Merit winner in the 2006 Christianity Today Book Awards! "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Those of us called to Christian ministry are commissioned and sent by Jesus, just as he himself was called and sent by the Father. Thus we naturally pattern our ministries after Christ's example. But distinctively Christian service involves the Spirit as well, just as Jesus himself accomplished his ministry in the power of the Spirit. Thus the whole Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--gives shape to truly authentic Christian ministry. Though as Christians we all affirm the doctrine of the Trinity, many of us might struggle to explain how understanding the Trinity could actually shape our ministry. Stephen Seamands demonstrates how a fully orbed theology of the Trinity transforms our perception and practice of vocational ministry. Theological concepts like relationality and perichoresis have direct relevance to pastoral life and work, especially in unfolding a trinitarian approach to relationships, service and mission. A thoroughly trinitarian outlook provides the fuel for our ministry "of Jesus Christ, to the Father, through the Holy Spirit, on behalf of the church and the world." Essential reading for pastors, parachurch workers, counselors, missionaries, youth ministers and all who are called to any vocation of Christian ministry.
Theological Reflections on Ministry and the Christian Life
Author: John Jefferson Davis
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Practicing Ministry in the Presence of God presents a new paradigm for church ministry--one that is based on fundamental truths of the Christian faith such as the Trinity, union with Christ, and the "already" presence of the Holy Spirit in the church. This new paradigm can help busy pastors avoid "burnout" in the ministry and model Trinitarian, New Testament patterns of ministry to their people. Practicing Ministry in the Presence of God reflects the best of recent New Testament scholarship, sensitivity to the contexts of globalized postmodern cultures dominated by digital media, and practical applications for Christian life, discipleship, worship, and mission.
Feminist theologians often claim that "women's experience" is their starting point. However, most feminist theology is remarkably void of analysis of particular women's experiences of imaging God. In this book, Knight provides practical recommendations to help people transform images in the context of religious practices. What difference does it make whether we picture God as an elderly white grandfather, a nurturing African American mother, or a stranger on the bus? Jennie Knight says our image of God affects how we see ourselves, how we worship, how we treat one another, how (or whether) we work for justice, and a host of other life practices. But after years of knowing intellectually that God transcends a specific human type, Knight still struggles to make an emotional connection with God in different forms. She suspects that that struggle is why many seminarians who wrote papers about thea/theology abandon nontraditional God images once they hit parish ministry, perpetuating the practice of seeing God as a European male on a throne and all the accompanying problems that such imagery creates. Knight believes that personal and critical reflection in the context of a supportive learning community, combined with experiences of diverse images for the divine in worship, can lead to profound changes in self-image, relationship with the divine, and agency in the world. This book aims to demonstrate why and how this transformation is both possible and necessary. The popularity of The Shack, The Secret Life of Bees, Joan of Arcadia, and other works with nontraditional God-figures reveals a culture ready to embrace God in many forms. Knight examines how the church can do the same.
Traditionally, the roles of Christian ministry have been thought of as priest, pastor, and prophet. Donald E. Messer adds five contemporary images: Wounded Healer, Servant Leader, Political Mystic, Practical Theologian, and Enslaved Liberator. By combining these new images with the more traditional roles, readers will develop their own personal vision of Christian ministry.
Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective
Author: Randy Stinson
Publisher: Kregel Academic
Dr. Randy Stinson and Dr. Timothy Paul Jones have been the primary architects of the theological foundations for whathas become known as “family-equipping ministry”—a recognition that the generations need one another and that parents have an inherent responsibility for the discipleship of their children.
Preachers mount the pulpit steps terribly burdened by the conviction that they are somehow responsible for the growth and spiritual well-being of their congregants. How, they ask themselves, can mere words communicate the reality of God, bring life to a congregation, or foster spiritual growth? This study argues that effective sermons function much like Jesus' parables--by bearing witness to divine power. Parables and preaching both testify to something beyond themselves: to a life-giving dynamic that far outstrips the force of words alone. Preachers are not go-betweens or gatekeepers for the kingdom of heaven: rather, they imitate Jesus by dying to themselves in the very act of proclamation, relying directly on God for their sermons to bear fruit. As well as offering a novel interpretation of Jesus' agricultural parables, Of Seeds and the People of God presents a Christ-shaped theology of preaching. Beyond exegesis or rhetoric alone, faithful proclamation is a question of spirituality, of preachers and listeners together yielding to God's gift of new life.
Spirit-Empowered Preaching, Teaching, Healing, and Leadership
Author: Thomson K. Mathew
Publisher: WestBow Press
This book is a comprehensive guide and a one-volume handbook on Spirit-led ministry in the twenty-first century. Written for ministry students, seasoned pastors, and anyone dealing with a sense of calling, this is an inspiring read on Spirit-empowered ministry that expresses itself in word and deed through preaching, teaching, healing, and leadership. In these pages, a pastor, chaplain, and seminary professor who has trained people for ministry in multiple nations addresses the most important aspects of effective Christian ministry. Read this book to encounter biblically sound and theologically balanced information and transformational instruction. Discern, discover, or reaffirm a call to ministry, seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and develop excellence in contemporary ministry.
How Community CaLloyd Ogilvie Preaching Institute Seriesn Multiply the Power of the Preached Word
Author: Robert K. Perkins
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Believing that study and application of Scripture in the context of Christian community can greatly enhance the transformative power of the preached message, in Bringing Home the Message Robert Perkins aims to help pastors integrate small group ministry with their preaching. Perkins lays out the biblical, theological, historical, and sociological basis for the importance of hearing God's Word in the context of community, and provides a practical methodology for implementing sermon-based small group Bible studies. This helpful book also includes a sample fourteen-part series of Study Guides and Leader's Notes for the Gospel of Luke. Step-by-step instructions illustrate how to prepare effective inductive Bible study questions for small groups that will challenge members to grow in their faith and discipleship through understanding and applying God's Word together.
Selfies are ubiquitous. They can be silly or serious, casual or curated. Within moments, smart phone users can capture their image and post it across multiple social media platforms to a global audience. But do we truly understand the power of image in our image-saturated age? How can we seek God and care for each other in digital spaces? Craig Detweiler, a nationally known writer and speaker and an avid social media user, examines the selfie phenomenon, placing selfies within the long history of self-portraits in art, literature, and photography. He shows how self-portraits change our perspective of ourselves and each other in family dynamics, education, and discipleship. Challenging us to push past unhealthy obsessions with beauty, wealth, and fame, Detweiler helps us to develop a thoughtful, biblical perspective on selfies and social media and to put ourselves in proper relation to God and each other. He also explains the implications of social media for an emerging generation, making this book a useful conversation starter in homes, churches, and classrooms. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a photo assignment for creating a selfie in response to the chapter.