The Spiritual State of the Nation (10)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Leadership, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Renewal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, The Future

Church Leadership For my entire lifetime we have stressed the role of a few well-educated leaders, or more recently of a few talented speakers, who give life and vision to the church. As megachurches developed more and more these leaders were not even deeply trained in the Bible, worship and theology. They could have been successful in almost any marketing-related … Read More

Why Theological Education Fails the Need of Our Times

John ArmstrongEducation, Pastoral Renewal, The Christian Minister/Ministry

My title is big and broad, I understand. I believe, simply put, that contemporary theological education is failing to produce true leaders. We teach to our level of competence and the competence of most of our best schools is to teach courses that are helpful but not necessarily centered on the missional reality of the church. Generally speaking our seminaries … Read More

Deep Listening

John ArmstrongThe Christian Minister/Ministry

I am not sure who first used the expression “deep listening” but I confess I have come to love it. By nature, I am not a good listener. I have always struggled with talking too much. I learned it from a young age. It is also deeply rooted in my personality type. But this is no excuse for not listening, … Read More

Wes Granberg-Michaelson’s Faithful Missional-Ecumenism and the Reformed Church in America

John ArmstrongLeadership, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Pastoral Renewal, Reformed Christianity, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church

For seventeen years Wes Granberg-Michaelson has served the Reformed Church of America (RCA) as general secretary. I not only count Wes as my friend but admire his leadership skills and the job he has done to make the RCA one of the few mainline denominations that remains focused on missional-ecumenism in a vital and Christ-centered way. One of the reasons … Read More

The Pastor: A Memoir

John ArmstrongPastoral Renewal, The Christian Minister/Ministry

One of my favorite modern Protestant writers is Eugene H. Peterson. I’ve never met Eugene, though I’ve spoken to him on the telephone. I invited him to participate in a writing project and he phoned me to decline. He was the only person, in a long list of invited contributors, who did that. (Some didn't bother to even respond in … Read More

The Danger of Theology

John ArmstrongChrist/Christology, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, Theology

One can find several different dictionary definitions of theology. Perhaps the best comprehensive answer is that theology is “the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth.” More particularly, for the Christian, theology is a situated system of teachings; "Roman Catholic theology" or “Protestant Theology,” etc. In an academic context theology is … Read More