9 Ways to Be a Better Neighbor

Being urbanized means we have lots of neighbors, but being transitory makes it feel like a waste of time to get to know them. Yet neighborliness is a good thing for its own sake[…] http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/9-ways-be-better-neighbor

3 Ways the Church Can Build Better Community

After prayer, a thirtysomething lady stepped to the front of the room, asked for visitors to remain seated and announced: “Go and greet these new people and make them feel welcome!” Everyone started moving and talking and shaking hands and laughing, but they didn’t come my direction. I sat there like a lump as people walked past me to the coffee kiosk in the back. One older lady smiled briefly at me and then hurried on. I felt crushed… http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/3-ways-church-can-build-better-community

Decoding Jesus

Jesus lived quite a while ago. In the meantime, we followers of Jesus have had ample opportunity to tell stories about him, put some spin on his life, and generally mold him into a leader who tells us to go exactly where we already are. Fortunately, we have the Bible, which contains four books of stories about his life, so that we can read those stories and bring ourselves back to who Jesus actually was. Or can we? So often pastors tell people to read their Bibles and believe what they read, to view the Bible as the instruction manual…
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For a while, I’ve tried to imagine a church that took obedience to the greatest commandment as its primary mission – to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. To me, this is one of the best ways to be Calvinist as well: to respond to God’s irresistible grace and unconditional election with a gratitude that manifests itself in love, which to me is God’s primary characteristic. Everything we know about God flows from God’s love for the world and for us: God created the world out of love, God created…
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What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Youth Ministry

https://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/what-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-in-youth-ministry/ These are my reflections after 22+ years of working with teenagers, churches, families and volunteers.    I didn’t go to seminary, but I’ve been in the trenches and figured some stuff out as I went along… https://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/what-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-in-youth-ministry/