It’s not that the people of God should have avoided or withdrawn from politics. If anything, we should step into the public square and be a more compelling voice. But maybe the next time we should aim to be better equipped to be sent into the thick of it. Followers of Jesus have a mission to engage the world with grace and truth. It seems like we lost a fair measure of both.
This morning I worked through my daily list of readings – beginning with God’s Word. I have worked my way through the One Year Bible each year for nearly 30 years. If I didn’t, my spiritual growth would be stunted, deformed. I would read books more to my liking (Mark, Philippians) and read books less […]
The bride leaves her abode and begins her journey down to the little chapel by the lake. As she walks, presently she notices that two animals have joined her procession; a donkey to her left, and an elephant on her right. The bride feels uncomfortable to be in such close proximity to the animals, but maintains her focus and continues on.
Very often, and for many different reasons, God will shrink a church from one size down to something much smaller. Sometimes the reason a church shrinks is because they have made some poor choices, but often the reasons are totally unavoidable. Changes in employment, changes in the community, changes in denominational affiliation, or a new church opening up down the street are common causes of church reduction. It is very common to find a church that has shifted from 1000 members to 500, or 300 down to 100, or from 100 down to 20. When that occurs, changes are necessary!
All of us have influencers in our lives, people who have had a transformative effect. Somewhere around the late 80’s, as a young and rather desperate pastor, I read Working the Angles. I was still getting my bearings for this thing called ministry, and Eugene Peterson’s work drew the lines and the worked out the angles. It is perhaps his most distilled description of pastoral work. Prayer, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction give shape and integrity to ministry. They are the angles that inform the lines–preaching, teaching, and administration.