A couple years ago, after a small church gathering, a volunteer approached me and said, “I’m afraid my wife and I won’t be helping at the gathering anymore.” “Sorry to hear that,” I replied. He continued, “It’s just that so many of those who attend have no reverence for the church. Especially Bill. He’s always … Continue reading The Grit of the Kingdom
While I was at work the other day, I pulled out a giant flip chart, grabbed a Sharpie, and started writing down questions. A smart guy once said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” In a neighborhood like mine, defining reality involves asking a lot of questions. I wrote things like … Continue reading What Is Church?
I’ve had one of those weeks where God has shown me something and I have to do something about it. A friend of mine recommended the book The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson, an older book about spiritual warfare. It’s not silly or over the top. It doesn’t encourage exorcisms or power encounters. Instead, the … Continue reading Are We Wrestling With Flesh and Blood?
Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one of the most important theological texts in history. He writes the letter to confront the Galatians for believing the legalistic lie that to follow Christ, they must also be circumcised. The letter is important because it clarifies that Christians are saved by faith rather than works of the … Continue reading Is the Church Eager to Remember the Poor?
Who is Jesus talking about in the gospel of Luke when he says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20b, ESV)? When I talk to other Christians about Jesus and the poor, the conversation typically focuses on three demographics: The working poor — Men and women who … Continue reading Are Poor People Really Blessed?
You can read Pt. 1 in this series here. There’s really no way around it — ministry to the poor is heart-wrenching. My friend Mike Spencer was making strides. He had repented of his sins and decided to follow Jesus with his whole life. But Mike was still homeless and had no clear path to … Continue reading Mike Spencer — Pt. 2
Jesus’ first teaching was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I picture Jesus spending the first thirty years of his life deciding what he would say first, and this was it. I grew up thinking this phrase meant, “Be sorry, because God is coming to get you — and soon!” It scared … Continue reading Close Enough to Touch
We have two showers at Midtown Commons. For the first three years I worked here, no one showered in them. In fact, we just used the showers for storage space. Then, one day, Linda (who I mentioned last month) came into the Commons and asked if she could take a shower. She was a mess … Continue reading Dignity Pt. 1 – Showers
After years of working with the poor, one of the things that has infuriated me the most is the untruth being propagated by people claiming the authority of God. Bad news proclaimed to the poor. John is a man I have known since Rachel and I moved to New Albany. He is 87 years old … Continue reading Good News to the Poor – No Condemnation
Linda is off the hook crazy. I first met her when my pastor friend Brian responded to a call FROM THE POLICE to assist in a domestic situation. Brian and I drove down an ally to find a woman ranting and raving in front of what looked like a yard sale. It wasn’t a yard … Continue reading Good News to the Poor – Usefulness for All