Hook up apps

IMG_2767 (1)

I’ve spent the last week and a half in a class on crisis issues in youth ministry discussing abuse. We’ve talked about physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and spiritual abuse. We’ve talked about mandated reporting, impact on families and communities, and what is the role of a youth worker. I’ve been teaching this same class for nearly two decades and it never gets easier.

So what is the role of a youth worker? Dean Borgman in Hear My Story asks is this “Do we need to work together to stop the dangers young people experience — and to heal their hurts?” When asked this, my class offered a resounding YES! And then stared blankly, sitting silently. As they began to open up, they struggled to say how hard they thought this task would be. The finally said while they felt like we should do something, they felt helpless. Then came the conversation of perhaps not being as helpless now as they were a few weeks ago. The conversation that maybe they need to learn more so they may speak out more.

I tell my students that long after they graduate they need to continue reading. With that, check out this link on apps for hooking up. For many of us, we are settled in life and this is not even on our radar. The recent rise in STD’s and young people finding themselves in dangerous situations however says that we need to be aware of what is our of our typical worlds. Whether you agree with the conclusion of the article or not, it’s worth the read! As you read ask yourself, “Do we need to work together to stop the dangers young people experience?”

 

 

 

Social Media gift for youth workers

In what feels like forever since I have written, in reality has been a few months. I was unaware even in the midst of being sick how much it would take out of me. With a lot of time off, spring firmly in place, and months of thoughts brewing, I have several posts in the works. For today, it is simply this…a link to a post that any youth worker should read. It’s short, to the point, packed with current perspective, and useful. Enjoy!

Snapshot 3:17:15, 9:42 AM

https://medium.com/backchannel/a-teenagers-view-on-social-media-1df945c09ac6

Holidays: for in tact, functional families?

I was chatting with a couple of friends the other day and between all of us, the holidays were not feeling so holiday-ish.

They were feeling overwhelming and stressful. This wasn’t the Advent Conspiracy kind of less is more, get the right kind of focus overwhelming. None of us were over spenders, none of us were getting caught up in the madness of dashing to the mall, or too many parties, or needing to find a way to keep Jesus at the center of the Holy-day. Advent was being celebrated at church and in each of our homes. The faith aspect was not lost on us nor our children. But still…there was the reality that we just wanted the holidays over.

This included New Years and Epiphany. It just felt like one drawn out time that was supposed to be coordinated like Olympic level synchronized swimming. Everything looks polished and happy, every gathering has just the right placement of people at each table and activities that are adequately interesting balanced with not bowing to consumerism or shallow glittery things.

As we talked through these things one friend said “It’s like all of these holidays were made for intact, functional families.” We all stopped. That was it! What we are sold by the world may be materialism but what we are sold by the church is too often about having that perfect, in tact family. There is no room for illness, death, divorce, hospital visits, separations, fights, siblings not longer there to help, and coordination of estranged members of family. What the holidays brought into sharp relief was not celebration, it was just how dysfunctional all of our lives seemed to be.

It wasn’t that any one thing was so egregious. It was that every event, every Christmas card, every children’t program, or holiday invitation seemed to be compounding the reality that things were just not as peaceful and joyous as they were supposed to be. We know what the holiday is really about. And still, it rings hollow when the very season makes everything seems more stressful and less peaceful. As we looked into one another’s faces, we were all weary.

So I got to thinking. What if we stop pretending? What if we are OK saying out loud that things are less than perfect. Not in celebration of dysfunction or resignation. Rather, in knowing that it it doesn’t define us.

So in a season where we remember God come down to be close to us, may we also draw near. For the New Year, I unabashadly choose Matthew 10:28-29.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.

Weary or not, Christmas still happened. Weary or not, the new year is taking place. Weary or not, we can still have Epiphany where we slow down and see what is truly important.

My dear friend Nick P. has a great quote on his voicemail. It says “Be kind, for we are all fighting a hard battle”.

This has never seemed more true. So be kind, to yourself and others.

Extend grace to yourself if you tend to beat yourself up.

Extend grace to others if you are judgmental and harsh.

Extend grace to your children who make messes and are a mess.

Extend grace to strangers who have more going on than you know.

