Best of the Week for April 3
In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.
“You see, up to this point, all we’ve done is create a welcoming family that is functioning like an extended family, make it crystal clear our lives are oriented around Jesus, and do some regular and rhythmic things that point to Jesus.”
This is actually titled “Starting a Missional Community From Scratch,” but I didn’t say that because I don’t want to scare you away. Theirs is a story of starting from scratch, but this is a great narrative for all of us of what missional community looks like and how it develops over time (15 months for them) when we live intentionally. A great example that I hope will encourage you to lean into the journey.
“The ‘red flags,’ people told her, were her snooping around in her husband’s business. The only problem here, they scoffed, was that she doesn’t trust her husband. Again and again, everyone told this poor woman that SHE is the problem, for looking at what she had no right to see. For not blindly trusting her husband to have innocent conversations with women he used to date.”
This is in response to some debate going around recently about men who will not spend time alone with women other than their wives (and rightfully so). People, culture is shifting rapidly. Biblical, Christ-centered cultural values are fast becoming “outdated” and increasingly not tolerated. We will have to learn how to navigate these days with discernment and learn to live with criticism and ridicule and remember that when the world hates us, it hated Jesus first.
“When you read about the early church in the New Testament, everyone was on mission. Everyone. Although Christians had different roles–there were overseers and deacons, and an array of different giftings—everyone was in the game.”
Being “in ministry” is not just for a select few or only the most mature. When we are called to Jesus, reconciled to him, he sends us into the world as his people, with the message of reconciliation for others. Every single one of us. Some of us are in “vocational ministry,” but a primary calling of that particular role is to equip the entire church to be “in ministry” all the time, everywhere.
“We must be people of deep and pervasive prayer, we must be people committed to productivity, and we must do both things to build a platform from which to speak.”
In keeping with the “we are all in ministry everywhere we go” theme, this is a helpful and extremely practical article on how to live and speak at work so that we can be ministers of good news, even in a secular workplace.
“The Bible is God’s special revelation of Himself in a unified collection of books that form one story whose purpose is to point us to Jesus so we can glorify God and enjoy Him forever. That’s what the Bible is.”
This is a good perspective on how the entire Bible tells the story of God’s redemption and points to Jesus. All of these many books, genres, and authors all tell one cohesive story. Understanding that helps us to connect the dots when we read (and hear preaching).
More Than Funny | Michael Jr.
Michael Jr. is hilarious, clean, and a follower of Jesus, from what I can tell. This is a TED talk he gave on comedy and life, and it delivers a punch in the last few minutes. You’ll laugh (a lot) and be challenged to see the the unique story and gifts God has given you from a different perspective: how you can use them to be a blessing to others and not just as a means of gain for yourself. (It’s about 20 minutes long, but an enjoyable listen or watch in some free time.)