This might be a redundant article in that I had recently written related articles: guidelines for best shepherding practice, how the Apostle Paul “feeds sheep”, and leading without lording over others. Also, there have been thousands of comments about authoritarian shepherding practices from countless UBF chapters–dating back to the 1960s. This article compares and contrasts 2 kinds of leaders, or 2 kinds of shepherding in a table. Hopefully, this may be useful as we prayerfully and seriously reconsider our shepherding practices going forward.
Editorial note: Our friend “gc” has been offline for awhile, taking care of his growing family. Congratulations on your new child! Here are some thoughts on families by gc. Please read and respond to his heartelt words. He raises numerous questions that have not been discussed openly in the UBF context. This article provides a nice segue into the next UBF heritage point, “house churches”.
Just to re-cap, next up on my systematic review is point 8 of the 12 point ubf heritage. This “house church” point begins a new section, which I call “behavioral slogans”. So before moving on, I feel the need to pause and briefly review where we are at.
Editorial Comment: This was sent as a private email. But since it asks and addresses a fundamental and pertinent issue, I suggested that this be posted for others to respond to, which the sender agreed.
I was wondering what you guys think about the church. Should loving others be secondary to evangelism? When I was asked about the church ministry I mentioned that loving God and others is the more important issue than how we can increase our numbers in our chapter through evangelism. The director agreed, but then asked, “How can we love others if there are no new people?” There are two issues with this statement/question.
“Lay Missionaries” – This is also known as “tentmaker missionaries” or “self-supporting missionaries”. The idea is that a missionary does not need to be officially ordained and should not be supported financially from a main sending organization. The idea stems mainly from Apostle Paul’s tent-making business, as in Acts 18:3.
“Spiritual order” – This heritage point is one of the most vague, and perhaps the most misunderstood and misused. I was taught two meanings of this point, and I found a third meaning recently being taught at the Chicago headquarters chapter of ubf. If you want to find out what ubf is all about, start asking what “spiritual order” is. You’ll likely get multiple answers. This is one of the most used, least documented slogans of the ubf heritage. I believe we need to start sharing how this was used or misused, how it was taught and what to do about it.
“A spirit of giving” – This means to support youself. Be independent. Don’t look to other people for help. Don’t have a beggar mentality. Give, even when you are poor. Be a “tent-maker” like Apostle Paul. This heritage point is derived mostly from verses in the bible such as “You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:16) and “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).
Ok so I played around with various “like” and “dislike” buttons, per some requests. This has come up from time to time, so I found a rather flexible solution. We now have like/dislike buttons on each comment. These are anonymous, public and limited to one vote per person (as much as technically possible).
During my ten years of Bible study in UBF, I was taught many wonderful truths. Some of those truths led me into a personal relationship with my Lord Jesus, helped me to accept His forgiveness, and become a new creation in Him. However, mixed in with those wonderful, timeless truths, there were elements that I’d call “the gospel of mission.” See how the “gospel of mission” as I understood it compares and contrasts with the gospel as I’m learning about it now: Continue reading →
This is the first article in a series I’ve entitled “Sophomoric Musings”. I view my musings as sophomoric for two reasons. The first is that the word sophomore is Greek in origin meaning ‘wise fool’. I’ve lived as a Christian for a little over ten years now. While I feel as though I have amassed some experience that may deem me as relatively wise, in reality I’m still a pretty foolish person. I don’t see things objectively, so my musings are infused with a bit of quackery as well as insight due to just having lived up until this point. Secondly, the term sophomore refers to a stage just above the novice or freshman level. These days, I feel as though I’ve entered into the second phase of my Christian life. I’m not sure if I can say exactly when or where the transition happened (the Red Line stop at Belmont on July 10th… nah forget it), but I definitely feel as though I’ve had a major paradigm shift as of late in terms of how I relate to Christ, His church and the world around me. This post is an articulation of what I’ve been feeling as of late. Hope you enjoy or even cry preferably tears of joy, but I’m not averse to those induced by sheer terror either; all I can say is that Dr. Ben taught me well in this regard.