Preaching Luther

We are celebrating “Luther Week” at MainStreet as we honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We watched the 2003 Luther movie on Wednesday night, and we will be discussing the movie and Reformation this Wednesday night at Three Taverns. This Sunday I also spent time introducing this truly one-of-a-kind flawed heroes of the faith….

Naked & Embodied Words

In our digital age, many (if not most) the messages we receive throughout the week come stark naked — i.e., disembodied.  I’m finishing up my first doctoral thesis paper today, and exploring the power of and need for “embodied teaching” in the church and “embodied words” in our lives as a whole. We get sprinkled with text…

Boomers, Millennials & Bible Study

I was reading a piece today in Christianity Today (October ’17) about how Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) is trying to reinvent themselves to reach more millennials. This widely respected Bible teaching ministry birthed just after WWII is almost 60 years old, and is struggling to get people under 40 to attend. I found the following very…

Wisdom Culture & the Juvenalization of American Christianity

“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 Churches are busy with many good endeavors, but seeking and passing on wisdom seems to have fallen down the list of priorities. According to my teacher, Scot McKnight: “People today care less about growing up or gaining wisdom and far more about staying young, maintaining relevancy, and dressing according…

Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…

A Faith that Relieves & Releases

A member of our church paid me a great compliment this week. She said, “I’m discovering a trend among MainStreeters I am getting to know. I keep hearing people say, ‘Well, Jeremy challenged us to do such and such and here’s what resulted.” She quickly qualified her statement with, “Don’t worry, its the good kind of challenge…

Acts 2:42-47 Rewritten for Today

I’ve been reflecting again on the community life of the first Christians described in Acts 2:42-47. We now stand 2,000 years removed from this first glimpse into the radical social experiment called ‘church’, and we marvel at the quality of their koinonia, or life together. I wonder what Christians 2,000 years in the future (if…

Going Green 6: Nomadic Gardening?

Have you ever met a traveling salesperson who refuses to leave the office? Have you ever met a daycare provider who can’t stand kids? How about an illiterate librarian? These are oxymorons and contradictions. I worked on the grounds crew at a golf course in high school. I spent most of my summer cutting grass. I loved…