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Getting The Church To Think Outside The Church (via William Sikes)

This article is sort of a plug for the author’s web-based church revitalisation program, but there are a few phrases that resonate in communicating a mission focussed vision for local churches that need revitalisation.

One of the most important revitalization changes we faced was to move from a ‘country club’ church to a ‘mission-based’ church. The church was self-focused.
But the Lord was leading us to be something greater in the community for the mission of Christ. In order for us to do this, we were going to need to get the church thinking outside of the church and to stop caring about the “me, myself, I, and us” language.

Read the whole post here.

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Christian Hospitality Is A Reflection Of The Gospel (Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective)

All Christians are part of the household of God.
All Christians were once welcomed to that household by God’s grace.
All Christians have a role in welcoming visitors to that household as an expression of the grace we’ve received.

From Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective.

To be hospitable is to welcome a person with open arms, with an open heart, and with an open door; it is an openness to care for and love others, putting their needs before our own to ensure, at the very least, that they feel welcome in our midst. Fulfilling the Bible’s command to be hospitable in the local church is a responsibility of every Christian.
The motivation for Christians to be hospitable is to remember that we are the recipients of God’s hospitality. We were once strangers, wanderers, orphans, and aliens, but by the grace of God, we were made alive together with Christ. Thus, Christian hospitality is a reflection of the gospel. The ultimate hospitality was Jesus Christ dying for sinners to make all who believe, not only visitors, but members of His household.

Read the whole post here.

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Why Evangelicals Should Care More About Ecclesiology (via Tish Harrison Warren at Mere Orthodoxy)

Modern evangelicals are often a reflection of the individualism and cynicism of the present age in their attitudes to institutions or denominations.
As celebrity leader models collapse, and as expectations of accountability as protection against abuse grow, the benefit and necessity of denominations and institutional linkages is becoming more apparent.
These structures don’t exist for their own sake though, and if they do they become their own snare.
From Tish Harrison Warren:

If individuals and societies are to flourish, we need healthy institutions. But institutionalism, an idolatry of institutions, where the preservation of an institution is it’s only end, is, in no uncertain terms, evil. Though Christian leaders need to be (overtly) institutionally embedded and accountable, we cannot embrace a kind of institutionalism that overlooks justice, accountability, and the weak in order to gain ecclesial power.
We must seek just and good institutions and systems of accountability, yet there is no ecclesiology, there is no church structure, that will save us from sin. In the words of Artur Rosman, “there are no silver bullets against the werewolves of faithlessness.” Any institution or system we form, no matter how wise, will be sin-soaked. We do not simply need better institutions; we need atonement.
Yet, because ecclesiology won’t rescue us from bad things happening does not mean that wise structures of accountability are not important for a just and faithful church.

Read the whole post here.

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Big Moments Matter, But Small Moments Are Formative (via Dan Darling)

Dan Darling points out that if every week at church aims to be a mountain top experience, those who are in the valleys are going to be left behind.

…our spiritual lives are formed by a lifetime of small moments. We grow, not from one big epic church service, but by a series of weekly, mostly forgettable church services.
We learn the Word, not from one class or one sermon, but from years of classes and sermons. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that the Word grows in us, “line after line, a little here, a little there.” (Isaiah 28:10)

read the rest here.

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Sunday Night In Adelaide (Part Two)

This is how we roll.
Wayville Baptist Church.
An opportunity to see an old friend.

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Sunday Night In Adelaide (Part One)

Trinity 5.00pm.

A recently departed friend of mine would surely approve.

(even if they did sing the wrong last verse of Amazing Grace 😉)

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On The Importance Of Greeters (via Thom Rainer)

The church’s presentation of the Gospel commences when guests walk through the door.
From Thom Rainer, an unappreciated but vital ministry of service.

A greeter is a leader in ministry. It is critical that these leaders are strategically located where they will make first and powerful connections with guests. When we have a good greeter ministry in our church, we know where every greeter will be. We know the specifics of every assignment.
You see, without an organized greeter ministry, we are not likely to be where the guests are. We are not likely to see them when they arrive.
It is not an overstatement to say the presence of greeters in strategic locations could very well have an eternal gospel impact on someone.
It’s just that important.