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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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There are ways we can help twenty-somethings find their place in their faith community.In part because of Pew Research findings about “the rise of the nones” and what is happening as many western nations move into a pluralistic and post-Christian era, it is easy for people to begin thinking there is little they can do to turn the tide. For many, there is a sense that we are losing the next generation of young adults because of forces beyond our control—and that there is hardly anything we do which will make a real difference.However, in my dissertation research I examined what was helping and hindering twenty-somethings from staying engaged spiritually and finding their places in faith communities after graduating from college. Through that research, I realized there are key actions people who care about the next generation can take that will make a significant difference. What follows are a few of those ideas. I have also made the dissertation available for free online for anyone who wants to delve into the research more deeply.First, intentionally focus on their next transition. Most churches in the United States have Junior High and High School ministries. While resources for the next stage of life are not as prolific, if young people attend university, then there are thousands of campus workers from groups like InterVarsity, Cru, Navigators, etc., along with a wide array of denominational ministries that focus on helping them grow in their faith. There are also Christian colleges and universities across the country to help them develop as well.While many people doing ministry in those settings often feel like resources are lacking to adequately address the needs of students in their contexts, what struck me in the research was the profound dearth of resources and focus on the next leg ...Continue reading...
The Canyon Ministries organization conducts tours of the Grand Canyon that teach geology from a Christian worldview.
We've come a long way from a plea for marriage equality.Watching the Equality Town Hall on CNN yesterday was both instructive and disconcerting.It was instructive because I really did want to see where we were as a nation—and how divided we might be on questions related to religious liberty, the LGBTQ+ community, and the need for us to all live together in one democracy.I was struck by the fact the debate was regularly interrupted by protestors. What we all need to acknowledge is that many people who identify as LGBTQ+ have felt marginalized and discriminated against, and have seen violence as a part of their reality.That should leave us all with a deeper sense of compassion and concern. People spoke of their lives being at stake; as Christians, we should be the first ones to hear and honor their anthem of desiring safety and protection.Furthermore, I left surprised at the level of change that is taking place in the Democratic Party— this is not President Obama’s party anymore. Barack Obama actually broke his campaign promise and allowed faith based partners to, well, keep their faith central throughout their ministries, even when partnering with the government. His (limited) accomodations to people of faith simply would be far from the converstaions last night.We’ve come a long way in a short time.And, because of that, I left with religious liberty concerns.Religious LibertyI’m concerned with the clear and complete disregard around religious liberty. This term was used a few times, often with the phrase “so called” tacked on. Candidates would say they affirm religious liberty, but then describe exactly how they did not.Elizabeth Warren was asked a revealing question: How would she respond if an "old fashioned" voter told her ...Continue reading...
An Arkansas Baptist church opted to forgive the man who caused $100,000 in damage.February 28, 2019 was one of the worst days of 23-year-old Brenton Winn’s life. But it paved the way for one of the best.Angry at God after he relapsed from an addiction to methamphetamines despite spending time at a faith-based recovery program, Winn knew nothing about Central Baptist Church of Conway, Arkansas, when he broke in that February evening.High on drugs, Winn went on a rampage and destroyed $100,000 of church property, including laptops, cameras, and other electronics. He remembers little of that night, except that he felt desperate.Six months later Winn stood in a baptismal pool at Central Baptist as Mike Lefler, the church’s associate pastor of ministries, celebrated the young man’s decision to follow Christ through baptism.“As I’m starting to understand how God works, I’ve realized I didn’t pick the church that night. God picked me,” Winn said. “If it had been any other church, I think I’d be sitting in prison right now.”Winn grew up in what he calls a “God-fearing” home. His mother and stepfather attended a Church of Christ congregation. At 14, he started experimenting with methamphetamines. By 16, he was taking drugs every day.“Before I knew it, I had a full-blown drug addiction,” Winn said. “From the time I was 16 until a few months ago, my life was nothing but chaos, suicide attempts and brokenness.”In 2016, Winn went into a two-week faith-based recovery program. For a year, he stayed off drugs and got a job at a local Lowe’s store. But in September of 2017, his cousin committed suicide. Devastated, he fell back into addiction. By last February, when he broke into the church, Winn was homeless and ...Continue reading...
The Canyon Ministries organization conducts tours of the Grand Canyon that teach geology from a Christian worldview.
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