Marriage is a binding covenant created by God between one man and one woman for our holiness, for our joy, as a picture of the gospel to spread the glory of God.He unpacks the definition here.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Mike Leake offers a definition of marriage:
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Darren Carlson not only criticizes short-term missions as it's typically practiced by North American churches, but he also offers counsel on a way forward Toward Better Short-Term Missions. For example, he shares this (you would think obvious) bit of advice:
To protect against doing unintentional harm, go directly to the missionaries your church supports and trusts to find out whether they would like a team to come and partner with them. These missionaries can also provide helpful feedback that comes from experience and understanding. Just make sure they feel the freedom to say no and dictate the details of the trip, such as how many people should come. I know of a missionary who asked for eight people, and the church responded by sending more than 100 youth. We need to listen! Some of the best short-term trips involve just two or three key friends sent by the church to visit a missionary in difficult place. If your church doesn't support long-term missionaries, I would suggest doing so before you consider short-term cross-cultural ministry.Another piece of counsel:
The next step is to work primarily through local churches with a long view in mind. When your short-term ministry team leaves a particular setting, Christians will still live and work where you visited. Your desire should be to serve at the request of and under local church leadership. Your disposition should be one of a learner, with the humility to take your cues from national leaders. You need to be careful, especially when dealing with money. But if you can build a level of trust, the most effective trips will be extensions of another church's ministry. This might lead to bringing fewer team members but result in much more effective ministry.But he also concludes with this bit of encouragement:
There is a tendency in my circles to try and get everything right, to discuss every scenario, to examine every possible pitfall, and in our preparation bring every person through a process that feels like boot camp. But the beauty of gospel ministry is that God is not handcuffed by our foolishness. He is still accomplishing his purposes amongst the nations. For any harm we may cause, God is using others to bring great advances for the gospel.
So become a thoughtful global Christian. Think critically about cross-cultural engagement. Be convicted if you are harming the church in other cultures. But know that in the end, God is still on his throne, and his work will be accomplished.