Church & Ministry

Embrace Disillusionment

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When wisely managed, disillusionment is a beneficial misery. It qualifies as what the Puritans called “a severe mercy”—a torment that purifies the soul. Since disillusionment is emotionally painful, we naturally regard it as an enemy. But to be disillusioned is to be set free from illusion, and that is never bad. Disillusionment bursts an illusion much as a pin pops a balloon. The experience is jarring; but in the case of illusions, it is equally liberating.

Illusions are, of course, not real. They are enchanted dreams, deceptive mirages. Illusions may temporarily help us cope with the challenges of life—the little boy who is a gangster’s son may profit from the illusion that his father is a brave and principled man. But illusions that persist too long damage the soul—should this boy’s illusions never be demolished, he may well follow his father into a life of crime and become nothing more than a predatory thug.

We find it particularly natural to adopt illusions in the early stages of covenantal relationships. A newly married couple entertains illusions about marriage and one another. New church members imbibe illusions about their church. But for every married couple and every church member, these illusions are eventually overwhelmed by reality. The illusion of a perfect marriage, the illusion of an ideal church, is eventually shattered. Read more about Embrace Disillusionment

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Book Review - The Pyramid and the Box

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Much has been written on how to do church. Church should be purposeful, simple, deliberate or missional. The building must be inviting and the service disarming. Or the answer might be: we need to major on small groups or a downplayed doctrine. The answers and strategies are as varied as they are plentiful, and the books keep coming as fast as the presses can run. All this attention is not without some merit. There have been some excellent books published and taking time to think through how we do church is certainly time well spent. But of all the books I have seen on the subject of how to do ministry, not a single one is devoted strictly to how decisions should be made in a local church. This important ministry “how to” gets a full Scriptural treatment in Joel Tetreau’s book The Pyramid and the Box: The Decision-Making Process in a Local New Testament Church. Read more about Book Review - The Pyramid and the Box

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