Archive for May, 2010


What’s the good word? I came across a tweet today on Twitter that stated, “Most use their city to build a great church. Use your church to build a great city.” I have often said that the church is at its best when it gives itself away. We often forget that the church exists for the world. If you look at the early church in the Book of Acts, it’s clear that the early Christians had this in mind. No doubt they build great communities around them. That quote was from the great Timothy Keller. After it, he posted this question: How does your church build your city? And that’s the good word for today.

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What’s the good word? On the night Jesus was handed over, he prayed a prayer. In this prayer he said, “Father, may they be one, as we are one.” Jesus prayed for unity. Most of the times we want to create unity in our churches, but we forget that no where in the Bible are we told to create unity, we are merely asked to maintain the unity that already exists through Christ. But does unity really mean uniformity? I don’t think it does. I just read a fantastic quote that said, “If jesus put Simon the Zealot (an insurrectionist who hated the Roman occupiers) on the same team as Matthew the tax collector (a collaborator with the Romans) and then made them room together, I’m not sure why we can’t have some strong differeences on issues and still march together under the same banner of unity.” In fact unity that insists on uniformity isn’t unity at all, it’s actually a cheap counterfeit. The differences we have are more than likely no where near as important as the King we serve. There is room for varying opinions on hot button issues in our churches. What we can’t do is force everyone into our mold and have issues divide the unity that our Lord prayed for that night. And that’s the good word for today.

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Success vs. Faithfulness

What’s the good word? I was reminded this past week of my final interview before the candidacy committee to be endorsed for ordination. The first question asked of me was this: “How do you know you will have been successful in ministry?” What? Success? I always thought when it comes to ministry we should think in terms of faithfulness, not in terms of success. How do I measure the success of my ministry? If it’s only through numbers or pats on the back, the lost are seldom sought or saved. If what I want to hear is, “I enjoyed the retreat,” “Great class!” or “Good sermon,” then salvation will not likely come to the homes of those I serve. Churches are called to be faithful, not successful. It’s about faithful disciples, not about butts in the seats. I struggle with this as a called and ordained minister, but it’s a tension I, we, are called to live in. And that’s the good word for today.

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