I thought I’d connect you with a few “items of interest” for ministry that I’ve encountered on this trip. Have fun!
1. unChristian. This book should be huge soon enough. I’ve heard plenty about unChristian this year – not only at two different conferences but by multiple instances of word-of-mouth, too. The book is subtitled “What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity … and Why It Matters” – and, since it’s coming out of the Barna group, it’s not just stories or suggestions but statistics, as well. (Added bonus: If you give unChristian at Christmas, you can always write “This book made me think of you” on the card… You jokester!)
2. Finding North when it comes to the Golden Compass. Like you, I’m intrigued by the Golden Compass issue. College students, youth, parents, pastors, and others are gonna be asking us questions about the film, too. But it hasn’t exactly been easy for me to keep up with this very important discussion (I’m on a year-long road trip, if you hadn’t heard). So I really liked this blog post I found, because it filled me in – and did so with breadth and balance. It was linked from Christianity Today and is certainly lengthy – but in this case, I found that to be a good thing. You can certainly Google for more articles and blogs on all of it, but this is one I appreciated!
3. Watch (or hear) a church become Simple. I had the unique opportunity to sit in on a definite hinge service at Birmingham’s Church at Brook Hills a few weeks ago. This megachurch is pastored by “young phenom” Dr. David Platt, who’s one of the most Bible-lovin’, missions-focused pastors you’ll ever come across. After a couple of years at the helm of Brook Hills, he’s drawing the teaching themes together into a plan for what their church should look like. Many of you have read Simple Church; here’s a chance to see those principles applied dramatically in a large, 18-year-old church. Very interesting stuff.
I encourage you to listen to the message from that Sunday – it was dramatic but wise, in my opinion – but you can do what you want! Their page dedicated to this new future is here, and it includes the talk and the handout from that day.
While you’re at it, you might as well check out Secret Church, too. This is something I’ve even heard of college ministries taking road trips to – across state lines, in fact! Arising from Dr. Platt’s mission experiences teaching the Bible in secret locations, Secret Church… well, check it out.