Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of one of the founders of the terrorist organization Hamas. He converted to Christianity, and he tells the startling and profoundly unsettling story in his book Son of Hamas. There was an excellent commentary about the MSM’s (mainstream media) willful ignorance about Hamas’ true nature and objectives in its conflict with Israel. Watch Yousef’s two-minute CNN interview:
Elders as Disciple Makers
Our church has a “Leadership Board” which is what we call the role of the elder. On it are seven exceptional servant-hearted men, one of whom is a campus pastor for us at another site. If you add me in, there are eight of us altogether. We’ve articulated our role through the acrostic DAMP (we’re not ‘all wet’) – deciding, advising, monitoring and praying. We gleaned these four indispensable roles for elders from Gene Getz’s helpful book Leaders and Elders. Ours is a staff-led church, with the elders serving the church by ensuring that our staff are biblically-grounded and Christ-saturated.
An article by Jeramie Rinne called Elders—The Church’s Lead Disciple-Makers resonates deeply with me, and I’ll be sharing it with our team this week.
Are you an elder in your church? Then you should be one of the church’s lead disciplers… Elders tend the flock in such a way that believers develop from spiritual infancy to full-grown Christ-likeness. Overseers labor in hope that the sheep will move beyond a needy, self-focused, toddler Christianity to an adulthood of serving Jesus and leading others to Jesus.
Caveats to the #IceBucketChallenge
With everyone from sports stars to political leaders dousing themselves with ice water for ALS awareness and fundraising, two important considerations have arisen, that at first glance, may strike one as inconsequential. They both merit thought:
- It’s a waste of water.
- The ALS Association may be an advocate for embryonic stem cell research.
Actor and activist Matt Damon posted a helpfully practical video of his own dousing (in toilet water) to explain the first.
The Southern Baptist’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission posted an article explaining why the second is a concern.
Derek Loy of Asheville, North Carolina tried the hipster lifestyle – scarves and all – and went broke. He quit it and reverted back to main stream. Very funny article here.
“Do I miss hanging out at a brewery, drinking with a scarf on and talking about Radiohead tattoos? Actually, no. No I don’t. I’m finally free to go to a Buffalo Wild Wings and watch sports on Sunday, while drinking a giant Budweiser.” said Loy ecstatically. “The ironic thing is if I didn’t make this change, I would have been close to living out of my van, which would have made me a god among hipsters.”
After his profound endorsement of his common lifestyle, Loy proceeded to dip a corndog in chili and said, “This is the best I’ve felt in years.”
The new face of the International Mission Board
Again a shout out to Southern Baptists.. The Twitterverse was abuzz this past week with news that David Platt would be stepping down from psatoring the Church at Brook Hills to become president of the International Mission Board. Platt is a well known preacher and author in most Christian circles. His passion for missions is undeniable. Some staunch SBCers were less than enthused about the choice for various reasons.
Hershael York, pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church summarized their objections and responds to them well in this article, in which he says:
I am convinced that no one will excite and energize a young generation for missions and, by extension, the Cooperative Program like David Platt. Perhaps instead of fussing and fuming about the young Southern Baptists who don’t support the Cooperative Program we should ask why they aren’t excited about it and have not bought into it. I do not mean to be unkind, but I can’t help but notice that many of the ones whose recriminations ring loudest are the very ones who have presided over our precipitous decline in giving, missions, and baptisms. David Platt was 5 years old the last time Cooperative Program giving went up! Maybe it’s time we allow some of the disenchanted, disaffected but deeply devoted young leaders to share the burden of leadership.
I’d encourage you to watch this short video from David Platt about the process and his joy in serving in this new capacity.
The Other Side of the Ocean
Check out mentalfloss’ great graphic about, well, what’s on the other side of the ocean (from the US perspective):
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