4
Dec
2016
0

Back to Basics

I would like to invite you into a thought-experiment with me. Imagine that tomorrow you wake up and all of our church buildings are gone. And not only the churches, but all of the parish offices, Catholic schools, and so on, along with everything inside of them. Every physical resource vanished, and every person who works for the Church left with nothing beyond what the average American possesses. If you were tasked with advancing the evangelizing mission of the Church...
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22
Oct
2016
1

Why Forgiveness Is Not the Same as Reconciliation

The summons to forgive is an intrinsic part of the Christian life. But recently it occurred to me that there is an important difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. If we don’t account for this difference, then the practice of forgiving “seventy times seven times” becomes onerous rather than life-giving, and at worst it can even lead someone to dangerously ignore the need for healthy boundaries. The fundamental difference between forgiveness and reconciliation is that it takes one to forgive, but...
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26
Aug
2016
0

Explorations in Worship

The experience of communal worship has become an increasingly integral part of our approach to ministry in the last couple of years. We have found this to be a powerful way of teaching people how to pray, and of providing a space for them to encounter the Lord in a personal way. This summer we held a six-week series that we called Worship Nights. Having wrapped up that event, I wanted to take a look back and share some reflections...
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15
Jul
2016
0

Faith Enough to Act

Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20) If we focus on the mountain that didn’t move, we’ll take Jesus’ words as a rebuke. But if we keep our attention on the mustard seed, we can step into a place where nothing is impossible, nothing is out of reach. What...
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27
Jun
2016
1

The Fruits of the Kerygma

One of the positive outcomes of the Church’s focus on the New Evangelization has been a greater awareness of the kerygma, or the foundational proclamation of the Gospel. As a whole, we’re getting smarter about what the kerygma is and, more importantly, about working it into our evangelization efforts with increasing intentionality. When we talk about the kerygma, I think that there are three aspects of it that we need to understand. In the first place, there is the message...
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23
Apr
2016
2

The Path to Unity

I had the privilege recently to participate in a massive gathering of Christians who came together to pray for unity and for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our day. The event was called Azusa Now and marked the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, the birthplace of the Pentecostal movement which has influenced hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide. 70,000 Christians came together in the L.A. Coliseum for Azusa Now, and leaders from diverse communities were...
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19
Apr
2016
0

The 4 Kinds of Leadership Every Parish Needs

Parishes cannot accomplish great things without great leadership. But a truly great parish also requires different kinds of leadership in order to grow into its full potential. I believe there are four key leadership needs for every parish: visionary leadership, team leadership, pastoral leadership, and managerial leadership. The vast majority of people do not possess a high level of gifting in more than one or two of these areas of leadership, and so it is critical that the full weight of...
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14
Feb
2016
1

Against the Charge of Evangelical “Emotionalism”

I am not an artist, but I have the good fortune of being married to one. Over the years, my graphic designer wife has shown me enough tips and techniques for me to try my hand at creating a flyer or postcard from time to time, then I pass my rough draft along to her to give it that professional finishing touch. On one particular occasion, my wife asked if I made the deliberate choice to use a black-and-white background...
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