01.20.23 EChurch@Wartburg: Character over Charisma with Scot McKnight & Laura Barringer.

Photo by Sina Bahar on Unsplash

A Call to Worship link

God of Hope,
we come into your presence this morning
with confidence that you will meet us here.
Where there is sadness, bring joy;
Where there is tiredness, bring refreshment;
Where there is despair, bring a renewed sense of hope.
Let this place be a sanctuary,
a safe haven for us,
a home for holy words and songs and prayers
as we devote ourselves to you.
We pray this in Jesus’ name

A Prayer of Benedict link

Gracious and Holy Father,
Please give me:
intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
ears to hear you,
eyes to to see you,
a tongue to proclaim you,
a way of life pleasing to you,
patience to wait for you
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me a perfect end,
your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection
and life everlasting.

The Prayer of Saint Francis

(an anonymous prayer often wrongly attributed to St Francis of Assisi link)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Benediction: Phillippians 4:6-7 NASB (Bible Gateway)

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


01.20.23 EChurch@Wartburg: Character over Charisma with Scot McKnight & Laura Barringer. — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you, Dee.

    This discussion, and the prior post on PSC, stimulates a thought that has been percolating through my thinking for years.

    I think that one’s answer to the question “what is the point of the local church?” will influence how much sin, misuse of power, and abuse of flock one is willing to put up with in church leadership.

    Evangelicals typically understand the “point of the local church” to be “missions and evangelism”, and these are understood to be vitally important because the “unreached” are understood to be in terrible peril. If this is the core of one’s vision, it may be very easy to compromise on the quality of the character of church leadership — sometimes bad people can be very effective at producing “good” results, with “good” measured by metrics such as those Prof. McKnight mentioned at the start of the discussion.

    I’ve come to suspect that there is significant continuity between the Church and Old Israel in that both are meant to be communities that manifest God’s holy character. If this is a core component of “what is the point of the local church?”, it argues for very high standards character and conduct among the leadership.

    Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive or incompatible. But I think if the former is elevated well above the latter, it can tempt one to compromise in the interest of “results.”

  2. a touch of character in the pulpit is better than a touch of charisma any day … a Word from the Lord is better than a gift of gab … the presence of God is better than a bag of gimmicks

  3. Samuel Conner: “what is the point of the local church?”

    The Great Commission … the same charge of the 1st century is placed on believers in the 21st century church. To those engaged in this mission, Jesus promised “I will be with you to the end of the age” (Matthew 28).

  4. Glory Be To The Father,
    And To The Son
    And To The Holy Ghost
    As it was in the beginning,
    Is now, and ever shall be,
    World without end, Amen.