Learning to Lament, Social Media Trends, & Character Making a Comeback

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, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”

Articles of the Week

Why Character Is Making a Comeback, Katelyn Beaty and Anne Snyder. A growing number of Americans believe that our society is headed the wrong way morally. There may not be agreement about the causes for this moral decay (or its content!), but this loose consensus has brought an old concept back into the spotlight—character. Anne Snyder has done some great research showing the connection of character to institutions. As the old saying goes (well, could have gone), “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘character.’”

Pastors, Don’t Quit: Learn to Lament, Mark Vroegop. Lament, as Vroegop defines it, is “a form of prayer that talks to God about our pain.” In many important ways, the American church has lost its ability to practice and encourage lament. Ironically, some of the people suffering most from this loss are pastors themselves. We need to learn to “sing to God in a minor key” so that pain, suffering, and disappointment can drive us closer to God, rather than away from him.

Five Key 2019 Social Media Usage Trends, Chris Martin. Some speculate that social media usage is about to take a nosedive. Martin isn’t buying it, and would “bet his house” Americans stay engaged with various mediums of social media. I (Chris) won’t be joining him in that bet, but the statistics are in his favor. Whether you love social media or find it a societal scourge (cough cough), it’s helpful to know the trends. Behold.

Chip Away at Your Children’s Spiritual Growth, Jen Oshman. It is possible that no society in the history of humanity has been so addicted to instant gratification than our own. We want what we want an hour ago. Your body doesn’t usually respond well to this kind of instant fix mentality. And, more importantly, neither do your kids. Spiritual growth is possible, but you’ve got to chip away at it. Oshman reminds us of the value of small, but repetitive, investments in our kids’ lives.

10 Ways to Lead a Great Team Meeting, Mike Ayers. Those of us in the ministry end up sitting through—or leading—dozens of meetings every week. But chances are, most of us have received no training for what makes a meeting successful. Linger in ignorance no more. Listen to Ayers and make your meetings fewer, clearer, and more effective. You can thank us later.

On the Lighter Side

Who Was Garamond, Anyway? The History Behind Five Classic Typefaces, Sean Adams. I know that none of us should aspire to fame. But reading this makes me want to become an eponymous creator of a new font. It won’t happen, of course. Still, how cool would it be if people were using 12-point, double-spaced, Pappalardo fonts in the future?