Not As Easy As it Sounds

Somethings are pretty straightforward. You read or hear about them and it is fairly easy to implement. Other things sound pretty easy and make sense, but implementing them is difficult if not impossible because obstacles and attitudes stand in the way.

I agree with this sentiment article and I have for years. However, this is easier said than done. What is a pastor to do if he or she tries to raise up others for work, but they don’t want to work? What if they have other priorities? Family, work, entertainment, etc., all take time and energy. Many cite that 20% of people do 80% of the work. The other day I heard a lay person say that 10% of the people do 100% of the work. Sometimes it seems he might be right. If so, the pastors have a lot of work to do…

Here’s a quote from the article. The full article is linked for your convenience:

The pastor really has one job, and it has nothing to do with running committees, hospital visits, service bulletins, capital campaigns, and all other sorts of craziness that has become pastoral tradition. Based on Ephesians 4:11, the pastor isn’t supposed to be the doer of all ministry, but rather the equipper of people who do all of the ministry. As simply as it can be put, the job of the pastor is to raise up other people to do the work.

via Ministry Matters™ | Articles | The Lie of Well-Roundedness.

Have we gotten heaven all wrong? – N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright is my favorite biblical scholar. He has helped me work through many issues regarding biblical faith. Here’s an article where Wright addresses the concept of Heaven and how we have gotten it wrong. I highly suggest to not just read this article, but also work through the belief systems that have created a Heaven that keeps us from living out God’s life now. The Good News in all of this is that we don’t have to die in order to live!

First-century Jews who believed Jesus was Messiah also believed he inaugurated the Kingdom of God and were convinced the world would be transformed in their own lifetimes, Wright said. This inauguration, however, was far from complete and required the active participation of God’s people practicing social justice, nonviolence and forgiveness to become fulfilled.

 

Once the Kingdom is complete, he said, the bodily resurrection will follow with a fully restored creation here on earth. “What we are doing at the moment is building for the Kingdom,” Wright explained.

 

Indeed, doing God’s Kingdom work has come to be known in Judaism as “tikkun olam,” or “repairing the world.” This Hebrew phrase is a “close cousin” to the ancient beliefs embraced by Jesus and his followers, Wright said.

via Religion News Service | Faith | Doctrine & Practice | N.T. Wright asks: Have we gotten heaven all wrong?.

God Working In and Through (Church in a Bar)

The Missional church is being an agent and instrument of God’s Kingdom by discovering how God wants to “put things back to rights” and allowing him to work through us in fulfilling his purposes. This church is a good example. The question it leaves in my mind is: How is good wanting to impact our community through us?

 

We’re Dying…but Still Vital

NYC Pastor Ruffles Feathers With Obama Is Evil Church Sign

This is from an article about a pastor from New York who put “Obama is Evil” on his church sign. What caught my eye was the bit at the end. I was a bit perplexed when the pastor said “In over 30 years we’ve had over 4,000 members” but when I got to the end of the article I realized why he phrased it that way. I guess how you look at things can make a difference!

Perhaps the UMC should start counting all the members over the past 30 or 40 years. I’m sure it would help our statistics. Now that I think about it…we’re also dying…but we’re still vital! I guess his statement isn’t as strange as I first thought. Some food for thought.

Manning, ordained as a Baptist, has served as a minister for more than 30 years and has baptized over 1,000 people during his time at ATLAH.”In over 30 years weve had over 4,000 members,” Manning told CP.The pastor admitted that his anti-Obama stance has contributed to the church “dwindling down to a scant 100 members.””But were still vital,” Manning added.

via NYC Pastor Ruffles Feathers With Obama Is Evil Church Sign.

Using God for Our Gain

I’m sure not all of the facts are out yet…regardless, it is very sad. Here is a quote from the article. To see the full article, follow the link:

Whoever built the headquarters of the Bible-thumping Trinity Broadcasting Network in Southern California appears to have overlooked that famous passage in the Good Book about rich men, large camels and the eyes of needles. The Christian ministry, which provides a platform to some of Americas most popular television evangelists, occupies a compound so stupendously ostentatious that, to a casual observer, it might be mistaken for a Las Vegas casino resort.

via Preachers in the eye of a storm – Americas – World – The Independent.