This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery Week I share some of the more interesting articles I’ve read. I don’t always agree with the conclusions drawn by the authors, but I found the piece interesting enough to share. So, if you’re looking for something to read you might find one of these pieces interesting.

1. “5 Signs You’re Part of an Unhealthy Church” by Mariell Thomas

If any of these signs apply to your church or your leadership then you might be in an unhealthy church.

2. “Some Preachers Have Style” by Joe Thorn

Paul David Tripp got stopped by an urban style photographer because he looked so classy. He’s an inspiration to pastors in more ways than one! As a self-described sartorialist I greatly appreciate seeing this piece.

3. “9 Things You Should Know About Human Trafficking” by Joe Carter

Carter lists some startling, discouraging, and rather disgusting statistics about human trafficking. But its information that we need to know.

4. “Why All Your Impressions of Detroit Are Wrong” by Aaron Renn

The ways that so many think about and represent Detroit don’t do it justice. The city is far more complex than many are willing to admit. Here Renn suggests that Christians in particular need to be careful about not coming to the city with a savior-complex. We need to come to listen and learn before we start applying our plan of revitalization. It’s a great principle for a newcomer like me to hear.

5. “A Tale of Two Pastoral Transitions” by Bob Johnson

I am privileged to serve under a pastor who takes such a proactive role in thinking about the future of our congregation. Here Pastor Bob writes about the importance of providing for a good transition to a new pastor.

6. “Redemption for the Scars” by Kendra Dahl

This is a powerful testimony from a young woman who had an abortion and years later met Christ. But even more than that, it is a story about the impulse to redeem ourselves and how only Jesus can provide what we are looking for and in desperate need of.

7. “Ariel Castro’s Addiction” by James D. Conley

Conley uses the murder’s confession of pornography addiction as a spring-board to discuss the porn epidemic in our culture. It is a startling reminder of just how damaging and disastrous porn is to the soul. But Conley also points to the great value of Christian community in fighting against the temptation to lust. That too is a good reminder. As I think about counseling men and women with pornographic addictions I know that the community of believers needs to be part of their recovery process. We are far too quick to give into the fear of shame that won’t allow people to seek out the needed help.

8. “Raising Children in a Sex Saturated Society” by Darrell Bock, Gary Barnes, Chip Dickens, and Debbie Wade

A vodcast from some of the faculty at DTS discussing this important and worthwhile subject.

9. “Why Small Group Leaders Need To Be OCD” by Garrett Higbee

Good small group leaders are those who are observant, clarifying, and discerning. Some good content here for my small group leaders to read and think about.

10. “Better Discipleship” by Ed Stetzer

Stetzer lists here 5 broken views of discipleship and how we can fix them.

11. “Families, Flourishing, and Upward Mobility” by James K.A. Smith

Smith reminds us that the idolatry of the “American Dream” and the value of upward mobility within families is not the same thing. Then he directs us to consider the shriveling of this potential. Increasingly fewer and fewer families are seeing their children in more financial security than they are. Smith points to recent research that suggests the place to make a difference is in the cultivation of strong family settings and in the return of the cultural “we”. This is a good read.

12. “Why I Changed My Mind About the Millennium” by Sam Storms

As a convinced amillennialist I appreciate Storm’s story and his challenge to our brothers in the faith. I look forward at some point to reading his new book.



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