I cannot recall the last time I heard someone suggest this formula for prayer. I cannot ever remember seeing this type of request on a prayer chain.
… even I, a pastor of more than 35 years, am tempted to join those walking out the church doors.
As the elders discussed the results of this process and prayed, they decided to recommend to the congregation that the Rocky Ridge Mennonite Church close its doors.
When we learn to live exposed, transparent lives, then – and only then – will we experience genuine relationships as God intended.
At the dedication, stories were shared about God’s faithfulness over the decades and especially how God’s provision would appear “just-in-time” during difficult economic times.
Sometimes shame arises from the inability to admit our needs, desires, or failures. Ironically, often our struggle is obvious to others … just like my dad knew we needed help with our bed but didn’t offer to help until we asked for it. What transformations might happen in our lives, families, churches, and institutions if we begin to trust God with our needs, weaknesses, and failures?
When it came to questions of justice, I found it easy, due to my training, to dismiss people whose tone had any sense of anger. It took years of unlearning and gaining a realistic understanding of Jesus’ own anger before I could see how anger can fuel an appropriate Christian response. The apostle Paul certainly teaches and models this very approach.
[January 6] was perhaps the most disturbing day in my life as a citizen of the United States.
What do we actually want a pastor to do? What do we hope pastors accomplish? Who is it that influences such conversations?
Perhaps we are to live more in the tension, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, rather than merely embracing one place and running from the other.
“I enjoy watching congregations own their decisions, lean into them, and try to be faithful to what God is calling them to do.”
“Challenges and criticism will come frequently enough and you will need to have a strong bank account of affirmation to keep your balance.”
Even the suggestion that our practice of prayer needed to be altered raised some eyebrows.