this went thru my mind


Church decline: One Observation of Declining Churches by Ron Edmonson

“I’ve worked with a number of churches in decline. One thing I’ve noticed that is fairly consistent among declining churches is what they do once they realize they are in decline. … They dig their heels into the tradition that got them where they are today. They go back to what’s comfortable. They resist any changes in what they’ve done before, hoping to avert future decline.”

College: The Rising Cost of Higher Education [infographic]

“The College Board forecasts that in 15 years, the cost of a four-year college education at a private college will top $400,000 (at the current rate of increases).”

Deacons & deaconesses: #359 – Deacons, Ministers, or …? by Patrick Mead [required reading]

“Rather than use made up words like ‘deacon’ and made up words formed from made up words (!) like ‘deaconesses’ it would seem to make more sense to use the Biblical concept and call both of them ‘ministers’ or ‘servants.'”

Doubt: What Christians Can Learn From A Bible-Belt Pastor Who Became An Atheist Leader

“The problem of personal evil and suffering was a huge factor in his de-conversion.”

Food: 40% of U.S. Food Wasted, Report Says

“The report points out waste in all areas of the U.S. food supply chain, from field to plate, from farms to warehouses, from buffets to school cafeterias.”

Learning: Ministry Inside.90 by Jim Martin

“The following are five suggestions for learning from ‘masters.'”

Productivity: What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day

“…  many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too. The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently …”

Sharing faith: Ten Questions to Diagnose the Evangelistic Health of Your Church by Thom Rainer

“In my work with churches across America, I often ask a series of questions that help me assist the church to become more evangelistically focused. Recently, I took time to write down the questions I ask most often. Look at these ten questions to get at least some hints of the evangelistic health of your own church.”

The Pledge of Allegiance: A Restless Patriotism by Richard Beck [required reading]

“I’m a mess when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometimes I say it. Sometimes I don’t. Social context generally determines what I do, with the main criterion being not wanting to embarrass anyone or make anyone feel uncomfortable. I also struggle with not saying the Pledge as I don’t want to be taken as being ungrateful or dismissive of those who have made sacrifices for everything I enjoy in America. So I’m trying to walk this line between being socially appropriate, respectful to others (particularly to those who have lost loved ones in war), deeply grateful, and yet holding onto the belief that the Pledge of Allegiance is inherently idolatrous. That’s a tough line to walk and I don’t walk it well or very consistently.”

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