You can learn a lot about an organization—it’s priorities and values—by the leadership roles it creates and the kind of people that fill them. So, what do we learn about the Church—about Jesus, its founder, and the salvation he brings—as we examine the roles of elders, deacons, and deaconesses? When seeking to discern whether God is calling us or others into such roles of leadership in the church, it’s important to understand from Scripture what God calls them to do, whom God calls, and how He calls them.
When Jesus teaches about leadership, he says, “You want to be a leader? You want to know what kind of leader to follow? Leadership in my kingdom looks like this”—and just when you expect him to point to a successful business woman or visionary non-profit leader or charismatic elected official, he points to a waiter. Here he comes, bringing you your third refill of Diet Coke. This is servant-leadership.
Right now, wherever you’re reading this sentence, answer this question: Where are you? Sounds like a trick question. Actually it’s a profoundly theological one. After all, you are … somewhere. You are located in a place—it’s how God made us—and called to be present in a place, rooted in a place, committed to a place. Because places matter to God. Most would agree that God cares about people. Do you know that God also cares about places? As a “neighborhood church,” we are committed to living in light of this reality.
Joshua 14:1; 15:1–12 »
Our vision for building a “cross-cultural community” involves much more than addressing racism and exclusion. But this much is true: There can be no “cross-cultural community” without addressing those realities. We do that today by looking at a fascinating story in the book of Number. There we learn about the dynamics of racism, the problem with racism, and the healing of racism. Let’s take a look.
What does it mean to say that we long to be (and become) a “spiritually diverse” community? It means we’re committed to walking with those with honest questions and doubts about the Christian faith. We will strive to create a welcoming and “safe” environment where people of a range of spiritual backgrounds can meaningfully encounter God through Jesus Christ. It means we want to love our friends and neighbors in the way that Paul and Barnabas loved the people of Lystra in Acts 14. Let’s take a look.
What’s our church’s vision? Today we consider our commitment to community. One aspect of community formation is growing in our affection—the warmth of fondness that results from carrying someone in your heart—toward one another. Affection? What is it? How do we do it? In this extended greeting at the end of his letter to Roman Christians, the apostle Paul illustrates the power of gospel affection.
What’s the mission of Grace Meridian Hill? As we kick off the fall season, we’re looking at different “stories” in scripture to help answer that question. First up? A well-known parable—often called, “The Prodigal Son”—which tells us about a God who runs out to his “Younger Sons” and his “Older Sons,” bringing them home to himself. This is a God of stunning grace.
Anger. All of us experience it; few of us know what to do with it. Thankfully, God gives us wisdom for understanding and handling our anger. With helpful principles from the book of Proverbs and honest, personal illustrations, Pastor Mike Park (Grace Downtown) points us to the wisdom God gives us for our anger.
We’ve been learning that wisdom is “skill for living when there is no obvious rule to go by” (R. Ortlund). Which means we most need wisdom in areas of life that are constantly in flux and rarely black-and-white. Like with relationships—especially within our families. Thankfully, God gives us abundant wisdom to us, whether we’re single, married, or married with children. Let’s take a look.
Proverbs 3:11&ndash12, 5:18–20, 13:24, 17:10, 18:22, 20:7, 22:6, 29:15, 31:10–11, 31:28–29 »
You can’t separate spiritual maturity from emotional maturity. The problem: Most of us are emotional infants: scared, anxious, joyless, critical, defensive, easily annoyed, resentful, unable to process our sadness or our hurt. We need wisdom from God to grow emotionally — after all, God made us as emotional beings and God himself is an emotional being.
Proverbs 12:16; 14:13, 26, 30; 19:19; 23:17–18; 27:4; 28:1; 29:22