Holy Spirit…Sudan

UN sets deadline for Sudan action. The Security Council passes a resolution threatening to punish Sudan if it fails to halt atrocities in Darfur in 30 days.

[BBC News News Front Page UK Edition]

Full of the Holy Spirit
Were individuals “indwelled” with the Spirit before Pentecost? Wasn’t John the Baptist (Lk 1:15) filled with the Spirit from birth? The Spirit of God was upon Mary (Lk 1:35). No doubt these are specially called people, but I wonder if we haven’t often too neatly defined the role of the Holy Spirit in many Christian fellowships, in our own lives.

I believe the Spirit is moving to touch people who have not yet confessed publically that Jesus is Lord. I pray for God’s Spirit to work in, yea even dwell in my daughters and son. Will God wait until they have taken the step of faith in baptism to dwell in them? Can I pray for the Spirit to dwell in them from their birth, for God’s Spirit to be upon them?

Some charasmatic fellowships want to see manifestation of the Holy Spirit through tongues. The fellowship I’m a part of–churches of Christ–often limits the role of the Spirit to post-baptism and find differences in this and other Spirit indwelling mentioned such as Mary and John the Baptist above.

The ways of God’s Spirit are mysterious and unfathomable. Yet we seek them, to live the mystery. Let me hear from you…each day I’m happy to hear thoughts from many of you (many that write directly to my email and don’t post to the blog), and I don’t always ask but it’s always implied that comments are welcome…here in particular, I’m looking for input on the ways of the Spirit of God.

[comments imported from my Radio blog]

Good questions. Who are we to put limits on the work of the Holy Spirit? Can we contain the wind? I’m exploring more these days about the way the Spirit indwells in the Church collective. Luke Timothy Johnson got me thinking about this when he spoke at ACU’s Summit this past year. Often local congregations neglect to actualize the power God has freely given them. I believe the Holy Spirit can, like S/He did in the book of Acts, led the Church to make decisions of faith. We need to be more open to the role of the Spirit in our decision making and seek to honor the God-presence that’s been given to us.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Travis • 7/30/04; 10:10:21 AM #

I know that the spirit worked on/with me before I accepted Christ for many years. I was led to do things that, now in retrospect, I can see put me on the path to salvation and accepting Jesus as my savior. Nothing I could have done on my own.
Ron Barbee • 8/2/04; 10:20:54 AM #

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Carpe Manyana

If you’ve never heard or read Leonard Sweet, then sieze tomorrow and do it. If you’re into metaphors, he’ll be that kiosk that you gravitate toward in the open market. His is a fresh voice for the emergent church.

One of his quirky and funny ideas is Carpe Manyana. No, not carpe diem, but Carpe Manyana. Sure, it mixes a dead language and a living one (Spanish is from Latin and I suppose Manyana comes from Latin), but the idea is to be watchful for where people are going tomorrow and be there. This idea could work for business or the American Dream, and I hesitate to “sieze” ideas that are often co-opted to satisfy our own cultural values. So the idea is not uniquely Christian but does point to ideas that are uniquely Christian: the resurrection, the second coming of Christ that we await and say “Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.” When we are siezing tomorrow, we acknowledge that today is a chance to prepare for what is coming, both in terms of ministry and in terms of waiting for the Lord.

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Powerful stories that make you curious for something more

Has anyone ever read anything on the interaction between Zachariah, Elizabeth, Mary in Luke 1? Guess I could ask Thom Lemmons if he’s ever written this into an episode in a novel, but I’m curious how these conversations would have taken place.

Does Elizabeth burst into song like a musical or is this the writing style of the gospel to add together this traditional song that was attributed to her?

It’s a powerful story. If you are preaching or teaching this passage, you might be interested to hear and use in your church Randy Gill’s version of the Magnificant, Mary’s song (Lk 1:46-55). Write me for his address if interested.

What kind of incense was Zachariah going in to burn? Was it the incense of Exodus 30:1-10, 34-38? That formula, says the Lord, was only for him–they were not to use it in their houses. It was a combination of gum resin, onycha (what’s that?), galbanum–and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts. This was the work of a perfumer and the fragrance was another pleasing aroma to the Lord along with burnt offerings.

