The Weekly Top 10 are select articles from my reading around the Internet this past week. You can see all of my bookmarks on Pinboard.
Psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote two of the the most important books on influence: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive and The Psychology of Persuasion.
Now he recommends five books for you:
- Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
- Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath
- Power: Why Some People Have It And Others Don’t by Jeffrey Pfeffer
- Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath
- The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
Thom Rainer provides some wise counsel to Christian leaders who are engaging their tribe via social media. As he notes, “social media is a two-edged sword. It can be used for good or great harm. And it can harm the ministries of those in Christian leadership.”
Here are his seven warnings regarding the use of social media:
- Consider anything you say on social media to be permanent.
- You can be misunderstood often on social media.
- Emoticons are not sufficient to soften what you have posted.
- Attacks on other people’s character or positions are considered cowardly by many.
- Too many Christian leaders are posting on social media in the heat of emotional moments.
- Churches and other Christian organizations are checking social media of Christian leaders.
- The non-Christian world is watching Christians attack each other on social media.
Jeremy Smith provides some good advice for churches using hashtags to engage their congregation:
- Keep It Short
- Make It General And Reflect Your Church
- Do Not Date Your Hashtag
- Put It At The End Of The Message
- Promote It
Next time you complain about your school board’s decision to eliminate the opening prayer at your high school’s graduation ceremony, consider the brothers and sisters in Christ who are enduring real persecution.
Christianity Today provides an interesting overview of the world’s most difficult places to be a Christian. They note,
Open Doors has also calculated the destruction of Christian property in light of religious violence around the world. Between the months of November 2012 and March 2014, the persecution watchdog found that 3,641 churches and Christian properties were destroyed.
The four hardest-hit countries: Nigeria (with 1,539 cases, Egypt (with 829 cases), Pakistan (with 217 cases), and Syria (with 207 cases).
This is an interesting article for church leaders. Reflection is a key part of learning, and as Christian educators (both from the pulpit and in a classroom), we need to strive to provide moments for reflection in our teaching.
As the author notes,
Somewhere along the way, I remember reading that it takes the 15 minutes of reflection for every hours of instruction presented to the learner to truly integrate the learning. I am not sure that ratio is completely accurate, but there is a good amount of research out there that points to the truth of this.
Personal reading provides a natural space for reflection, but how can we encourage our church members and students to reflect?
A couple of suggestions that come to mind:
- Provide questions for reflection as part of your sermon notes/handout for folks to think about after the worship service.
- Encourage your congregation to journal.
- Use your church’s Facebook page to post some questions for reflection as a follow up to your sermon.
- Build time for quiet reflection and silent prayer into your worship service.
One of Tim Challies’ best features as a blogger is his daily inclusion of great Amazon Kindle deals on Chrisitan books.
In this post, he provides an extensive list of books currently on sale at Amazon during their Big Deal sale. It’s worth reviewing.
Conservative author Ann Coulter lit a firestorm this week with an opinion article calling Dr. Kent Brantly’s efforts to help Ebola victims in Africa “idiotic.”
The Radical Blog provided a good summary of Christian response to Coulter’s article:
Criticism of Coulter is warranted. As believers, it’s important that we lovingly help each other identify faulty perspectives and stand up for truth … and missions. So because much has been said (and been said well, we might add), we thought we’d point you to some of the clearest responses we’ve seen.
- Albert Mohler: Are Christian Missionaries Narcissistic Idiots? — A Response to Ann Coulter
- Russell Moore: Ann Coulter and Our Mission
- Collin Garbarino: The Foolishness of an Ebola Doctor
- John Piper: A Virus More Deadly Than Ebola (poem)
- J.D. Greear: Ann Coulter’s Column About the Wastefulness of Mission Sacrifice
Steve Caton provides some insightful advice on the use of technology within learning organization.
Technology is a part of life. It can work for you, or you can work for it. This is why selecting and implementing technology requires leadership. Technology has the ability to inform and improve how you connect with people, lead your volunteers, and make disciples.
The key to success is found in these 5 principles
- Cast a vision for the staff.
- Build a team.
- Define success and lead towards it.
- Chart the course.
- Clear the obstacles.
Michael Beil notes, “One of the coolest things about living in the digital age as we know it, is having the ability to connect with people that you have never met in real life.”
With the rise of such relationships, and the widespread usage of technology, I want to hit on a few benefits of having these technologies in our hands. Along with that, there is of course a word of caution: moderation.
- Benefit #1: Communication is possible from anywhere in the world (well, almost).
- Benefit #2: Increase in productivity.
- Benefit #3: Greater accessibility for all.
- Benefit #4: Journaling our lives is simple with a smartphone that has a camera and note-taking app.
- Benefit #5: New music is being created.
Carey Nieuwhof provides 11 disciplines that a leader can do to bring energy to your team. In his introduction, Nieuwhof observes,
Great leaders seems to have a reservoir of emotional, spiritual and relational energy that’s contagious. And yet, if you’re like me, you struggle with your energy level on a regular basis. So how do you become one of those leaders who has energy on more days than you don’t? A few simple disciplines can turn the situation around for you quickly…starting today.
- Get 7–9 hours of sleep a night
- Exercise regularly
- Eat better
- Start your day with God
- Have some fun
- Develop a hobby
- Spend time with people who energize you
- Schedule white space
- Confess your sins
- Do your most important work first
- Take a quick break
That’s it for this week! To stay connected throughout the week, be sure to follow me on Twitter – @celler