#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

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5 Reasons Christians Cannot Abandon the Church: Aaron Earls

Every so often, a Christian writes a piece about how they’ve come to the realization they would be better off away from a local church. They still love Jesus, they maintain. In fact, they are leaving the church because they love Jesus so much. The church has become crowded with man-made traditions, instead of God-centered worship. Local churches fail to do so much of what Jesus called them to do.

All that may very well be the case, but none of that deals with the very obvious point that Jesus said He was personally establishing the church. In the book of Revelation, John said the church was the bride of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul said the local church is the body of Christ. Unless you want to undergo divorce or decapitation, removing yourself from the church is not the best idea for a Christian.

Theologically, Christians are called to be part of a local church. Biblically, there is no such thing as a Christian living apart from the church. But even beyond those reasons, there are very practical reasons each Christian should be actively involved in church. …Read More.

The Day I Discovered an African American Theologian: Walter Strickland

History is recounted by the wealthy and powerful. Throughout America’s history of racism, slavery and segregation prohibited blacks from being protagonists in the Christian narrative. For example, there is often mention of Jonathan Edwards and John Frame in the American Christian story, but rarely an acknowledgement of John Chavis or John Jasper. In general, the American Christian story told in most evangelical college and seminary classrooms includes African Americans as marginal characters and only in relation to the dominant culture.

This results in false perceptions of God’s work—namely, that God primarily works through the wealthy and powerful. People assume that the white protagonists have everything to teach and little to learn from those who have been excluded. Learning about historical figures like African-American pastor Charles Octavius Boothe (1845–1924) not only shows God at work outside the dominant culture, but it also exalts Christ as the redeemer of every ethné.

5 Church Budget Concerns That Are Keeping Church Leaders Up at Night: Art Rainer

Recently, Envelope3 members filled out a quick, one-question survey. The survey simply asked “What is the biggest budgetary concern for your church right now?” Most church leaders feel some financial strain in their church budgets. So the goal of the survey was to pinpoint the most pressing issues.

The responses were easily grouped into five primary categories. Here were the top five most expressed concerns. …Read More.