Dealing with Pastoral and Congregational Anxiety: An Interview with Bill Selby

Dealing with Pastoral and Congregational Anxiety: An Interview with Bill Selby

So many things raise the anxiety level of the average pastor—even being average. Pastors are almost always overworking yet remain underpaid. An unexpected illness or sudden death in the congregation can wreak havoc on pastors’…

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Seeding a Missional Church Movement: An Interview with Alan Hirsch

Seeding a Missional Church Movement: An Interview with Alan Hirsch

Alan Hirsch, a native South African, is a prominent thought leader and conceptual architect for the missional church. His books, particularly The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church, published in 2006, and The Shaping of…

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Missions, Holiness, and Education: An Interview with Carla Sunberg

Missions, Holiness, and Education: An Interview with Carla Sunberg

It’s always a difficult question to ask Carla Sunberg where she’s from. She considers three places home: Frankfurt, Germany, where she was born and lived her first eight years while her family was on missionary assignment; Kansas City, where…

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Missional Engagement in Smaller Congregations: A Panel Discussion

Missional Engagement in Smaller Congregations: A Panel Discussion

In 1997, the Board of General Superintendents made a historic decision when they declared the United States and Canada a mission field. They recognized that the traditional definition of missions had changed and that the church would have to…

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How Would H. F. “Mr. Missionary” Reynolds Respond to Today’s World?

How Would H. F. “Mr. Missionary” Reynolds Respond to Today’s World?

The world is changing, and the church must change with it. Right? Can we still rely on the wisdom of the denomination’s founders when our nation and its place in the world are different from the days leading into the…

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A Different Kind of Mission than We've Known: An Interview with Verne Ward

A Different Kind of Mission than We've Known: An Interview with Verne Ward

Verne Ward grew up in the Church of the Nazarene but had little idea he was going to be a missionary. Questions about eternity and what really mattered got him to ponder his life’s mission. After college, Verne started to…

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

MUG_BroadbooksI am old enough to remember dial phones, carbon paper, vinyl records, and hand-crank car windows. After school, I played sandlot baseball until dark. Today, many of these neighborhood diamonds sit empty while kids stare mesmerized into video game screens. When I was a kid, the service station attendant ran out to meet you at the pump, washed your windows and filled your car with gas, all for free. Times have changed.

After graduation from seminary, Carol and I made our way to our first church. The first time we saw Montrose, Colorado, and the parsonage was when we drove into town in the U-Haul truck holding everything we owned. I discovered the amount of my weekly salary after my first Sunday night service when the treasurer handed me the check. No on-site interview and visit, no salary package negotiations, no resume. Times have changed.

I remember when a faithful attender at church was there every Sunday, not two out of four. I remember when communities wouldn’t even think of having little league ball games on Wednesday night or Sundays: times reserved for church activities. It used to be that tithing was a concept understood by the majority of the community, and people looked on lying and cheating with horror, naturally assuming that it would result in eternal damnation.

In 2011, Lifeway Research reported that 46 percent of Americans never wonder whether they will go to heaven and 44 percent spend no time seeking “eternal wisdom.” David Kinnaman, author of You Lost Me, a book about young adults drifting from the church, says that seven in 10 young adults don’t see much influence of God or religion in their lives at all.

Are you depressed yet? Be encouraged! Today is our day! God knew that you and I would be filling His pulpits and ministering in His name today! You are here for such a time as this. God must have great confidence in us. Of course, reality is changing ministry. Pastors must be creative in reaching families with the gospel. The church must adapt its methods—always looking for new ways to reach folks.

This issue of Grace and Peace is our attempt to help in this challenging effort. I am not frightened or downcast! Our world is ripe with opportunities for the church to become creative. The Church has always found relevance in the realities of culture—never watering down its message, but always providing fresh water for a thirsty world. G.K. Chesterton once calculated that the Christian church had come back from death on at least five historical occasions. He said, “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”*

The Church of the Nazarene is alive and vibrant in the United States and Canada. God is helping us to be relevant and real to our world. I am so grateful for you and your ministry. I know it is challenging, but God is present. You are making a powerful difference in people. In the USA/Canada Regional Office, we are praying that you will find insight, encouragement, and new ideas in this issue—making your load lighter and your ministry more effective.

Pleased with the Prospects,

Bob Broadbooks
USA/Canada Regional Director

 

*G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, http://books.google.com/ (Accessed February 14, 2012), p. 162.

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