“Today, many churches believe their survival and success depends on collecting and consolidating more resources, programs, paid staff, property and people in attendance.”
I was asked this question on Twitter today:
@ReleaseTheAPE Think may have asked this before, but how can I explain to others why Eph 4 ministry list trumps others as ministry dynamic?
— Aidan (@AidanAshby) February 15, 2016
@ReleaseTheAPE Would you say because Eph is the ecclesiastical epistle, particularly describing the nature and structure of the church?
— Aidan (@AidanAshby) February 15, 2016
It is a great question and this is how I would simply answer it.
There is a difference between calling and gifts.
Think of the Ephesian 4 “callings” as vehicles and the “gifts” of the Spirit in Corinthians as accessories that trick up the car.
As I started my devotional reading and reflection on Advent today, I couldn’t help but stop and pray for the refugees around the world and especially those in Syria. (Here is my devotional)
Advent is about waiting and preparing our hearts to receive the savior of the world – the one who is coming to us to restore and make things new.
You cannot read today’s reading and not face the reality that Jesus was a refugee. And this reality must shape the way we think, pray, talk and act right now.
Today, I can’t help but meditate on how we must wait, weep, and ask God to make things new for the refugees around the world. We are waiting, Jesus, for you to show up!
“Why is that Christianity seems so impotent to deal radically, and therefore effectively, with issues of discrimination and injustice on the basis of race, religion and national origin?”
Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, 1949
2014 and 2015 will easily go down in history as two of the most shocking years of the decade. Immigration to Black Lives Matter, legalization of gay marriage and its ramifications on college campuses around the country and it places of faith, we have seen a lot. Do we respond to these issues? How do we respond to these issues? How are they to be included in how we disciple students and the people we lead? These issues are a part of and influence our lives, whether directly and indirectly. To ignore them, is to ignore context in which students live, and our words can quite easily become “word sown along the path” as it doesn’t translate to the practical life.
It is one thing to hear God in a general sense – say in our day-to-day life. But what does it look like to hear God in witness when we are on the move and potentially in some awkward situations? How do we know if he is leading us forward or not?
In my book, Beyond Awkward, I spend three chapters on the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelism. Some people have written me, and reviewed, saying it was the most helpful part of the book for them. Others have written wondering when it was I fell off the cart!
With further reflection this summer, and a great conversation with both my brother in law and Tim Catchim, I have come to realize how to talk about the way I see the role of God speaking and the gifts of the Spirit for today.
This post is thinking I am taking further and is not found in my book.
I think a continuum is helpful here.
I posted some of my thinking about the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage on Facebook, and it seemed to resonate with many people. So here is a link to those thoughts if you want to take a look. Just click my name and it will take you there. (you don’t have to be a Facebook member to see).
What if you could look back through all the great posts that exist on this blog?
Now you can more easily! I have an archives page up and running.
Did you know that 600 posts exist here?
This is a great article on living the Christian faith out in a Post Christian society. Written by Tony Kriz.
The article focuses on the church in Portland and how they are partnering to transform the city. One man who was visiting the discussion was from South Carolina and he was baffled about how the city and the church could partner so well in such a non-Christian environment like Portland.
So the man asked in the forum,
This is not spam.
I came across this article on Facebook and I thought I should share it here. I couldn’t believe (well I guess I can believe) what the most searched “preference” in porn was this last year.
You can read about it here.
don’t worry, you won’t see any porn, its a clean site.
BUT ALL OF US MUST BE INFORMED!