Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Articles of the Week
The Complementarian Woman: Permitted or Pursued? Jen Wilkin. The complementarian position states that men and women, created differently by God, are designed to fulfill unique roles within the family and the church. Unfortunately, though, in our well-meaning desire to keep this truth alive, we sometimes emphasize the negative so much that we fail to highlight the positive. Our churches must grow in how they talk about women exercising their gifts: a robust complementarianism doesn’t merely permit women to serve; it actively pursues those opportunities.
Why are more single women missionaries? John Piper. Speaking of encouraging women to exercise their spiritual gifts, there is one venue in which they are already doing so, and with gusto—the international mission field. Single women outnumber single men 4 to 1 (even more in the most dangerous areas), which means that nearly two-thirds of the evangelical mission force is female. First of all, huzzah for those women! But second, what is behind this strange statistic? Piper offers an opinion and a welcome challenge.
Three Mistakes Leaders Make When Starting a New Year, Eric Geiger. It’s January 6, but we hope it’s not too late to keep you from blundering off the edge of this leadership cliff. If you’re like us, the new year has you amped to make some changes and lead better in 2017. The enthusiasm is palpable. You’ve got goals, lists, action steps. Maybe they’re even alphabetized and color-coded. But your enthusiasm can backfire if you’re not careful. Heed Geiger’s advice, and become a wiser leader.
Your New Fitbit Won’t Change Your Life, Trevin Wax. I love the opening line here. “New studies show that it’s hard to persuade people to exercise.” Indeed. While this has been true for quite some time, it is surprising in light of recent wearable technology—Fitbits and the like. When Fitbits started rolling out, the idea seemed to be that tracking your steps would naturally lead people to make better exercise choices. For some, it does. But, as Trevin points out, the heart is a tricky thing. Measurement is one thing, and motivation another. Take it from me (Chris) and Trevin (both Fitbit wearers and Fitbit fans, by the way): the way people change is not by information, but inspiration.
Plow Around that Stump, Jay Sanders. Every church—and every organization, for that matter—has its fair share of stumps. You know stumps when you see them. They are the seemingly immovable obstacles getting in the way of legitimately good ideas. People resist change, even good change, because they fear losing what they know. So when you encounter a stump, sometimes your best response isn’t to bust out the backhoe, but to simply plow around it for the time being. Choose your battles wisely.
On the Lighter Side
Guy Falling for 9 Seconds (While Trying to Shovel Snow). There’s snow in the forecast this weekend, our first of the season. We North Carolinians don’t do well with snow, as we proved a couple years back. (Fun fact: my car is actually in that picture. No, it’s not the one on fire.) Anyway, as you prepare for Snowpocalypse 2017, try not to be this guy.
Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. 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.”