Posts in Ministry and Leadership

7 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Love Muslims

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 22, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Spiritual Formation

Following are seven reasons you might be struggling to love Muslims. The seventh reason is probably the most important ...

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The Call to Love Thy Neighbor: Promoting True Human Flourishing in a Consumer Society

By Karin Stetina Jul. 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words” (20). Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

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Should a Church Sing (American) Patriotic Songs During Its Worship Services?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 4, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

I was serving as a worship pastor in a church in one of New York City’s suburbs when the attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched. Soon after the attacks, a small contingent of vocal church members began to demand that we start to sing American patriotic songs during our worship services. That suggestion didn’t sit well with me so I began trying to work through some of the relevant theological and practical questions one by one. I wrote these questions and answers on September 29, 2001, only 18 days after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City. The following is by no means the final word on the question, but it might provide categories you can use to think through this subject for yourself ...

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A Quote from Oswald Chambers in Sandie Weaver’s Office

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 21, 2016 9:00 a.m. Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Just inside the door of Sandie Weaver’s office in the lower level of Metzger Hall hangs a framed quotation from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie is the Senior Director of Financial Planning & Operations at Biola University, which means that she is on a mission to make sure Biola University carefully plans for its financial future and lives within the constraints of whatever funds God brings into the university.  I love walking into her office and immediately encountering this quote from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie has had these words hanging on the wall of her office for more than 30 years to remind her that she labors to do what she does—not merely because it is wise and necessary—but because God called her to do it ...

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Underutilized Resources

By Dave Keehn Jun. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

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Praying for Those Who Preach, Teach, and Lead Bible Studies

By Kevin Lawson Jun. 6, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

Who has God brought into your life to teach you the Bible and help you grow in your faithfulness in following after Christ? Is it your pastor? Are there also others who have taught you the Scriptures, or who are teaching your friends or family members? In most churches, the Bible is being taught in a variety of places to different groups of different ages and stages of life. From children’s classes to youth group settings, to small group ministries, throughout the week God’s Word is opened and studied in churches around the world. This is one of the most powerful agents for change in our lives ...

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Life Speed

By Mick Boersma May. 25, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

... I’ve also concluded that, metaphorically speaking, 40 miles per hour is my best speed for living life. Of course, there are those times when I have to go fast to finish a project or keep up with a host of activities particular to a certain time of year (like the little league/soccer schedules of my grand children). We all have fast times, for sure.

But the life speed that will enable me to go the long haul, continue to be effective, enjoyable to live with, and strong enough to handle the load, is a cruising speed of 40. Perhaps I first started becoming comfortable with this pace as a boy on our family farm. Life came and went in seasons. Spring and Summer were frenetic at times, but Fall and Winter balanced everything out as the ice and snow forced me to slow down, look both ways, and proceed with caution ...

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