A la carte: Emails, Saving Barnes & Noble, Giving Decline, Wal-Mart
For my newer readers, a la carte is a collection of articles and posts across the web that I've bookmarked as interesting (usually through Pocket, a great service). Here we go:
Evangelism and Email
Chuck Lawless raises practical concerns about what email can't do and what it is doing to us. He compares it to the church's approach to evangelism:
My biggest concern about e-mail, though, is that this medium makes it possible to send messages without ever talking to each other.. I am simply saying [evangelism strategies] are not enough if evangelism is not also personal.
Yes, write evangelistic emails, invite your neighbors and friends to church, follow up with guests, take mission trips, and expect your pastor to be a model..
Don’t forget, though, to tell others about Jesus — and take the risk to do it face-to-face. (Source)
10 Ways to Save Barnes & Noble Many have sounded the alarm with consistent quarters of losses at the nation's only remaining national book chain that it is going belly up. For some communities (like the New River Valley, specifically Christiansburg and Blacksburg), there are no other bookstores!
Gracy Howard suggests 10 things B&N should do. Which do you agree with? What would you add?
The decline of church giving
"...charitable giving to houses of worship and religious organizations fell 2.2 percent in 2012 (when adjusted for inflation) over the previous year. Meanwhile, every other giving sector except foundations saw donations grow in 2012." (Source)
I wonder if its because people are being individualistic about what they support? Have even Christians lost faith in their churches and decided that the individual church member knows better and thus will create a "pick and choose" smorgasbord of religious charities or justice organizations to give to?
The Wal-Mart you didn't know Here's a really interesting read on the Wal-Mart corporation. Though written in 2003, its still compelling.
To a person, all those interviewed credit Wal-Mart with a fundamental integrity in its dealings that's unusual in the world of consumer goods, retailing, and groceries. Wal-Mart does not cheat suppliers, it keeps its word, it pays its bills briskly. "They are tough people but very honest; they treat you honestly.."
The article tells a brief story of how Wal-Mart's practices hurt Vlasic (the pickle people). Yet their policies are good for those with low incomes. Opinions vary widely, but the entry is still worth a read.
By the way, there's this great little book that's been written that compares the American church to Wal-Mart and offers lessons for Christians on how to live lives of joy...