Extend grace to colleagues whose lives are never as put together as they seem.

 

Slow down this Fall

True confession…I started this post 2 weeks ago. Ironic given the topic. I need to follow my own advice!

file0001505331013

Hey youth pastors…it’s fall. Everything seems to be kicking into high gear!! Gone are the lazy days of summer, in comes football, and kick offs, and new programming, and a whole new group of kids entering youth group. It’s exciting, busy, and the chill in the air makes everything seem just a little bit like something great is about to happen.

There is also a danger of falling into the trap missing the moment. Along with the excitement, comes everyone trying to out-program everyone else. Youth groups are no exception. Even if new activities aren’t being added, programming becomes busier, more intense, in many cases more desperate.

Here is what I mean. Youth ministers can spend so much time trying to make everything over the top, that they neglect their own spiritual life. We can only give out of our own faith history for so long. Even if you aren’t neglecting your own faith formation and spiritual growth, when the focus is on creating something huge, you don’t have time to be present for the countless small moments. You miss out on little conversations where big revelations occur.

So here is my invitation, instead of kicking into high gear to make things more chaotic, kick into high gear to slow down. I know, it sounds backwards. Being busy will just happen without any effort on your part. Being slow requires intentionality and priorities. It means taking an afternoon to pray, to think, to rest, and choosing what is most important for you, your family, your community, and the teens and families you serve. It might not look like work, but it frees you to do real work instead of looking like you are present when your mind is already on to the next thing.

There are a lot of slow activities you may choose. I was asked to write a fall post for Ministry Architects. Look for the link on the front page if you’d like to find some great slowing down options. Everything from a pick up game of softball to a technology fast, go for a moonlight walk or bust out with a little “Jesus in the Boat” nap-time for 15 minutes one night at youth group.

What’s your favorite way to slow down for your self?

What’s your favorite way to slow life down for your students?

Happy Fall!

Talk about discrimination

lestinnocentbloodJust because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I talk with youth workers all the time about inclusion. Inclusion is woven into our very jargon when we speak of the gospel being for everyone. What we say officially however does not always match functionally.

As Ferguson has permeated the news, conversations of racism have risen again. A tragic reason, and long overdue, but the conversations are needed. What I am hearing from many young (african american, asian, hispanic, native american and white) leaders is that they know racism exists but that it is not their battle or that they just don’t see it. I couldn’t make this up. As I proceed to name a few places where I see it with them, it is as if a veil is being lifted. And then the floodgate is opened. Frustration or anger often follows. They begin to realize that they had be so socialized to see something as “normal” that they didn’t even see it as discrimination.

I hear this same comment when I bring up including people with disabilities. “Oh, yes, that is important but we don’t have anyone with a disability in our youth group / church / school / community”.

I hear this same comment when talking about including women in leadership. “Oh, we don’t have any women who are interested / qualified / called”.

And again when I talk about the gospel and those with different gender or sex orientations. “Oh yes, that is a huge issue in The church, but not my church. We don’t have anyone identifying / struggling / living with any of those issues.”

Inclusion demands that we talk, openly about all of these possibilities. Inclusion demands that we talk long before we know someone with a disability or can identify racism. You will do it imperfectly, do it anyway. You will make mistakes, do it anyway. You will receive pushback, do it anyway.

One of my very favorite books is “Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed” by Philip Hallie. It is the story of a small village named Le Chambon in France during the Holocaust. In this village, conversations of peace making, of the gospel’s inclusion for all had been taking place for 400 years. Long before they knew that they would be put to the test, long before they dreamed they may have a chance to extend life to anyone…Jewish refugees and Nazi soldiers…they talked about inclusion. It will blow your mind to see what a difference their deep seeded beliefs made when faced with a real life situation.

We are late to the party. We don’t have the luxury of 400 years of history shaping us to push hard for inclusion of all, to work for peace, to fight discrimination for a variety of people. To be imitators of Jesus inviting all to the table with welcoming arms.

Late to the party however still means that the party is going on. It’s not over and indeed, in this case I would argue better late than never.

What we do have is a choice of how to respond today. Our junior high and high school students see issues of discrimination every day. It is a part of the fabric of their lives. It’s time we adults figure out how to better model what God actually intended. It is time we learn to navigate the waters of discrimination on a variety of fronts so that all may know Jesus actually brought good news for everyone.

