The World Together blog : Congregational ministry
In the last generation of Western Christianity, we’ve seen a lot of new churches launch around a house church model instead of the “traditional” model. I use traditional in quotes because if you know Christian history, you know that the earliest church also operated on a house church model. In that case of course, it wasn’t so much a strategic model as it was a necessity since they were a minority of mostly poor people who were at times persecuted and at the very least consistently treated as outside the norm of Roman life.
What do we do in moments of stress and change? Some of us reach for a box of chocolates, others of us surf the Internet, pick up a good book or run a marathon. Some persons turn to pornography, alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs. Others of us — well, we just go fishing.
Amy Julia Becker
It would be so much easier if we just stayed put on Sunday mornings.
Much in the world is ugly.
When I was a pastor, going to the church office on mid-week mornings was always a risky thing to do. I never knew how much time I would have before someone stopped by to chat. I was my own receptionist, so a visitor was an unavoidable interruption.
The right story told at the right time can make all the difference. Knowing this, great storytellers take as much care in selecting the right story as they do in crafting its telling. David Swartz, author and historian at Asbury University, has done just that in his newly released book, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism.
A local branch of our area’s megachurch has moved into town. They’ve been here for a year or two already, but they’ve just recently completed construction on their new facility.
How do we evaluate a local church, or even a denomination? (Not that I think we have to do this, but at some level we will begin to use terms that border on or express our evaluation of a church.)
Susie Guenther Loewen
Sermons are usually the part of worship I most look forward to. They’re the heart and intellectual meat of the service. But precisely because I have such high hopes for the sermon there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve been deeply disappointed — because the sermon wasn’t really a sermon. It was actually just a speech, and there is a difference. Here are a few general examples:
I was annoyed with the “worship wars” back in the 1990s. All too often they boiled down to younger people demanding that church be done in a language they understood and older people demanding that since they tithed the most church should cater to their whims (and yes, I heard the arguments stated that crassly numerous times).