I worked in Christian education for just a couple of years before I had a child of my own. It was remarkable to me how different my work began to look once I was a parent and could better understand the needs and perspective of parents and families within my congregation.
Richard Lischer suggests that one of the ways to organize a sermon is around a “master metaphor”—that key image on which the sermon’s progress and structure can hang. More often than not, the scripture passage itself gives us the master metaphor.
If it’s difficult for listeners today to connect with the Bible’s injunctions against idolatry because our own idolatry looks so different, the metaphor of God as “fountain of living water” being forsaken for self-dug, cracked cisterns is striking.
I was reading Morgan Guyton’s blog post asking if Christians can transcend celebrity culture. I resonated with that weird feeling of being not-quite-famous. I’m usually at a conference center, where people are looking at my colored leader’s nametag, trying to figure out who I am, while looking over my shoulder, to see if there’s someone more important behind me. Sometimes people figure out who I am and say, “Tribal Church! You’re Tribal Church.” Then 5 seconds later, “You’re so much shorter in real life.”
And I wonder how I could be shorter than a one-inch avatar.
The closing of the doors of Exodus International earlier this summer doesn’t just signal a sea change in evangelical thinking about homosexuality. It also highlights some evangelicals’ dubious claims of adherence to immutable convictions.
By now many of you have read about the man in the black shirt and white collar (not a black collar, as some reported with a hint of eeriness) who showed up at a terrible accident in Missouri this month.