The Merciful Minimalist: Clement of Alexandria on Living Minimally

The contemporary minimalist movement is deeply invested in practicing a renunciation that coincides with the reorientation of one’s desires. Its aim is to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. According to two prominent leaders of this movement, Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the primary goal of minimalism is to live a meaningful life. While contemporary minimalists draw from the wells of Greek stoicism, there are deep resources that the earliest Christians of North Africa provide when addressing the topic of wealth and simplicity. The Christian theologian and teacher Clement (his name meaning merciful) of Alexandria (150-215 CE) developed a rich understanding of renunciation. This week’s article explores his vision of the Christian life focused on the reorientation of a person’s desires such that simplistic living, where giving becomes normative in one’s personal and communal practice.

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The Groaning of a Prisoner

Grace can cost everything you have to offer and more, but in the end you will declare with Paul, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” (Rom. 8:18, NASB). In this week’s discussion Dr. Margaret de Alminana, associate professor of theology at Southeastern University, shares her rationale of spiritually rescuing prisoners based on her many years serving as Senior Chaplain of Women at the Orange County Jail.

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Biblical Hospitality over Busy Cordiality

The power that hospitality holds is often forgotten. A meaningful cup of coffee brewed with care and intentionality paired with the authentic company of listening ears opens hearts more effectively than trying to convert one’s guests. This week, Juliet Groton, intercultural studies major at Southeastern University, reveals her personal experiences and findings which seek to reinvent the current exemplification of Christian hospitality.

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When Not All is Well With Our Souls

Many believe that those who occupy pastoral roles should be all things to everyone; however, this type of believing is unbiblical and unhealthy. Escalated emotional exhaustion often goes unresolved, which leads to destructive outcomes for leadership. In this week’s article, Dr. Jim Vigil addresses three main characteristics of ministerial burnout and how to best defend against them.

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An Advocate for Pastoral Accountability

While the church preaches grace and forgiveness, the right systems are often not instated to ensure that leaders are held accountable for personal and communal actions. Stemming from our last post, in which Dr. McNaughton provided solutions to help leaders confront inward struggle, this week’s article exhibits a personal story from a pastor’s daughter who dealt with contributing to false perfection.

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What Can We Learn When Leaders Fail

As temptation subsumes consumers of all different scopes, spiritual leaders are also bombarded with inner and outer conflicts that strongly tempt them to stray from God’s direction. Dr. McNaughton, professional church leadership consultant and Southeastern University professor, guides us through four key commitments he created to help church leaders navigate and realign themselves into their Christ centered calling.

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Parkland in Perspective Part 1

It has been nearly a month since the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. While some may not have heard of Parkland until this event took place, for others it hit very close to home. In seeking to find a proper Christian response to this tragedy, then, perhaps it is the voices of those most affected that we should look to for advice.

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The Honest Side of Ministry

Let’s face it. Social media is the language of our generation. Within the last decade, technological advancements have exploded to provide us all with the capacity to present the highlights of our lives, and access to the highlights of other people’s lives. The selective information we take in deeply affects the way we perceive not only ourselves and other people, but especially our perceptions of ministry. How can we maintain a healthy understanding of ministry in light of its glorified presentation in social media today?

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The Bigger Church

Nearly every week children in our churches are reminded that they are not a part of “big” church. Children are more than just little people to be taught about Jesus, but are valuable ministers in the Kingdom of Heaven. How do we as the church stop seeing children as a hinderance to ministry and more a part of the ministry?

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The Role of an Effective Church Member

In today’s world we have become so good at “just attending” church that the role of an effective church member has become diluted. There are many aspects of being an effective church member. However, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12 about the function of the body of Christ. This can help give us the framework of the characteristics of effective church membership.

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