A couple months ago we did an episode about interacting with the text of the bible (Ep 51). In that episode we offhandedly mentioned doing a bible study for one episode. As we thought about it we knew that a regular study wouldn’t translate well to a podcast, so we decided to walk through our thought process as we read through a passage of scripture we’re studying. The primary passage we’ll address is James 4:8.
We decided to start our study with a passage from Oswald Chambers’ devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, specifically the one from November 4th. We trust O.C.’s heart for doing good exegesis when using scripture, so we don’t have an issue with what he said. Instead, we want to go deeper and take a contextual look at the whole of the passage.
O.C. uses the first half of this passage, which reads, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This is a great passage and makes an awesome bumper sticker. We wanted to look at the second half and consider what it means for us Christians. The second half reads, “Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!” WHAT?! That’s being said to Christians. So what could it mean? Here’s what we think…
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Last week former megachurch pastor Perry Noble filed for divorce from his wife of 17 years. This announcement comes just 16 months after being fired from the lead pastor position at the church he planted the same year he was married. This wasn’t the only big news for Pastor Noble in the recent months. Just this past August, Noble filed paperwork to start a new church, called Second Chance Church.
With all this happening, you have to be asking, is it possible that all this “getting back into ministry” stuff is just a skosh too soon? We don’t want to pretend to know exactly how time is necessary to fully heal or for restoration, but what if what Perry needs more than ministry is church? That’s what we’re talking about in this episode.
What do you think? How much time is enough time before re-entering church leadership?
As Christians we often put a ton of pressure on ourselves to realize our “calling.” We act as if in not discovering our calling we are unable to “do” anything for God. What if it is less about “calling” and more about how we understand “ministry?”
What is Ministry?
The greek word that is commonly translated as “minister” is diakonos. Another way it can be translated is “servant.” Various translations of the bible translate it one of those two ways. What could happen if we begin to translate ministry in the context of servanthood rather than vocation? Maybe ministry is simply giving to and serving others. But what do we give them?
Our Life Poured Out
Eph 4:11-13 says, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”
2 Cor 5:18-19 says, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
Biblically speaking we are all ministers; given the work of building up, in love, a unified church and bringing the message of reconciliation to the world.
What if our LIFE is ministry? What would the world look like?
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In this episode we’re talking about woman lead pastors… dun, dun, dun. Of a Christian church… dun, dun, duuun. Of an Evangelical, Christian, megachurch… dun, dun, duuuuun.
This past week, megachurch pastor Bill Hybels, announced his replacement for when he retires in October 2018. What was surprising about the announcement was that it wasn’t just one person. In fact, it was two people, one was a woman and they aren’t married. I know. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t been angry at football, this would have sent shockwaves throughout Christendom. Maybe not.
What I do know is that women leading men in church is still a pretty debated topic among many church leaders. So we decided to weigh in on it.
I had someone ask me what I thought about some of Willow Creek’s answers surrounding their decision, specifically the fact that Heather Larson (the new Lead Pastor) will be Steve Carter‘s (the new Lead Teaching Pastor) boss. First let me say, they’re FAQ has a lot of great answers. That said, here’s what I thought:
I’m excited that a church that, by all intents and purposes, is one of the main faces of evangelicalism has taken this step. Those answers from WC seem incongruent with the way they made it sound in the article I read (keeping in mind media bias – it was Christianity Today, so… bias). She’s already the Executive Pastor and the quotes from them made it sound like she was going to be doing the same thing as she is now, which she’s already Steve’s boss. The shtick for me is, she can lead a 400 person staff, many of which are undoubtedly men, but she can teach them from a pulpit? There isn’t anything saying she won’t teach, but it doesn’t say she will and they made it a point to title him lead teaching pastor. So, I feel like it’s more of a shuffle forward than a step.
Regardless, she’s already leading all those people. The only person she can’t currently fire is Bill Hybels. So she got a new title. Awesome.
Our guest for this episode, Meg Delagrange, is truly one of the awesomest people I know. She’s pretty rad at a lot of stuff. She’s a mom, artist, marketing & branding director for a fairly young and booming leather bag company, a New York Fashion Week model, speaker and lots of other stuff. And for all her obvious success and God given blessings, she’s no stranger to tragedy and deep hurt. She’s also not stranger to God made wholeness and healing.
In this episode Meg shares some of those deepest hurts and lets us in on what God has been and continues to do to make her whole and heal her heart.
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There really isn’t much to say about this episode. We’re talking about whether or not you should go to seminary to be trained in ministry. Thomas used to be adamantly against it, but God changed some stuff and now he’s wrapping up his M.Div. in Chaplaincy. Bruce hopped right in when he felt a call to ministry, even though he no longer feels called to vocational ministry, and finished his M.A. in Christian Ministry in 2014.
Thomas re-listened to our episode 30 and episode 31. He mentioned that it we talked about why we are leaving church, but not much about how others might leave and what they should do. So, we made the decision to talk about Joel Osteen. But only so that we can make a point about why people may decide to leave institutional church and what they can do as they leave. Really, the Osteen talk ends up being a conversation all its own, but it makes a point.
We talked about four ways people may leave church:
A few weeks ago, maybe a month, we did an episode where we addressed multiple topics. During that episode Bruce might have said something along the lines of, “Stop doing accountability groups. They’re silly and not real.” We figure we should explain.
Accountability isn’t “Bad”
They aren’t necessarily a bad thing, accountability is necessary, especially in the body of Christ. It’s just that, most of the time we do it wrong, or fake. That sound better, right? Well, here’s what we mean…
For the last week my social media newsfeeds, like everyone else’s, have been inundated with the chaos and hate that erupted in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. I’ve tried multiple time to write a blog post about it, but I just couldn’t organize my thoughts. Then Thomas suggested that we just talk about it in an episode. So we did.
This episode is really just us trying to work out and process our thoughts about what happened.