Teaching

Are you listening?

Are you listening?

“Mom, are you listening to me?” My three kids were very good at parroting back to me my questions to them. I often would say loudly to them when they were toddlers, tweens or teens, “Hey, are you listening to me?” But sometimes they would ask it back. “Mom, are you...
How Scripture, stories and languages intersect

How Scripture, stories and languages intersect

“Hi, I’m trying to master your language, and one of the ways I’m learning is by telling stories. Could I tell you a two-minute story that I learned recently, and maybe you can suggest how I could tell it better?” My family lives in a country where the population is...
Holding everything together

Holding everything together

My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression. My dad would remind me of this when, as a kid, my grandmother instructed my brother and me to wash and hang-dry the used tin foil in her kitchen when we were on clean up duty following a family dinner. Similarly, my...
30 lessons in 30 years: part three

30 lessons in 30 years: part three

Rev. Charlie Alcock, Youth Ministry professor and director of Youth Ministry Events at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, reflects on the 30 years he has spent serving in youth ministry in The Wesleyan Church. This is part three in a three-part series....
30 lessons in 30 years: part two

30 lessons in 30 years: part two

Rev. Charlie Alcock, Youth Ministry professor and director of Youth Ministry Events at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, reflects on the 30 years he has spent serving in youth ministry in The Wesleyan Church. This is part two in a three-part series. Read...
30 lessons in 30 years of youth ministry: part one

30 lessons in 30 years of youth ministry: part one

Part one in a three-part series It was 30 years ago this weekend that I towed an old Dodge Omni to Roanoke, Virginia. The destination was Parkway Wesleyan Church where I would have a chance to work with a hero of mine, Dr. John Ott. I had just finished my years at...
Whatever Happened to Theology?

Whatever Happened to Theology?

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:17) “Why do I have to study theology?” a seminary student complained. “It’s not like I’m going to use it in my ministry.” He wasn’t kidding. Theology is...
The missing space

The missing space

People relate to one another differently in different spaces. Gather 30 people together in a large worship center and the experience will feel disconnected and distant. Gather the same 30 people in a living room and the energy and connection will increase...
Why community is important

Why community is important

I received bad news that day. The minute I got it, my thoughts started swirling. Everything seemed like it was in question: my future, my identity, my security. I knew I needed to talk to someone, so I made a phone call, sent a couple of texts, met up with those...
¡Santa Matemática!

¡Santa Matemática!

English Matemáticas fue mi materia favorita en la escuela secundaria. Recuerdo lo ansioso que estaba porque llegara la hora de esa clase y correr a la pizarra cada vez que el profesor preguntaba quién sabía la respuesta a una ecuación. No me gustaba mucho historia y...
Co-pastoring: top 5 questions and insights

Co-pastoring: top 5 questions and insights

A couple of months ago, I was in Nashville, Tennessee, learning more about best practices for making disciples. In an off-handed comment, one of the pastors noted, “I wonder if there was something intentional about Jesus sending the disciples out two by two instead of...
Denying self

Denying self

A lot of people give up something during the season of Lent. It is a long-standing tradition within Christianity when Jesus followers sacrifice something tangible in reflection and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice he made for the sins of the world when he died...
Holy math!

Holy math!

Español Math was my favorite subject in high school. I remember how excited I was to be in class and run to the board every time the teacher asked who knew the answer to an equation. I was terrible at history and geography, but numbers have been a passion since I was...
Thoughts about God’s economy  

Thoughts about God’s economy  

Global equity markets have recently experienced volatility. When this happens, people take note. Pondering the economic implications once again, two lessons I have learned, and their correlation with God’s truth, came to mind. Lesson ONE – There is always...
10 personal questions to start 2019 well

10 personal questions to start 2019 well

Reflection is good for the soul. Personal reflection is even better if you act on it. You may not be an “end of the year – take a two-day retreat in the mountains” kind of person. I’m not either. I can think through and process these questions in the time it would...
What’s a church?

What’s a church?

Wesleyan leaders are pursuing creative missional work with the purpose of reaching those who are missing from Christ and his church. More and more are taking discipleship and multiplication seriously. New leaders, lay and clergy, have felt called to initiate and guide...
Multiplying leaders in a distracted world

Multiplying leaders in a distracted world

Nehemiah is a favorite historical leader. He mobilized a discouraged and disappointed people to achieve a perceived impossible goal. The perceived impossibility was the rebuilding of the wall that surrounded the city of Jerusalem. The wall lay in ruins. And there was...
Moving when God speaks

Moving when God speaks

It is so frustrating to speak and have no one move! Typically, my children respond by yelling “we hear you mom” while comfortably sitting carrying on with whatever they were doing. Hearing without action is incomplete. My response to God is usually incomplete when his...
Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Biblical illiteracy isn’t funny, it’s scary

Last week biblical illiteracy in the news media was put on display like never before. First, the Wall Street Journal misquoted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that “Moses brought water from Iraq.” What the prime minister actually said was that...
God’s gifts to us

God’s gifts to us

Don’t you love candlelight services? I especially enjoy those in which the leader lights the candles of a few, who then light other candles until the room is filled with light. It’s beautifully symbolic. Jesus is the light who enlightens us to share with others. In a...