Christopher Ash: ‘Some while ago I wrote a short blog about how to put a spring in the step of your pastor. Here is a Covid update. How about this for four ways to cheer your pastor in these pandemic days? Each arises partly out of conversations I have had with pastor friends.’
Whatever reasons you have for reading this one, even if it is just the clever title, stick around until the third point because (I think) it is vital and more of us need to hear it. This is not only an American issue.
Kevin DeYoung: ‘It’s tempting to think, “Nothing prepared me for this.” Perhaps. But don’t lose sight of what you were prepared to do. Don’t think that preaching the whole counsel of God is not prophetic. Don’t think that caring for the least of these in your congregation is not doing justice. Don’t think that being faithful in all the mundane messiness of your church and family is not real Christian discipleship. Keep your hand to the plow. Keep praying. Keep preaching. Keep loving people.’
I think this one bears a hearing: ‘It is time that we stopped eulogizing the church and got busy preaching the good news. The church will be fine. Jesus will take care of his church. Mike Tyson said everyone has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth. We had a plan, but then COVID punched us in the mouth.Our large-group gatherings were no longer possible. Our sanctuaries were closed. But the world kept turning. And hurting. And burning. We were staggered, but the time has come for the church to emerge.’
This was really helpful and insightful. I have noticed a number of these observations too. If we are to minister effectively as Millennials (Gen X and Xennial pastors would do well to note the observations too). Most importantly, rather than just (or even) critiquing Gen Z, this article focuses on how we might best minister to them.
‘The controversial implication of the “crisis of men” narrative is that supposedly, when there aren’t enough men in the pews, the church will eventually shrink. Insufficiently “masculine” churches are presumed to invite their own demise. This claim is testable, and it happens to be completely false.’
‘How can we increase diversity in Evangelical leadership? Is there anything we can do to make sure that minority voices get heard and have the possibility of taking up leadership positions in our churches? I think there are a few possible things we can do that might help.’