My favourite place to bring people on pilgrimage is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. To our Protestant eyes, there isn’t much recognizable ground.
We all claim we are friendly, hospitable churches but it’s the newcomer who can tell us the truth.
Let’s plan to be radically countercultural in how we encourage faith development. Let’s cross the generations as we learn and grow together so that seniors, millennials, children and youth teach and learn from one another. Hardly radical, you say? I believe it is.
Does your church building match your mission goals?
More than 20,000 clergy left the ministry in 2010 alone in the U.S., and according to a survey done by the Francis Schaeffer Institute, 71 per cent of pastors serving churches today are burned out and battling depression and fatigue.
It is like speaking the truth with your right hand on the Bible when you hold the feather. In a round circle at Kenora Fellowship Centre, Marvin shared his challenges.
We can celebrate that women have come a long way, but we still have major work to do. Full equality and justice
for women are still a long way off, especially when we glance at the world globally
In spite of the finest scholars involved and the best pedagogy going, our churches are not filled with students who came through the system. You may have had a bursting church school back in the ‘60s, but the majority of these now grown up participants no longer go to church.
Often we are experts on subjects until we are directly involved.
You remember the story of the race between the tortoise and the rabbit? Remember who wins? If it were written today, the rabbit would win.
Too often we want all the guarantees of success before we take the first step, but that’s not how God works.
We all had the sense this year that we were part of the early stages of an historic moment in our church, no matter what is decided in the future.
The church in Taiwan maintains the missionary zeal of its founders.
If the love of God actually means anything to us, we will want also to show our gratitude to God. We don’t want to sink back into a warm bath of piety and do nothing for God or for others.
The question I am asked most frequently when I preach is some version of “What can we do to bring new people into our church?” I usually tell them a story…
When my wife Patty accompanies me on a guest preaching engagement, she normally does not actually enter the church building with me. She enters a few minutes before worship as an anonymous stranger to the church.
I have come to the conclusion that even some future ministers don’t have a firm grasp of the meaning of many words we use regularly in the church.
As I write this, I look east over the hills of Jerusalem.
Our son Allan was a typical, grumpy 14-year-old. He would attend the youth group, led by a theology student named Doug, under protest; but attending under protest is probably as good as it gets with boys.
My successor as Moderator of the General Assembly will have a much tougher job than I did. Human sexuality looks as if it will be a major topic on the docket.