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Tag: church

Matt Sigler ~ Knowing What We Have: The Methodist Liturgical Heritage, Part III

“The efforts at Methodist liturgical revision that culminated in the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal and 1992 Book of Worship were often disregarded by those seeking to make their worship services more “contemporary.” As “contemporary worship” became an increasingly viable option for Methodists, many completely rejected the hymnal or anything that appeared to be rooted in the past. While Methodist “contemporary” worship frequently infused life into dry services, it often looked just like the Baptist “contemporary” service down the street. In rejecting the historic forms of their worship, Methodists suffered from an identity crisis in their worship services.”

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Kevin Watson ~ Christian Perfection: Problem or Promise?

“Sanctification is not about something that I either have to do to make myself better, or for which I have to feel guilty about not being good enough. It is a ‘work of God’s grace.’ Entire sanctification is really nothing more than
God’s grace freeing us from everything that has kept us chained to sin and death. The Triune God has given his children everything they need to live the kind of life for which they were created, in this life. And this is not only for spiritual elites or super Christians.”

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Maxie Dunnam ~ Prayer and Fasting: Embracing Voluntary Weakness

Fasting is more than denying ourselves food. It is choosing to act out, by temporarily denying ourselves food, that we do not live by bread alone. We are completely dependent upon God, and we deliberately choose voluntary weakness. We become identifiably humble in the face of the problems with which we are dealing. We admit to each other, and primarily to God: only you can get us through this “mess.”

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Ken Loyer ~ Holy Communion: Celebrating God with Us, Part 1

The more Christians link Communion with spiritual formation and daily faith practice, the more likely the church will be invigorated and empowered to carry out its missional mandate to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Through the service of Communion, the church remembers and celebrates the presence of God with us.

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Matthew Sigler ~ Knowing What We Have: The Methodist Liturgical Heritage, Part II

At issue was the question of what made Methodist worship distinctly Methodist. Drawing from Wesley’s example, Summers argued that form and freedom should go hand in hand in Methodist worship. Even today these disagreements over what makes Methodist worship “Methodist” continue. For all the talk over “high” and “low” church; “spirit-led” and “ordered;” or “contemporary” and “traditional”—whatever the current iteration of the debate—we might do well to take a page from Wesley and Summers who both understood that form and freedom are two sides of the same coin for Methodists.

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Cole Bodkin ~ The Parable-Life

Jesus often did things that drew – or repelled – people towards or away from himself. Once he grabbed their attention, Jesus would frequently respond with parables. That Jesus spoke in parables is highly significant. Jesus didn’t speak theological jargon; one of his primary forms of communication was…parables. He acted in highly symbolic fashion, eliciting questions, to which he told strange, cryptic stories about how God’s dominion was making its impact on earth.

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Michael Smith ~ Birthing A Church

As pastors we have to understand that as we serve our church, it will begin to look like us. Our shared life will rub off on each other. We will take on the DNA of that local church body and always carry it with us. And part of who we are will always stay with them. We are related after all, and we will start to look like each other.

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Danny Morris ~ A New Kind of Church

Claiming the gift of humor as a valid part of the church’s general curriculum helps shape the ethos and lifestyle of the congregation. People will come to enjoy humor as expressions of spirituality. Humor unifies the common life of the congregation. Sunday after Sunday, the church can become a teaching laboratory of humor that provides wholesome and welcomed alternatives to the degrading humor that relentlessly bombards people every day.

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Mike Coyner ~ Leaving a Legacy

David understood the important of leaving a legacy. He understood that each generation should stockpile resources for the next generation. He accepted that his own failures and inadequacies would prevent him from accomplishing everything he wanted to do during his own lifetime, but he used that fact as a motivation for the future success of those who would come after him.

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Carolyn Moore ~ A Sermon for Pastors – 2 Timothy, Luke 9, Matthew 8

I understand these people better than I want to admit. I know what it means to become so focused on the work and the politics and the systems and the next big book that’s going to tell us how to really do it right, that I can forget what Jesus is capable of and why he’s filled me with the Holy Spirit and what he’s called me to do. Somehow (I’m sure this is not the correct theological language), it seems like the Spirit leaks out. Or maybe I push him out. I know it has happened when I find myself telling God how big my storm is, rather than telling my storm how big my God is.

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Andy Kinsey ~ To What End do We Serve?

In a letter to John Smith on June 25, 1746, John Wesley, in reflecting on the Methodist movement, wrote, “What is the end of all ecclesiastical order? Is it not to bring souls from the power of Satan to God? And to build them in his fear and love? Order, then, is so far valuable as it answers these ends; and if it answers them not it is worth nothing.”

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Tom Fuerst ~ Terms and Conditions Do Apply – Genesis 15:6, 17:9-14

The central question for Abraham was never, “Are you circumcised?” The central question was, “Is your circumcision a reflection of walking blamelessly and faithfully before God?” The central question for the church, then, is, “In doing these things [baptism, accepting Jesus, or taking Communion] are they expressions of faithfulness and an awareness and a pursuit of the terms and conditions of a covenant relationship with God?” It is not, “Do you call yourself a Christian?” It is, “Do you live a life worthy of that name?”

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