Being Black In China – Heather Greenwood Davis shares some reflections as a black family visiting China:
“It was amusing at first. And then it wasn’t. We couldn’t concentrate on tours because of all the cameras pointed at us. We couldn’t walk quickly due to the crowds swarming us. We were grumpy. What we looked like was ruining our chance to enjoy where we were.”
Liturgical breadth assessment – “We each have an ideal worship service in our minds. Your convictions may be unarticulated or even subconscious, but I have yet to meet a Christian, who when pressed, doesn’t have one.” Jason Helopoulos encourages every Christian to work out what’s within our accepted range when it comes to what goes on during gathered worship (what to do, what not to do, how to do it). He gives three reasons why it’s helpful: to understand your convictions, to distinguish your ideal from essential, and to promote the peace of the church.
Where do you write your evangelistic talks? Helen Thorne suggests writing at least some of it outside the confines of your office.
Don’t throw out your nice suit just yet – Interesting points from Vermon Pierre about why our “casual Sunday” attire may actually not be contextualising to a range of demographics.
If you only want to reach one demographic slice of the current generation, then okay, go ahead with the coffee shop casual approach to church. However, you will miss the mark with the many unchurched minorities, low-income families, and Baby Boomers who expect church to look like their memory of church. They may not understand everything happening when they visit on a Sunday morning (which is why we must explain things along the way). But culturally speaking, at least, they understand and even embrace the idea that Sunday mornings are about more than just “gathering” and hanging out.
Home is where the real me lives – Pat Sczebel reflects on who he is when up front at conferences, services, events versus at home, with similar thoughts that I also wrestle with:
At home I’m not a rock star. I’m a husband who’s struggling at best to love his wife like Christ loves the church. I’m a dad who finds himself at times getting short and angry with his children. I’m a pastor that’s easily discouraged by the struggles of ministry. I’m a friend that’s too busy to be a real friend. I wake up every morning with bad breath, bad hair, a bad back and often a bad attitude. This is my real reality. This is where I live. This is where the real me is trying but often failing to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. This is where the real me desperately needs the power of the Holy Spirit to magnify Jesus on a moment by moment basis so that I would continue to fight the good fight of faith until the end.