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Article: 4 Ministry Trends to Watch in 2021The destabilization of church attendance has affected smaller and larger churches. In one survey before the pandemic, 45% of pastors served in churches with worship attendance below 100. Now, it’s almost 3 in 4 pastors whose worship services are that size. I write about this (and more) at the new Lifeway Research site.

Also, this week on MARKED, a podcast for Lifeway Women, I join Kelly King and Elizabeth Hyndman for a discussion about Rethink Your Self. Listen in as we talk about a theological approach to our purpose in life, the future of the church, and more.

Podcast Pick of the Week: J. T. English talks about growing in discipleship in a recent episode of Unseen Leadership.

Kindle Deal: Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture by Larry Osborne. $1.99.

Seven of the best articles I came across this week:

1. Michael Kelley – Why Churches Must Grasp This Opportunity to Redefine Discipleship. What’s the impact of the last 10 months on discipleship? We’d be wise to be asking the question now particularly in light of the fact that the season of COVID has brought a great sense of disconnectedness to the church.

2. Ed O’Malley – Leadership in Uncertain Times. Leadership is mobilizing others to make progress on daunting challenges. “Leadership is an activity, not a position.”

3. Madeleine Kearns – Poland: Where the Disabled Have a Right to Be Born. Since Poland’s constitutional court outlawed eugenic abortion in October, churches have been vandalized and tens of thousands have flouted social-distancing rules to attend protests. See also Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra – Not Your Typical Pro-Life Leader. “Benjamin Watson didn’t barge into the pro-life movement like he was sprinting across an entire football field to take out an opposing player one yard from the end zone (though he’s done that). Instead, his entry was gradual and a little surprising.”

4. John Seabrook – Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever? Companies are figuring out how to balance what appears to be a lasting shift toward remote work with the value of the physical workplace.

5. Thaddeus Williams – The False Gospel of Assuming the Worst of Others. Spot on from Thaddeus Williams. “When we practice the Newman Effect, though, we’re not contending for the historic faith. We’re just conforming to the splintered and self-righteous spirit of the age.”

6. H.B. Charles, Jr. – Rejoice Always. Do you know what the shortest verse in the New Testament is? In the Greek, it’s 1 Thessalonians 5:16: “Rejoice always.”

7. Dorothy Wickenden – The Pre-Civil War Fight Against White Supremacy. In a country riven by racial politics, three women strove for a just society.

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