Recommended reading (30 July)

readingFirst there was road rage and now there’s internet rage. Does “gentle” describe your tone when disagreeing online?

For the dissatisfied pastor/teacher. No platform high enough

If your pastor seems discouraged. One simple way to encourage your pastor

Liberating us to become more hospitable. The point of hospitality

When your best friend is struggling with depression. Serving your spouse during their dark sessions

We all know someone. What to say to a friend with cancer

Recommended reading (16 June)

readingNext week the church I pastor is looking at what we believe about church. What we truly believe will be shown in how we speak and act. Here’s some helpful food for thought on how we approach church.

Brian Borgman The Danger of Seeking your Dream Church

Carey Nieuwhof A Response to Christians who are done with Church

Check out this infographic of the ‘one another’ verses in the New Testament

Keller, Piper and Carson on Thriving Churches in a Hostile Culture



Recommended reading (14 June)

readingThe following articles are helpful food for thought if considering how to encourage people, especially atheists, to consider Christian faith.

Sandy Grant On Good and Bad Evangelism

Stephen McAlpine Christian: Are you Ready for Exile Stage Two?

Nathan Campbell When in Rome: Reframing our Expectations as the Post-Christendom Church

John Gray What scares the New Atheists?

And an old post by Nathan Campbell How to talk to atheists about Christianity

Recommended reading (4 June)

readingWhen it comes to pastoral care, it’s not one size fits all. Nicholas Batzig has written a helpful article on The Complexity of Pastoral Care.

Given the ubiquity of pornography and the many temptations on the internet, buying your child a smart phone is a major decision and needs appropriate guidance. Tim Challies offers helpful advice in his article Letter to teens unboxing their first smartphone.

Having attended three funerals in the past month of friends who’ve died from cancer, I appreciate the gravitas of this article by Marcus Brotherton reflecting on his friend’s life: Five wise principles gleaned from a too-short life of excellence.

Nancie Guthrie shares some insights from experience on What not to ask someone who’s suffering.

I’ve recently read  and reviewed a superb book about Wisdom in Leadership by Craig Hamilton. I expect to repost the review on this site in the future.

Recommended reading (21 May)

reading3 Reasons Why You Aren’t Allowed to Be Theologically Dumb by Chris Martin (no, not from Coldplay). Of course, there are many more reasons but this is a good start.

One of the biggest factors in deciding whether to stay at a particular church is friendliness. Thom Rainer’s post Seven things church members should say to guests in a worship service is so simple, yet so very helpful.

Unlike many of my friends who ride bikes, I’m not that experienced in the world of lycra. However, this article gave me some things to consider. What Wearing Lycra Taught Me About Christian Ministry by Peter Ko.

As a preacher, this is an issue I need to come back to again and again. The missing ingredient in many sermons by Erik Raymond is flavour for our spiritual food.

Recommended reading (19 May)

readingLearning to see by Jean Williams is a beautiful reflection on the way we are, as observed in an everyday glimpse of the creation.

Tim Challies reflects on five lessons he learned from William Zinnser on the art of writing non-fiction. I found much to learn in On Writing Well (5 Big Tips).

Andrew Errington, the author of Can we trust what the Gospels say about Jesus?, has written a helpful article on an important struggle we all face: On Doubt: Ten Thoughts.

If-only discipleship by Brian Rosner reminds us from God’s Word that we don’t need to wait for our circumstances to get ‘better’ before we can grow and serve God.

More practical, good advice from Craig Schafer on Making Meetings Effective: Facilitation Techniques.

Recommended reading (May 13)

readingWhy these 66 books? by Nathan Busenitz is a simple and clear introduction to understanding the canon of Scripture. This article helpfully anchors the basis of defining the biblical canon, not in church councils or decisions, but in Jesus Christ himself.

On the path to the cancer ward by Jean Williams instantly grabbed my attention. Not simply because I know this scenario well, but because I am always encouraged and occasionally rebuked as I read Jean’s sympathetic reflections on suffering in the light of God’s Word.

How to shut down gossip by Erik Raymond tackles the perennial problem of gossip among God’s people. I suspect gossip is one of the respectable sins that we either consider to awkward to address, or don’t want to tackle because we enjoy it too much. If you are wondering, I think ‘RPG’ stands for rocket propelled grenade!

Making Meetings Effective is something we all want to do. I keep hearing people in all walks of life, including and especially churches, lamenting the frustrations of unproductive meetings. Craig Schafer reminds us of the importance of two often neglected tools.

Recommended reading (April 28)

readingFrom time to time I plan to link to some helpful articles and ideas that I’ve been reading, This is my first instalment…

Contentment (1) At a time like this by Jean Williams is the first in a 10 part series on Christian contentment. Jean writes will clarity and a deep understanding of the implications and joys found in trusting Jesus.

Five pieces of advice for young men by Con Campbell is sage advice for men of all ages who are seeking to grow in the likeness of Jesus.

Six myths of discipleship by Col Marshall helps us to see that discipleship is the essence of being Christian, rather than a particular process for a select few.

Seven Basics for Better Staff Meetings by Eric Geiger offers helpful tips for improving those meetings we all love to hate.