I heard a lot of good preaching during Advent and Christmas this year, but my favorite was John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, preaching on what the world would be like if Jesus had never come. You can find it here: look for 12/5/10 sermon. Highlight that line and just hit the “play” icon to the left of the title. Or go to Menlo Park’s sermon page at http://www.mppc.org/learn/sermons and look for “An Unimaginable World” from 12/5/10. There is a complete manuscript there and study notes as well.
Bob Roberts is truly a citizen of the world and a key American figure in the global church. This blog is particularly good in laying out some of the necessary and important steps if we want to begin learning from our brothers and sisters in the majority world.
Churches and church planters interested in community research now have MANY resources at their fingertips on the web. Here is just one (“City-data.com”) where you will find pictures, real estate comparisons, demographics, relocation info, house prices, recent sales, cost of living, crime, race, income, photos, education, maps, weather, schools, neighborhoods, and lots more. Dig around!
The Barna Group does some of the best research concerning what is happening in the Church. This recently released summary of findings from 2010 is already being posted and reposted on the web (see here and here for example). How does this correspond to your experience of the church? How should we respond?