 

Faith Feminism: on being a theotokos, insults and football

DSC_0140

It all began when the only bad mark on my annual review was that I was spending too much time with students instead of going to lunch with my colleagues every day. The irony is that I did go to lunch with them once a week. And once a week I sat at a table, politely welcomed with an opening hello before the conversation quickly turned to football. I’m not anti-football. I just can’t talk about it every week for a solid year! This idea of collegiality was not what I expected. I had a rather romantic notion that when one was on a theological faculty with others who are considered both brilliant and godly that at least once in while we would discuss theology, ministry, the Bible…anything that had to do with our fields. I was very naive.

My time with students was much more interesting. Not only were they fascinated by what they were reading, studying, and living, but they wanted community. They wanted to wrestle with hard questions and talk about what it meant to live an abundant life! They were curious about things that did not fit neatly into the curriculum of any particular course but mattered for them as people of faith and ministerial leaders in particular. They pushed me to think and rethink what I held dear. I was sharpened as iron sharpens iron not because they didn’t respect me, rather precisely because they did. In turn I respected them and wanted only to offer the best of what I could. This meant a great deal of work on my part. Not only was I prepping for the actual courses I was teaching, I was constantly looking at theological concepts, church history, and practical theology shaping my own faith. I also had to think through how to share this with others in ways where they may not have the same vocabulary or stamina for really long dry books that seminary students and professors have. These times with students turned to meals, ice cream social, and game nights at my house. We developed a blend of constant theological conversation with a lot of prayer, laughter, food and community was built.

Ultimately, this was part of my undoing. I have been told by faculty members on more than one occasion that students are not who should receive the lion’s share of my attention. It is not politically expedient. It is not going to get me ahead in the traditional sense. I was told I was being too maternal by going to such lengths in investing in my students. I thought I was trying to bring about something bigger than myself.

The faculty’s critique became a compliment to me. Last time I checked, this is exactly what God calls us to do. (And just to be clear, I am not talking about the mistake too of us women make in never being able to take credit for anything. This is wrong and is a post for another day!)

God calls us to be a theotokos. Female and male, we are all called to bear Christ to the world. Mary bore Jesus, literally as an infant, bringing God into the world. Her calling was not any easy one; it was painful and cost her a lot. What she was able to do, however, changed the world! For some of us, we know what childbirth is actually like. For others it is a metaphorical reality. For all, the theotokos or model of bearing God over and over and over again in the world is exactly who we are to be. We are to bear God to those whom no one else sees. We are to bear God to those who wonder if God is real. We go through the pains of carrying truth within us and labor that others may know that God is real, that God loves them, that God demands justice, that God longs for relationship, in short…that God matters in this world.

As a professor and theologian, being labeled as too maternal was intended as an insult. It was intended to tell me that I don’t fit in. It was intended to harm.

On bad days, I want to scream screw you at those who have been so ivory-towered-arrogant. But on good days, I remember that I, too, have been in that ivory tower. And what they intended for insult, God meant for good. I’ll take too maternal any day over football!

Surviving Christians

IMG_1132

Like a lot of Christians, I have lived through a number of rotten situations. Like a slightly smaller set of Christians, most of the rotten situations I have lived through were caused by other Christians. They have caused me to question my identity, my faith, and my calling. And because so many of the rotten things that have occurred in my life took place in the context of the church, I thought I had no choice but to tough it out. That became harder and harder to do.

The first time I heard that it was not only OK to leave a toxic situation but was actually described in scripture was after I was accused of heresy, of being a lesbian, and of being a troublemaker… The healthy scriptural advice I needed is found in Matthew 10:14, Luke 9:5 and Mark 6:11. Before I tell you how I began to survive, I need to share one situation I needed to survive. Well, one story, at least. And this story is less tragic for me than it was for several other participants in the narrative. You’ll see what I mean.

