Six-Pack (68)

Welcome to the Six-Pack!

The weekend slipped by me, but I refuse to miss another Six-Pack post. Let’s get at it!

If a half-dozen links feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and branch from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Should Churches Hire Youth Pastors? (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Trust Tony Campolo to ask an insightful, against-the-flow question on how churches allocate staff resources. He’s on to something here, make no mistake.

2)  Here’s How to Win by Coach Gregg Popovich
Derwin Gray looks back on the Spurs’ recent championship and draws these very brief lessons from the approach of their victorious coach.

3)  What the Amish Can Teach Us About Technology
This piece from Psychology Today makes a simple suggestion: Sometimes the informed experts on a topic aren’t the people you’re thinking of. Good post!

4)  Autopsy of a Burned Out Pastor
Thom Rainer‘s newest book is about dead churches. Here he borrows the metaphor to share research-findings about pastors who have fallen along the way.

5)  What Happens to the Brain During Spiritual Experiences? (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Ever heard of neurotheology? Me neither, until I read this post from The Atlantic. Pretty interesting stuff!

6) Where is All the Miraculous Healing in the US?
Charisma Magazine explores a question I’ve heard multiple times before: If miracles really happen, why does it seem like they almost never happen HERE?!

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (51)

Six-Pack #51 marks the first one published on the new domain! But as always, it remains the (nearly) weekly spot for grabbing a half-dozen of the best “recent reads” I’ve discovered online regarding faith, ministry, or who-knows-what.

If six overwhelms, start with two. The *Picks of the Week* provide an easy starting point.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Malcolm Gladwell on His Return to Faith (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
How can one not enjoy Malcolm Gladwell? He’s original and provocative, strangely curious and curiously strange. And during the writing of his most recent book, he found his heart wandering back toward a faith he thought he’d closed the door on. Surprise!

2) What if Being Content is Ruining Your Life?
Contentment is typically sought after. What about when it begins to hold you back? Allison Vesterfelt wants you to consider.

3) Ten Reasons Church Leaders Should Further their Education
Having been impacted profoundly through my educational experiences, I need no convincing of this point. For those needing more material, Thom Rainer offers these ten reasons as starting points.

4) The Sad Cycle of Evangelical Biblical Scholarship
That title isn’t likely to merit many clicks here, but Peter Enns (a renowned scholar himself) expresses frustration here for Evangelicalism’s struggle to embrace biblical scholarship in its broadest sense. He questions a system that keeps people captive to fear. If you value learning or education or the Bible, this piece will likely intrigue you as it gives you a peek inside the world of those who shape the ideas that fill sermons and published works through our churches and homes.

5) Three Lies Entertainment Tells Us About Sex (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If your TV is your primary educator about sex, you’ve got a problem, Houston. Truth be told, you’ve got at least three.  Great piece from Relevant Magazine here!

6) 28 Leadership Lessons from Catalyst with Jeff Henderson
Jeff Henderson, of The Rocket Company, recently presented at the Catalyst Conference. Here were some thought-provoking nuggets of how churches work and don’t work well.

May the week ahead be filled with life, as the Father fills you with all you need!

YOUR TURN: Which link above was most worthwhile–why that one? Direct others readers to the best of the bunch. Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (46)

After an unscheduled blog break, it’s good to be back at it.

From a small stockpile of articles that had collected, here comes the latest Six-Pack of faith-focused or ministry-minded pieces with enough room for some who-knows-what!

If you need an easy in, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Would You Know a Revival if You Saw One?
Justin Taylor shares this clip and video from J.I. Packer. For anyone craving revival in their here-and-now, there are some great thoughts here on what to desire and how to discern it.

2) An Atheist in the Pulpit (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Plenty of the tone in this piece makes suggestions I disagree with. Even still, there are enough fascinating descriptions of the movements between faith and doubt to make it well worth the read.

3) Why Fewer Churches Offer Vacation Bible School
It all appears to come down to one word.

4) Ten Things I’ve Learned about Pastors
Thom Rainer highlights a list of things he’s learned about pastors over the past couple years. Any what you’d expect? Any that surprise?

5) Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch
This SI piece breaks down reaction time and why baseball’s best can’t touch fastball’s first lady.

6) Stunning: Comparing US and World Covers for Time Magazine (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Well, this brief and picture-filled piece is disturbing, if not slightly expected.

Pleasure to be back with you, friends. Enjoy the Six-Pack, and may your final week of August be wonder-filled!

YOUR TURN: Which link above was most intriguing–why that one? Direct others readers to the best of the bunch. Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (40)

Welcome to the final Saturday Six-Pack for May 2013!

Grab your mug and settle in. Here are are six of the best articles I’ve read recently.  Most are faith-focused or ministry-minded; others are just a bit of who-knows-what!

If you need help starting, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Six Recent Lessons from Turnaround Churches
Thom Rainer has discovered that 9 of 10 North American churches are shrinking or growing at a rate behind their communities. Here are six lessons he recently learned from such churches who are turning it around.

2) The Divine Dance (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Scot McKnight shares these Tim-Keller-filled reflections on the Trinity. What does it mean? A whole lot!

3) Learning the Gospel from My Children
A pastor named Jason Micheli recently preached this sermon, and I am a sucker for anything that revolves around Luke 15.

4) Daily Rituals of the Most Creative People (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
I am fascinated by how creativity works. This little essay, based on a full-length book, scratched that itch for a few moments.  For the record, I am unlikely to adopt many of W.H. Auden’s “labor-saving devices”.

