The Danger of “Fauxnerability,” Three Words for the Weary Pastor’s Wife, & Lessons from Church Revitalization
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Articles of the Week
Fauxnerability: What It Is and What to Do About It, Chuck DeGroat. There is a world of difference between a truly repentant heart and the false “brokenness” that acts as a deceptive front for narcissism. With all of the (rightful) emphasis on transparency, authenticity, and vulnerability in the church today, we are particularly susceptible to fauxnerability—a fake vulnerability that uses gospel language without accompanying life change. True vulnerability isn’t seen in an emotional moment; it’s seen in teachability, humility, and character.
Three Reasons to Include a Concise Summary of the Gospel in Every Sermon, Timothy Raymond. As we often say around here, the gospel is not just the diving board into the pool of Christianity; it is the pool itself. If everything we do rests on the foundation of the gospel, it makes sense that we would rehearse that foundation often. One of the key ways churches can do this is by clearly and briefly summarizing the gospel in every sermon. That’s right—every single one.
Two Nations, Revisited, Mary Eberstadt. “The new wealth in America is familial wealth, and the new poverty, familial poverty.” This is a spot on assessment of the enduring importance of the family in society—an importance that we have seen more vividly of late because of its absence. Many of the social problems we face today—from economic poverty to sexual assault—can be traced back to our facturing families.
Three Words for the Weary Pastor’s Wife, Jacki C. King. Ministry is a wearying work, and some of the first people to feel this are the family members of pastoral staff. Pastors’ wives bear many of the same burdens their husbands do, but often without the blessings of getting to see as many of the rewards. And unlike their husbands, they can’t quit. Instead, many pastors’ wives check out emotionally or retreat toward self-preservation. Jacki C. King has three words for those wives who are tempted to throw in the towel.
Four Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Church Revitalization, Ross D. Shelton. Long before The Summit Church was known as a “sending church,” we were a church in need of revitalization. Our sending story traces its roots back to our revitalization story—which is why we are so eager to see hundreds more churches throughout this country given a fresh breath of vitality. Revitalizing a congregation that has grown stagnant or turned inward is not sexy work, and it’s often harder than planting a new church. But if we’re faithful to the churches God has given us—even the ailing ones—we may yet see him work in miraculous ways.
On the Lighter Side
Kids at Amusement Parks. I legitimately can’t decide if the funnier moments in here are when kids are scared out of their minds or when they fall asleep.