Weekend Links

Weekend Links

Worship leaders, pastors, and everyone serving this weekend: know that I’m praying for you! I pray that God will bless you and stretch you and use you to grow His kingdom and expand His family.

As usual, I found lots of great links this week that I wanted to share with you but that didn’t quite fit into a post. When you get a few minutes this weekend, check them out and be encouraged and challenged. Maybe even learn something. 🙂

Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Tyler Huckabee on worship music, fear of failure, and the ongoing decline of CCM:

In CCM’s heyday, approximately 50 million CCM albums were sold annually. In 2014, that number had plummeted to 17 million. CCM Magazine has long since ceased printing issues, and modern Christian songwriters struggle to penetrate the masses, outside of writing worship songs for church gatherings.

The descent of CCM is a reflection of America’s waning interest in Christianity as a whole. The precipitous dropoff in CCM sales has left Christian labels and artists staring into the void alongside their pastors, scratching their heads, wondering where they went wrong.

Because worship leaders and other creative types are more prone to depression than some other, here’s a post by Mike Mobley outlining what the Bible says about depression:

Jesus can only satisfy and is better than anything or anyone else you can ever imagine. He offers you forgiveness for all your past, present, and future sins if you believe in Him and choose to follow Him for the rest of your life. I pray you do this and consider talking with others around you or within the Church to learn more about Jesus and what He has done for you… Here is what the Bible has to say with scripture on depression:

Neal Samudre shares some advice on a huge challenge for the church – caring for those with mental illness:

But a majority of churches (as the study indicates) know the gravity of mental illness—they just don’t know how to practically love them.

In the same way a handicapped person needs a wheelchair ramp to enter the church building, mentally ill people need specific solutions to enable their worship. We can no longer give simple answers for a problem we struggle to understand. It’s time we address it with action—because that’s how Jesus would speak into the situation.

Here’s a couple suggestions of how to begin…

Thom Rainer teaches you seven things to say to church visitors in order to be more welcoming:

One of the more common questions I’m asked relates to growth barriers. For example, church leaders may want to know how to move past the 150-attendance level of the past five years. Or other leaders desire to know how to break though financial giving barriers.

Those questions are tough because they often presume a brief response to be adequate. In reality, there are many theological and methodological issues at work in growth barriers. Today, I am looking at a very basic barrier: lack of friendliness to church guests.

Wes McAdams shares four guidelines to what we should wear when we gather to worship:

We do not go to the church building just to meet God. We go to meet our church family and worship God with them; the same God we have been worshiping all week individually and with our families.

Good theology teaches us that God can – and should be – approached all week long no matter where we are or what we are wearing (see John 4:21-24; 2 Thessalonians 5:17). It is NOT good theology to tell people we can’t approach God unless we’re wearing the right clothes.

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