As a pastor of a church made up of Brits, Caribbeans, Nigerians, Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis and one or two others, I appreciated Thabiti Anyabwile’s response to Donald Trump’s most recent racist comments. Trump’s comments denigrate all families like mine.
Though focused on the American church, this is true in the UK: ‘Ministers are incentivized to plant and grow their churches in areas where people can afford to give money away. Churches, especially new churches with young leadership and young congregants, seem to be a feature of stable and upwardly mobile communities. The disadvantaged communities that are most in need of the services churches exist in part to provide cannot afford to start and sustain those churches—and thus they are not getting them.’
I have spoken about calling here. The Mortification of Spin podcast takes on the ubiquitous use of calling language. Nice to know they agree with me. They interestingly land on those who insist they are ‘called’ who have, in point of fact, disqualified themselves from ministry. Well worth a listen.
The capitalisation of pronouns referring to God are not helpful and do not convey reverence. It is confusing, at best. God is more concerned with our hearts than where we put our capital letters.
‘Suppose a man decides to leave his wife for another woman. Other members of the church ask the man to repent and return to his wife. He doesn’t. They ask again, but this time they also warn him about the possibility of excommunication. So he resigns his membership. Case closed. He’s now immune. Or at least that’s what the adulterous man is saying. Is that correct?’
‘Many Millennial young men seem confused about what it is to be a man and something leaps in them when another man tells them what they can do about it: shoulder a load, take some responsibility, clean your room and make life better for you and for those around you. This could easily become nothing more than a Pelagian message of self-salvation; but I think the real reason it strikes such a chord is because it reflects what men were made for.’
From the archive: People aren’t being moved to urban areas because they’ve lost the thrill of doing real evangelism
‘I don’t write this as an attempt to make folk feel guilted into moving. I write it because I want us all to rediscover the joy of genuine evangelism. If we can rediscover the sheer thrill of sharing the Lord with somebody in meaningful ways, then we may find people more inclined to move to urban areas engaged in such evangelism.’