Most would agree that the UK is now very much a post-Christian nation. Christians in the UK are having to rebuild the Church from the ground up, and their desire for renewal is truly inspiring. Consider for a moment that The Alpha Course and Christianity Explored are two British innovations in Christian education, outreach and evangelism. Perhaps it would be worth a look at how believers in a post-Christian nation are rebuilding and even thriving in their changing cultural climate. We Canadians are not far behind – do we have a plan for rebuilding the church, or are we just holding on and hoping our out-dated strategies will carry us through the next decade. Below is a photo of an abandoned old church in Paris I stumbled across a couple years ago. A timely reminder that Christ-centered renewal and ministry innovation is essential. History reveals two options: deep change or slow death. Read the rest of this entry »
Exploring the Inside of the Christian Tradition Esoteric Christianity. Part 1: Two Kinds of ReligionOctober 29, 2009
It has been fun blogging. Writing, reading and commenting. I am starting to wonder . . . what comes next. The intention that began a process that led to this blog was “How can we create a space for aconversation about renewal? How do we create a space where God’s renewing spirit can flow?” (or at least something along those lines).
So I am now wondering what next. How does the conversation grow? Perhaps a conversation that all are invited to at Pastor Study conference? Perhaps conversations over coffee? Perhaps an invitation to new writers? I don’t know.
For now I am drinking coffee waiting and watching for the spirit to blow. I swear I can feel a slight breeze on my neck. So I am just wondering which way the wind is blowing so we can set the sails.
It is no secret that seminary education in the mainline church is facing tremendous challenges. Fewer people enrolling, tighter budgets, and so on. Those challenges make us ask the big question, is Lutheran seminary education properly forming the leaders needed for today’s church?
I recently read a remarkably inspiring article by Leonard Sweet, written as the forward for a book by Carl Savage and William Presnell. It is called, “18 Rungs in The New Ladder of Learning.” You can find the article online here. In the article, Sweet offers 18 “transformations that are changing the nature of how we prepare leaders for the church.” Many of the ideas directly challenge how our seminaries currently operate – numbers 8, 9, and 14 seem particularly poignant. I found this article to be very cogent and concise – a helpful tool for examining norms in the ELCIC.
I would like to know, what do you think of Sweet’s offerings? Which point seemed particularly inspiring for you? Please post your comments below.
Why is it that we so often fear the change that may make things not only different, but better? I think that we really do not believe that change is possible. We know the power of habit and the comfort of the usual, but change could bring a whole new level of understanding, of cooperation, of happiness. All of our powers of thought, science, theology, passion, and grit have brought us to where we now find ourselves; might they not also be used to bring about a whole new world. We must believe in the possibility of change if we want change to be a possibility in our lives. If we feel we are powerless and hopeless and we cannot see a way out, we are most to be pitied. But if we cannot put up with the way things are now (decreasing membership, biblical illiteracy, conflict) what is to stop us from doing a major makeover of what we are as church. Only believing that change is really possible…