Back to church

Image courtesy of Outreach Magazine.

It’s back-to-school season (and almost back-to-church season). I’ve compiled a list of seven quick articles that will inspire and challenge you as we Americans return to our two largest educational institutions. Please read and enjoy. And join the discussion at our Facebook page.

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We start at Time Magazine, with an excellent article (and video) titled, School Has Become too Hostile to Boys by Christina Hoff Meyers. As you read, notice the many parallels to our church culture.

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Next, Tim Wright at Christianity Today explains how this same dynamic is driving young men away from the church: Finding our Lost Boys.

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More on the issue of pastors and pulpit time from my friend Thom Schultz. What Shackles Great Teaching explores the reasons Christians refuse to sharpen their teaching, even when they learn that better methods exist.

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Along these same lines, we return to Time Magazine for Why Long Lectures are Ineffective. The author presents compelling research that suggests that under 20 minutes is the ideal length for a lesson – or a sermon.

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Evey church today wants to be “missional.” Yet how do you do mission effectively? Ed Stetzer explains Why Structure is Essential for Mission over at Christianity Today.

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Singing Changes Your Brain explains the biological reasons unison singing is so pleasurable and the many mental health benefits that accompany it.

Once again the church finds itself on the wrong side of a trend. Yes, every church offers group singing, but contemporary worship music is becoming less singable with every passing year – and many men have stopped singing altogether. Choirs are disappearing, and we’re moving away from group participation and toward stage performance. Sigh.

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And finally, here’s a quick read called “Dusty old Creeds and Why We Should Care about them.” The author believes our impulse to rebel against authority is robbing a new generation of believers of a rich trove of church teachings.