Although it is commonplace today for Christians to create organizations that tackle social problems, that approach was an innovation in the American Protestant church, says one of the nation’s top church historians. This post is reprinted from Faith & Leadership. The American Protestant church’s great innovation was its voluntary organization, but organization alone did not guarantee success. The real key to thriving is focus on mission, said Mark Noll, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of… Read more

By Timothy Askew; reprinted from Inc. with the kind permission of Timothy Askew. In the first century AD, Roman poet Ovid wrote the following:  “There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.” I’ve always been a closet napper.  Yup.  But, not wanting to be judged a slacker, I’ve kept my little secret to myself.   However, now, lo and behold, it turns out that what I thought of as weakness… Read more

I love the Faith and Work Collective over at Asbury Seminary’s Seedbed. Yes, I’m an Asbury alum, so I’m biased, but I feel like I consistently find quality faith/work/vocation stuff there from a Wesleyan perspective. Here’s two recent posts you might like (one opinion, one statistics): Working for Pharaoh: (and by the way, I have a story to tell about this one, too. Plus, I’ll be surprised if you can get through the post without singing the Richard Thompson song.)… Read more

By Mike Coyner Acts Chapter 20 records that Paul gathered the leaders of the church at Ephesus to say farewell before he left, knowing he would go to Rome and his likely death. In his farewell to them, he reminds them that he gave everything for the Gospel and for the churches. He says he did not shrink from sharing totally with them, he did not “hold back” or “shrink” or “reduce” the Gospel – rather, he gave his “all”… Read more

I did not think there could be so much noise I would have rather had a world of light Than all those colors, advertisements, toys And guaranteed successes overnight. I would have rather had a world of rain Than one of preaching what I could not feel; Some isolated alley where the pain And storms could blow; that would have been more real Than schedules, conversations, graceless days, The desperation of a formless aim, A building with no soul, no… Read more

This post is a contribution to the Patheos Book Club on God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church. Perhaps one of the signs of middle age is that your friends suddenly start writing books. I first met Elaine Heath in the early 2000’s when she and I were both receiving fellowships from an organization interested in giving creedally orthodox United Methodists funding for doctorates so that we could change the United Methodist Church.  Fifteen years later, she is… Read more

By David Spickard People have been asking me how I’m reacting to all that’s going on with the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and now the police officers in Dallas.  I wrote out my thoughts this morning for our Jobs for Life team.  I hope they’re helpful to you. JfL family, It’s difficult to know what to say or do in a time like this.  For the most part, I’m numb. And yet, we need to respond. This… Read more

By Mike Coyner It seems almost every day as I read, watch, or hear the morning news, there is news of another shooting. Some of those have been “mass shootings” in Orlando or other cities, some have been shootings here in Indianapolis, and some have been “officer-involved” shootings in cities where we have actual video of cops shooting citizens. While not wanting to jump to conclusions without all of the evidence in hand, and while trying to maintain our constitutional… Read more

People are called to work, not just to provide for themselves, but to help the world flourish, says the collaborator on Timothy Keller’s book “Every Good Endeavor.” This post originally appeared at Faith & Leadership. People work for a variety of reasons: money, security, power, success. But work — at least, from the perspective of the gospel — is not about accruing benefits for ourselves, says Katherine Leary Alsdorf, the founder and director emeritus of the Center for Faith &… Read more

By Jordan Dillon I didn’t know that I thought I was invincible until the moment I realized that I wasn’t.  It’s an assumption that I’d carried around until the age of 24.  It was more than assumption though; it was an expectation.  It was part of me.  One brief moment separated that expectation from me. As amateur weekend craftsmen, Brad and I would throw ourselves head first into projects that were hilariously, at times, above our skill level.  I’ll never… Read more

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