***

Last night I told my children the story of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11). As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to keep the power and suspense in the Bible story that already exists in the text that we often remove when we pass it on to children in bland ways. So, I told them the story of humankind’s pride in building the biggest tower ever to the heavens. We’d been up the St. Louis Gateway Arch a few weeks ago, so the building of that (from the movie they showed us) is fresh on their minds.

I stopped the story at the point where they’d built it high and were praising themselves, but then something terrible happened. God came down to see their progress and did something that has forever changed our world…and I’ll tell you tomorrow what…

They wanted to know. My oldest did but didn’t tell. They’ll ask about tomorrow night for sure.

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Should the Bible be fun?

After my class Sunday (one thing we’d talked about was telling stories to our children, how to make the Bible story come to life) a mom said, “Here’s a situation for you. My six-year-old loves stories…loves to read…and I read to her, tell her stories, but one time when I said it was time for a Bible story, she said, ‘No, I want to do a fun story.'”

Well, a few thoughts about that:

First, an initial response might be that we’d like to make the Bible fun. In fact, some of the most popular children’s ministries in churches today want to make Sunday the funnest, most exciting hour of the week. Ought we to make the Bible particularly “fun” for children?

Second, I wonder if the response to the child’s comment should have more to do with our attitude toward Scripture. What do we as adults think of Scripture? Do we seek the words of God? Are we thirsty for it and consider it food and drink and power and life (adult version of fun!)?

Third, to create interest and “fun,” we ought to tell Bible stories the way we do with other stories: with suspense and more detailed and authentic story development than many of our children’s Bibles and our own telling often does. We often sanitize Bible stories, try to wrap each story up in a bow, rather than telling cliffhanger stories of suspense and intrigue like we do with fables and fairy tales. How often do we end our Bible stories with, “Well, we’ll see what happened at the top of Mt. Sinai tomorrow!” to which the children cry, “NO! Tell us more!”

Here are a few resources:
Books that build character
252Basics KidStuf
Wineskins: Turner and Joiner – Taking Steps to Be With Kids
Wineskins: Allen – Families, Worship, and Children’s Spirituality

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Free car or cremation gratis?

Quoting SCORECARD in Sports Illustrated (July 26, 2004)–It’s an age-old question: Would you rather have a free car or be cremated gratis? Will Campbell, 19, a fan of the Class A Brevard County (Fla.) Manatees, found himself facing that very conundrum last Thursday.

Campbell was competing in the Manatees’ Car Survivor contest–trying to win a 1995 Geo Metro by outlasting four other contestants crammed into the vehicle–when his name was called during a between-the-innings raffle sponsored by a local funeral home. Campbell first thought it was a ruse designed by one of his opponents to lure him from the car.

When he was assured it wasn’t, Campbell disinterred himself from the vehicle in which he’d spent three days and claimed a certificate entitling him to one free cremation. “I may not be able to use what I won for 70 years,” says Campbell, who will be a freshman at Elon College this fall, “but at least I didn’t leave empty-handed.”

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Taco Stand

While we’re on the topic of mixing languages and styles, here’s a hiaku-like poem verse I recently wrote in my brain while in the car:

Taco Stand
shell in hand

Add some sauce
Oooh, that’s hot

Uno mas

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Dennis Eckersley’s sober induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame

This is a great story about Dennis Eckersley. He ended his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech by offering a message of hope, that by the grace of God he was changed by that same grace others can be changed, too. “With the grace of God, I got sober, and it saved my life. I was a new man. It took a great deal of acceptance to come to terms with being an alcoholic, but that acceptance was the key to sobriety. Without that acceptance, I’m not standing here today.”

Emotional Eckersley, Molitor join Hall. Major League Baseball Jul 26 2004 1:07AM GMT [Moreover – Sports: baseball news]

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Democrats for Life

For those who are Democrats or lean that way yet want a pro-life platform, look at Democrats for Life, which plans a rally in Boston this week.

Democratic National Convention starts today with Al Gore speaking. Makes me wonder what the world would be like today if the former vice president who received more than half a million more popular votes than W would have become president. Would he be worse for the wear after four years of the presidency, or did the ordeal of losing eat at him? I’m curious what he will say today. He’s been on the warpath, able to say more harsh things against Bush policy than Kerry has said.

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Messianic Shabbat Service

I attended a Messianic Jewish Shabbat service last night.

