July 2018

Full of Grace

How can Christians remain faithful to the Gospel when the culture grows increasingly averse to the Church? How do we lovingly respond to our neighbors who do not know Christ?

The apostle Paul offers insightful guidance to first century Christians who often endured hostile circumstances in the Greco-Roman world: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” He then tells them what wisdom looks like: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).

Ministers in the Church of the Nazarene

Christian ministry comes in a variety of human packages: Children inviting their friends to neighborhood Bible studies, retirees counting the Sunday offerings and preparing bank deposit slips, and of course, pastors carefully preparing next week’s sermon and faithfully calling on the homebound.

Indeed, every member of the Church of the Nazarene is a minister of the gospel. When uniting with the church, we indicate our commitment to “holy service,” to faithfulness “in all good works,” and to “the advancement of His kingdom.”

The Call of an Evangelist: What Were They Thinking?

The year was 1959.  On one sunny summer afternoon, a church layman named Lyle left his house and drove his green 1952 Ford to East 6th Street in Pueblo, Colorado, walked up to the front porch, knocked on the screen door, and invited an 11-year-old boy named Norman to ride the Sunday school bus to the Church of the Nazarene.  What in the world was he thinking? “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Responding to God’s Call

Ten Questions with Dr. Carla Sunberg

Dr. Carla Sunberg (CS), recently elected General Superintendent, sat down with Holiness Today for Ten Questions.  This new HT column will allow us to briefly have conversations with leaders in our denomination.  The format consists of ten questions:  five that focus on more serious subjects and five that are a bit more light-hearted.

Question 1 (HT): As you begin your role as General Superintendent, what message do you hope your tenure brings to pastors and missionaries in the Church of the Nazarene?

Living into a Better Story

We had just emerged from the snowiest, stormiest, altogether craziest winter ever in southeastern Idaho. It was beautiful, right up until it turned to muddy slush. Like any normal kid, my daughter wanted to go out and play in the fluffy white stuff. 

So, What Does a Prison Chaplain Do?

A while back while waiting in a doctor’s office, a person next to me struck up a conversation and asked what I did for a living. I replied that I was a prison chaplain and this person replied, “Oh—that must be interesting. What does a prison chaplain do?”

A Calling to Teach and Lead

Ministry comes in many forms. I grew up in a small Nazarene church in Florida.  The only form of ministry that I experienced in those days was the ministry of the senior pastor. Through my education, my eyes were opened to a multiplicity of ministries. I left for college in the fall of 1970 to study for pastoral ministry. In fact, I became a senior pastor for two churches along the way, which meant preaching, leading, visiting, and envisioning ministry opportunities together.

The Tension of Being a Wesleyan Holiness People

As a Christian people formed in the mold of the Wesley brothers and the American Holiness Movement, we as the Church of the Nazarene feel the inherent tension of a binary heritage.  This polarity pulls us toward two different contexts.  One is firmly planted in 18th century England.  The other arose out of the late 19th and early 20th century America.  While our native Nazarene culture is strongly grounded in American revivalism, our theological roots are firmly planted in Wesley’s Methodism.