Eat the Flesh, Drink the Blood

by Ben Sternke on October 24, 2014

Eat the Flesh, Drink the Blood

Jesus sure had some shocking, gruesome things to say sometimes. For example, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them” (John 6:54-56).

(This is a brief, meandering meditation on John 6-7, btw…)

Seriously, for devout Jews to hear something like this would be akin to showing a clip from The Walking Dead in the middle of a lecture to fundamentalist Christians in the 1950s.

But of course Jesus isn’t simply going for shock value here, he is seeking to help people understand and embrace something crucial about himself. Earlier he proclaimed (after multiplying bread to feed a massive crowd), “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…”

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

How to Be Faithful AND Pragmatic In Ministry

by Ben Sternke on October 16, 2014

Is There A Faithful Way to Be Pragmatic About Ministry?

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” - Winston Churchill

Looking at the results and making decisions based on how it affects those results is called being pragmatic. It is a process of dealing with things sensibly, realistically, based on practical considerations as opposed to theoretical ones.

Should we be pragmatic about ministry? This tends to be a massively polarizing issue. Some feel the church has not been nearly pragmatic enough over the years. “What are the results of our efforts?” they ask.

Others say that being pragmatic about ministry eventually leads to the ruin and breakdown of the church, because in seeking results we inevitably end up abandoning core principles of faith. Thus we need to instead focus on simply being faithful, even if it means the results we achieve are less impressive.

But I think it’s a false dichotomy.

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

New Coaching Opportunities Starting Soon

October 13, 2014
Thumbnail image for New Coaching Opportunities Starting Soon

I’m starting two new coaching huddles soon. Grab your spot today to start building a Jesus-shaped culture!

Read the full post →

Hearing God’s Promises and Possessing the Land

September 15, 2014
Thumbnail image for Hearing God’s Promises and Possessing the Land

Living in faith (not fear or flesh) means we hear God’s promises and move out to take possession of them. Both hearing and doing are part of it

Read the full post →

Why Passion Isn’t Enough For Discipleship

July 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Why Passion Isn’t Enough For Discipleship

Passion isn’t enough to sustain a life of discipleship to Jesus. We’ll need something more if we’re going to follow Jesus for the long haul.

Read the full post →

How to Tick Off a Pharisee

June 8, 2014
Thumbnail image for How to Tick Off a Pharisee

Today is Pentecost Sunday, a seemingly benign celebration in the midst of the church’s liturgical calendar. But it’s anything but benign. This is God’s revolution.

Read the full post →

Seeking One Thing and Finding Everything

May 12, 2014
Thumbnail image for Seeking One Thing and Finding Everything

The key to finding everything you need is actually just seeking one thing.

Read the full post →

Is God’s Economy a Zero-Sum Game?

May 9, 2014
Thumbnail image for Is God’s Economy a Zero-Sum Game?

When it comes to economics, most of us tend to think only in terms of money, and the common assumption is that economics is a zero-sum game.

Read the full post →

Reclaiming the Commonwealth

May 7, 2014
Thumbnail image for Reclaiming the Commonwealth

Commonwealth means the wealth that is held in common with others in the community. We need to reclaim this word.

Read the full post →

What Are the Five Capitals?

May 5, 2014
Thumbnail image for What Are the Five Capitals?

As we look at Scripture, the life of Jesus, and our own lives, we notice at least five forms of capital revealed.

Read the full post →