Messianic Jews believe Jesus (Yeshua) is truly the Messiah but practice Jewish liturgy, keep the Jewish lunar calendar, high holy days and incorporate Hebrew into their worship and blessings. This particular group, Yeshuat Yisrael, meets at the Oak Hill Assembly 5200 Franklin Road focuses on the millennial reign of Yeshua the Messiah when he returns to Jerusalem to restore Israel and begin the consummation of the end times.

On this night the congregational leader first led a highly symbolic lighting of the candles that symbolized God’s command to keep the Sabbath and make it holy. He broke bread, drank wine and asked two women to recite a Sabbath blessing. Only the congregational leader drank the wine and broke the bread and he pointed out this is not the same as the “communion,” which from his assumption everyone knew what he was talking about, I assumed they keep with some regularity. While I was disappointed the meal was so symbolic and not participatory, I was glad when after the two hour service, everyone was invited to a meal.

A woman and man led the worship, songs that included Hebrew words and Psalms that praised and honored God, which they often rendered G-d to mirror the way in Hebrew that the nameless one was referred to: YHWH. A few of the songs had a Jewish syncopated rhythm and we clapped, then five women elegantly danced in a circle throughout one song with arms lifted high and doing two step, hop footwork.

Those in attendance were a mix of black, white, and perhaps a few cultural Jews but a very eclectic bunch, including an autistic boy who came and sat by me in the pew. His mother asked me afterward, “Are you a pastor.” I knew what she meant–I’m not a paid minister, nor do I refer to myself as a pastor, but I just said, “yes.” “I knew it,” the autistic boy’s mother said. “He always spots pastors and warms to them and rubs their hands and loves them.”

The congregational leader, after the singing, spoke for about an hour on the parables of Jesus. His particular slant on the parables is that Jesus was revealing a mystery to the Apostles, who would judge the 12 tribes of Israel in the end times, and he was setting out a new mystery age and referring to this in his parables. It was all very interesting, but he found the parables to be a bit more allegorical than I would take them to be, which I don’t have any problem with as long as they are not used to infer out of whack doctrines not consistent with wide teaching of Christ.Several times the leader said, “We are saved by grace through faith…plus nothing.”

It seemed this community is emphatic that glory be to God in all things, that Yeshua be the center of their existence, that they always be prepared for the return of Yeshua and the restoration of Israel, and that they share community. The last thing they did was to share prayer requests about family, sons in Iraq, other needs such as jobs and healing of sick.The leader finished with the Priestly Blessing of Numbers 6, and I’ll finish with that as well for us today:

Y’varech’cha Adonai v’yishm’recha
The Lord bless you and keep you

Ya’eir Adonai panav eleicha vi’huneka
The Lord make his face shine upon you

Yisa Adonai panav elecha v’yaseim l’cha shalom
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace
[source]

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

This game was incredible

This game was incredible. Rodriguez Beaned, Then Yankees and Red Sox Brawl. New York Times Jul 24 2004 11:02PM GMT [Moreover – Sports: top stories]

Don’t we have more identity than merely conservative or liberal?.
Kurt Vonnegut. “Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.”
[Quotes of the Day]

Tony Blair to reduce booze-fueled violence by increasing pub hours.
Now here’s a switch: increasing pub hours may reduce booze-fueled violence…
Britain Seeks to End National Booze Binge [AP World News]

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Disc Golf, AA, and Prayer

I went to play disc golf at a local park yesterday with my friend, Shawn Brown. It’s golf with frisbees, but that’s not what this post is about, exactly.We played eighteen holes through the woods on trails and enjoyed telling stories and laughing. While waiting for a group of five guys ahead of us who were drinking and smoking, we snidely confessed to one another that “we wouldn’t know how to be with guys like that, how to minister to them or where even to begin.” (Is that an oxymoron, to snidely confess? You may know what I’m talking about–these half confessions, half slights, uh, half self-congratulations.)

One hole later they asked us to join them…We all threw our frisbies (they call them discs and these guys were good however drunk) then started talking. Long-haired, darkened from the sun, smoking and well-watered, Eric was taken with the fact that I said I work for an organization that produces Christian music. Seems it sobered him automatically. He repeated that when I said something about Christian music something stirred in him.

