Every now and again I collect more good articles than I can share in a week’s worth of A La Carte. When that happens I like to create a Sunday edition. And that’s exactly what I am doing today since I didn’t want to miss sharing any of it. So here we go…
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Ian Carmichael offers some counsel on how to really encourage your pastor. “Here’s the main point I want to make: there is no such thing as a dispassionate pastor. Can a pastor really feel no emotion about the welfare of his people?” I sure hope not…
Denise Hardy reflects on many years spent serving on staff at churches, often as the only female staff member. “There are examples in the scriptures of men and women working alongside one another for the sake of the gospel. We should want to follow the model given to us. How can we do this? What keeps us from doing this? We need a theological vision of brothers and sisters working shoulder-to-shoulder for the sake of the gospel.”
I don’t often link to articles on Slate, but in this case I was interested in their look at a quickly growing number of empty church buildings across America. “It is a story replaying over and over in cities across the United States, where older churches have been hammered by neighborhood change and maintenance costs, coinciding with a national trend of plummeting religious attendance across faiths.” We see this happening all across Canada as well.
We all know that Ecclesiastes is awfully concerned with “vanity.” But what exactly is bound up in that word? And what makes it so important?
“When I was a young pastor, a church elder detected my discouragement one day and gently said, ‘It will look better in the morning.’ This simple advice has helped me countless times since. Often after I’ve experienced a good night’s sleep and a brisk run, God has felt nearer, my problems smaller, the solutions clearer, and my future brighter.”
Stephen encourages pastors to feel free to recycle their sermons rather than preparing a new one for each occasion.