The downward spiral began when I received a call being told that one of the girls in the youth group where I served had just been “inappropriately touched” by a friend of her parents, who also happened to be a deacon at my church and the head of the finance committee. I went with her to tell her parents. Her father was understandably angry. Her mother was as well, but not in the way you might imagine. She looked straight at her daughter and said “I thought I raised you better than this! Don’t you know his wife is my best friend? How do you think she is going to feel? What good is telling anyone going to do? You should be able to handle your own business not drag others in to rescue you. You better not mess up my friendship.” I was floored.

I went with her to another family’s house that night. They listened, talked, and prayed with her. It was now my job to report the incident in order to protect her and others.

Our pastor had just retired so I went to our chair of deacons the next day to let him know I had to report the incident. I was after all a mandated reporter. He very gently told me that it was hearsay. It should be handled in-house. I asked to let the deacons know first. He told me that, as a female, I could not attend the deacon meeting but I could send a male representative. Unfortunately, as I was not married at the time, any male I told would constitute gossip so I could not tell anyone. Matter closed…for him.

I did call the police and made my report, but the young woman who was groped and fondled up her skirt recanted. She said I was making something out of nothing. It went down as an incident report and I was vilified by the finance chair and a few others in power at the church. What I found out in this process was that many girls and women had been groped by this man over the years, but all thought it was too disruptive to the community to call him out. He contributed a great deal financially and personally to the church so his indiscretions were overlooked. I was even pulled aside by a well meaning Sunday School teacher and told, “Everyone knows to avoid him, he has always groped women. Just walk on the other side of the sidewalk and you don’t get touched.” Somehow this was acceptable in this church. But not with me. Turns out he also gave porn to boys but no one seemed concerned about that either. Oh…and a year later I learned he had been molesting his own daughter for years. At the age of 13 she was stoned more often than not in order to hide the pain. Still, no one seemed willing to stand up to him.

My time in this church, after all the lies, betrayal, slander, and general angst, ended with the youth group miraculously growing…numerically and spiritually. This is why I stayed. I was witnessing an amazing ministry and believed that if this much good was present, surely something would shift and redemption would come. I had fantastic volunteer youth leaders, wonderful parents, and teens longing to grow more in their faith and put it into action. The time with teens was precious and I really thought I could withstand anything with Christ. What I didn’t see, what I couldn’t see, was that I was losing a lot of weight and getting migraines with the stress of what was happening in church leadership. I was gaunt, sickly and struggling.

After a year, I was pulled aside in the parking lot one night after youth group and told roughly, “We would like to offer you a raise if you would be willing to drop all accusations with the police. If not, we will have to let you go and we will say it is for financial reasons. Sometimes you have to look the other way in order to preserve the unity of the body of Christ.” (emphasis mine). That last part in italics is a direct quote. As if seared into my mind, that phrase surfaces on all too many occasions when I hear horrific stories that have happened in the midst of Christian communities.

And yet here I am. Years later. I am still in ministry. I still love Jesus and the church. I am not the only one to have survived Christians. In the last 20 years I have experienced terrible things. I have walked through even more with countless people. At others times, I have been a listening ear for others to share with me what they have experienced. Sometimes years after the fact; sometimes sharing their story for the first time.

There is power in story and knowing you are not the only one. There is power in hearing how others coped. There is power in learning how to move beyond surviving into thriving. Bullies, predators, and liars all count on one thing: silence by the ones they have wronged.

I want to offer hope to those who are currently struggling. To those contemplating walking away from the church, their faith or worse, their own lives, know this: there is hope.

I was taught as a kid to expect non-Christians to behave like non-Christians. In other words, if they don’t know Jesus how could they imitate Jesus (Eph 5:1). But what happens when they do know Jesus? What happens when it is a Christian or group of Christians destroying the lives of other Christians? These are the things about which we are not supposed to talk. Rapes by fathers, abuse by mothers. Pastors cheating and lying. Professors who are verbally abusive and liars. Church leadership who uses people like pawns. Ministries who dismiss long time employees for fictitious reasons. It all comes down to some form of betrayal. That which was to keep us safe, those who were supposed to be above reproach and trustworthy are too often the ones who torpedo the lives of the next generation. We need to stop the cycle. I no longer expect non-Christians to not imitate Jesus. Many imitate Jesus quite well whether they know it or not. I do, however, call those of us who are professing to follow Jesus to align our lives in such a way as to imitate Jesus intentionally, even when it costs us. Otherwise, what is the point?