“Why? What was it?” I asked.

“Because I too am Christlike,” Eric said. I’d never heard anyone describe themselves that way.

“That’s great–I am too,” I said.

“Even though I’m an alcoholic and drug addict I try to bless others, to live my life according to love thy neighbor,” Eric said.

After he described the way his girlfriend came home from her church full of the Spirit and kicked him out, he said, “I have a problem with that: she was the same woman who had asked me to roll her another joint just two nights before.”

I’m not always sure what to say in these situations but what Eric said next led Shawn to pray for him. “I’m just, desperate. I’m desperate. I know there’s something more.”

There is, there is, we assured him, and Shawn and I put our hands on his quavering shoulders and prayed with him. One of the others came over as we finished. “Are you praying? Wow, are you praying?”

“Name’s Greg, what’s yours?” I said to the one surprised we were praying. “Evil,” he said smiling then shook our hands but kept showing his pleasure at our sharing prayer with his friend, Eric. Eric took down my name and phone number. “Have you ever heard of AA?” I asked him. Much of the time they show their love and commitment to one another more strongly than a lot of churches.

Eric had tears in his eyes as he reached to hug me then Shawn, and we got in our cars and left. Shawn pointed out that God has a great sense of humor–we had said we could not, would not minister to these guys, but God led us otherwise, and it was they who asked us to be with them. Would you say a prayer for Eric to find more?

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Is that Kroger Shalom?

It’s 10:30 pm and I’m in Kroger on Nolensville and Old Hickory in Nashville.

The Black medium-sized woman ringing up my groceries was talking to a curly-headed tall and large man who had asked for a register tape to write something down when I plopped down my raisin bran, popcorn and pepperjack cheese. I noticed his Yarmulke and asked him, “Are you Jewish?”

He closed his eyes, tilted his head and said, “Yes–”

The woman at the register had been talking to the man about why Muslims do not accept Jesus as the Messiah. She laughed.

“It’s okay,” he brushed off my forward question. “I get that a lot. They say he’s a prophet,” the Jewish man continued saying to the woman.

“How can they not believe? I mean he’s the one who died for their sins,” the woman said.”Imagine,” said the Jewish man, “you’re told not to eat pork and many other laws and some renegade comes and tells you it’s okay.”

“Um, I’d like to come to one of your…holy days, the next festival at your synagogue,” I said. “I don’t know if non-Jews are welcome…”

“Yes, they are…I’m a Messianic Jew–do you know what that means?” He was addressing both me and the woman, who was telling me to stop lollygagging and finish my debit card number punching so she could serve the next customer. “We believe that Jesus is the Messiah.”

“Yes, well, would it be okay for me to come to the next Shabbat service?” I asked. The man, named David, gave me a card and told me where they meet each Friday evening.”Shalom,” he said.I said, “Shalom.”

I’ll be going this Friday evening at 7:30 pm and will share the experience with you later.

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

Richard T. Hughes – Myths America Lives By

The following is not a review but reflections and a call to you for interaction after scratching the surface of Richard Hughes’s new book, Myths America Lives By.

Hughes tells our American story with a powerful twist. He tells it through the eyes of the poor and disenfranchised. He starts with the assumption that America has made many, many people free–no doubting that, but in examining our nation’s story, or myths (not to be confused with fiction or things made up but defined as story), he particularly looks through the eyes of a people who have been oppressed by American policies for centuries: African Americans. He looks at the myths we live by: Chosen Nation, Nature’s Nation, Christian Nation, Millennial Nation, and Innocent Nation.

Hughes looks critically at the myths that shape our identity as “Americans”–that we are a chosen nation, set apart in classes by nature and capitalism, a Christian nation, and one that will bring hope to other nations, and the one he sheds light on with the most laser precision is the myth that he believes we must jettison: we are an innocent nation. Most of these myths hold great potential for good. Yet Americans have often absolutized these myths in ways that undermine the virtues that otherwise stood at their respective cores. This is the irony that lies at the heart of American history, as Reinhold Niebuhr pointed out many years ago. In his classic text The Irony of American History, Niebuhr spoke of “the ironic tendency of virtues to turn into vices when too complacently relied upon.” Moreover, it is precisely when powerful people absolutize their virtues that the interests of the poor and marginalized are most at risk. That is the fundamental premise of this book.

