I’ll end with two practical concerns I have with the pendulum swing I see in some of the public sphere of conservative Christendom that’s been trickling down locally.
- It makes advancement mainly a function of women teaching and (accidentally?) devalues all the other ways women serve as an essential part of the body. It’s like we want all women to be teachers. I understand why the focus is on women teaching, because that’s the area that some are slower to embrace–feels risky, like a woman might overstep the bounds. But, in the same way I think men can be devalued when they aren’t teachers or pastors, I think the same thing is happening with women and we should avoid this silliness at all costs. You don’t have to be an up-front teacher in order to be a spiritual mother. A female on a stage speaking to a group is not essential to thriving spiritual mothering or the fulfillment of a woman’s role in the local body. A woman teacher is no more effective or influential in God’s economy because she’s been given a microphone.
- Our swing is in tandem with the current swing of liberal and unorthodox Christians as well as with the world, albeit on a different scale. This doesn’t make it all wrong, but it’s something to note. When the world is swinging into transgenderism and gender queer identity, and the liberal church is swinging into ordination of women and self-identified gay Christians, the conservative swing toward a disproportionate valuing of the stage/platform as the most important place for women to serve may seem minor, but we should pay attention to it. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater––there are important things to learn in this pendulum swing, good and right actions to take. There are many faithful upfront women teachers that I love and have learned a ton from–I want their number to increase! But maybe the most important lesson is that the pendulum needs to be smashed with God’s word.
- Reestablish The Biblical Essentials
- Emphasize Discipleship And Leadership Training
- Reduce Your Overhead
- Rethink Your Building
- Work With Strategic Partners
- Engage Your Community
- Emphasize Jesus Over Tradition (or Denominations, or Buildings, or Politics, or…)
- Restructure What Needs To Be Restructured
- Make Disciples, Not Just Converts
- Figure Out Why Your Congregation Should Survive
As creative Christians, we need to be especially attentive to all facets of our work: design, form, content, function. Does our work bear witness to the goodness of Jesus, and particularly to the sacrifice and humility He embodied for us?
Yes, this is a high bar, and yes, we will repeatedly fail, but more important than succeeding or failing is our willingness to be disciples, always to be learning, growing and maturing.
“Let him who without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Back to my note. My note is connected to this story. My note reminds me that their are broken people whom the world and many times the church continue to tear down. My note says, “BE A STONE CATCHER.”
- Prioritize Relationships Over Resources
- Tackle the Fear of Fund-raising
- Have a Compelling Vision
- Buy In and Gain Some Early Wins
- Segment Your Contacts
- Say Thank-You Quickly; Say Thank-You Often
We can fall into a few traps with our theories about humans:
- We can come to believe that they are ironclad guarantees, not merely our best guess about the future.
- We can refuse to understand the mechanics behind a theory and instead accept the word of an authority figure. If we fail to do the math on our own, we lose agency and the ability to develop an even more nuanced understanding of how the world works.
- We can become superstitious, ignoring evidence that runs counter to our theory and instead doubling down on random causes and their unrelated effects.
- We can hesitate to verbalize our theories, afraid to share them with others, particularly those we deem as higher in authority or status.
- We can go to our jobs and do all four of these things at once.
Featured on NPR and written about in GQ, Chen has contributed to over 300 suicide preventions since 2003. Sometimes that means talking people out of jumping off the bridge, and sometimes that means catching them after they leap.
As Fast Company reports, Action Hunger has installed a vending machine inside the entrance of a Nottingham, UK shopping center stocked with contents meant exclusively for homeless consumers. To use it, visitors must have a card they can pick up from the local homeless center. Once their status has been confirmed, they’re given free access to fruit, sandwiches, socks, water, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other basics. The can use the card up to three times a day and cardholders must check in with the participating shelter once a week to keep using it.
The next time your friend offers to pay for lunch and split the bill via Venmo, an online money transaction service, pause for a minute before hitting pay.
Does your caption contain the words “Cuba” or “Havana”? Unless you like having your account frozen, it might be worth a rewrite.