Links for your weekend reading:
There are four basic questions you can ask to gain a fairly good understanding of a particular neighborhood and/or city, based on the key elements of a culture.
- (Narrative) What story is the city calling us to embody?
- (Rituals) What is the core practices that people engage in which shape their identity and sense of mission in life?
- (Institutions) What are the primary institutions that are shaping the city, and how are they shaping people’s identity and destiny?
- (Ethics) How would your neighborhood and/or city define success?
- Share Your Thinking/Reasons with the Leaders
- Resolve Any Outstanding Conflicts
- Express Your Appreciation for the Church’s Ministry in Your Life
- Say “Goodbye” to Friends and Family
- Be Honest with Yourself about Your Own Efforts, Motives and Failings
- Clarity on the gospel of grace
- Christ-centered preaching
- Theologically informed public worship
- Hospitable people
- Church discipline
- Mercy for the poor
- Concern for the lost
- It’s a major part of people’s lives.
- The world is constantly talking about money.
- Money is in direct competition with God.
- You can’t shepherd hearts without shepherding pocketbooks.
As I recently reflected on the last thirty-five years I wrote down some lessons learned and convictions I’ve come to or continued to hold. Here are thirty-five of them.
I do not intend to denigrate the work of ministers, nor to whitewash over the real hardships faced by ministers. … However, I want to caution against such an overabundance of vocational teeth-gnashing, as it can create specific problems for local congregations.