Finding our guiding values by looking deep within will not lead to a true north. Nor will gaining more knowledge change things. This is hard to admit for most leaders—hard to admit in a culture of self-dependence.
The change from one pastor to another is plagued with heartache and frustration and failure. We’ve all heard the stories of churches losing members, losing funding, losing their ministries in the wake of a pastor leaving. I believe that the biggest reason for this hardship is a lack of leadership. Leadership truly is important, and if a void in leadership is created at the point of transition, then the church will suffer.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) has long been perceived as the gold standard of formal training for ministry. But an increasing number question its necessity for contemporary ministry.
It began a few days ago with an email from one of our professors, alerting some of us to Eugene Peterson’s recent interview with Jonathan Merritt. In it, Peterson was asked about his views regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage. When Peterson responded that he would have no problem performing a same-sex wedding, it sent shock waves throughout the Christian community.
Historically (speaking of the 2,000-year history of Christianity), Christians have been leaders, innovators and makers of masterpieces in the realm of creativity/art. Christianity has been central to most of the best painting, music, and architecture in Western civilization. Sadly, the last century or so has seen a decline in this, and a more apathetic and skeptical posture of Christians toward the arts. The reputation of “Christian art” suffered and became more or less synonymous with moralistic, low-quality, sterilized propaganda. But there are signs of progress in reversing this!