Guidance, knowledge, and wisdom as ongoing processes are critical elements within the dynamics of mentoring and discipling. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus models a deeply personal style of leadership by investing into the lives of his disciples through empowerment and wise counsel. Similarly, how is the Church today to follow and continue this practice of mentoring and discipleship?
I believe we can think of our lives as an integration between physical and spiritual qualities. There is an all-important point to keep in mind in our discussion and that is that “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). However, in what ways can this understanding of God affect business decisions?
One of Donne’s more famous poems is “At the round earth’s imagined corners.” This title, also its opening line, demonstrates a hallmark of his poetry–the ability to combine elements of our experienced world (“the round earth”) with powerful and often Biblical imagery (its “imagin’d corners,” a reference to Revelation 7:1) to produce startling insights into the relationship between this world and the next. But what exactly connects the vast and expansive “there” of heaven with the lowly “here” of earth and what are the practical implications for our lives as Christians?
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?
Families are close to God’s heart. Scripture reveals that from the very beginning God brought individuals together through family relationships. These relationships have great potential for demonstrating the love of God to the world, specifically when families join together in a church community. The necessity of these relationships makes it critical for the church to be intentional about helping families connect. How can our churches help families become better connected?
With the connectedness of the online world, we can use social media as a platform for community, not as our only source, but as a support mechanism to be a catalyst for new friendships and connections. One can not negate the importance of social media but still must acknowledge the fact that it is not a mere one-for-one substitute for face-to-face community. How do you find the balance between your community online and your community in day-to-day life?
Media, as of late, has seemed to embrace religious, and sometimes even Christian elements within TV, movies and music. There has been a “resurgence” so to speak of media caring about religious subplots and overtones. However, is it really that media has really embraced religious expression, or is it doing what it has always done, intersect entertainment with life?
Black History Month for me had been an annual moment in February of reflection on the historical accomplishments of African American men and women who had achieved great accomplishments in history. It was a time of celebration because so much had been accomplished for men and women of color with abolition of slavery, the civil rights era, desegregation of schools, voter’s rights, and the list goes on. Lest we celebrate too quickly, there is a human dignity that Dr. King expressed that we the American people are still seeking today.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a compelling story to reflect on for Black History Month. The story, based on conflict between Jews and Samaritans, speaks to us about prejudice, stereotypes, and the power of love across ethnic lines. Reading this story this month, we might encourage one another to reach, like the good Samaritan, out to those who may disdain and slander us because of our ethnicity. When it comes to black history, who has played the role of priests, Levites, and the Good Samaritan? Who, after seeing people in dire need, has passed by on the other side?
The new Martin Scorcese film Silence (set at the end of the era of Jesuit missions in Japan in the mid-16th Century) is loaded with theological elements from various sects within and beyond the Christian traditions. Scorcese effectively and powerfully puts the viewer into the mind and heart of the Jesuit priests and the Japanese Christians, each of whom is asked to renounce their faith in Christ or suffer. Would Christianity today be able to survive the same persecution from several centuries ago?