It’s that time of the year… As we move into 2020, we reflect!
Here are the five articles that you all read the most in 2019 (in no particular order). Thank you to all of our contributors and readers. We’re grateful for you all!
1) 5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 5 Years of Church Planting
As Stephen Stallard celebrated the five year anniversary of his church plant in New York City, he found himself reflecting on the lessons he’d learned over the years. In this article, he shared those lessons with us.
“Church planting is hard. Spiritual warfare should be expected. If I don’t practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, bible reading and sabbath, then I won’t survive the journey of church planting. If I’m not spiritually healthy, the church plant won’t be healthy.”
2) Missionary Living at Thanksgiving
Keelan Cook understands that a missionary lifestyle doesn’t necessarily come naturally for most of us. However, the holidays offer us strategic opportunities. This Thanksgiving, he shared some practical ways we can take advantage of them.
“Each Fall we have a built-in time to reflect on our blessings. Clearly many in our society would not attribute those blessings to the hand of a benevolent God, but we who are in Christ know that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father (Jam 1:17). Even more, we know that every temporal gift is a mere shadow of the far greater grace that can be found in relationship with God through Jesus.”
3) Fall Break in Portland: Learning About the Long Haul
Each Fall Break, Southeastern Seminary sends a team on a short-term mission trip. This year, Lauren Pratt joined the team as they served alongside church planters in Portland, Oregon. In this article, she shared about her experience and the insight she gleaned.
“You could say this mission trip was a vision trip of sorts—not just for me, but for all of us in one way or another. A mission trip in Portland wasn’t going to consist of going door-to-door inviting people to church or putting on a VBS in the park. What we were able to do, in my estimation, was much more realistic to what ministry looks like in this part of the country—steady over the long haul and a support to those doing long-term ministry there.”
4) Why All Good Christians Should Celebrate Halloween
For years now, this article by Dr. George Robinson has circulated during the month of October, and even after! The punchy title surely grabs folks attention, but his insight really isn’t all that controversial. He offers practical reasons as to why Christians should engage the culture on Halloween.
“The reason I propose that good Christians celebrate Halloween and stay home from the ‘Christian alternatives’ is that Halloween is the only night of the year in our culture where people far from God actually go door-to-door to believing people’s homes… and you’re down at the church hanging out with all your other good Christian friends having clean fellowship and missing out on the opportunities.”
5) How Church Planting Changed My Family
CGCS Associate Director Greg Mathias served overseas for a number of years in the Middle East. The lessons he and his family learned on the field still impact them today.
“There are times when ministering in any context, especially with your family, can be difficult if not overwhelming. However, from the beginning we made a commitment to minister as a family and not separate our home life from ministry life. From day one, we wanted to communicate to our girls that this is our family’s ministry, not just mom’s or dad’s. Any type of ministry, even church planting, is a family endeavor.”
Which article was your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!