By Justin Gravitt “Ladies and gentleman, this is Justin, and I’ll be your captain today. On behalf of Jesus, welcome aboard Pandemic Flight COVID-19, offering non-stop service from your sense of normalcy to an undisclosed final destination. Flight time will be three weeks…uh, I mean three months… actually it could be up to 18 months, we’re just not sure. Never mind that. Please direct your attention to the front as we demonstrate the safety features of this Pandemic aircraft. While aboard please remember to stay in place. You must not move about the cabin. We remind you that this is… Read morePandemic Disciple-Making: Lessons for the In-Between
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) You’ve just been hired for your dream job. You can’t wait until the first day of training. Then the text message arrives: “Report to our desert training outpost. Don’t bring any water or food. You’re going to be totally alone.” What kind of training is this? Now you feel a little like Jesus. After experiencing heaven’s opening, the Spirit’s descent, and the Father’s affirmation, He immediately gets a ticket to the dessert to fast and be tempted by Satan (Mark 1:9-13). What’s going on here? What insight about disciplemaking does Mark, the gospel writer, want us to… Read moreDiscipleship Starts by Looking in the Rearview Mirror
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com)The Monday afternoon conversation went downhill fast. “How’s your week starting out Bill?” asked a friend. “I’m overwhelmed already,” I replied. Some weeks are like this. Every Monday morning, I plan my next two weeks of life. I review my calendar, check my priorities, and make my “to do” list — who to email, people to call, tasks to complete, people to see. Writing it down helps me remember. But, this list can overwhelm. Sometimes I feel I’m living in a whirlwind of activities. Jesus also faced this same dilemma. We catch the whirlwind of Jesus’s life… Read moreLiving in the Whirlwind
by Justin GravittIf someone asked you to compile a list of seven basics of a disciple’s life, what would you include? Now, I’m not talking about beliefs or doctrines, but practices or disciplines. Take a moment and think about what would be on your list. When I was an infant disciple, I was introduced to seven basics. As I grew, they helped clarify for me what a disciple practiced. They also prepared me to be a disciplemaker. The seven basics keep the focus tight enough to manage and yet broad enough to develop depth. To be honest, I don’t know… Read moreSeven basics to develop in those you disciple
Wisdom cries aloud in the street,in the markets she raises her voice;at the head of the noisy streets she cries out . . .Proverbs 1:20-21 by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) The noise in our streets is deafening. Daily it seems that another stature or monument is toppled. I have mixed feelings about this. No one likes public destruction. However, the protests pose an uncomfortable question, “What are we honoring through a monument?” In some cases, the statues honored individuals who promoted and supported slavery and segregation. How do we look back in history and evaluate leaders we once admired? As citizens… Read moreStatues are coming down…is there a message for us?
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com)I know that stomping on a chalk drawing is not going to stop the pandemic. This fun act takes off some of the edge of being “self-isolated.” Nearly three months in the same house is pretty confining. Stomping on the virus helps me “get real.” “Stomp!” read a neighbors’ chalk drawing. Nate is an art teacher at a local high school. He drew a replica of the corona virus on the street and invited people walking by to “stomp!” on the virus. So I did! And it felt good. I’m sometimes “reality challenged.” When asked “How are… Read moreStomp!
by Bill Mowry (www.alongsider.com) It’s time to ask some questions. Not everyone is comfortable with asking questions or answering questions. Look at how politicians and teachers squirm when asked a question they’re unprepared to answer. Question asking is important. The dilemma is which questions should we ask. Two questions are in people’s minds today. First the big one: “Why is God allowing this pandemic?” The second is more practical: “When will it be safe to start up schools or go to a restaurant?” The latter question is for politicians and scientists. The former question nags at everyone’s soul in tough times…. Read moreIt’s time to ask some questions.
By Bill Mowry – I feel like I need some soul-therapy as I shelter-in-place. It’s been over three weeks since I’ve been in a store or a restaurant. It’s been over three weeks since I talked with a non-family member closer than six feet away. It’s been four weeks since I’ve been in a Lowe’s or Home Depot (maybe the hardest separation!). On top of that, I’m bombarded by life-threatening statistics and images through the media. Peggy and I are grateful for God’s protection and provision but sometimes our emotions see-saw up and down according to the latest news cycle…. Read moreTherapy for the Sheltered-in-place
By Bill Mowry – I was bored by the roundtable discussion on disciplemaking . . . until Jeff spoke. “I should be more intentional about disciplemaking” he said, “but I tend to wing it. I guess I’m more organic in my approach.” Carol immediately jumped in on Jeff’s comment: “I invite friends from the neighborhood over to fold laundry and talk about Jesus and the Bible. This is how I disciple others. It’s pretty organic.” I liked the discussion on flexibility and friendship but what caught my attention was the word “organic.” “Organic” is a popular term describing how we… Read moreIs it Organic or Intentional?
by Ron Bennett ( http://www.rbennett.net/ ) All communication is based on shared meanings not shared words. Words are only the container into which meaning is added. For example, the word “agua” is a random arrangement of letters unless you are familiar with Spanish. When Spanish speaking people see the letters “agua”, they share a common meaning. If we are to understand their meaning, we must look at it through the lens of their culture. Another example of the problem of meaning is found in the biblical term “eternal life”: a very common concept in our religious culture. Jesus told Nicodemus… Read moreThe Anatomy of Discipleship