Add that to your list. Sharon: And Junia was a woman too. Two misinterpreted verses in the entire Bible should not be the premise for such doctrine. When the Bible is read in its entirety there is clarity that women played a big part right along side their brothers in Christ in The Great Commission. Complementarianism started a few decades ago as a way to encourage men to attend church and participate.
Unfortunately it has pushed many women and young women out of the church by placing such a low ceiling of expectation for them and giving them a sense of unworthiness in comparison to their brothers in Christ. I realize complementarians will argue this and disagree completely, however this is my view. Good news is that new churches are starting up with Egalitarian doctrines.
There is a good change moving, slowly but surely Sharon and I thank God everyday. God bless you. Perhaps the church will not grow until they speak out for convictions worth standing for …. Learn to have a greater allegiance to the Word , and make time to make the Gospel story known …. In the ELCA half or more seminary students are women. The presiding Bishop is a women.. What difference has this made? Nothing like people picking and choosing which parts of the bible they want to follow.
The real issue is straight out disobedience to the word and folks thinking they know better than God does. And taking one sentence totally out of context to keep your discrimination against women is also picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you want to follow. Keep those women in the menial tasks because the Bible says so right here in this one sentence. The real issue is disobedience to the word, no kidding, and you are guilty of doing it. Sounds like anything but menial to me. I am going to way more conferences and seeing women speakers and workshop leaders.
I would agree the church has struggled with this in the past, but I whole heartedly believe this is changing. They are sitting in the shadows because they are highly discouraged to stand in the light. Most denominations do not encourage women to become leaders in their churches. Many women congregants as well as men, still prefer to have men as their lead pastors and mentors. The women who are sitting or standing in the shadows of the church are usually the ones who keep the church operating. Yes, men do help in these areas too, but I am talking generally.
There are a few denominations that are much more open to women ministers and encourage women to be leaders and speakers of their church but they are few and far between. Men and women will come out to hear a male speaker but less men will come out to hear a women speaker. It is no different than sports games. Both men and women will go to an all male sports game but not to an all female sports game. Same thing happens in the church environment. Mind you there are some very powerful women speakers and leaders that men will listen too but again they are only a few compared to the many men speakers and leaders.
Is there hope for women to come out from behind the shadows of the wrongly interpreted church philosophy of women to be silent? I think we are seeing more women today stepping out from behind the shadow of men and proclaiming the gospel. And I think we are starting to see more men who understand the Scripture correctly, encourage women to be who they were intended to be—labourers of the Lord right along side the men as preachers, apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists as mentioned in the wonderful book called the Bible.
Stop focusing on gender and focus on Jesus. However, they insist it is still relevant. Hence we have glitz, novelty, trends, prosperity teaching, busyness and distraction occupying an increasing amount of what the church does and is. The problem with this model is that it encourages consumers, rather than builds disciples, and it is based on the false gospel that the church needs to give people what they want, rather than what they need.
We should start with the assumption that people are searching for authenticity and depth in a barren consumer culture where choices abound, and where people are bombarded daily by false promises of happiness and contentment which ultimately prove to be hollow. In this climate, the church needs to offer something different, substantial and true, i. The second assumption we should make is that the church should not offer a point of continuity with capitalism and consumerism, but a point of disruption.
The church should not engage in marketing, but in anti-marketing. The light shines in the darkness, but that means there must be contrast! The wounded, dispirited, cynical , poor and marginal must be able to see the church like a lighthouse in the gloom — when I was a young man, I knew that there was something seriously rotten at the heart of the wider culture, but the church to me in that context represented itself as the guardians of the status quo, the home of the well-to-do, the champions of a staid conservatism which celebrated and enforced the 10 commandments, but which did not share the good news of Jesus Christ.
The church of law. Not the church of grace. A church of winners, not a church of losers. We should not expect that people who feel successful and content with their lot, will be attracted by the message of the gospel.
We cannot give those people something extra to what they already have, we are at the heart of what we are trying to do, challenging the indifference that lies at the root of our careless lifestyle. For too long has that notion been at the heart of the church life in the West. Now we are under no illusions that we have work to do! This is of course a shock to many who mourn the death of Christendom and grieve that the church is no longer respected, or holds a privileged place in society. But, the persecuted church on the margins is the church that we see in the New Testament! Let us be salt and light friends, in a society that has no flavour, and is consumed by darkness.
Conference recommendations for senior pastors? I have never attended one, but my new church has a significant budget to send me. I will for sure check out the Rethink Leadership conference. What else is out there?
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It addresses many of the issues in this post and the comments. This is all true, and has been. The social media of the day was newspapers, which everybody read. And the same is true about change and growth, authentic leadership, engaging sermons, energized worship. History is just repeating itself. My gifts it seems was taking tired, old and broken congregations and bringing them to growth and grace.
