Snippets from the interweb (16th October 2022)

Yes, worship service announcements are important

Many people simply switch off when it comes to the announcements. But they are more important than we often think. They are a means by which the church shows what it thinks is important and how it will put into practice the things it claims to believe.

The Silent Sin That Kills Christian Love

‘Perhaps the test of faithfulness in a day of moral degradation will be our love for people across chasms of difference. Faithfulness isn’t in showy displays that we hate all the right people. Faithfulness isn’t in adopting a contemptuous posture toward the current president or the former one. The way of the cross rejects the path of sneers and jeers, whether in the form of elite condescension or populist passion.’

Why hospitality is vital to church planting

It is not only vital to church planting, it is vital to church. Hospitality is a criteria for being an elder in any church. There are all sorts of ways hospitality can be shown – and I’m grateful for that recognition in the article – but hospitality really matters. Here are 6 ways you can do it.

Don’t punish Kanye West: Mental Health Has Become Cruelly Fetishised

‘Mental illness has become a kind of identity for some people, and it’s a fine line these days between being open about your problems and fetishising them. To discuss your mental health proves you are in touch with your feelings. That you are revealing your true glowing self, beneath the layers society forces on you. That you are self-aware. Sensitive. And special.’ The truth, as this article points out, is somewhat different and it resonates clearly with a trend I have noticed regarding mental health. There is a bunch of swear words in this one, so avoid it if you’re liable to be offended.

Dear pastor… Your shepherd doesn’t care how big your church is

‘The extent to which you give me the credit for the growth is the extent to which you’ll give me the blame for lack of growth. Christ isn’t calling us to grow his church. He will do that. He is calling us to be faithful.’

Make a plan to leave the Church of England

Stephen Watkinson gives three reasons why – even if you intend to stay in for the moment – you should make a plan to leave the Church of England: ‘I’m glad to have already left. I think I was already too compromised. I wish I had planned it better, but in the end I did put some kind of plan together. It wasn’t perfect, but it made it possible. So my encouragement to you would start making a plan now. Be prepared and stay faithful to Jesus.’

From the archive: A letter from God?

‘My wife saw [an] article posted online. Needless to say, she was incensed by it. She toyed with whether to comment on the article but decided against it. She showed it to me. I decided it was so awful it was worth fisking so that others might have something to post in response should they feel the need. NB: this was posted to a group for Evangelical women. This gives some insight into the kind of nonsense that passes for acceptable and with which many of the women in our churches will readily come into contact. So, here goes…’