What I am looking for are stories from others. Stories of Survival, even if barely. How have you coped? Where did you find hope? I’d love for those in the midst of struggle to know they are not alone. Post your story in the comments. Send it to me directly if you are not comfortable with comments. Use a pseudonym if you need. But share your story. If you know of someone who has a story to share, pass this along to them. Pass it on anyway, you never know who does have a story of survival.

I need your help to get this out there. I will be posting on this topic again. There are many stories that need to be told. We need a repository of hope.

 

Labyrinths, parenting and ministry

Snapshot 5:5:14, 11:56 PM

This past Saturday was World Labyrinth Day. I know…you might be shocked you didn’t know before. In all honesty, they need a little better PR and a lot more confidence. Their very web page invites you to join hundreds of others around the world. Assuming it is indeed worldwide, go for broke and at least say thousands. I digress.

In what has become my typical style of travel, I had a little person with me. In this case, my 11 month old. We had a little time before the morning board meeting was to begin and our lovely babysitter would occupy his time. He was fed, happy and snuggled into me for a morning rest. I walked to the labyrinth on property at Scarritt-Bennett. It was a holy moment of getting to walk with my son, heartbeat to heartbeat, my breath mingling with his. I prayed. I prayed for him and with him. I thanked God for these few holy moments appreciating all that he is to me. It was me, my son and God and it was precious. It was a long, lingering walk and I drank in every moment of it, cognizant he would only be able to be held like this for just a little while longer. I planned to sit and bask in the presence of God and intimacy with my son as we entered the center.

And then the baby exploded. The moment my cadence paused, something triggered in his tiny little body and there was no turning back. He was loud. Really loud, arched back screeching! I tried bouncing, rocking, singing and even thought for about half a second of just walking back out the labyrinth hoping to recreate the tender quiet we had when we entered. No such luck. I looked around and we were clearly disturbing the peace.

I broke the golden rule of the labyrinth. The one that says live the process. Slow your pace. Depart as intentionally as you entered. And most of all, under no circumstances are you to give into the temptation to short cut or skip a path. I did it. I boldy walked across every line and made it out alive. I had done the best I could and realized getting half way through was…my best.

One of the most common questions I get now is how to balance being a parent and in ministry. It is so easy to look at others, seemingly crowds of others able to give more and do more than I am with kids in tow. I recognize there are times when I am passed over due to the assumption that I will say no because of kids. I am also grateful for those who accept me offering the very best I can, even when it is less than I hoped as I try to take care of my children while being a steward of the calling God has placed in my life.

I think of Mark 12:41-44 [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Her gift was not the most spectacular, but it was all she could offer. My home is always a little messy, and always open to others. We host people weekly. If it is a choice between being really put together and getting somewhere, chances are we won’t be quite put together but we will be fully present. We travel as a family. We work to find ways for them, even in their most tender years to be included in a ministry of their own. Giving out of what they have. All of my children have been on a mission trip. Each has been to camp multiple times. My sweet children fall asleep in corners of rooms where I am teaching or preaching or they sit coloring in random coffee shops so that I may meet and pray with people. I definitely move a little slower and that is just fine. I miss out on late night hang out times when at conferences tucking babies in bed instead. Often I get interrupted and that is part of being community and including little people. If I don’t include them, who will? And how will they learn what it means to align your life, your whole life around Jesus if I never let them be with me while I serve?

Too often I hear of wonderful people giving up on friends, life and most of all ministry when children are added to the equation. Find the rhythm that works for you. If you can make it all the way through the labyrinth in a peaceful zen like manner, good for you. If you have to run away before you even make it to the center, or if you are just able to walk by the labyrinth and know one day you will re-enter, good for you too. Wherever you land on this spectrum, give yourself the same grace God has already extended. Jesus said it well, you give the most when you give all you have. Don’t worry if it’s not the same as others or even the same as what you used to be able to do.

Parenting is not the end of ministry. The path in the labyrinth just gets altered a little.

