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A La Carte (December 5)

tuesday

It is a great day for Kindle deals, and you’ll find a good list covering quite a number of publishers and topics.

Just a reminder that my site is now available in Spanish. That includes many of the videos. Pass on the news!

The Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case Isn’t about Same-Sex Marriage

“Masterpiece Cakeshop is not about gay marriage. It’s about compelled speech. The Supreme Court settled the marriage issue in its landmark Obergefell decision in 2015. Gay and lesbian couples are free to marry anywhere in the United States, and government at every level now protects their right to do so. But can government require artists, designers, or other creative professionals to celebrate same-sex marriage through their work?”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Guest Services

“The question isn’t if we’re sending a message with our guest services but what message we’re sending. Your guest services write the introduction to the sermon. So what kind of introduction are you giving?” There are some good practical pointers here.

Fill Believers, Not Buildings

Success of churches is often measured with how many people attend that church. “But it’s exactly this view of fruitfulness in ministry that needlessly weighs down and even shipwrecks gifted pastors. Far worse, it leaves churches led by pastors who are like husbands with a roving eye—never satisfied, always looking beyond the bride because she isn’t enough.”

The Great Baby Bust of 2017

Interesting article on declining fertility rates in the U.S. and worldwide. The author draws some interesting conclusions on the reasons behind the decline.

Five Reasons the Homogeneous Church Is Declining and Dying

“When you are in your worship services next Sunday, look at the people around you. Do they all look like you? Do they all come from the same economic backgrounds? Are they are about the same age? If so, you are in a homogeneous church. As the old homogeneous unit principle implied, ‘We attract people who are like us.’ That principle was a point of contention and debate for decades. Is it descriptive (a reality observed), or is it prescriptive (a strategy pursued)?”

Still Learning How to Preach After 50 Years Preaching!

A worthwhile read from Peter Adam, who has spent 50 years preaching.

Sing! Live At The Getty Music Worship Conference

You may enjoy this new album from the Gettys!

The Consumerist Church of Fitness Classes

Take away church and people will continue to form communities of worship. “Gyms provide ritual and community, serving as a sort of religion. They also promote values American culture already worships—capitalism and overwork.”

Flashback: The 5 Gossips You Will Meet

Gossip is a serious problem. It is a problem in the home, in the workplace, in the local church and in broader evangelicalism. Here, drawn from Mitchell’s book, is a gallery of gossips, five different gossiping people you will meet in life.

No verse of Scripture yields its meaning to lazy people.

—A.W. Pink

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…