First off, my thanks goes to The Elisha Foundation for sponsoring the blog this week. Be sure to check out their new and free video-based training for individuals and churches.
Peter Mead: “As we live through this lockdown, we are being given a unique opportunity to observe ourselves under different and difficult circumstances. It is as if we are in a laboratory, with lots of normal elements taken out of our lives. What we may be discovering is that we are experiencing emotions in a way that we are normally too busy to notice.”
Randy Alcorn shares the news. “On Tuesday afternoon, Mincaye, the former warrior who in 1956 speared to death Nate Saint and Ed McCully, two of the five missionary martyrs in Ecuador, passed from this life to the next. A member of the once fierce Huaorani tribe, Mincaye had come to Christ, and was a transformed man, a delightful brother who was a joy to be with.”
There are some really helpful resources here for individuals and organizations, though the primary audience is pastors. “Rather than being a restful break from the normal round of meetings and commitments this time has felt pressured and fretful. How can shepherds really know what is happening amongst the flock when we are physically separated from them? It’s no wonder that emotions have fluctuated.”
Leonardo De Chirico: “As I speak to different audiences and at various conferences, the question comes back over and over again: why should Evangelicals bother engaging Roman Catholicism? Let me suggest four reasons.”
“We are all shut-ins now. We are home but we have found just how exhausting it can be to be home all of the time. The daily grind begins to get at us mentally and socially in a way we never expected. We are restricted, but hopefully we have learned some empathy in our restrictions.”
Facts & Trends rounds up some interesting data from Lifeway Research on how churches have changed and adapted in the past two months. As 2020 dawned, could anyone have imagined a scenario in which only 4% of American churches would meet on Sunday, April 19?
9Marks is putting together a collection of articles about pastoring in a pandemic. They’ve got articles for pastors facing burnout, pastors who are live-streaming (and who are not live-streaming), for churches who are wondering how to celebrate communion, and so on.
One of the hardest tasks for every Christian is to deeply believe and forever remember that we’ve been saved by grace. One of the sweetest disciplines for every Christian is to meditate upon the grace that God extends to the undeserving.
God cares much more about our character than about our competencies. He cares much more about our works being good works—works done in holiness, in love for others—than about the sheer volume of works we accomplish.—Geoff Robson