Shepherd Links – 2/16

Prophet Links

Why Study Church History? Getting Beyond American-Evangelical Amnesia From Don Sweeting: “Our culture disposes us to a short term memory. We’re a relatively young nation. We are present-oriented. And when it comes to the past, we have amnesia.  Sadly, American Evangelicalism does not escape these trends. So what’s the benefit of studying history?  It’s massive!  Let me briefly outline some of the blessings of studying church history.”

Nothing Worse Than an Analytic Fairy From Doug Wilson: “If the point is to win men, and not arguments, then we have to understand where the actual hang-up is with that unbeliever. The fact that we understand the foundational issues does not mean that he does, and what good does it do to bounce arguments off his forehead, which then just lie on the floor unheard?”

10 Foolish Obstacles to the Foolishness of Preaching The message is foolishness to those who are perishing, yes. But David Murray points out ten speaking mistakes that make you sound foolish.

Priest Links

Nine Characteristics of Happy Churches From Thom Rainer: “Recently I reviewed the files of 17 of the happiest churches where I consulted. As is typical in consultations, patterns emerged. In the case of these churches, I found nine common characteristics among the congregations. In each case, the characteristic seemed to contribute to the overall happiness of the churches.”

How to Study Your City From Alex Early: “If you intimately know whom you want to reach, then you will be better set up to engage people effectively with the gospel of Jesus.”

King Links

Seven Deadly Thoughts of Leaders Another post from Thom Rainer: “Most great leadership failures, however, don’t begin with some stupid action. The leader usually has thoughts about the action well before he or she actually makes them. Some of those thoughts can be warning signs to heed. They are like the bright, flashing red light that demands we stop. Failure to stop can result in great harm.”

Is Planting a Church With a Partner a Bad Idea? Zach Nielsen shares posts from Brian Howard who thinks it is a bad idea, but then tells us why it worked for him.

Dealing with a Crushing Workload From Todd Henry: “Workloads and expectations are increasing. It’s not a cliché, it’s a fact. It’s the single biggest (confidential) complaint that I hear when spending time with companies. I was recently speaking at a conference in Florida, and in the short Q&A at the end of my talk a man stood and said ‘We are doing more with less. We have fewer people than ever, but our project load continues to increase. However, the quality of our work is not allowed to suffer. What should I do?‘”