Chris Railey gives sound advice to church leaders who are hiring new staff. “When hiring personnel, consider more than just their obvious talents, ” he writes. “Look at some of the intangibles that a person won’t acquire through training alone.”
Kristi Northup makes a Pentecostal case for diversity. “I am all for fair legislation and pursuing justice through the legal system, but racial and ethnic divisions are as deeply rooted as original sin can get. The issue is massive. It is everywhere, on every continent and in every nation. Only a Holy Spirit visitation can heal us of this deep wound.”
We note a Barna study about Americans’ practice of prayer. “Nearly 8 in 10 American adults (79 percent) surveyed said they had prayed at least once in the past three months, Barna said. Of those who pray, a vast majority are most likely to do so alone (94 percent) and silently (82 percent).”
Kristi Northup begins a three-part series about serving on pastoral staff with your spouse. This quote resonated with my experience: “Church is a more chaotic structure than business or institutions. There is a constant redefining of roles that helps it grow. Rather than letting this become a source of frustration, I have realized it is an inevitable part of ministry, regardless of staff size.”
I review Eugene H. Peterson’s new book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire (WaterBrook, 2017). As with Peterson’s other writings, this book brims with pastoral wisdom on every page, so I highly recommend reading it. As I put it in my concluding paragraphs:
This is not a book I would recommend to some pastors. For example, if you’re looking for a book that gives you a fool-proof three-step process to ______ (whatever it is that you’re trying to do), skip this one. Or if you’re looking on Saturday night for a three-point sermon you can preach the next morning, don’t read this. Peterson’s sermons are ongoing conversations, not plug-and-play outlines.
However, if you’re tossed about by the winds of the times or you’re tired of slapping Bible verses on business principles or if your ministry lacks congruence between the means of discipleship and the ends of Christlikeness, please read this book. It will feed your soul, and through you, the souls of your congregation.
Finally, my colleague Christina Quick notes Barna Group research about loneliness in America, which disproportionately affects the poor. ” On average, U.S. adults surveyed reported having five close friends. Economically disadvantaged individuals averaged half that number, with 20 percent claiming no close friends and 47 percent saying they had no one to call on in an emergency.” There’s a ministry opportunity here for churches with eyes to see…