I think most folks that follow me in any way know that this past July I assumed a new appointment as the lead pastor of a medium size church here in Nashville. In the course of orienting myself to the congregation (as well as letting folks get to know be better) I held 8 meetings of 8-10 folks each in members homes so that I could get their feedback on what we are doing well and what we needed to work on.… Read the rest
About a year and a half ago, a new member to our church community came with a request. He shared that he and his wife were recovering alcoholics, and that they were dedicated adherents to the AA 12 Step Movement, attending meetings almost every night.… Read the rest
In this morning’s rant on the media, in an attempt to suggest that more folks are are interested in substantive news than might be thought by the media, I shared an anecdote about teaching I received in seminary which suggested that deep study of scripture and tradition wouldn’t fly in the local church, and my own experience of many who were looking for the opportunity to “go deep.”
This one illustration seemed to spark the most interesting comments of the day, including the following commentary:
… Read the rest
I agree with the overall tone of your post, and appreciate it; but the above comment caught my attention. I recently shared with a DS friend of mine that he might be surprised at the number of people who might be interested in learning who God is–a triune God of holy love who is a verb–and who we are–fallen, in need of salvation–and the impact God can have on our lives. I know I have spent years wandering around the church “in a fog” wondering what Christianity was all about. I’ve ended up “doing it on my own” by delving into John Wesley and what true Methodism is about: the salvation of the person in the pew–something The UMC lost a long time ago. If you were told that in seminary, no wonder we never get past the rock bottom basics and get to the point of living a life centered in God as seen in Christ Jesus. After much reading and monitoring the state of the UMC, and my own experience, I can absolutely say that the gospel and its impact on a person’s life is the best kept secret. I can easily name three people in the church who would like to “go deeper”–and I have a sneaking suspicion there are many, many more.
I’ve been spending this week taking care of my sickly mom and her sister who underwent surgery at the beginning of the week. Generally it’s a low demand task – getting a few meals together, making sure that they get their meds on time, and keeping the dishes washed.… Read the rest