Hughes says from the top that “[T]here is perhaps no more compelling task for Americans to accomplish in the twenty-first century than to learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes.” In other words, there’s another side of the mythical story that needs to be heard. And this book is not easy to read or the perspectives easy to hear, Hughes admits, because it unsettles the comfortable and those who believe America to be unequivocally compassionate and generous. Those who believe America solely good also tend to be ones who have not experienced its oppression or policies that work against them. Even our own perception of our nation’s compassion is flawed.

How much international aid would you say that we give compared to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yearly? Robert Bellah, who wrote the foreword for this book, says “Americans when polled believed that we were spending 10 to 15 percent of our federal budget on foreign aid, and that we were doing too much.” Japan, Denmark, other wealthy nations do give foreign aid equivalent to 5-10 percent of their GDP. How much does the United States give? During the 90s, we gave .02 percent of GDP. And before we reached 2000, we had cut that in half to .01 percent. Granted, compared to our GDP, that’s a great amount of money, but it’s the lowest percentage among wealthy nations.

Hughes’s book is a wake up call but it’s not intended to be one-sided, for us to deep six our myths. Instead, he warns of the ditches on either side of this debate about our national identity: we should neither chunk our American Creed and myths, nor should we absolutize it to the point that we believe it perfect and innocent of any wrongdoing or need of any revision. But we should look at our identity, our story/myth, and our policies carefully.

Hughes points to our response to 9/11 as telling of our belief in the myth in ways that increasingly become absolutized rather than examining possible flaws in our policies that are shaped by our myth/story. For example, college professors and politicians calling to delve into the reasons behind why many in the world hate us and our policies were, in the dark days following the first attack on the continental U.S. since the War of 1812, considered un-American and chastised.

President Bush, meanwhile, with incredulity, said, “I’m amazed that there’s such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am–like most Americans, I just can’t believe it because I know how good we are. And we’ve got to do a better job of making our case.”

Hughes does make a case but not for swallowing our myth whole. By looking at each myth that shapes our national identity through the eyes of African Americans, says Bellah, we open ourselves to the great possibility that we may hear the oppressed voices of international community as well. The greater cause of the book, Bellah points out, is that we learn to cope with our chosenness, with the global city set on a hill. The eyes of the rest of the world, says Bellah, are truly on us. The question is, do we bring light or darkness, blessing or a curse?

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

From Ben and Kym Langford

The following is from friends, Ben and Kym Langford, who are moving to our former hometown, Jinja, Uganda, to continue the church planting mission we were doing 1994-2001. At times we miss Uganda, our friends, our mission there enough that we talk about going back to live.

I visited there in 2003, and Jill did all the groundwork to prepare for that trip for me. She will certainly go with me next time but for now we’re trying to decide when the best time is to take our children for a return visit. The Bartons, as I mentioned in an earlier post, just made a month-long visit to Uganda with their children.

This, my visit, and other recent visits by our team has been our ongoing commitment to our relationships that formed while we were in Uganda and continues eternally. Any assistance for Ben and Kym financially you can give by way of personal gifts, church funds, or referrals to those who may help would be greatly appreciated. The Lord has, through his servants in Portland, Oregon and Wichita, Kansas, provided most of their support, but they are still looking for a good chunk of their working funds: $15,000 annually.

Letter from Ben & Kym Langford

Dear Friends and Family,

The subject of this email gives you an update on the current circumstances of our life . . . waiting patiently! We are waiting patiently for three things to happen. 1) The birth of our first child 2) Moving to Uganda, East Africa and 3) Support for our working fund. 1)The birth of our first child. We are literally a couple of weeks, days, hours, or minutes away from the arrival of our first child. The due date is July 29th, but the baby is full term and can come at any moment. As it stands right now, the doctor has proposed that we induce labor sometime at the end of next week (possibly Friday the 23rd) to give us an extra week with the baby before we head to Uganda in October. We are seriously considering this because we are so anxious to meet him and Kym is ready to see her toes again. Yes, you did read it right, we are almost positive it is a boy and we are very excited. We have not decided on a name yet but we are thinking about Elijah, Benjamin and a few others have been thrown around as well. Please pray for the health of Kym and the baby and give thanks for the wonderful gifts of life God has given. 2) Moving to Uganda, East Africa.

