According to the National Institute of Mental Illness, one in six people (17% of the US population) suffers from a mental illness. In other words, 17 of every 100 people in our churches has a mental illness diagnosis. What would it look like for followers of Jesus to reimagine walking alongside those suffering with mental illness? Professional licensed counselor and PhD Candidate, Sara Spong exposes convicting truths behind the Church’s current involvement with psychological disorders and examines the essentiality for religious institutions to initiate ministries that focus on recognizing and addressing the affected group’s disability.
The spiritual roller coaster that is the Christian walk is comprised of incredible highs and desperate lows. While we often think of God as working most clearly in the midst of those spiritual highs, such an understanding leaves us hopeless when experiencing tremendous loss or silence from God. Perhaps we need to rethink our understanding of how God affects spiritual growth in our lives.
In 21st century America, we as Christians want to customize what our walk with Jesus looks like. With user-friendly technology at the tip of our fingers we change the filters on our photos, change our layouts to what’s trending, and even attempt to create a relationship with Jesus that fits our aesthetic. How do we follow the call of bowing to the lordship of Christ if we are primed to do, and be, whatever feels right to us?
In a culture defined by productivity and success, rest has become taboo. Even among Christians, the Biblical precedent of rest laid out in the pattern of creation has been cast aside in favor of the hyperactive rigor of contemporary society. But what is there to gain from remembering the Sabbath that can’t be obtained through hard work? More than you might think.
Disciple-making is a priority of the Christian faith originating in Jesus’ ministry, continuing on in the early church and into the present day. Over time, however, it seems that the art of disciple-making has been lost. The gap between our current understanding of disciple-making and that which is present in the Bible is growing, and today’s church leaders are recognizing this in their own ministries. How can we as church leaders move past this dilemma?
The analogy is often used of the four seasons representing the four stages of life. We also employ the word season when referring to a period of time that is markedly different than that which came before. The concept of the seasons is one that is intimately intertwined with our perceptions of the past, the present, and the future. How, then, should we as Christians reconcile the often difficult reality of seasons in our lives with the promises of Scripture?
Christians have long stigmatized cursing. Often times we are so quick to dismiss what a person has to say because they employ language indicative of the ‘world’. But what if the problem isn’t as black and white as it is often made out to be. Perhaps there is more to language than just the words we do or do not speak. Perhaps there is something else that determines whether or not what we say honors God.
Rest. As a practice this word remains irrelevant to some people, and it occupies a marginal amount of space in the lives of others. We barely need to look around us to recognize how busyness is ingrained into not only what we do, but also virtually into who we are. How can we take time to step back from working, and reflect on the “daily grind”?
People commonly find the beginning of the year as a great time to turn over a new leaf. The metaphorical slate is essentially wiped clean. While these commitments are outwardly beneficial, I would like for us to take a step back and become aware of our motivations for these resolutions. Do we perhaps make New Year’s resolutions with hopes to fill an internal void that we all inevitably feel?
Signs are helpful. They tell us where we are. They tell us where to turn. Have you ever made a wrong turn because there was no sign? Have you ever turned onto a road because of a sign but then wondered later if you made a wrong turn or missed a road sign somewhere along the way? Sometimes in life we make major decisions in complete confidence only to question those decisions down the road.