It’s nearing the end of the year, when “Best of…” and “Top 10” lists are coming out. We thought it’d be interesting to see what resonated most with our readers this past year, so we’ve assembled our Top 10 Articles of 2017.
These are the articles that seem to have hit a nerve this past year. The ideas that have resonated with you, our readers. Check them out and leave a comment to join the conversation.
#1: Why We Should Stop Funding Church Plants
Our top article of 2017 was written by our friend David Fitch, with the provocative premise: let’s stop funding traditional church plants.
Instead, let’s fund missionaries to inhabit contexts all across the new mission fields of North America. It’s easy, simple, saves money, and I think it could seed the mission of God in North America for generations to come. [Read more…]
#2: Lament as Mission in the Suburbs
Next up is Matt Tebbe’s post on learning to join Jesus on mission in the suburbs through the counter-intuitive practice of learning to lament.
“Instead of this kind of happy clappy faith, the suburbs desperately need a faithful Christian witness of how to lament pain and evil in our world.” [Read more…]
#3: From Affinity to Affection: Building an Actual Community
Ben Sternke names the subtle difference between gathering a crowd based on affinity, and what it means to build an actual community rooted in gospel-oriented affection for one another.
Are we really seeking to build a community that reflects the beautiful diversity of the Body of Christ, or are we treating “community” as a commodity that we try to obtain at the lowest relational price? [Read more…]
Another one from Ben Sternke on the subtle ways that language shapes our perception. Does God really “use” people?
“The idea that God uses people to accomplish his purposes is too utilitarian and mechanical to do justice to what we see in the scriptures about how God relates to his people.” [Read more…]
#5: How To Have a Difficult Conversation: 3 Practices
Gravity coach Mac McCarthy wrote a profoundly helpful, eminently practical article on something every leader faces on a regular basis: difficult conversations.
“The basic shift that took place in me was caring more for him as person than the problem he was creating. Together we were able to gather around the frustration in our relationship rather than pointing fingers at each other.” [Read more…]
#6: Some of Our Favorite Books of 2016
Yes, one of our most popular articles from 2017 was an article about some of our favorite books of 2016. People LOVE a good “Best Of” lists, it seems!
“You’ll notice that the books span a fairly wide range of genres, from theology to history to leadership to fiction. We believe reading lots of different kinds of books gives leaders intuitive insights and important perspectives they wouldn’t have otherwise.” [Read more…]
#7: How to Shift Small Groups to Missional Communities
Another helpful article from Mac McCarthy with wisdom on the practicalities of shifting small groups toward missional communities.
“Of course, the elephant in the room for most small groups is not only a lack of mission, but also a lack of discipleship. “Studies” don’t produce disciples. Disciples produce disciples.” [Read more…]
#8: How To Get Off the Treadmill of Self-Improvement
Yet ANOTHER helpful article from Mac McCarthy on the difference between self-improvement and true gospel-saturated transformation.
“What’s the problem with wanting to do better? The problem is that these kinds of self-improvement plans rooted in shoulds lead to bondage, not freedom.” [Read more…]
#9: Why Most People Miss Out On Being Led By the Spirit
Ben Sternke discusses the two most common mistakes people make in their efforts to do the will of God: acting without listening, and listening without acting…
“God gives his people both a promise (“I have given you this land”) and a command (“Go in and take possession of the land”). Both are needed for the people to be successful in their task.” [Read more…]
#10: Can You Actually Move From Attractional to Missional?
In this 7-minute video, Mac McCarthy and Jody Been discuss the practicalities of shifting a church from an attractional mindset to a missional mindset. It’s really fantastic advice from two practitioners:
Those were the top 10 articles of 2017, according to how many times our readers clicked on them and shared them.
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Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!