The Early Bird Gets The Link

Some reading to start your weekend.

On Caution and Keeping: Friends Reflect on Joshua Harris’s Deconversion

We’ve known Josh for almost 15 years. We’ve been with his family. We’ve been in his home. We’ve been to his church. At one time, we were fairly close, as a group of us (then) young men gathered semi-regularly for prayer, for encouragement, and for just hanging out. While we don’t know what Josh might think of us—it’s been several years now since we were closely in touch—we remember Josh as perpetually friendly, warm, engaging, and sincere.

Black and White Together: An Unusual Church Merger in Iowa

This is an encouraging read. “That’s because healthy churches don’t merge together. Especially not if they’re both growing. Especially not if one is white and one is black. Especially not if both senior pastors are planning to stay.

It’s been 18 months since their first service. The transition has been relatively smooth. Both pastors share the leadership equally. They’re still growing. And the congregation seems happy.

That’s maybe the oddest part. In a small, predominately white Iowa city, the approval to merge was 98 percent—at both congregations.

6 Steps to Become an Effective Witness for Jesus

I recently took an evangelism course. Not knowing what to expect, I imagined quirky evangelistic techniques coupled with age-old, gospel-sharing recipes guaranteed to bring about soul-winning results.

Much to my surprise, the course was less like a course and more like a worship service. The professor passionately preached “the story” from beginning to end.

10 Practices That Will Help You Grow in Christ and in Your Ministry

As you begin your ministry keep in mind that first of all you are a child of God, to be a living testimony of grace, godly character, and Christlikeness to the glory of God. The following items to practice and keep in mind will greatly assist in your walk with God:

On Becoming More Christian, Not Less, In Our Politics

New Testament Christians were routinely marginalized, persecuted and even put to death by the Roman state. Even in this climate, honoring, respecting, cooperating with and praying for Roman officials was part of being a disciple. The Apostle Peter, who would later be executed by Rome for his Christian faith, said that in all circumstances, Christians must honor the king (1 Peter 2:17). The Apostle Paul, who would also be martyred by decree of the Roman Caesar, said every Christian must submit to and pray for governing authorities (Romans 13:1).

In today’s political climate, it is hard to find Christians who embrace this line of thinking. Instead, many have been drawn into partisan spin and rhetoric. In so doing, these well-intended but misguided Christians have become more like the world than like Jesus.

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