July 2017

Not An Escape

Posted in:

The Church of the Nazarene has always avoided adopting a particular position concerning end-time events. It has consistently affirmed the basic belief in the second coming of Christ as the consummation of history. Like the Apostles’ Creed, which is the classically accepted summation of the essential elements of the Christian faith, it simply affirms the belief that Jesus Christ “ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

Seasons of a Congregation

Posted in:

I thought those parables about scattering seed, planting vineyards, and chasing sheep were as out of date and ancient as my childhood. I grew up in the country picking strawberries every summer for my dad. My uncles farmed corn, beans, and watermelon. I could run the baler as well as any of my cousins.

But I left that a long time ago. And when I entered the ministry, I somehow got the impression that these agricultural metaphors Jesus used just weren’t relevant anymore. In modern times we need new images—business, technology, science. I was wrong, though.

The Means of Grace

Posted in:

Used as supplemental article for Coffee Break 8.28.17.

"Through which spiritual disciplines have you experienced the grace of God in your life?​"

Used as supplemental article for Coffee Break 4.18.18.

"Means of grace are things that we do or participate in, which open us up to God and position us so that we might be drawn closer to God."

Q&A: Christian Mindfulness

Posted in:

Why are so many Christians willing to believe and share only one side of stories? Shouldn’t we be more mindful?

A: It has happened to all of us. We hear a story, an out of- context quote, or a prayer concern, and we assume (often incorrectly) that we know the entire story. A college-age child comes home on a holiday break and tells us what the professor said in the classroom. A prayer partner confides in us about a marital frustration. A friend shares a sensationalistic news headline on Facebook.

Q&A: Old Testament Law

Posted in:

Q: From the early era on, the church has not observed the feasts, festivals, and dietary laws that God commanded in the Old Testament. Why not?

A: This question relates to the bigger question of what Christians should do with the laws in the Old Testament. Rabbis tell us there are 613 different laws dealing with everything from worship to sex to eating. Do these still apply to Christians? Or have they been set aside or replaced?

Q&A: Nurturing Young Clergy

Posted in:

What can the Church of the Nazarene do to better recognize and nurture the ministries of its young clergy?

A: It all boils down to one thing: we must value our young clergy. We must consider them important, beneficial, and worthwhile as many already do. We must treat them like the scarce, precious resource that they are: our future. And not just with our words. (Talk is cheap.) This generation must sense our love for them by our deeds as well. To begin, here are three ways we as a denomination can better recognize and nurture our young clergy.

The Habitat of Scripture

Posted in:

Used as supplemental article for Coffee Break 8.16.2017.

"The Bible is not just a document to be studied, but Scripture to be proclaimed in worship."

Used as supplemental article for Coffee Break 1.8.18.

"The Bible is a liturgical book. It was written to be proclaimed in worship as a witness to the world and for the transformation of the church."

Ask the Right Questions

Posted in:

“How is your church doing?”

We get this question a lot. In many seasons of life it’s a welcome opportunity to testify to the goodness of God. Unfortunately, there are also seasons where this question evokes nothing but dread. We think of families leaving our church, finances dwindling, or arguments over music style or carpet color—and we feel small, inconsequential, a failure.

That’s why we suggest thinking through this situation by talking about . . . golf.