Faith And Works In The Christian Life (And My Diagrams To Explain Them)

My speaking slides and helpful diagrams I designed to understand the interplay of faith and works in the Christian life.

I normally post anything and everything about my speaking on RileyAdamVoth.com if I post about it at all, but this one seems a bit too obviously evangelical for what I’m doing with that blog right now. Ha!

So in fitting with the theme of this Elasson site, here, I’ll break down a bit of my thoughts and developments on this as well as simply share the slides and the ideology behind it.

Continue reading “Faith And Works In The Christian Life (And My Diagrams To Explain Them)”

The discouraging, damaging lie of “working out a muscle” of “spiritual discipline”

I’m not looking to pick a fight, but I will fight on this if I must. I believe the ideology, and more aptly put, theology, of needing to “work out a muscle” of a so-called “spiritual discipline” is a very destructive thing to believe or to teach people.

What do I mean by this?

Continue reading “The discouraging, damaging lie of “working out a muscle” of “spiritual discipline””

I need a better way to speak of “work as ministry”

A week ago I attended a conference for ministry-minded folks with a desire for reaching college students. At one point I found myself sitting next to a young man of African American ancestry, who was obviously very intelligent, in his last year of school, and was considering joining staff with the collegiate ministry he was a part of. Because of this possibility, he had been allowed to tag along — getting a glimpse of what he might sign up for, I guess.

Continue reading “I need a better way to speak of “work as ministry””

Ridiculous facades and online “ministry”, plus better metrics

This weekend I fell down a rabbit hole by accident and this Monday morning I feel like I’m climbing back out as I begin my week… and I’m disgusted by it.

Continue reading “Ridiculous facades and online “ministry”, plus better metrics”

On defined desires versus goals

I have found that with most people, and this includes myself, that when we say “goals” what we really mean is “desires”.

When we say something to the effect of, “Yea it’s a goal of ours this year to [fill in the blank]…” but we have no measurable outcome that I know of which we’ve decided upon so that we’d know this thing were fully achieved, then it’s actually a desire.

I am trying to correct this misspeaking in myself.

I’m not trying to correct this because goals are necessarily better than desires in any way. Many desires have accomplished far more than goals. In fact, I’m not even, yet, trying to turn these desires into goals.

Nope; I’m trying to correct this because meaning what I say and saying what I mean is important.

I think it’s a great start to even clearly just state and define one’s desires. This is farther than most people get.

This is especially true if you have a spouse (or most any partnership). Many unions have struggled because of poorly conceived or poorly communicated desires.

There is much power in a defined desire which becomes capable of being communicated well. If this is accomplished, goals will typically take care of themselves if they’re even needed.

On the concept of “team debt”

The concepts of “technical debt” and “team debt” are terms that the church and para-church need to borrow and learn from – asap.

I recently saw tweet with a link to this blog post: Onboarding And The Cost Of Team Debt

I don’t know who Kate is other than what she says in the article – she does software engineering – but I’ve been saying for years now that the church has a lot to learn from the tech world. So much!

This is a prime example…

Continue reading “On the concept of “team debt””

On connecting meaning in our stories for our community

We are part of the best story there is. So how do we cast a compelling vision for our community and connect with the people – even those who don’t believe as we do – in a way that excites them, assures them we care, and connects our story to theirs in a way that shows them the depth of meaning THE story can bring to their lives!?

We are all storytellers, and we are all part of one grand story.

Within this grand story are nearly infinite other stories we could tell at any time.

Jesus was a master storyteller.

My father is an expert storyteller.

I tend to be a bit of a storyteller, myself, but I wouldn’t say I’m “expert” material yet. However, that’s pretty much what the existence of this blog is about. One long and wandering story. One I’m writing down as I go. One I’m hoping to gain clarity on as I write.

Our communities we are a part of are a story. Hundreds of thousands of stories, making up one collective story – much like the gospel and the church.

However, our communities depend on us. You and me.

We have to help shape the story and make it meaningful.

Continue reading “On connecting meaning in our stories for our community”

On mindfulness of details in our messages

We are no longer a society of biblically familiar, church friendly folks, but rather, one of intelligent skeptics. We must learn to communicate carefully and intentionally as such.

I am convinced that we (leaders in the church) must learn to prepare messages – teachings and sermons – with the de-churched and unchurched in mind with nearly the same level of awareness and importance given to this audience as which we give our churched and biblically literate audience.

Even if our audience approaches the topic from a Christian-friendly point of view, they are often no longer coming from any background in the scriptures or understanding of scripture’s realities, reasons, laws or graces.

The difficulty of this is that though they aren’t biblically educated, they are highly intelligent.

Continue reading “On mindfulness of details in our messages”