This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile a list of interesting articles from around the web. Here’s this week’s list, maybe you’ll find something worth reading here too:

1. “The Right Culture for Community” by Ed Stetzer

A really helpful and insightful piece on cultivating a culture of community within our churches. Stetzer pulls from his book with Eric Geiger to highlight a third way between programmed and purely “organic” models of community. He offers here some inspiration to think about cultivating a culture or community within the church. In the coming weeks he is going to unpack this in more detail.

2. “9 Ways to Fight the Temptation of Pornography” by B.J. Stockman

This is a pretty reductionist, almost annoying list. Most guys would readily do a majority of things on this list, but they struggle to do even these basic things. I recognize the author had a short and simple article in mind, and therefore was not able to really expand on his ideas, but that probably means a “short and simple” article on fighting temptation to look at porn is not the article to write. Nonetheless, maybe there is something here that will encourage and aid somebody.

3. “5 Surefire Ways to Screw Up a Small Group” by Mike Mack

The author lists, with brief commentary, some of the common mistakes of small groups. #3, in my opinion, is huge!

4. “Four Reasons for Addictions” by Ed Welch

Counseling those struggling with addictions remains one of the primary areas of ministry I specialize in. Here Welch offers a very useful reminder that a varied taxonomy can help us be more effective in counseling addiction cases. They are not always so straightforward and a one-size-fits-all approach will not be helpful to those we counsel.

5. “Ranking the 9 Toughest Leadership Roles” by Rob Asghar

Well, we’ve got #5 and #1 in our home. Thank God for grace and strength!

6. “Making All Things New: What Singles Need To Know About Marriage” by Amy Lepine Peterson

This is just downright beautiful. Peterson writes a wonderful list of things to anticipate in marriage, and work to cultivate within it. Whether your single or married this is a good read. It’s also a good read because Amy brags a lot on her mom and dad, and that’s pretty cool.

7. “Gospel for Abusers” by Dave Dunham

This is a piece I wrote for The Southern Ohio Pastors Coalition on counseling a child molester. The big picture is that the gospel can bring healing and hope to even those whose sins we consider especially gross and egregious. This is a good reminder for my counselee and for me.

8. “Loving Your Neighbor’s Facebook Feed” by Richard Clark

Clark reminds us that our love for one another ought to flow over generously into our online communities too. So he writes, “Many arguments against social media involve the insistence that “no one cares what you had for breakfast.” What we actually know to be true is that people who care about one another also care about the mundane things. They actively care about my breakfast, my bad hair day, and my commute to work. They talk about these things in active, engaged conversations.”

9. “Pastors Need Women Teachers (And Vice Versa)” by Jen Wilkin

This is an older piece from The Gospel Coalition, but I stumbled on it again this week and thought I’d share it. It echoes so many of my sentiments about Women’s Ministry today! I pray God will raise up many more effective women’s ministries across our land, and I am especially thankful for the women’s ministry present at our church.

10. “To Love the Poor You Must Love Someone Else” by Randy Nabors

A great piece on how social ministry must be driven by the gospel.

11. “On Persecution” by Ross Douthat

This pretty much summarizes my thoughts on the use of the term “persecution” by Christians in the West today. Not everything is persecution, and we need to understand that if we’re going to prepare ourselves for a more tense future with, particularly, American culture.

12. “Walking with the Dead: In a Broken World, There is No Normal” by Dave Dunham

My latest piece on the AMC hit drama. In this piece I consider how the only thing that is “normal” in a broken world is the fact that we all experience its brokenness. Yet, even that experience doesn’t have to be the norm forever.


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