I’m reading Larry Witham’s Who Shall Lead Them? The Future of Ministry in America. Witham, former reporter and award-winning religion writer, “takes the pulse of both the Protestant and Catholic ministry in America and provides a mixed diagnosis of the calling’s health,” according to the book jacket. It’s fascinating stuff, and here are some fast facts:
Mark Kelly and Rick Warren have pulled together a list of Christian bloggers and I’m on it! As members of this new virtual community, we’re posting the entire list of bloggers on each of our blogs. Here’s the list of folks you might want to know. Warren’s group is coming out with some cool online tools, and I’ll share those with you when they’re available. Take your notebook outside, enjoy the sunshine, and surf these sites:
I just got my March/April Outreach magazine today. I have looked at some of the online version, but I missed the article, Shaping Generations by Alicia Kazsuk. Trinity Lutheran Church in Pembroke Pines, Florida, has an IGSS — intergenerational group Sunday School, and Alicia writes about their experience and Pastor Keith Spencer’s comments. This was just the article I needed to get me going on more IG stuff at our church.
I’ve put up two new categories — “Sermon Illustrations” and “Missional Church.” I love good stories and that’s what “Sermon Illustrations” is — good stories you can use in sermons or your blogs, or wherever. Most of the stories are my experiences, if not I’ll let you know where they came from. I would appreciate your linking to this site if you use these for your blogs or online content. I have “retrofitted” all the stories here to “Sermon Illustrations” category for your easy reference.
In early 1863, at the mid-point in the Civil War, the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia were camped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River, the dividing line between the north and the south. One late afternoon, brigade bands from the Union army gathered down on the riverbank and began to play songs familiar to Union soldiers.
On Monday night, Johnny Bench, Hall of Fame catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, spoke at the fundraising banquet for our Boys and Girls Clubs in the area. About 400-people attended and it was a great evening that raised a lot of money for the Clubs in our community.
The problem with the small church, as I have said before, is that it is small. Pretty clever insight, but it’s true. Our obsession with numbers in church life always puts the small church at the bottom of the heap. Not counting is not the answer, because most of us have to report to our church board, denomination, or fellow-pastors, “how many” we had in worship or Bible study or both. But there is a better measure of small church faithfulness — counting people in ministry and those touched by ministry.