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A Servant's Heart

A Servant's Heart

We have had several weeks off from the blog posting about Monday mornings missional theology conversations. I didn’t understand why Debbie and other pastors always said that summer was a hard time to get things done and be consistent until being a part of regular activities at the church. It seems that we have been overrun with extra do’s to get through this season of community building, investment in the youth, restoration work and new program development. But, hopefully we are back on track.
Yesterday we discussed the idea of having a servant’s attitude and what it meant in our daily lives. I have to admit that the it was a bit like preaching to the choir, so to speak, with the Monday morning group. Most of the people that come to that group have a good understanding of servanthood and how it shapes their faith. One of the key concepts that impacts our ability to have a servant’s attitude is intentionality in our faith. Are we intentionally investing in our own …
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Unpacking Christology

Last week in both the sermon and in the missional theology group discussion we discussed Jesus the man as well as a theological concept called theandric union. This is the idea that there is an inseparable union between the two natures represented by Jesus the man and Christ the savior. Monday we worked to unpack the Christ side of the theandric coin. We began by looking at a brief overview of our understanding of Christ and His role in human history, giving people the basic box from which to begin to think outside of.
Unpacking the Christology (how we understand Christ) in both the old and new testaments is a far weightier ordeal than connecting with Jesus the man. As one of the eternal figures of the trinity, Christ represents a divine personhood that we are unable to appropriate. This makes understanding difficult at best. Where do we begin?
I would challenge that we begin to try to understand Christ in the beginning of the biblical narrative with creation. Christ, as part of the t…

Jesus the Man

I want to start out this week’s blog by saying that if you are not coming to the Monday morning missional theology discussions you are missing out. We had a fantastic time yesterday learning some new concepts, wrestling with old ones and discussing how we tie all of it to God’s mission in the world. These Monday morning gatherings have become one of the highlights of my week. I look forward to getting together with everyone and always leave feeling refreshed and motivated to be a part of the work that God is doing at Harmony Grove.
This week’s topic was on Jesus the man. As most of the people that come to the discussion are regulars we have really begun to pull out all of the theological stops, challenging people to look at their faith through a new lens and grow in their understanding of the biblical narrative and theological terminology. Yesterday we began by discussing something called theandric union. This is the idea that there is an inseparable union between the two natures repr…

An Easter Review

This week’s blog is about practical matters. Yesterday in the missional theology meeting we reflected on the Easter season and the successes and challenges that we felt existed. It was very interesting to hear everyone’s perspectives and, as always, it was good to come together in conversation. Someone made the comment that “If we are going to learn to have good conversations that move us toward relationship, we need to practice having good conversations.” Seems very straight forward and simple to appropriate doesn’t it? But if that is the case why is our participation in this shared restoration narrative so low relative to the population of the church? Do people simply not care about the future of the church and what it means to live in God’s economy? If you know this not to be the case perhaps you should come and join the conversation and help us understand how we can become a community with a shared narrative more effectively.

We discussed some of the major wins from the Easter seas…

Our Story!

This week our blog is going to take a bit of a different path. Debbie asked me to work on telling the story of the restoration work that we are doing, the successes that we have had, the vision for where we hope for it to go and the wins that the vision/plan stands  to produce. One of the things that we discussed during our collaborative time today was the value of a shared narrative in the pursuit of restoration, be that individually, as a family or as a church and community. I tell you this to hopefully encourage you to make this your own, ask questions, challenge the direction and share it with those that you know in your circle of influence. 
We began to look at what it would look like for the church to once again be a community leader in God’s plan of restoration nine months ago, undertaking a journey of exploration and discovery while working to develop a new missional narrative around restoration. To date we have made great progress in this endeavor on many fronts. 
We have develo…


The Tradition of Palm Sunday and Holy Week

In Monday morning’s missional theology group, we talked about many different topics, all of which were driven by wanting to more fully understand what Palm Sunday and Holy week really mean and what we, as a community of Christians, are to take away. Ultimately, we came to consensus on the fact that the history and traditions of this time are important to our very identity as Christians because it provides a foundational block on which to build our community of believers. We agreed that it is important to help people build a box before we help them learn to think outside of it. Palm Sunday and Holy week are components of the Christian box. This is a foundational time that defined the early community and should still play a significant role in our liturgical calendar each year.
In a time of mega churches and rock concert services, it is interesting to note that one of the fastest growing segments of Christian faith with those under 35 years of a…

Loving Radically

The Anthropology of Radical Love: A Practical View
What does the concept of Radical Love mean? Did Jesus call us to radical love or is this merely a modern contextualization of the standard that Jesus set for us in his interactions with others? Is radical love possible and if so, how do we have it? These are big questions that impact our faith, life and relationships. As such, it seems that it is worth exploring. But only if we can come to some sort of a guide for achieving it.
So, what does the concept of radical love represent? In Matthew 5:44 Jesus calls us to “love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us.” That certainly seems radical- as well as common knowledge for those of us that profess to have a Christian worldview. But there is a bit of a rub with this concept of radical love. It often puts us in a position to seek persecution, acting like martyrs when we are simply being over sensitive. It has become one of the hallmarks of “mature” Christian faith and an excuse fo…