Weekend reading (12/30)

Weekend Reading

Why Our Expectations for Teens in the Church Are Way Too Low

Cameron Cole:

Historically, one of the failures of youth ministry is that kids have not been viewed as potential contributors in the church, and that is a disservice to them and to the church as a whole. We need kids to learn how to be real church members, and we need kids to have good ecclesiology—a good theology of the church.

What Google knows about being human

Jason Thacker & Justin Wester:

Google is ubiquitous in our culture. Being a search engine, an internet provider, ad manager, email service, and so much more, Google is one of the preeminent tech giants whose influence is seen throughout most sectors of our society. For millions of people across the globe–ourselves included–the tech juggernaut is fully integrated into our everyday lives in ways we are not even conscience of, seemingly serving as an extension of our own minds. By examining the trends and patterns revealed in internet searches during 2017, Google discovered an interesting result: this year, the world asked “how?” And to showcase these results, Google put together a video.

Generosity in the Absence of Tax Advantages

Marty Duren:

For the Christ follower, how much we may be able to give at a certain time is hardly academic. Real life means real expenses many of which are outside our control. A multi-thousand-dollar visit to the ER can backup cash-flow for months or years. A blown engine is not covered by insurance while getting to work remains an essential. Asking folks with holes in their pockets to “dig deep” returns empty hands no matter how intense the effort.

What Expository Preaching Is Not

HB Charles Jr:

Many preachers reject expository preaching without really knowing what it is. Others seek to practice it without really knowing what it is. But you should not react to a caricature of expository preaching. And you should learn a craft before you try to practice it.

Here are fifteen myths about expository preaching that should be exposed to help the preacher rightly understand and faithfully practice expository preaching.

4 Creative Ways to Be Generous

Kristen Wetherell:

Perhaps, like me, you wonder if it’s possible to be generous when finances are tight. I’ve wrestled with this question, since it can feel like my family doesn’t have “wiggle room” for spontaneous financial gifts. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of needs around us—an ailing saint, a new baby, a financial crisis—and in my discouragement over finances, pride has taken root.

It’s a pride that says, “It has to be us who meet such-and-such a need.” Pride that doubts God’s goodness and ability to provide for all our needs. Pride that asserts my natural desire for independence and control, rather than a humble submission to what he’s allotted for us.

3 Ways I Plan to Read the Bible Less in 2018

Garret Kell:

The dawn of a new year offers a natural time to recommit to regularly reading the Bible. Of course, there’s nothing magical about a new year, but we do tend to think about changes that will grow us in Christlikeness.

One change I’ve made the past few years is that I plan to read less of the Bible each year. I’ve found less can actually be more.

Breaking out of the reading rut (the re-read recap)

A favorite from the archives:

I realized my reading habits had become a bit boring.

There wasn’t a lot of risk. Many of the books I enjoyed, I was fairly certain I’d enjoy before I finished the first chapter—and often, before I’d turned to the first page. The authors are trustworthy and reliable, and I therefore knew what to expect. But I found the same issue crop up with the books I didn’t particularly enjoy, too. Not that I was intentionally pre-judging, but that there wasn’t really anything that surprised me. The arguments were predictable in most cases, and often far too easy to refute.

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