As pastors and churches are beginning to explore integration of emotionally healthy spirituality into their lives and churches, I believe it is important to step back and reflect on the wider theological and historical foundations upon which we are building. The following is my list: 1. Prayed Theology 2. A Humble Spirit to Learn from the Whole Church 3. A Sense of Global Church History 4. Contemplative, Monastic Spirituality 5. Integrity in Our Leadership 6. Emotionally Healthy Practices 7. The Marriage Covenant 8. Sexuality 9. Calling, Life and Work 10. Preaching and Teaching 11. Bringing Christ to Culture (Contextualization) 12. Bridging Racial, Cultural, Economic and Gender Barriers Last week I showed our staff a four minute video on the revolution occurring in our culture with regards to social media and its implications for NLF (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVXKI506w-E&feature=player_embedded#t=92). While I am not sure of all the implications of social media for us today, I am convinced of. Read more.
This blog title comes from Soong-Chan Rah’s outstanding book entitled The Next Evangelicalism(IVP, 2009). I have given over thirty years of my life to the task of building racially, ethnically and culturally diverse communities, first as an Inter-Varsity staff worker and the last twenty-one here in Queens at New Life. Doing theology and leadership,within this context, has been a rich privilege. Along these years I have often felt the need to write a book about racism, reconciliation, and the church There is no need. It has been written by Soong-Chan. I highly, highly recommend it! The following are a few of my highlights from this well-seasoned, thoughtful work on the challenges before us around the world (and not simply the USA) as we seek to build churches that demonstrate the power of the gospel to bridge race and culture. The white, Western cultural captivity of the church is marked by individualism, consumerism and materialism, and racism. Less. Read more.
The church, in the Western world in particular, is in serious trouble. The culture has so overwhelmed us that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the church and the world. Historically, when there has been decline in the church, often new monastic movements have emerged (e.g. desert fathers, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, the Cistercians). I interpret the yearnings of the emergent movement and the younger generation towards the contemplative as a cry for something different, a cry for God. I bring with me a strong ecclesiology. I believe God loves the local church bought at the price of His Son’s blood, and the development of mature, healthy communities is essential for global mission. So, after 4 + years of ponderings, I have written a Rule of Life to pilot in our local, missional, evangelical church. I believe that simply calling people to spiritual disciplines as we have for decades is not. Read more.