In my lifetime I have seen the social status of cigarette smoking change drastically. Throughout my adolescence and early adult life second hand smoke was something that we simply had to deal with, like it or not. In a somewhat astonishing way the social views on smoking have been almost completely reversed in the last ten to fifteen years. And over the course of my short thirty eight years it has gone from cool to neutral to annoyance to near universal social taboo. Occasionally I see older movies where people are smoking in offices at work or in airplanes or any other now extinct smoking practice and I think about how no one bothered to analyze the fact that society had broadly accepted cigarettes as harmless fun, seemingly without question. And that always leads me to one question, “What are today’s cigarettes?” You know, those individual practices that society has accepted as harmless fun, but will turn out to be life threatening forces of destruction. It’s an interesting question, and I’ve been thinking about a possible candidate: porn.
Yesterday I wrote on teamwork, but if you read the article you know that was just a different way of saying that everyone needs to be a part of a community of faith. Everyone needs to be part of a church, and part of the Church. Expanding on that thought consider Hebrews 10:24-25, which instructs us to spur one another to love and good deeds, “not forsaking our assembling together.”
I have spent several years working with middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. A lot of changes happen from twelve to twenty, and many of the questions that are important to a middle school student are completely irrelevant to a college student. However, there is one question that pops up in lives of sixth graders and seniors alike. It also seems to be a question that can drive a young person (and many adults too) crazier than almost any other (read more about that here). That question is: What is God’s will for my life?
I have a few friends who are currently shopping around for post-graduate programs, and all of them are at least considering a Doctorate of Ministry. Considering the fact that I’m fresh out of one myself I figured I would give a quick plug for the D.Min. program at Drew University. Here are the top five reasons that I believe I made the best choice for my doctoral work in ministry.
Someone once observed that church had become so focused on the performance of the preacher and worship leaders that the people attending had actually begun to believe that they were the audience in a worship service. Could that describe some church services that you have attended? Does it describe almost all of them? Well, that observation was made by Soren Kierkegaard in the 1850′s. I guess not much has changed in 150 years. Kierkegarrd believed that in corporate worship God was the audience, the congregation were the performers, and the service leaders were merely the prompters.I wrote last week about the need to prepare ourselves for corporate worship, but what about the actual performance of it?