October 13, 2011

Hoarding Grace

Grace is confusing, amazing, free but not without cost, life-changing, outward focused, messy, borderline illogical, _________ (fill in the blank), etc.

Webster defines grace (n.) as: a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace. I would describe it as "unmerited favor." 

A small phrase from Jesus in Matthew 10 caught my attention, "Freely you have received; freely give." This sounds like grace becoming a verb.

Do we hoard grace for ourselves? It seems so easy for us to desire grace (what we don't deserve) for ourselves and justice (what they deserve) for others. If it were not for the grace we have freely received, the justice we deserve would destroy us.

Receive grace, receive life.
Give grace, give life.

October 11, 2011

Giving at a Distance

In my area there are a couple of Fall fund drives that are taking place right now on the radio and I started to wonder...

How often do we invest in our various charitable organizations so we don't have to invest ourselves into the lives of others? Even through our giving we can keep the sick, the lonely, the broken, the poor at a safe distance.

October 5, 2011

A Magic Bullet?

You don't have to look far before reading something about the need, desire, or drive to get more young adults in church. As a young pastor in the UMC, I recognize the need as obvious yet I began to wonder, do we view the young adult demographic as some sort of magic bullet that will kill this downward trend the church finds itself in?

Speaking as a young adult, I believe we need to target my demographic because many of "us" are looking for a faith community to call home. My fear is we end up going to another extreme focusing on one particular demographic at the expense of the others.

How are we being intentional about engaging the Boomers? More and more I see the gap widening between students/young adults and the grandmas and grandpas. Where are the 40-55 year olds? It seems that many of them are becoming disengaged as they struggle with either being too young or too old, and we have struggled to figure out how to bridge that gap.

It seems that focusing on a specific "magic bullet" may not be the best way to create disciples, but perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?