Links To Go (February 23, 2016)

Links to other people’s writings. No agreement nor endorsement implied, just some food for thought… Tim


Some Serious Questions I Have For All Those “Good Guys With Guns”

It’s one thing to be a decent person who owns a gun and is trained on the mechanics of how to use it, but what about split-second judgement calls when a human life is in the balance? This is why professional arms bearers repeatedly take kill or no kill training– it’s not enough to be ready to shoot, one needs to have the ability to decide if to shoot at all.


Get Out of the Sanctuary & Into the Streets

Does this shift mean we abandon our church buildings? No. It’s good to have a place to get refreshed, but we don’t want to stay there. This is how it can start. Invite your church members to leave the church property and become the church body: many varied roles, but one mind focused on God’s mission. Look for ways to intentionally engage culture relationally.


Beware the Black Hole of Time

People get sucked away and lost forever on the second or third or fourth visit immediately following a church service (and especially during any waiting periods- like before a fellowship meal).
This is the black hole of time. Initial hellos have been said. Handshakes have been exchanged. So everything is supposedly good now. The regulars can do their regular things, and the visitors are supposed to feel at home.
But they don’t feel at home. Not even a little. And when they’re forced to stand around while the regulars talk with perfect ease, or when the visitor consigns themselves to an empty table, not knowing what to expect, watching church life occur all around them, the temptation is to leave. To flee, actually. And never come back.


Quit Doing Announcements

It’s time to quit doing announcements and start doing next steps.
What’s the difference?
Announcements are information rich and inspiration poor.
Next steps offer a relevant, clear and compelling call to action for your audience to respond to.


Bad Church Music: A Survival Guide

Of course, my dream is still that we’ll ultimately end up (aesthetically speaking) like Reformed Presbyterians and mostly sing songs written by dead people, or at least legit poets. I would love for us to be theologically okay with banjos or cellos yet say, “Our gift to the world is a cappella,” and really double-down on that as our tradition’s charism. And, of course, we should critique or call out untrue theology in our songs. But a goofy or irritating song service is a great reminder that church isn’t about me. And I’m pretty sure that it’s always better to offer up a tacky liturgy with a sincere heart than a poetic one with a haughty spirit.


The Reader of the Scriptures in the New Testament

While no mention is made of the position of the reader (lector) in the apostolic church, the inference that the Scriptures were read as an adoption of the synagogue service presupposes the position whether if it were an unofficial one or not. However, if the position was developed some time later, Christian testimony is ambiguous due to a lack of precise data. What is certain was that the early church listened to what was read and was, therefore, instructed in living.


The Benefits of Learning a Second Language

Mastering the mother tongue of another culture is empowering and enriching and opens up the world a little more for you. It’s all well and good visiting country after country, but if you can’t speak the language, your experience is limited. Fortunately, it is never too late. I know as an adult it is harder, but it may also be worth the effort to at least learn as many basics as possible.


The remarkably different answers men and women give when asked who’s the smartest in the class

Men over-ranked their peers by three-quarters of a GPA point, according to the study, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE. In other words, if Johnny and Susie both had A’s, they’d receive equal applause from female students — but Susie would register as a B student in the eyes of her male peers, and Johnny would look like a rock star.


Arizona state representative seeks to legalize potlucks

A state legislator in Arizona is seeking to change a bill that makes potlucks outside the workplace in the state illegal.
Republican State Representative Kelly Townsend has called the law a “big legislative oversight” and says the spirit of the bill was never intended to ban potlucks outside the workplace.


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