Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekend Roundup: Six Articles

Five Questions about the Pastor’s Piety

Thee Gospel Reformation Network asked Scott Oliphint to respond to the following questions on holiness in pastoral ministry and church leadership. Read more

10 Reflections on Today's Preaching

I I make no claims to be an extraordinary preacher, and I’m always hesitant to make any comments on another person’s preaching. Nevertheless, I share my opinions here in hopes of helping all of us continually think about how we can improve. Read more

What if I preach a bad sermon?

Every preacher has preached a bad sermon. If you think you haven’t, then you probably have preached a bunch of bad sermons. It will happen to all of us. Sometimes it won’t just be bad, but a disaster! When a sermon doesn’t go well, most of us get very discouraged and if the despair is great enough, it might cause us to question whether we should continue to preach at all. Read more

Why You Should Go Cold Turkey

After a number of years where I hadn’t done much stranger evangelism (not an unwelcome break mind you!), it’s now a regular part of our new church plant’s evangelism training program. Getting back into this kind of evangelism has reminded me of some of its benefits. Here are five reasons you and your church should give this a go. Read more
The author of this article is referring to the practice of cold calling--unannounced drop-in visits to people in their home or workplace, one of a number of forms of stranger evangelism. Lane Corley who is a church planter and pastor in southeastern Louisiana tells the story of an older Baptist preacher, one of his mentors, who regularly made door to door visits in his community. He would introduce himself and ask whoever answered the door if he could pray for them. Often as not the door was slammed in his face. But he persisted. His church is mostly filled on Sunday mornings with people whom he visited. When asked why they go to his church, folks say the same thing. He show that he cared for them. When they face one of life's difficulties, they remembered the preacher and his concern for them. Door to door visitation works in some communities; it may not work in others. How people react to door to door visitation and how productive it will prove will vary from community to community.

On the other hand, doing what one church does here in Murray, Kentucky is counterproductive. It sends teams to the local university armed with the paperback New Testament. Members of the teams corner students and shove a New Testament into their hands. Most of the New Testaments are thrown away once the student is out of the sight of the team member. The aggressiveness of the team members is what puts off the the students. They feel like the team members are trying to shove the Christian faith down their throats. Even more counterproductive is the approach of a second church. It sends a team of "evangelists" who harangue passing students. Students generally avoid the part of the university where the team has stationed itself or they walk quickly by. Both approaches reinforce negative stereotypes of Christians with the millennial generation.
The Christian Century No One Predicted

“The twentieth century,” according to Scott Sunquist, “surprised the religionists, the historians, and the politicians.” Read more

How the mitres have fallen: bishops' headwear is personal choice, says C of E

Issue of what bishops should wear on their heads briefly takes centre stage at synod as Essex vicar asks for guidance on the donning of mitres. Read more
For readers who are unfamiliar with the British colloquial term "tat," it is an abbreviation of the word "tatty" and refers to cheap and tasteless trinkets and other forms of rubbish and junk. It is the kind of rubbish or junk that crafty Cockneys peddled to unsuspecting tourists in central London.

Whether clergy should be free not to wear vestments is an important issue. Here in western Kentucky vestments are associated with the Roman Catholic Church and are off-putting to a large segment of the population except for Anglo-Catholics, High Church Lutherans, and Roman Catholics who are accustomed to vestments. These three groups comprise a very tiny segment of the population.

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