Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "growth"

From Pulpit to Pew: On Joining a New Church

After five years in the pulpit and 30 years prior growing up in, working, and serving in my home church, I found myself in the oddly new position of looking for a place to worship. And so our quest for a new church began as soon as we moved from Chicago area to Nashville. After years of looking askance at those who "church shop", I was in the buying mood. We felt it was important for us to find and get settled in a church as soon as we could, but we knew our search must be spirit-directed and guided by prayer. Our criteria was pretty simple: It must be a church that preaches and teaches the Word of God (in a systematic, deep way.) We're big on gospel-centered, expository preaching and teaching. It must be proudly Southern Baptist. It must be close to our house. In my pastoral experience, I've found greater...

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Why Your Spiritual Growth Matters to the Community

Last week I preached a Mother's Day message from 1 Thessalonians 2:7-9. Paul compares discipleship to the actual practice of a mother nursing her child. In this, the mother is a source of life for her child. So it is that we as Christians, must be conduits of life-giving spiritual nutrition for those around us. This has a lot of implications for the way we live. First, it matters what we ourselves are eating. A mother who is breast-feeding has to be very, very careful about her diet because what she consumes will then make up the milk for her baby. As a Christian, what are you consuming? Are you growing yourself? Are you taking in the meat of the Word so you can feed others. You see, there is a progression here. You can’t exactly give a baby a steak or pork chops or pizza. A mother has to take in...

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How God Uses Relationships to Make You Better

Everyone wants to be better. Self-improvement gurus call it, well, self-improvement. Wise people and many in the church call it growth. The Bible calls this process sanctification. And for the Christian, sanctification is not merely the process by which you become a nice, better person. Pretty much all religions and even quasi-non religions do that. Even Richard Dawkins, I'm thinking, is okay with growth. Sanctification is something deeper, better, richer. The Bible asserts a bold idea that Christians--those who believe, know and follow Jesus Christ--have something deeper going onside them. They have God in them through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christianity, at it's truest form, is not really about getting better by self-improvement, but about dying to your old self and seeing the life of Christ form in you. It's a spiritual thing. It's a supernatural thing. But how does God accomplish this? Or, perhaps a better question, what...

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Why Reading Books Still Matters

readingphoto © 2008 ladyb | more info (via: Wylio)One of the big questions we’re facing in the 21st Century is the question of books. Will we still need books? Or does everyone simply read blogs. In a world of iPads, Kindles, and Wii, are books important or are they an analog relic of the ancient past?

It is true that the digital revolution has transformed the way we learn and process information. But I want to make an argument that books still matter.

Why Reading Matters

I’m not sure who said it, but it’s a good piece of wisdom. Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. Take a close look at the successful people around you and one thing you will notice is that they are readers. Most people thought of George W. Bush as an off-the-cuff Texan who thumbed his nose at the “elites.” His enemies dismissed him as lacking intellectual curiousity and depth. What most people don’t know is that President Bush was an avid reader. This is what his closest advisors, Karl Rove said:

In the 35 years I’ve known George W. Bush, he’s always had a book nearby. He plays up being a good ol’ boy from Midland, Texas, but he was a history major at Yale and graduated from Harvard Business School. You don’t make it through either unless you are a reader.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, one year the Leader of the Free World read 95 books. While serving as President. That’s around 2 books a week. Quite a pace. Leaders are readers.