It feels like another life since I was a missionary in West Africa. Now as a work-from-home mom of two under two, going to the post office seems nearly impossible—nonetheless going to the nations. I wonder how I'm supposed to invest in people outside our home when just keeping everyone alive feels hard enough. But that's where the things I learned in West Africa come back into play. Turns out, these skills are valuable for all seasons of life.
In case you haven't heard, we love churches. We love those who have been partnering with us for many years as well as those who have just joined. To help you better know some of these churches and their leaders, we want to feature them here. Today, we meet L.T. Chuong, pastor of A Seat at the Table Church (ASATT), to hear about his conversion, bi-vocational ministry, and ASATT's vision to be a growing multiethnic and multigenerational church that can reach the unreached of the greater Houston area and beyond.
Have you ever thought of art as a form of outreach? If we do it right, art can bring glory to God and display his greatness to mankind in a way that causes people to follow him. That sounds a lot like outreach to me! I recently wrote an article encouraging leaders to value art in ministry, but what about the creatives in our midst?
Artists can serve to aid in evangelism, discipleship, and the edification of others in the church, as well. So, how can we get started? Here are a few suggestions for the artists (and wannabes) among us.
What if we did away with harmony in musical worship? Is it, or any other artistic expression, really necessary to the way we function as a church? Probably not, but most note beauty definitely adds something to the experience. Good art can help better articulate the gospel and move our affections towards God.
In the same vein, I wonder what other expressions of worship we may be missing. Are there some art forms we could use to help us better feel the depth of God's story or understand His person? How might leaders use those mediums to teach, to disciple, and to better explain the faith?
In the past, we've thought of hospitality as equivalent to entertaining and feeding people in your home. However, the conversation about hospitality is is turning to more about the whole person and the way you act towards others. No place is this more important today than on social media. Wherever we go—physically or virtually—we need to consider our words and our demeanor. Scripture promises the world will know us by our love, but I have wonder if they would recognize us on Twitter.
We all have different masks—or false selves—we put on, versions of ourself we wish were true. These identities can range anywhere from helpful, to innocuous, to even detrimental to our spiritual health. Let’s take a moment to examine the dangerous false selves we present and how they might damage not only our walk with Christ but also our witness and community.
This month, UBA is hosting a free seminar to teach pastors, church leaders, and everyone in our communities more about domestic violence—what it is, how to respond, and how the break the cycle we see both inside and outside the church. It will be in both English and Spanish September 20th, 9-12pm at Ecclesia Houston. This seminar is going to be a challenging time for everyone and will feature two incredible and experienced speakers—Debbie Moseley & Adam Mason.
What are the little things we let divide the church? As small differences carve deeper divides in the church, we must be careful not to turn our eyes and weapons against our brothers as the Israelites were tempted to do. We must fight not to look at those who have been in the trench with us and wonder if they, too, are just a little too dangerously different.