5) Hotel Pornography and the Market of Morality
I found this piece, from The Public Discourse, ten months after its publishing. Well-written piece that uses a movement looking to ban hotel pay-per-view pornography as a case study on the strange dance between morality, economics, politics, and more.

6) 8 Habits of Highly Productive People
While the title looks like a knock-off of a best-selling classic, and the article contains a handful of typos, a few ideas here might help those longing to be more productive.

May your weekend be full of awareness and enjoyment of the God who already fills it with Himself and every good thing.  Blessings on you, my friends.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff with a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (38)

Happy Mother’s Day to every Mom and child of a Mom!

Here’s the latest installment of the Six-Pack, as assortment of worthwhile reads I’ve recently discovered. Most are ministry-minded or faith-focused, with a sprinkling of who-knows-what.

If you need direction, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

Follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ), where I share sharp quotes and solid articles 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) The End: A Conversation with Dr. Scot McKnight
Since hearing Scot McKnight speak several years ago, I’ve paid increased attention to his work and writings. Here he reflects on the end-times-obsessed soil in which his early faith sprouted. Some good reflections here for any Christian who’s ever wondered how to make sense of end-times teachings.

2) Old Testament Law and the Charge of Inconsistency (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Okay, that title will not draw you in! But this is a great little article. Within some discussions (regarding homosexuality among other topics), Bible-believers sometimes get accused of being inconsistent in their picking and choosing of Old Testament laws to enforce. Timothy Keller provides this sharp primer on how to make such distinctions with theological integrity. Valuable read for believers and non-believers alike.

3) 33 Leadership Quotes from Jim Putman and Francis Chan
Brian Dodd was at Exponential ’13. While listening, he put down these quotes from two presenters. Don’t expect flow or context; these are simply quotes taken on the fly by one listener. Jim Putman is a minister in Idaho who has had some influence upon the leadership of our church; he is dead serious when it comes to making disciples and one of the straightest shooters I’ve ever visited with.

4) Ten Ways to Grow a Small Group
Some great points; some less than that. Either way, several pitfalls toward healthy and thriving Small Group ministry are noted here.

5) Baptism as WarfareA guide in an ancient church once showed me a baptistry and highlighted how its styling made it a vivid point of declaring new allegiance. Or as this article highlights, it was a declaration of war. This image adds great depth to a teaching that is tired in some circles and misunderstood in others.

6) Open Letter from a Non-Mom on Mother’s Day (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Amy Young puts forward this thoughtful piece on how churches handle Mother’s Day. It actually impacted what will happen in our service later this morning.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

[Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Sunday Six-Pack (36)

Saturday escaped me one more time, but here is the latest Six-Pack.

The best ministry-minded or faith-focused articles I could find this week? Here they are, with some grace space for a bit of who-knows-what.

If six options stuns you, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and pick up steam from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Autopsy of a Deceased Church (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Thom Rainer’s most popular post last week was this piece of post-mortem analysis on a church that he had sadly predicted would die.

2) 42 Leadership Lessons from a Disney Executive
Brian Dodd put together this best-of, point-form review as he listened to Disney’s Brian White (also a church elder) present at the Orange Conference.

3) Fired
In this recent Leadership Journal piece, Nathan Kilgore shares a few lessons he’s learned through an abrupt move from pulpit to pew.

4) Why Traditional Churches Should Stick with Traditional Worship…if They’re Content with Dying a Slow Death
Every church, regardless of heritage or style, will need to figure out how it expresses its corporate worship, and why it chooses that particular expression. Adam Walker Cleaveland interacts with a few recent posts to highlight why he thinks this is so important.

5) The Outside View of a Former Church Insider (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Shaun King was wrapped in roles of ministry, serving as pastor and church planter, back into his teenaged years. An unforeseen exit at age 29 put him in the unfamiliar role of church outsider. From there, he’s made at least ten insightful observations.

6) Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret
Anyone who has ever desired to “get in a groove” will be intrigued by this simple move that kept Seinfeld on track when he was still a struggling-to-make-it comic.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May the week ahead be filled with God in ways that you can sense. Tune yourself in, and walk on!

YOUR TURN: Add a line below to direct other readers to the best stuff above or to highlight the piece that gave you something worth keeping.

Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Saturday Six-Pack (27)

Another weekend, another Six-Pack of noteworthy pieces recently discovered online.

As usual, these articles are typically ministry-minded or faith-focused, with enough flexibility to toss in the occasional who-knows-what.

With the links more thickly packed than usual today, the six has become four. If a third-dozen options still paralyzes you, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Louis Giglio… In… Then Out (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you’ve somehow missed it this week, Louis Giglio was selected to publicly pray for the nation and the president at President Obama’s inauguration.  And then he was essentially uninvited. Reason? A sermon he preached 15+ years ago, on the subject of homosexuality, that found its way online.  One of the best summaries I’ve read was from Skye Jethani. Mike Lukaszewski offers this “what I wish Obama had said in response” piece, and Justin Taylor has compiled three sharp bits of commentary from others.

2) Dealing with Demons (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
A missionary from the same conservative Evangelical heritage as myself describes his experience with the supernatural in Rwanda.  Thanks to Jonathan Storment for the link.

3) Churches and Malls
A recent morning blurb from HBR bounced off of this piece by Thom Rainer gives some food for thought on the future of church facilities.

4) 33 HBR Posts You Should Read Before 2013
So we missed the deadline on this title, BUT there ARE some terrific pieces to be found here.  Among them are The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time, HBR’s most-read piece of 2012 AND I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why, the most-commented-on piece of the year.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]