Tag Archives: Ministry

Overflow Ministry

I had the amazing privilege of being at the Right Now conference last week. It was a bit like drinking water from a fire hose, but it was very good. I’m definitely still processing most of it, but one of the things that stuck with me came from one of the Q&A sessions. I honestly don’t remember the question, or even the answer, but the disclaimer of sorts that Amy Teel gave before she answered the question hit me hard. She said something to the effect of “I answer not in the Spirit, but in my giftedness.”
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A Shared Frustration

One of the most common frustrations I hear from egalitarian women who want to be in vocational ministry is that they want to be in a place where they can use their gifts. I understand this frustration because I share it, and I believe that all who desire to be in vocational ministry but currently aren’t also share in this.
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Death By Love

Have you ever felt that you are too far away from God? Have you ever felt like you have done so much wrong that there isn’t a way you can make up for it? Have you ever felt worthless because of something that has been done to you? Have you ever felt like there aren’t any good examples for you to follow? Have you ever felt like God is mad at you for something you have done, or for something you failed to do? Have you ever felt completely hopeless?

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Church History in Plain Language, in Review

I’ve never really liked history. It was boring in high school, and the one college history class I’ve taken made me almost suicidal. It’s always “so and so did this on that date” and “these people responded by doing that on this date”. It was always conveyed in such a matter-of-fact method that I felt the only reason I needed to know any of it was for the test I’d inevitably suffer. It was so lifeless.

Thankfully, Bruce Shelley took an entirely different approach in his survey, Church History in Plain Language. He absolutely writes about who did what and when, but he also tells us how it affected the people, and the doctrinal beliefs, political systems, and socio-economic statuses of those people. He writes all of this as if he were simply telling a story: with excitement and passion! I’ve read through chapters at a time and not even realized I had been reading that long. Shelley does a fantastic job of communicating how the early church councils formed the doctrines we hold dear and contend for today, and what impact the church had on the Roman Empire, and how the Empire affected the church during the time of Constantine’s rule.

In the book’s prologue, Shelley makes it a point to note that this book is not only for college students, or graduates entering seminary, but is designed and written so that all “laypeople” could understand it. Borrowing freely the ideas and descriptions of others, he wrote this book with one aim: keep the story moving.

Shelley has done an outstanding job doing just that, communicating both the monumental and the subtle pieces of one era of church history, and moving on to the next era, without leaving the reader feeling like he needs to self medicate for a month to recover from a reading induced migraine.

A lesson from Church History

I’ve been reading Church History in Plain Language in attempts to fill in the gaps between Acts and, well, the Protestant Reformation. The other day I read something about Augustine that I really hit me hard.

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