As I have visited with churches across our annual conference, I have heard a theme arise from our leaders that they would like more training. With a new year beginning, many of our church members will be stepping into leadership roles that are new to them. These faithful members are answering a call to serve God, and vital congregations will ensure that they have the support and leadership training they need to fulfill their responsibilities. Thankfully, there are several great leadership training resources available to help new leaders become acquainted with their new roles:
I have to admit that I often skim and flip through the 17th chapter of Isaiah because it is part of a long and often repetitive list of judgment oracles that spans several chapters. In my reading today, however, I paused on this passage for some reflective thinking about why we do the work that we do.
The Alabama – West Florida Conference has a contract with Mission Insite, a demographic company, to help us understand our ministry area, and one of the reports lists reasons people do not go to church. Here are the top three with some reflections on each.
#3. Don’t trust religious leaders.
How do we distinguish between ministries of the church and ministries that belong to individuals who happen to go to our church?
Leadership and Organization for Fruitful Congregations (Portland: Oregon-Idaho Conference UMC, 2014), 113
This is a scripture reflection on 1 Corinthians 1:4-10. Paul is writing to the church in Corinth which is experiencing division over its leadership and Paul’s concern shows even in the thanksgiving of his letter.
With the exception of Galatians, Paul includes a thanksgiving to God at the beginning of all his epistles. In these thanksgivings, Paul commonly cites being thankful for how they live out faith, love, and do good works. The thanksgiving that Paul writes to the Corinthians is a little different from these thanksgivings, though. Paul’s thanksgiving to the Corinthians falls short of a full thanksgiving like the other churches receive.