In the Streets of My City…

…an elderly woman sleeps nearby the Dunkin Donuts where I stop each morning to get a cup of coffee; a sunburned old man with a scraggly grey beard and tattered clothing greets me at the door of DD asking for change for coffee and a sandwich. Another brown woman sits wrapped in a blanket leaning her back against a trash bin, hand extended, begging. The other aged black man strides and rages, he’s small and wiry, fists raised in the air yelling at someone only he can see. A middle aged white man stands erect, holding up a sign “Lost job. Have 2 kids to feed. Please help.” Every morning as I exit the train I see the same man, the same woman, the same words, “Miss can I have a dollar?” And at 8:30AM one morning while I walked and watched, four men sat in a semi-circle in the underground transportation terminal passing a whiskey bottle between them. One paused, looked at the ground, vomited on the shiny terminal floor and then took another swig. These are the streets of my city. Where I experience daily assaults on my heart, pangs that ache. It just isn’t supposed to be this way. God?

Jesus said the poor will always be with you. And they are. Poor people are everywhere. Even when we don’t see them, they are there. However, the twist to those verses relayed by Matthew, Mark and John was that Jesus told his disciples that they could help the poor whenever they wanted to but at that moment in time the disciples would be wise to follow the lead of a particular woman who was using her precious and pricey perfume to bathed him and prepare him for his burial.

Was this woman poor herself?  If so, where did she get the extravagant perfume?  Why did she use it to wash and anoint Jesus? What did she know that the disciples didn’t know?

While Jesus was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wagesand the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”   Mark 14: 3-9

Theologians ponder this passage and have varying viewpoints but here I see that the poor and marginalized are not looked upon with pity by Jesus. They are viewed compassionately. Women were not central in society and I’m guessing this woman was probably poor; however she also had impact or agency. This woman perhaps intuitively knew that something was going to happen to Jesus. He would die. And she prepared him for that death.  Who is being helped in that moment? I suggest the poor and marginalized know something that others don’t. They prepare, incite, and warn. The desperately poor know a portion of life unknown to others. If we are wise we pay attention, learn, and heed. If we are not wise, we dismiss the poor, and miss someone or something vital. What are we being prepared for, and by whom? Watch and pray for the Kingdom is near.

Music Video “In My City, that’s where God Belongs”

 

Ministry and Training- what’s your story?

 

Career-Crossroads

There is no question that higher education is shifting beneath our feet. Many seminaries are struggling. Many others are flush with students but those students aren’t able to find viable positions upon graduation.

What happened?

This is not a rhetorical question. I really am curious.

I can name many amazing young students who were excited about ministry, longing to serve the Lord, well aware of the sacrifices and difficulties that were possible but also the joys and impact they could make. Unfortunately I can also now count well into double digits the number of those who are no longer in ministry and for many, not even part of the church. I want to be careful, I am also aware for some, life patterns change. Calling changes… and ministry might not be in a church. That is fine. I am talking about the numerous e-mails and calls I get from those still longing to serve, trained to serve and for a variety of reasons not doing so.

I can think of more than one bright, hard working student who I witnessed serving but he or she was never able to find an actual, viable job. And I am not talking unrealistic expectations. More like, needing enough pay to live a modest life AND pay off student loans accrued while training for ministry.

I can’t help but wonder what we did well in preparation and what was done poorly. What do you wish had been covered? Would what was taught have made a difference? Was it relationships that made the difference? Did we prepare enough for real life in ministry? Was it something that took place in seminary? A weekend training? Mentoring? What went right and what went wrong?

I am working with a group who is gravely concerned over such issues. We see amazing ministers have to leave vocational ministry in order to make ends meet after loans get the best of them. I meet people all the time knowing they need more training, wanting more but either unable to absorb the cost or fearful that it will be a waste of time.

Finally, I repeatedly have conversations with those who have had their lives torpedoes by other “Christians”. They are still seeking resurrection of their own lives feeling blindsided by those who should have been the most grace filled. This final category will receive its own post in the upcoming days in a series titled “Surviving Christians”.

So what about you?  What went right and what went wrong in training AND in ministry?

Please forward this on. Ask people you know to respond. Either in comments or contact me directly. I really want to know. I really want to be a part of the solution and not simply knowing that we are leaving lives and souls shipwrecked in the wake of ministerial training that just sin’t working. I also want to learn what is working…what do we need to keep and do more?

I look forward to hearing from you!