There is a phrase that is still engraved on my heart that I read a long time ago. “Faith is to build a house of hope on the hill of despair.” The cross of Jesus was the cross of despair. But Jesus built a house of a hope, which is the resurrection, on the hill of Golgotha, which was despair.
What can a pastor or church leader do to help move the congregation more positively? After hearing from pastors and church leaders, I can offer five suggested paths that have proved fruitful in other churches.
While living in the States, one of the things I've missed most are the heated floors (ondol) often found in Korean homes. Especially when it’s chilly or cold, I recollect the times in my youth where I would roll around on the warmest place of the floor.
Passion week is a special week of meditating on the suffering of Jesus. The way that Jesus walked is the way of suffering. The way that Jesus walked is the way of the cross.
Last week, there was an incident at a golf tournament in which the gallery noticed and reported in the third round a 22-year-old pro golfer named Lexi Thompson placing the marker for her ball 1 inch closer toward the direction of the hole with two feet remaining in her sealed victory at the ANA Inspiration LPGA major tournament, resulting in a four stroke penalty while simultaneously costing her the tournament.
“Interim” sounds like a pregnant pause anticipating something down the road. So when you put the adjective in front of “pastor” or “church,” it just feels like less than ideal.
Donald Trump is our president. No matter what reaction you had to that statement, you have to admit that everyone seems to be talking about him.
I hate gnats. I particularly hate the gnats called the no-see-ums or sandflies. They are present certain months of the year on the beach. Though almost invisible to the naked eye, they can pack a powerful sting.
It is Lent. Lent is a season remembering the 40 days of fasting when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Lent refers to a period of deep meditation upon Jesus’ suffering for 40 days until right before Easter Sunday.
I know a pastor who lost his wife a year and a half ago due to medical malpractices. He serves with me on the missional board of directors. Being a man of such few words and considering that I had not known him very long, I was not sure what to say to console him. However in the midst of that, I was thankful that he shared his pains and began his arduous recovery process.
The email stung me. The writer spoke of my negativity about local churches, about how much of my writings are about problems in local congregations.
To love is to have interest. The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. Indifference creates a sense of alienation. On the other hand, love is a warm interest. Love connects the marginalized ones to one another.
Newly minted Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, upon visiting South Korea, said in a press interview, “…the policies of strategic patience have ended.” It was a stern warning that the U.S. will no longer tolerate North Korea’s threatening acts, and that they will pay them back in full. Previously, during the days of the ‘Sunshine Policy’, there was a time when patience never ceased.
Cultural Christianity is dying. One no longer has to be a Christian or in a church to be accepted by society. That relatively easy pool of prospective attendees for our churches is disappearing.
Churches are flawed. Every single church is broken in various ways and differing degrees. Yours. Mine. Yes, even the “better” ones.