A church in S. CA has decided. I also think that 8 is really important. If your staff has grown up in the church they understand how it works. Bible Study. Any program must be intentional, not random. Even this written article is irrelevant! I appreciate this forum Carey. I think its important to delineate between programs for program sake and creating transformational spaces for discipleship, healing, spiritual growth, etc.
Gimmicks were not needed as we see Jesus ministering and the church after him because they were helped to experience the very presence of God, the real. No-one had to tell them to go to others and share grace, because they experienced the love of the kingdom as Jesus touched them in that very personal place of need.
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Developing a leadership and a people that are learning how to connect with Christ, heal from their wounds, have healthy spiritual rhythms and ongoing relationships that encourage authenticity and transformation is the church focusing on making disciples which of course is the one thing Jesus told us to be about. We need to have as part of our DNA that we reproduce ourselves. Meaning we need to invest time, care and spiritual coaching with at least one person. Mission and outreach is a natural outcome in the trajectory of spiritual formation.
I see at times we push people into serving without any real foundations. So he ends up passing on what he knows, which is a powerless religious exercise. This is the example Jesus sets for us and means for us to follow. I refuse to do that any more! Since when is the Gospel not enough? Great thoughts Carey, would love to see you put out a list of top ten books for ministry leaders. Wonderful, it hits the points, even concerning european churches!
Thank you! Now, write 9 articles to change each aspect and have an effective ministry. I think 8 is crucial but also hard for pastors because it calls for a laser like focus on what is central to mission. There are so many distractions today! Auto Pilot. But when you encounter storms, following swells in a headwind and other unfavorable conditions, you need to grab the tiller for a bit — until things smooth out.
Back in the s you could do that — write up your annual planning calendar, develop a three year strategic path — and then just work through the objectives. Those days are gone. Pastors who are not continually scanning the horizon for changing conditions and new opportunities are being of disservice to their churches.
Lots of great leaders — both church and secular — and everyone who is a leader can attend. Carey, I clicked on the link to check out the Rethink Leadership conference and I am disappointed that none of the communicators shown on the website are women. This feels out of touch and sexist. It is difficult for me to take this conference seriously as a female pastor when female leadership is not included. Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. We are still adding speakers and this is not a final list. Thank you Carey. It is a very good article — as far as it goes.
Particularly American Christianity. Examples: a needed move toward fully embracing the insights of contemporary Science -including embracing evolution and homosexuality; the needed shift away from substitutionary atonement which most people find ludicrous and untenable toward the moral influence theory of the atonement; and the needed shift away from Christian exclusivism — and toward recognizing and honoring that God is fully at work in other world religions as well.
Until I read your post. You show a path to a future where Christianity still exists. Thank you. I guess I should just shut off my mind and accept whatever the materialist culture tells me is true and then adapt my christianity to that to make sure it is relevant. The underlying assumption for evolution is that only material causes can be considered.
But the start of life demands more than any material causes, it demands a mind. Homosexuality is a wrong use of the body at the very least and being dishonest about this does nothing to help. It is currently cool and chick but horribly destructive to the persons involved medically as well as physiologically. Why should I embrace what harms others? Anti-Science, bigotry, and homophobia harm many others.
Are you saying that there is an evolutionary explanation for the origin of life? I would love to see the link to that discovery. That there is an evolutionary explanation — in detailed step by step fashion — for the existence of DNA and the several other codes in the cell? I would love to see a link to that description as well! Bigotry is alive and well and I suffer from it as well as do many others. Working outside of the USA I see many people who are persecuted from bigotry, anti-christian bigotry. It is hardly limited to homosexuals.
But you are avoiding the massive health issues that come with practicing a homosexual lifestyle. We are dishonest with people when we avoid telling them about this and urging them to celibacy. So, you are blaming families and churches for the suicides of some homosexuals? The lack of acceptance? I know that in some places this is a popular meme, but you do have any studies that do actual comparisons between the suicide rate of homosexuals and that of other marginal groups?
Did you know that one of the fastest growing suicide groups today are white males over 50? I have been a minister for over 30 years. I have spoken to hundreds of churches and traveled across dozens of countries.
I do see a rejection of that lifestyle as healthy and normal. That is not bigotry, but simple biology and I would be Anti-science if I did not notice it. The Holy Scriptures alone are the only source of absolute truth. What you propose is diametrically opposed to scripture. You sir, need to repent and ask the real Christ into your heart for I fear you have never known Him. Fundamentalism is just plain stupid. The Bible is great. So are many other books — including science texts. I highly recommend that you read some. So you are saying that Christianity is to blame for gay people being beaten up, killed, and driven to kill themselves?
