Five for Friday (8.29.14)

5Here are five good articles that kept me thinking this week. Hope they help you as well!

Pastor David Platt succeeds Tom Eliff as IMB President – here’s the new leader of the Southern Baptist missions effort.

What the ALS Challenge Taught Me about Life – great perspective on the challenge that’s sweeping the nation.

Why I Turn My iPhone Notifications Off & You Should Too – I believe this! I turned most of my notifications off a long time ago.

Census Figures Show More Than One-Third of Americans Receiving Welfare Benefits – This won’t end well for us.

20 Reasons College Football is Better Than the NFL – I don’t buy into this as a rabid Saints fan, but it’s still a good article.

The Best Self-Inflicted Pain I Subject Myself to Every Monday

Every Monday at 10 am, the pain comes. As crazy as it sounds, it’s good pain. It’s the pain I asked for. It’s time for the weekly worship service evaluation. Each week Mt Vernon’s creative leadership team sits down and rips apart the previous Sunday’s worship services. We nitpick stuff that most people don’t even notice: Was the service intentional? Were the transitions smooth? Did we achieve excellence? Was hope made tangible? 8.26.14

The first part is easy: we talk about the music. Song selection, notes missed, transitions. What did we get right? What could we have done better? It’s easy for me to pick apart someone else’s job performance. It’s all done in an effort to get better at what we do. The music’s the easy part. Then they get to the sermon. I’ll be honest: it hurts. I work hard each week to craft a sermon that engages and effectively communicates truth from God’s word. I labor over illustrations, applications, and an occasional one-liner just to keep things interesting. I always get the expected “amens” and “well done preacher’s” from the crowd on the way out. So why do I subject myself to the service review? Because I want to get better. As tempting as it is to hide behind the cloak of spirituality and assume that since I’m preaching for God every sermon is going to be a home run, I know better. I went too long in one area, I failed to adequately explain the main point I was trying to get across. Laying my work bare before others is never enjoyable, but I do it because I want to get better. I walked away from yesterday’s meeting with my sermon relatively intact, but more importantly, with an incredible piece of advice that will help me get better. Even if no one notices the results, I’m glad I subject myself to this every Monday.

Five for Friday (8.22.14)

five red buttonHave a great weekend! Here are a few articles to keep you learning:

4 Things Every Husband Needs to Hear Daily – read this ladies!

What Made the Situation in Ferguson Escalate So Quickly? – sobering words.

How To Kiss Like You Mean It – for married couples!

Don’t Let Your Comfort Zone Kill Your Church – great words!

What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’ – I read ‘Goodnight Moon’ to my boys at least twice a week!

Five for Friday (8.15.14)

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What the Church Can Learn from Jimmy Fallon – I’m a huge Jimmy Fallon. There’s something we can learn from him.

3 Ways NOT to Share Jesus – Great words for anyone trying to share Christ with young adults.

Who is ISIS? A quick recap of the current conflict in Iraq.

What Would Jesus Say to Robin Williams? – Great words!

7 Easy Ways to Put a Not Welcome Sign on Your Church – So true!

Five for Friday (8.8.14)

 

 

Here are a few articles to keep you learning through the weekend:

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8 Ways the Enemy Attacks Church – true words of wisdom from Thom Rainer.

Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity – great perspective!

Marco Rubio: Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance is Hypocrisy – grateful for a politician to stand up and say this.

Don’t Overthink It: The Power of an Invitation – if we truly ‘got’ this truth, our churches would never be the same!

The Single Man’s Journey to Sexual Happiness – I wish all of our single men could read this!

Five for Friday (7.24.14)

five red buttonIt’s Friday again! Here are links to five great articles to keep you learning through the weekend.

Medal of Honor Goes to Soldier ‘Who Held the Line’ – This is what a hero does.

Jesus is for Losers – A needed reminder from Tullian Tchividian.

Nine Reasons Men Should Stay Away From Porn – Read this guys!

Can Neuroscience Help Us Disciple Anyone? – Amazing merging of science and theology!

Eight Ways to Help Your Pastor Have a Good Vacation – True words Mt Vernon!

Five for Friday (7.18.14)

5Here are five great articles to keep you thinking through the weekend! Go to church (somewhere) this Sunday!

Balancing Justice and Mercy in Immigration Reform – A great perspective on this divisive topic.

Catalyst’s Brad Lomenick on Secret to Success – Great interview with the guy who helped build the Catalyst Conference, a conference I look forward to going to every year.

The Road to Jericho & the Border Crisis – Another strong perspective on the border crisis from the top Baptist mind on the subject.

The Pastor’s Wife Who Went Crazy – Amazing first-person perspective on mental illness.

Why Are So Many Christians Afraid of Hollywood Bible Movies? – With more and more Bible epics coming out, this is a good word.

BONUS Video – For the guys, a history of hair fashion over the past 100 years.

Five for Friday (6.20.14)

five red buttonRick Reilly Last Column – The famed sportswriter is hanging up his hat. His last column provides some powerful perspective about the importance of family and sports (in that order)

The Symphony That Saved a City – An amazing historical story about the power of the arts in the human experience.

Christian Comparison Isn’t Pretty – Refreshing honesty for everyone who struggles with the temptation of comparison.

My Husband Doesn’t Need to See Your Boobs – Great reminder from a wife for all the ladies out there.

Hobby Lobby aims for Obamacare win, Christian nation – Interesting to see how a mainstream organization reports on this Supreme Court case. Read the comments at your own peril!

 

Five for Friday (5.16.14)

five red buttonSchool’s almost out! But that doesn’t mean you can’t stop learning! Here are five articles to keep you thinking throughout the weekend.

The Myth of Happy Parenting – Must read for all parents out there!

The Church Needs More Tattoos – Amen! Great article from Russell Moore.

My Abortion Story, An Open Letter to Emily Letts – A heart wrenching story about the realities of abortion.

4 Places to Encounter Jesus That May Surprise You – Insightful article from Jonathan Merritt. I’ve experienced these truths personally.

5 Phrases Every Wife Needs to Hear Daily – Words of wisdom, gentlemen.

Five for Friday (5.9.14)

five red buttonEnjoy your Friday!

Sex, Millenials, and the Church: Five Implications – Good insight into the next generation by Thom Rainer.

Leadership Lessons from Marvel – For all the comic book fans out there.

8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do – Must read for every married couple!

The Subversion of the Southern Church in the Civil Rights Era – Painfully accurate assessment.

Sunday is War! – Great perspective for those of us who show up to church each week.