I really enjoyed my time in California this past week. One of the highlights was sharing with some of the staff of this investment company that supports our ministry. They left encouraged that the work they do is helping kids and families receive both tangible help and eternal hope.

Here are a few articles that I found interesting. I call them my Friday Finds. Enjoy.

1. The Headache and Hope of Multi-Ethnic Ministry

via The Gospel Coalition 

The church isn’t primarily about worship styles, preaching methods, budgets, and buildings. The church is about being an embassy of heaven, an outpost of God’s kingdom on earth. It’s about embodying a picture of the future world that has come rushing backward into the present—and, while embodying that heavenly future, inviting people into it through faith in the gospel. But if we refuse to embrace the challenge of understanding why our black neighbors have a hard time in our white churches, how different are we from the local country club?”

2. 4 Consistent Wins of a Consistent Mission Lens

via Eric Geiger

It is really important to me to speak the mission of The Mentoring Alliance in multiple ways at multiple times throughout the year to keep it in front of our staff, board and even donors. The points in this article are exactly why I do it. 

 3. The One Thing You Can’t Be An Effective Leader Without

via Steve Graves

“Leadership and influence are both needed, but influence is bigger, deeper, and a more difficult skill to cultivate than stereotypical leadership. And if I had to choose between whether I could exert leadership or influence, I’d pick influence every time.”

4. Loving When It Hurts

via Peter Greer

“My hope is that we will be known as people who run to the suffering and the hurting, instead of running away. That we will stop to make time to respond to the needs all around us—even though doing so will bring both beauty and pain. That we would be prepared to live fearlessly and love boldly. And that we will continue to press into the dangerous work of loving like Jesus.”

5. Abandon Your Org Chart

via Pete Wilson

“So my encouragement to you would be to abandon the belief that value-added input can only come from those closest to you in the ladder of perceived success. From time to time purposefully go out of your way to seek input from people in your organization who don’t report directly to you. I think you’ll find their perspective enlightening and helpful while also encouraging and giving a voice to someone who thought they may have otherwise been overlooked. It’s a win-win.”

6. The Preacher And His Family: Leading Your Family In God’s Two Gardens

via Preaching Source

“The most important task we have as pastors is to teach the next generation the gospel. Don’t overlook the first mission field of your family. God has given you two gardens in which to grow your children, so drive the roots of the gospel deep and watch God grow something incredible.”

7. Flashback: Why Men Need Valentine’s Day

I wrote this post a few years ago, and I’m still writing in that journal today. Men, what do you do on Valentine’s Day to make it special for your wives?

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