Just Going Through the Motions

Thom Rainer, President & CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared several statistics from Brad Waggoner's The Shape of the Faith to Come (2008), including "47 percent of Protestant churchgoers admitted to just 'going through the motions' often during the singing and prayer portions of worship services." So What? How might your congregational leadership begin a conversation about this matter?  What is an appropriate response to the statistic that roughly half of those Read More …

I’ll Pray for You

What do you think the speaker intends when speaking these four simple words to you:  “I'll pray for you"? Intends to be supportive, and will follow through by praying on my behalf Intends to be supportive, but has no genuine intent to follow through and actually pray Intends to be dismissive, but knows that this "church speak" is a nicer way to transition or end the conversation So What? I am not among the most faithful or frequent pray-ers, and readily acknowledge this Read More …

Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World

The world in which we now live is multi-religious.  For the last five years, the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the World Evangelical Alliance have worked together to craft "Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct," which provides recommendations for "conduct on Christian witness around the world."   The document recommends the authoring bodies: study the issues set out in this document and where Read More …

Prayer of Dedication for Sunday, February 20

Prayer of Dedication Loving Divine, you invite us to partner with you in the work of enacting the realm of God on earth.  Accept and bless our tithes and offerings; use them and use us to challenge the status quo here in southwest Florida and throughout your global neighborhood.  Stretching toward wholeness may the way of loneliness meet community the way of hatred be overcome by love the way of poverty encounter the possibility of enough. This we ask in your many names. Read More …

Invocation for Sunday, February 20

Unison Prayer of Invocation We are gathered here to join in the song of faith.  In a world that offers goods and services to fulfill even the most demanding and discerning appetites, Jesus invites us to be consumed by an ultimate hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Even as our instantaneous access to information and constant awareness of global events overwhelm and desensitize us, Jesus invites us to be difference makers by extending love to all.  Empowered by the Spirit, may our lives Read More …

My Thanksgiving Prayer

Over the last several days I have read many blogs and news articles, searched Scripture,  talked with several people and participated in an interfaith worship service all in an effort to better grasp both Thanksgiving and thankfulness.  For some reason, this Thanksgiving what resonates deeply with me are the lyrics to a song: "My Thanksgiving Prayer."  I encourage you to take time to read them, then to hear them sung, and finally to offer them as a prayer. In this time of my thanksgiving as my Read More …