“If only I could see God do something amazing, then it would be easier to follow him.” Has that thought ever occurred to you? It’s certainly crossed my mind from time to time! And yet, what we learn throughout the Scriptures is that, even when people did see God do something amazing, faithfulness wasn’t any easier for them.Continue reading.
“Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the LORD is among them!” That’s what a band of rebels from the tribes of Reuben and Levi declared when they revolted against Moses and Aaron before going on to demand, “Why then do you exalt yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?” (Numbers 16:3). The rebels were consumed by earth and fire the next day, suggesting that God may not have agreed with their assessment of the situation. And yet, we must admit that their question made some sense. God had, after all, designated all of Israel as a royal people and a holy priesthood (Exodus 19:6; 22:31; Leviticus 20:7, 26). If all the people participated together in kingship and priesthood, why were leaders needed?
This question becomes even more acute in the New Testament, particularly in the letter that we know as 1 Peter. Continue reading.
Íñigo López de Loyola—better known to us as Ignatius of Loyola*—passed from this life on July 31, 1556. He was a Spanish priest and a leader in the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation. Roman Catholics have celebrated July 31 as his feast day since the seventeenth century.
As a Protestant, I may not celebrate the feast day of the founder of the Jesuit order, and I do not know whether or not he trusted wholly in the unearned merit of Jesus Christ to be made right with God. I have, however, found these words from his Spiritual Exercises to be helpful as a scholar and as a leader. Here’s what Ignatius had to say about responding to someone with whom you disagree:Continue reading.
In a grove of trees south of the city of Corinth stood the Asklepion, an ancient temple dedicated to the god of healing (pictured above). Every year, thousands of women and men made pilgrimages to this temple to seek relief for their bodies. Worshipers who believed that they received healing in this place left behind an odd sort of testimony to their experience. Continue reading.
This post on intergenerational diversity in the church is the second part of a two-part series. Click here for the first post in the series.
A Model for Movement toward the Discipline of Generational Diversity
If you look at your church and glimpse a lack of intergenerational ministry, it may seem at first as if the right response is to add a stack of new activities to your church’s calendar. Consider, however, that—according to recent research into the perceptions of pastoral ministers—nearly half of all ministers already feel as if they do not have sufficient time to accomplish all that their ministries demand. Furthermore, when ministry calendars become too crowded, church members can become so busy doing church that no time remains for them to be the church in their homes and communities.
With that in mind, I wish to propose an alternative possibility for the pursuit of intergenerational ministry—one that metamorphoses existing activities instead of adding additional programs. I have colloquially dubbed this alternative “the TIE Model.” Continue reading.