Snippets from the interweb (15th November 2020)

False gospels: “cut off toxic people” 

‘No one ever asks the question: “Am I toxic?” The problem with this worldview is that it views oneself as pure and unable to be the problem. In my own life, a careful evaluation of any relational problem is always a two-way street. I can be problematic and need to be honest with myself. God said, “Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” (Prov. 8:13).’

Do virtual churches actually exist?

‘Christian, you and I can “download” biblical truths virtually. Wonderful. Yet we cannot feel and experience and witness those truths becoming enfleshed in the family of God, which both fortifies our faith and creates cords of love between brothers and sisters. By biblical standards, there’s no such thing as the virtual church. And aren’t you glad? Scripture offers us something embodied, better, and life-giving—the assembly of his blood-bought bride, who is beautiful.’

Will our time and effort and energies invested in our hobbies be considered worthless at the judgement seat of Christ

I really liked this question and enjoyed(!) Randy Alcorn’s answer.

Reasons not to plant a church (especially in 2020/21) but why  you might want to do it anyway

We are the bright sparks who thought it was a good idea to send Stephen Watkinson to plant in Rochdale despite having no money, few people and contending with a global pandemic that has kept our region in some form of lock down over the last 9 months.  But we share Stephen’s view: ‘it would be sad if we always found reasons not to plant. And it would be sad if the pandemic stifled church planting and outreach at just the time when the nation needs to hear the good news about Jesus.’

What should you pay your pastor? 

This is a question that comes up a lot in churches. The Bible doesn’t give us a figure to determine the answer. But it does give us some good principles that can help us work it out in our context.

Balance is often the enemy of truth

Dave Williams looks at why attempts to be balanced do not always lead us to truth.

From the archive: Why bi-vocational ministry doesn’t work in deprived communities

‘It is amazing that we seem happy enough to appoint ever-expanding staff teams on full-time salaries but rarely seem able to support ministers working in those communities most of us aren’t willing to go to. If you have managed to appoint an assistant pastor or several members of staff, why not consider funding a minister in a deprived community who can’t be supported full-time by his church? Instead of adding more and more in-house posts, why not forego the additional staff member and commit to supporting gospel ministry in an area that might have no (or only part-time) staff without your help? If we are serious about reaching deprived communities, we need to do better than “maybe your minister could do two or three jobs to support himself?”‘