‘We, deep down, long to be affirmed by the world. Long for people with a voice in the secular world to think Christianity’s cool, or credible, or even just not as outdated as everyone thinks it is. We still believe that getting celebrities to tell the world about the gospel (or summat vaguely connected to it anyroad) will mean it’ll turn round and trust Jesus (you know, like it did with Cliff!). We feel like we’re validated a bit when people with a voice in the culture say summat nice about us, or even Jesus. Perhaps that’s the reason that evangelical conferences in the Uk still have the “preachers with a profile” on the platform. Perhaps it’s why lots of evangelistic endeavour looks like getting the famous person to do a testimony, or the person with the “amazing story”.’
Thom Rainer does what he does. I think he gets it about right.
‘Entitlement (en·ti·tle·ment, noun): the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. Have you ever heard of anyone confessing that they have an entitlement problem? Have you ever had anyone in your small group throw in a prayer request asking for God to correct their attitude of entitlement? Let me get a little more personal. Have you ever confessed it? Me either. Entitled people don’t know they are entitled. This is why it is the silent killer of the church. It is undetected. Entitlement disguises itself in many ways. We become angry when we are overlooked for our efforts. We become frustrated when we are treated as equals with people we see ourselves above. It actually can feel like oppression. We look for new churches, friends, or jobs when we feel like we are not being compensated for what we bring to the table. We respond by demeaning, gossiping, and slandering the people who do not show us the respect we think we deserve.’
We definitely need to see more of this. It is vital for those of us in deprived parts of the North.
I think this is an important one. I doubt we will be sending our children on sleepovers for some of these reasons.
‘Some burdens we must bear alone for the sake of the church (Gal. 6:5) and yes, we may experience closer scrutiny than the woman sitting next to us in the pew. But even so, God desires for us to have healthy relationships within our church community. And without some level of transparency our relationships will never grow. When I’m feeling some form of pastor’s-wife-isolation, these biblical principles help me find my way forward.’
From the archive: Five reasons we fail to promote working class & BME leaders when permanence isn’t an issue
‘What are some of the reasons why BME and working class people are not in leadership when permanence is not an issue? In no particular order, and remembering some of these are circumstantial and others systemic, here are some of the common reasons.’