Four week series to help ensure Christianity does not get lost in translation in our post-Christian country.
Go and Be
|Monday Memo notes
More to Explore This Week
1) Want to revisit our previous Sunday series on how we can learn from Paul’s sermon in Athens how to communicate Christianity to those completely unfamiliar with it? Here’s the link to that series page – Sermon Series “Lost in Translation” – KirkWood Presbyterian Church
2) Some scripture reading on the remarkable yet ordinary moral and attitudinal distinctives of the early Christians, as advocated by the apostle Paul: Ephesians 4.17 – 5.5 NRSVUE and Colossians 3.1-17 NRSVUE and Rom 12.9-21 NRSVUE
3) Pastor Chris mentioned this article in the sermon yesterday, which contains some great advice for how to live agreeably with other Christians as the world around us watches: Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another – Frank Viola
4) A 16 min. video interview with Michael Frost (remember him from the book, “Surprise the World”?) talking about the holy “weirdness” of Christianity: Keep Christianity Weird, Interview With Michael Frost
5) A piece by Michael Frost on four instances in church history when the church got “weird” for better: Four times the church got weird… and was better for it
6) On the high calling of distinctive Christian character focused on love and holiness: To Bear the Character of God – Chris Webb
7) Anyone remember this song from the play Godspell, “You are the Light of the World”: “Light of the World” ~ Godspell (1973)
Go and Love
|Monday Memo notes
Explore More This Week
1) Live this week with your heart and eyes wide open to your “neighbors,” those around you as you move through your days. Pray for them, offer them small kindnesses, invest some time, whatever God’s Spirit prompts you to do.
2) To remind yourself of the high calling of Christian love, read through and reflect on this paraphrase of “the love chapter” in the Bible, 1 Cor. 13, written by pastor J. Mark Jordan:
“Love smiles through the pain of being hurt, criticized, misunderstood and ignored without constantly complaining. Love never confronts anyone unless it is with a kind, well-considered word and does not blast them out of the room. Love doesn’t judge or want what others have…It doesn’t go around talking about God being unfair or people being uncaring when the real problem is envy and jealousy. It shuns the limelight and recognition. It doesn’t have an ego problem. Love declines to make a scene about everything and won’t make mountains out of molehills. It will not choose inappropriate and disruptive ways to make a point. It doesn’t have to be right all the time…Love doesn’t assume that others are thinking, doing and intending the worst. It gives people the benefit of the doubt. Love suffers when someone fails or when tragedy strikes. It takes no pleasure in sin or wrongdoing of any kind. It is most interested in the truth winning out, even when the truth hurts. Love lends its shoulder to bear the burdens of others…Love believes the best in people and tries hard to trust them. And when love is disappointed and crushed by bearing, believing and hoping, it endures. Three great forces motivate the church: faith, hope and love. These powerful attributes are the basis for everything the church is doing in the world today. But even when you narrow it all down…at the top of the list is love alone.”
3) Thanks to Keith Woodman for this video recommendation – a powerful rendition of what Christian love is like: This is how to love.
4) Read about the love that characterized the earliest church: Demonstrating the love of Christ
5) Sprinkle these devotionals on Christian love throughout your week:
– Are You Bold?
– The Love Mandate
– The Gospel of “I Love You!”
– So That
Go and Tell
|Monday Memo notes
More This Week
1) Few have talked about discipleship better in the last 50 years than the late Dallas Willard. Check out these two articles by him – Who is Our Teacher? and The New Testament Picture of Discipleship
2) Also from Renovare, a great piece on how our own personal discipleship and spiritual experience is closely linked telling others about Christ – Our Role and God’s Role in Missions – Mekdes Haddis
3) A great devotional that will offer solace and guidance about the dreaded “e word,” evangelism – The E Word
4) And another insightful devotional about how younger generations won’t accept anything but real, authentic evangelism – Evangelism for Millennials
5) Practical pointers on how to engage in spiritual conversations with others – How to Talk About Jesus Without Being Awkward and How Do I Tell My Friends About Jesus?
6) For those who want to dig more, check out this page of resources from The Lewis Center for Church Leadership – evangelism
Come and Belong
|Monday Memo notes
More to Explore
1) If you’re interested in early Christian distinctiveness and mission in the wider Greco-Roman world, we’d recommend these resources:
– Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian “Third Way” Changed the World: Sittser, Gerald L.
– Larry Hurtado, A New and Mischievous Superstition: Early Christianity in the Roman World
– Why Christianity Was Different from Other Religions in Ancient Rome
– The Distinctiveness of Early Christianity
2) More on Christian hospitality, in both church life and your individual lives too:
– Hospitality in the Early Christian World: Amy Oden
– 10 Things You Should Know about Christian Hospitality
– Spiritual Disciplines—On Hospitality
– How to Change the World with Christian Hospitality
– Jesus is Our Example of Christian Hospitality
3) On how churches can help outsiders come and belong:
– Should We Invite People to Belong Before they Believe?
– Five reasons to let people belong before they believe
– Seeking the Seekers: It’s worth the risks