Politics is organized sparring about power, without much regard for efficacy or right or wrong. Governance is the serious business of taking responsibility for leadership.
Let’s leave the partisan politics to those preoccupied with the Caesars and kingdoms of this world. We urge Chronicle readers to consider the real feelings of our dear Hispanic sister — and all of our Latino brethren — when they engage in social media. May the fruit of our lips openly profess the name of our Lord.
- Does the concern affect a substantial portion of your congregation in a substantial way?
- Should this concern be affecting them?
- Does this concern pose a threat to God’s people morally, doctrinally, or in some other way?
- Does this concern necessitate a pastoral response of comfort?
- Does the preacher need to inform the church of a hazardous issue or circumstance?
- Is there a clear connection between the concern and a specific text?
- Has this concern come to the preacher?
- Is there a biblical “therefore” to the text and the concern?
- Are you moved by principle or just wanting to break the boredom?
- Marker #1: The congregation fosters ongoing growth in the person’s awareness and acceptance of their ethnicity, encouraging them to grow in their uniqueness in Christ.
- Marker #2: The congregation accepts the person’s ethnic perspective as normative and valuable to its development as a theological and discipleship community.
- Marker #3: The congregation sees the completed work of Christ as the means to regulate the person’s ethnic pride, combating ethnocentrism and elitism.
- Marker #4: The congregation challenges the person to regularly give up their preferences in order to live peaceably and to reflect the gospel to the world.
We want to make a difference in the lives of our family, our community of faith, and in our world. Elders want to shepherd their flock in real and meaningful ways. Preachers want their words to have real and lasting impact. We all want to give support, encouragement, and help. Love one another. Be there for each other. So if you really are serious, here is a suggestion. Show up.
James stops short of suggesting there is no place for formal teachers in the Church. There is clear biblical evidence to suggest otherwise. However, instead of calling for more aspiring teachers in the Church, James suggests we need more practitioners of God’s love. It’s the role of every follower of Christ and leader in the church.
Let us be faithful in the small things. Sure, serving in the nursery, providing food for a family, or a simple phone call of encouragement doesn’t sound as “exciting” as conquering a kingdom, but perhaps what the church needs most is ordinary people willing to pull weeds. Our Lord cares about the smallest task, and he said he will not forget even when we provide a glass of cold water.
What if the diagnosis was in fact cancer? How would we cope? What if our child was in fact violated? What would we do? What if the worst came to pass? What would that look like in honest-to-goodness reality? The Christian disarms the what ifs when she carries them out to completion in her imagination because she finds she has an answer. She finds that she would actually be okay. That she would actually make it. That she would be devastated, yes, but not beyond the reach of her God.
This list is not meant to be definitive, and you could compose another, with a whole host of new names, that would be valid and compelling. Omissions should not be considered slights. Rather this is meant as a mosaic, a picture with 100 pieces from which, when they’re fit together, an image of the NFL at the century mark emerges.