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City Blog: November 2016

November 14, 2016

City Grace Environments

Benjamin Spalink
Andy Stanley has some helpful insight on ministry.  All ministry utilizes environments - the physical places and feel of places we use to preach, worship, study, fellowship, serve or in other ways engage our guests. Worship happens in an environment. Community groups happen in an environment. Leader meetings happen in an environment. Stanley's goal is to create "irresistible environments." I'd settle for "winsome." Point is, people love the environments and want to come back. Leaders shape these environments whether they know it or not....
November 14, 2016

Reflection on Trump Discussion at church

Benjamin Spalink
New York City, I'm sure you've noticed, is distraught. People are visibly upset.  There is a sense of collective shock - how could this happen?  This is a historical moment, and it is a time to pay attention to how God is moving in his church. So yesterday we broke protocol. I didn't give a sermon. Instead, we opened up that time for an open forum discussion.  I wanted to check our pulse, to see how people are feeling and reflect on the events of this past week. Most importantly, I wanted for us to try to hear God's voice at this critical ...
November 03, 2016

Why I stopped trying to fix people

Benjamin Spalink
One of the things that has become abundantly clear to me in nine years of ministry is that my ability to change people is actually rather minimal.  Coming out of seminary, I was naively eager to fix people with my M.Div tucked firmly in my belt. It's humbling to realize 1) you need fixing just as much as anybody else and 2) trying to fix people isn't a great strategy (it's oftentimes hurtful) and 3) there's actually not much you can do for broken people anyway.  It's actually much easier to love people if you can simply accept them as they ...

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