consisted of too much tradition and not enough church. What I am saying is, think through the hope that is ours in the gospel; recognize the renewal of creation as both the goal of all things in Christ and the achievement that has already been accomplished in the resurrection; and go to to the work of justice, beauty, evangelism, the renewal of space, time, and matter as the anticipation of the eventual goal and the implementation of what Jesus achieved in his death and resurrection. That is the way both to the genuine mission of God and to the shaping of the church by and for that mission.
—Surprised by Hope, p. 270
The church my family and I attend is a recent church plant. It has a large number of college students and younger professionals. There are few older people (i.e. 40 years old and above). There’s a balance of single and younger married couples. A fair amount of the congregants didn’t grow up in a church context, so church life is fairly new to them.
It is in this varied context where I have been leading a small group for almost a year. Every week (with nary a break) we meet over a nice meal and drink, and launch into lively discussion. Recently, someone likened our group to the United Nations, as it is very racially and ethnically diverse. It really is interesting to behold.
Now, you might think we are doing something novel, something exciting, something, well, sexy, to draw a younger hip crowd. And I wouldn’t blame you for thinking such things.
But you’d be wrong.
So what are we reading and discussing each week that draws a diverse yet committed crowd of people (Christians and otherwise)?
And the book we read and discussed before that? This one.