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Boundaries in a Church

August 5th, 2013 No comments

Ed Stetzer‘s been blogging about boundaries lately. I thought the fourth in the series was especially useful. He describes how he encouraged an “issue Christian” to move along and find a different church that better met his passions and beliefs.

The principle at stake for the pastor is this:

Your church is not a public square for people to debate and opine. It’s a place that you are to guard and shepherd. You create boundaries—both personally and congregationally.

A pastor is, literally, a shepherd. Doing that job means keeping out the weird religious people.

What’s “weird?” Here’s some advice from Stetzer:

Creating a healthy boundary for your church means knowing who you are as a church, where you are, where you’re going, and what that means for people who are outside of that. Your church is not the place for issue Christians who want to dominate your time to be given the freedom to do so. Save that time for counseling the hurting, not arguing with the agenda-driven.

One of the reasons why it’s important to have a clear mission and vision is so you can have healthy boundaries for your congregation.

Gallows Humor

August 5th, 2013 No comments

People who are going through tough times apparently have better senses of humor than people who aren’t, according to the cartoon editor at the New Yorker:

One of the ideas about humor is that it’s our way of coping with negative feelings. In a control study we found people who were primed with negative emotions, through images of illness and death at a subliminal level, create more and funnier captions than those who were not. (Via.)

My chaplaincy training included the idea that humor is good. People in the hospital don’t want a stand-up act, but they would rather have visitors who bring some levity than people who are weighed down with gravity.

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Seniors Love Social Media

August 5th, 2013 No comments

People tell me they’re not on social media. It looks like they better get with the program, according to this Pew Center research:

Although online seniors are less likely than other age groups to use social networking sites, adoption rates for those 65 and older have tripled in the last four years (from 13% in the spring of 2009 to 43% now).

Via.

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Tradition vs. Traditionalism

August 5th, 2013 No comments

Here’s a good pair of definitions from Jaroslav Pelikan:

Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.

Via.

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