Perhaps it is that I run a small, insignificant, strategically unappealing church in a town most haven’t heard of and, if they have, avoid it any which way they can. Maybe it’s that this spoke truth with clarity. Either way, I liked it very much.
David Robertson gives an overview of the Jordan Peterson phenomena and does a great job of analysing where this will all go (spoiler alert: the answer to the question is ‘no’). In a similar vein, there is this from Douglas Murray.
Stephen Watkinson spells out some of the frustrations of church leaders in deprived communities. ‘Ultimately I see failure. I think I could see the purpose of it all if I was seeing good numbers of people coming to Christ in the large, well-resourced churches, but I don’t. I see huge resources going to servicing comfortable Christians… For what it’s worth, even with our limited resources, I suspect we punch well above our statistical weight in new disciples!’
This was very helpful. Mission agencies need to be church-centred. Their missionaries ought to be church-sent, churches planters that are ultimately setting up churches run by indigenous church members.
Our church is involved with the Church in Hard Places initiative. Here, Mez McConnell speaks to why deprived communities need solid churches: ‘Healthy, gospel-centered churches are the God-ordained way to do ministry in hard places. Some think it doesn’t really matter who does the job, so long as Jesus is made known. But the church must remain central. It is primarily through her, after all, that God means to make himself known (Eph. 3:10, 20–21). The local church is God’s primary evangelism strategy.’
Jeremy Walker writes about an interesting deal made between a pastor and a member seeking to leave their fellowship because they think they will prosper elsewhere. Quite rightly, the pastor wants them to flourish and is sure to make it a fair test.
‘We are wont to believe people at face value without ever seeking to ask the serious, and necessary, questions we must. Does God speak today? Yes he does. Does that mean we cannot question any person who claims “the Lord said to me…”? Absolutely not. The Lord most usually speaks through his word. Even there we need to be careful that we have understood and applied it correctly. Anybody bringing testimony apart from the Bible must surely be held to a higher standard still. That is not to say such testimony cannot be true but it is to say we cannot be sure it is true unless it is verifiable and closely tied to scripture itself.’