Links To Go (September 13, 2016)

Skip the Endorsements in Church, Say Most Americans

Eight in 10 (79 percent) say it is inappropriate for pastors to endorse a candidate in church. Three-quarters say churches should steer clear of endorsements.
Yet fewer than half want churches to be punished if they do endorse candidates.

The State of The Church in America: When Numbers Point To A New Reality, Part 1

Pew’s findings have led some to forecast the complete collapse of Christianity in the United States. The data, however, implies a more complex reality. Frankly, there is no credible research showing that Christianity is dying in America despite the flashy headlines we often see.
Instead, American religion is simultaneously growing and in decline. Fewer people claim to be Christians, but churchgoers—those who regularly attend services—are holding steady in some segments, and thriving in others.

Expatriate Patriotism

Although I live in the United States and even though both my paternal and maternal ancestry have branches going back to colonial days and one branch to the 1600’s, as well as some Native America ancestry (although it is just a trace), The United States is not my fatherland. My Fatherland is where my Father is. My citizenship is in Heaven and I am a resident of the Kingdom of Christ – His Church.

8 Hallmarks of Attractional and Gospel-Centered Churches

Went on a bit of a Twitter run yesterday with some thoughts on the essential defining characteristics of the church model I call attractional, followed by some constructive alternative hallmarks of gospel-centered churches. Hopefully they will bring more clarity to thinking through the relevant issues in evangelical ecclesiology.

Old Donkeys Needed!

We need people who will be the stabilisers to our youthful zeal.
We need people who will disciple our young couples.
We need people who will be mentors for young parents.
We need people who will model faithful perseverance.
We need people who will help us be a demonstration of a gospel family.
We need people who will exemplify servanthood until the very end.
We need people who will have time to invest in relationships.

Keep Your Mouth Shut!

Listening and asking good questions precedes giving gospel words. In a conversation with a either stranger or someone I know, I begin by listening to the person talk about his or her life and situation. Sometimes, I don’t even need to start the conversation—they may start it! God places us into people’s lives to represent Him in that moment. We are His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). He makes His appeal through us, but in the context of a real person in a real moment (often in a time of need).

The Professional Mourners of Arlington Cemetery

Hoyt Vandenberg, Chief of Staff for the United States Air Force, was driving to his office in the Pentagon in 1948 when he noticed a funeral being conducted at Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery. There was no sea of crisp uniforms or sobbing family members. Aside from the chaplain and the Honor Guard, there was no one there at all.
Vandenberg didn’t like it. Soldiers, he felt, deserved the presence of at least one civilian to bear witness to their burial. His wife, Gladys, agreed. She set about recruiting friends and wives of the enlisted to begin attending Air Force funerals, even though many of the deceased were complete strangers. They called themselves the Officers Wives Club and acted as both military representatives and as proxies for family members who might not be able to afford to travel to Arlington for services.

Hundreds miss seeing tallest structure ever demolished in UK being blown up – because they looked wrong way

Thousands of people watched one of Britain’s tallest structures come crashing down in a huge spectacle today.
But hundreds of others missed the incredible sight – all because they were looking the wrong way.

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