Today's Word for Pastors...

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple…In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26-33

Today's Preaching Insight...

Communicating Across Generations and Gender

In her Preaching article on "Preaching to Women," Alice Matthews of Gordon-Conwell Seminary talks about the issue of cross-cultural communication as it relates to both generations and gender:

"It may be easier for us to grasp the reality of cultural difference in terms of different generations. When I am with any of my six grand­sons, I hear them speak a language different from my own. Yes, they use words that are in my vocabulary — words such as cool or awesome or radical — but they do not attach the same meanings to them. So I might ask Chris, "When you say that Eric is cool, what do you mean? What's cool about Eric? He seems pretty warm to me." I listen to the vast array of inflections used in the ways my grandsons pronounce a word such as cool, and I know that it is an important word with many meanings and many uses. I just don't speak that language.

"But if my husband, Randall, and I sit sipping coffee together after breakfast, chatting about our family, our work, and the day ahead of us, I can easily assume that he and I speak the same language. After all, we have lived together for more than half a century! But once in a while he says something that reminds me that we are not always speaking the same language. For example, though we both grew up during the Great Depression and share conservative attitudes about the way we use money, we do not talk about money in the same way. His father lost his job in 1933 and was unable to support the family. My father had work through­out the Depression, and though we were poor by today's standards, we never went hungry. As a result, I tend not to worry about losing every­thing we have in the same way Randall does. He is more cautious about spending than I am, coming out of a life experience that is different from mine. Thus, the words save and spend carry different freight for him.

"The same thing happens countless times between the pulpit and the pew. When a pastor steps into the pulpit on Sunday morning, the odds make it likely that nearly three out of every four adults waiting to hear the sermon are women, although the ratio will vary from church to church. But the reality is that most pastors speak to more women than men every Sunday. It is this reality that makes it practical and logical to think about women as listeners." (Preaching, May-June 2003)

(You can read the article in its entirely at Preaching.com by clicking here).

Today's Extra...

Book of the Week

Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide, by Reggie Joiner (David C. Cook, 2009). 

Former family ministry director Reggie Joiner looks at what would happen if the church and families both decided that they could no longer do business as usual, but instead combined their efforts and began to work off the same page for the sake of the kids.

Written to support the Orange Conference and Tour, Think Orange shows church leaders how to make radical changes so they can:

  • engage parents in an integrated strategy;
  • synchronize the home and church around a clear message;
  • recruit mentors to become partners with the family;
  • provoke parents and kids to fight for their relationship with each other; and
  • mobilize the next generation to be the church.

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