What Is Your Story?

My StoryI don’t know about your church, but in mine we typically have an open testimony time (hey, we are Pentecostal after all). We like to tell our stories and that sure works well (sometimes not so much) in a post-modern personal narrative obsessed culture.
What I’m thinking of, though, is your story of first knowingly encountering Christ. Do you recall what he has done in your life? Do you remember a moment (or perhaps a longer time period) of the dawning of your need for him? It is a powerful reminder to think on your own story of encountering the resurrected Jesus in the power of his Spirit. We need to remind ourselves as those tasked with leading the church of this (ongoing) story and remind ourselves of where we’ve been led personally and congregationally. We need to allow our churches to share and relive their own stories, even as they continue to encounter Jesus in new ways in their lives. To re-awaken that first transformative love for Christ and his work in the world is to re-awaken ourselves to sharing the good news of Jesus with others.
I was reminded of my own story the other day (which I won’t share here and now) as I was listening to another pastor share his own story of being set free from a life of selfishness, drugs, and sex (his own words). A life being destroyed by sin. And then he shared his wife’s story of coming to faith as a six year old raised in a Christian home. The thing is: both stories are radically invigorating to hear and he admitted as much. After all, what isn’t amazing about the dead being raised to life? Neither story is about simple reform of sinners. Both are about those once dead in their sins who are now raised to new life in Christ. That is the amazing wonder of a regenerating encounter with the Lord and Giver of Life.
So my question is: Do you allow for folks in your church community to share their stories of encounter with the Lord and his redemptive work? When was the last time you shared yours?
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Edited from an original post by me at bluechippastor.org from March 6, 2013.

Emerging Homiletics

ImageI just realized that while my paper “Emerging Homiletics: A Pentecostal Response” was accepted for presentation at the Society for Pentecostal Studies annual meeting (March 20-22, 2013) in Seattle, WA, I had failed to post it to this blog. So feel free to follow the link above and select the paper from the limited number I’ve already posted on several other topics.
And while you are at it, here was my proposal to the Practical Theology study group:

It is hoped that through a study of one leading voice (Doug Pagitt‘s) in the Emerging Church Movement (ECM) that there might be a more well-rounded perspective of what ECM may be offering for homiletics as well as the potential impact specifically upon the field of homiletics. While Pagitt’s voice will not be the only voice, it will be the primary one as he has written several volumes on the question of homiletics from the ECM perspective.
Pagitt’s own model for homiletics will be discussed in its relation to Pentecostal homiletical thinking and practice as a model which might better exemplify what Pagitt is aiming to accomplish, but perhaps without many of the pitfalls. In order to facilitate this study, questions of worldview, hermeneutic and homiletic will be briefly presented from a post-modern perspective with particular attention to such matters as proposed by Pagitt. The notion of “story,” and “community” will be discussed as it relates to the Pentecostal experience of preaching in response to the post-modern perspective proposed by Pagitt.
The Pentecostal response which is offered as a conclusion is tentatively intended to both utilize the strengths of Pagitt’s proposal as well as critique it in hopes of proposing a more thoroughly Biblical and Pneumatic approach to homiletics within the broader ECM.

So what are your thoughts on the homiletic proposals of ECM (particularly Pagitt) and/or Pentecostalism as I’ve briefly described them?