Seems like quite a stretch…. Are you saying God made mistakes? Carey, your post drove me all over the map with a host of different emotions. These realities are both good and bad. Good because it is important for the church to keep moving forward and not become stagnant. The reality, however, is that the church is the life of the world — especially of the believer. Thus, much of what worked before which are essentials to the body of Christ are not working today.
Partly, most of what used to work in suburban America for me, has not worked at all in rural America. Without the kingdom of God and its authenticity as well as the reality of our faith, the best approach will always fall and fail.
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Thanks for your great posts, brother. It is possible to build a big youth group that way, but when they go off to college, the youth who are taking a big step toward adulthood find that the service is no longer designed specifically for them. They often drop out at that point. I guess that might be part of a larger pattern of treating members like consumers, which is part of the gimmicks thing. Consumers are not part of the organization.
They come to purchase what the organization is selling. Members need to be seen as part of the organization or better yet household. We serve each other and we serve the world. RJ, we have an intergenerational worship. It works because we weekly incorporate youth and children into the actual worship order. Good points. I agree with most of them. As I see it, there are some serious issues at hand where I live: 1. That makes a big impact on how we do church and relate to society.
We are small, to the point where 70 people in church on Sunday makes you a big church. That is a challenge, to say the least. To be honest, I am not sure what would work over here to attract people to Christ. I am thinking that the only thing that works is people in love with Jesus, for real, living out their lives much like missionaries do. I think you hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph Andreas. Also, I have become good friends with Martin Daland. You may want to look him up and connect with him. Amazing guy! Ok, thanks. I know where that is. I have a local Misjonskirke closeby that also does good stuff.
It seems that it is either them Mission Covenant or the Pentecostals that make it happen :. I was wondering if you know of any resources for new pastors like myself with church planting? My family has been here for 18 months and trying to do just as you said above has been challenging. I would love to talk and brainstorm with you sometime soon. I will be going to a Migrant Leadership Conference in Germany next week. Not sure if you would be going or not. Good commentary but…. Would you consider 20? The big difference I see today is more churches closing, more rapidly, both in America and in the UK.
People walk through the doors for community, first, last always. After that they come for reasons too many to count, certainly not always the so-called right ones. Focus on worship and the worshippers; then, together, create an agenda. Without this crowd of undesirables — those who have formed the Communion of Saints since long before Paul preached in the Upper Room, those who have found joy at being a member of The Body — there would be no discernible Church at all.
I believe in the creeds … still … and I believe in the struggle. Church in general some are born and raised and obligated to go. I agree with your post some things need to change the way we look at church. There is always areas that we need to improve on. However, as I look over the headlines of your posts that get retweeted and shared on Facebook most of them have such a negative connotation to them. As you know pastoring is very difficult and the lies the enemy tries to pass off as truth can affect us even on our good days.
When people read your headlines, it feeds a sense that everything is wrong with Christians and the church.
Why not give people some hope as to why they should be in a church community? Blessings, Ryan. Ryan…thanks for this. I write the optimistic posts regularly. I write both because I want to help leaders, and I hope that you always find hope in whatever I write. But people behave in specific ways and the negative gets outshared significantly. I hope you know that what you you do has eternal significance and the cost and sacrifice are worth it.
I try to point to the hope we have in every post and I am a HUGE optimist about the future of the church. We just have to overcome our obstacles. Thanks for responding. I followed up and looked at some older posts and I do appreciate your insight. I plan to spend some time reading some of your other insights. I do find it terribly unfortunate that people tend to latch on to the negative. I understand it and I know the Church has wounded many in the process.
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Maybe its the Lord challenging me to do something myself about it. Blessings to your church and ministry — Ryan. Shorter Life of Christ, A. Acts: A Logion Press Commentary. The Promise of the Father. The Speaking in Tongues Controversy. The Comforter. Ministerial Ethics, Second Edition. The Work of the Spirit: Pneumatology and Pentecostalism. Who Is the Holy Spirit? A Walk with the Apostles. George M. Flattery's inductive study of God's Word reveals how we can live a systematic theology of the Holy Spirit in a multidimensional, vibrant relationship. He believes that a view of the Holy Spirit must be in context to the entirety of God's Word and that it will reveal the fullness of the Person and role of the Holy Spirit.
God's Word reveals to us ten core issues about the Holy Spirit that we must understand so that we can fulfill Christ's command for global evangelism and make our spiritual journey the best that it can be. Related Products. Daniel Castelo. Greg Heisler. Alton Garrison , Samuel Rodriguez. Robert Menzies. Have a question about this product?