We have been busy making preparations for our moving and for the work we will be doing in Uganda. We recently bought our tickets to leave on October 7th out of Dallas, TX. So Kym has been packing Rubbermaid containers of the few things that we will take to our new home. Most of it is baby stuff, clothes, books, pictures, and personal things we want to take with us. The cost to take extra pieces of luggage is $180 per piece, so we are forced to limit what we can take. Over the past few months we have also done team building with two of our teammates Spencer and Emily Bogle. Ben has also had opportunities to teach and preach at our supporting and home congregation, East County church of Christ. We have also been in regular conversation with our other teammates McKensey and Erika (they already live in Uganda) about having furniture built, getting our house ready, and getting updates on life and ministry that is happening in Uganda right now.

We are very excited about life and work in Uganda. Please pray that God will bless and use our time of preparation and the He will go before us and reveal to us the work He is already doing in the Soga region of Uganda. 3) Support for our working fund. God has blessed us generously with our salary and majority of our one time needs. As you may know, several members of the East County church of Christ have pledged to supporting a major part of our salary and the elders at East County have committed to overseeing us and our work. In addition, Rock Road church of Christ near Wichita, KS has committed to supporting the remaining portion of our salary. However, we are still seeking and praying for a church or individuals willing to share with us in this ministry by supporting our working fund.

We are in need of $1,250 per month ($15,000 per year) towards this working fund. The fund will be used to cover cost associated with ministry and work we will doing such as fuel to get to and from the village ($4 or $5 per gallon), printed materials and other materials used for teaching and ministry, benevolence gifts toward ministry related projects, security, and airfare back to the U.S. to report too and spend time with supporting congregations. We have exhausted most of our contacts for support and the time for our departure is growing nearer. Please keep your ears open to any churches or individuals who maybe interested in supporting our working fund and pray that God will provide as he has done so well for us up to this point. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. Blessings and Peace Ben and Kym Langford

By Greg Taylor Posted in General

John Trent’s Leading From Your Strengths

John Trent, Rodney Cox, Eric Tooker
Leading from your strengths: Building close-knit ministry teams (Broadman & Holman, 2004). $12.99 hardback 112 pgs ISBN 0-8054-3061-X

There is scant scientific evidence to prove this, but in my fifteen years of ministry experience, ministry teams break apart more often because of “team shock”–personality conflict and tense team dynamics–than any other cause. Can teams do anything to lower the chances of blowing apart due to personality conflicts and tensions? Yes.

John Trent’s new book and Leading from your strengths process is “all about knowing your God-given strengths, understanding and valuing the strengths of others, and blending the differences to reduce frustration, increase closeness, decrease conflict, and dramatically increase caring and commitment on your team.” Trent and co-authors, Cox and Tooker, use an analogy of your ministry team rafting a river as a way of describing the process of learning to work together to navigate the torturous white water of life together and ministry.

Also, the book comes with an offer for a free online personality assessment. The book has a reference number that you enter on their Leading from your strengths web site. In addition, Trent uses his classic system of dividing personality types into Lion (conductor), Otter (promoter), Beaver (analyzer), and Golden Retriever (supporter). Of course there is much more depth to the system explained both in the book and web site. The mission team I worked with in Uganda talked about personality both as a way to understand each other and a humorous way to break the ice of tense situations: when a lion roared or an otter embarrassed others, a golden retriever tried to please everyone and made the rest of us look like chumps to the Ugandans, or a beaver would expect everyone else to work the same long hours as he or she did.

I began talking about “team shock” when individuals both on my own mission team in Uganda and on a variety of other teams I have come in contact with over the last decade expressed personality conflict in their ranks. This anxiety missionaries and ministry team members anywhere in the world–not only overseas missions–feel about their work, their environment, very often is a symptom of deeper relational problems with one or more team members. Before we ever launched into ministry, our mission team spent years together, meeting, getting to know one another’s families, backgrounds, stories. We knew the mess that each of us brought to the table and we eventually came to accept one another as we were as we challenged one another to become what Christ is making us daily. If you are involved with a ministry team, church staff, supporting a mission team or an elder overseeing a church staff, Trent’s book can be a helpful guide down the white water of “team shock.”

By Greg Taylor Posted in General