4 Values that Influence My Ministry


If you’ve been on this blog for any period of time, you’ve likely come to realize that I want to talk theology in the language of ordinary, everyday people. I’m not afraid of complex doctrine or difficult church-language, but when I communicate the ancient truths of the Scriptures, I want the 30-year old dad to understand how this theology affects the way he does his work, loves his wife, and cares for his children.

This shapes the way I think about my writing, my preaching, and the every day ins and outs of ministry.

Nothing New.

I’m not saying anything new here. I’m not interested in unlocking a new theology that nobody’s found before. My goal is to say the truths that people have been saying for hundreds and thousands of years in a language that you can understand.

As one of my favorite preachers says:

"Preachers aren't called to say many things. They're called to say one thing many different times and in many different ways.” - Tullian Tchividjian

If you find something on this blog that appears new… challenge me.  Am I coming up with a new idea or am I simply saying an old idea in a new way?

Beauty.

I’m an artist. But for me my art does not come out in writing music or painting a picture; my art primarily comes out in my words. My preaching and writing is an art. Theologians throughout history have inspired some of the greatest, most beautiful works of art and I’d hope that what I create reflects the theology I hold dearly.

Good theology should inspire good art. I’m not interested in Christian imitation of a non-Christian piece of art, I’m interested in art that showcases the truth of God’s Word with the beauty of sound, design, language, and story.

Translation.

Missionaries cannot do their job without learning the language of the people they are trying to reach. In our post-Christian culture, the missionary task is more prevalent within our own neighborhoods than ever before. If we want to bring the Gospel to our neighbors and coworkers, we need to learn to speak their language.

This isn’t about finding new things to say, but it’s about knowing what they will hear.

There are important doctrines in the Christian faith that I think everybody should understand. Words like justification, Gospel, and vocation may not be the ordinary vernacular of our world. But they are words that change things and so I want to teach and translate these truths in a way that people can understand them.

Relationships.

This one is the weirdest when it comes to the digital realm. When it comes to the way that I do student ministry and the way I handle pastoral responsibilities, it is pretty clear.  Ministry doesn’t happen apart from relationships. But when we get on the web, it’s a bit different.

Although the web is generally a place of anonymity and lacks relationship, I have no desire for this site to simply be a place that is devoid of relationship. It certainly won’t be the same kind of relationships you’ll have within your own communities and churches, but thanks to modern technology we can actually get to know each other.

As I’ve blogged and used social media, I’ve made some incredible friends that have shaped me as a preacher and writer. And for that exact reason, I use social media. I don’t primarily use social media for traffic, I use it for the relationships that it allows me to form. And in time those relationships often translate to traffic, but more importantly sometimes those relationship even translate into a friendship.

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