April 2011

Where Are We as the Church of the Nazarene?

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In a previous issue of Holiness Today, we posed the question: Where do we go from here? I would like to suggest the consideration of five key areas and some possible responses.

In order for a GPS to work properly, one first needs to know the present location and desired destination. Where are we as the Church of the Nazarene?

Over our history, we have asked this question in numerous conferences, revivals, books, and assemblies. And the follow-up question is where are we going?


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"WWJD: What would Jesus do?"

While it has lost some of its original punch, WWJD still shows up occasionally. Although the wristband craze has waned, the question itself is still as intriguing as ever. What would Jesus do now?

Depending on the circumstances, folks have pretty much answered it according to their own political ideologies, religious traditions, or social biases. It can be, I think, that kind of question.

Comforting a Hurting Friend

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Pain plays an important part in our survival. Physical pain is effective because it forces us to stop other activities and pay attention to the reason for the pain, before it begins to seriously affect something else.

Pain is also important in the spiritual realm. There are cries of pain from the Body of Christ. The unemployed, the divorced, the widowed, the bedridden, the sick, the lonely, the grieving, the aged, all experience suffering.

Lent: Preparation for Easter

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In the past, some evangelical churches spurned any observation of Lent, associating it with "high church" liturgical worship. But today many of those same churches, including numerous Nazarene churches, are rediscovering certain aspects of the historic Christian tradition as a means of refocusing on spirituality in a world that is increasingly secular.

Contagious Holiness

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As I was reading Grace and Peace, the interview, "So Beautiful," with Leonard Sweet, caught my attention. This segment spoke to my heart: "If you were a leper, you didn't get close to anybody. You wore a sign that said you were impure. If you were a good Jew, you didn't get close to sinners, you separated from them. Jesus came on the scene and flipped it, totally flipped it." Sweet went on to say, "Jesus got his hands dirty. The question is, 'Can Christians get their hands dirty?" [Grace and Peace, Summer 2010]

Where Two or Three Are Gathered

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Have you come from a worship service and had someone say to you, "God really was present in the service today!" or, "I felt the Spirit's presence in a powerful way today!" Have you said something like that yourself? Have you ever noticed that we tend to make such statements when the worship has evoked strong emotions in many of those present; but if it hasn't, then not so much?

Resurrection: Why It Matters

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Bedrock of Christian Faith
by Filimão Chambo

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the bedrock of the Christian faith. God's plan for salvation throughout the Scriptures includes not only the suffering and sacrificial death of Christ for the salvation of the world, but also the victorious Resurrection for our justification (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53, Mark 9:31, John 2:18-21, Romans 3:24, 10:9, 1 Corinthians 15).

Good Ideas for Teens and Dating

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Connecting with friends, learning how to handle increased independence, and building relationships are some of the reasons teens date. Dating norms can vary by age, gender, culture, and country. Talk with your parents when making decisions about healthy and safe dating.

Remember: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).

Myths about Clergy Burnout

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When I interviewed Jerry Moen, pastor of the Nazarene church in McMinnville, Oregon, for a chapter in the book, Best Practices of Growing Churches: Profiles and Conversations with Ministry Leaders, he talked about a burnout experience early in his ministry. After graduating from college in 1980 he served in a series of youth ministry assignments until 1992, when, discouraged and exhausted, he quit due to what he remembered as 'some kind of burnout or meltdown.'

Into the Water

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We are accustomed to thinking of water as “good.”  After all, it covers most of the earth (around 71%) and is also essential for health – our bodies can live much longer without food than without water.  Those of us who fish or snorkel know that amazing and exciting things can be found in the exploration of water.