Listen or Not?

Image by Travis Isaacs via Flickr

“You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they “are rebellious.” —Ezekiel 2:7

Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.” –Ezekiel 3:11

“But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious house.” –Ezekiel 3:27

The Lord gives clear instructions to Ezekiel to prophecy whether or not the people listen. This is challenging for me. I believe that the work of speaking God‘s word is one in which it matters to be both faithful, relevant and delivered in a way that it will be received. God’s guidance for Ezekiel seems to disregard how it will be received. It seems that these verses emphasize faithfulness over relevance. But then, maybe faithfulness is truly the most relevant. What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions?

Ordination in the UMC: Bible Study

A few weeks ago, I made a proposal to make publicly available the documents produced by candidates for ministry in The United Methodist Church. To that end, I have published my Bible Study for Admission to Full Connection and Ordination as Elder in the Kansas West Annual Conference. You can find the document online at I have licensed my work under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

I hope that you will take time to read some of my responses and share your opinions, thoughts or feelings in the comments on this post.

Collaboration for Christmas

I find this to be beautiful and genius.

How could the church be more like this? Operating with a particular plan, all moving toward one goal and the result being far greater than what one would be accomplish alone. Could sermons, worship, bible study, administration, committees work like this? Is it possible to be this elegant in the church.

My answer is yes.

How to get there is less clear to me, but I believe that it can happen. What do you think?