What Matters: Part 5
February 5, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
As a church community, we pride ourselves in valuing discovery. Why? Without discovery, faith is impossible. When you feel that you have all the right answers, there is no need to be a learner. Curiosity isn’t required. Humility is never displayed. One simply stops growing because they believe they’ve arrived. But, here’s the thing: it’s possible to have all the “right” answers, but no understanding. Discovery makes room for our struggle, doubts and questions. Discovery breaks our tendency to control and execute by pushing us to trust and obey. It keeps us curious about the future and engaged in the process, even when the desired results don’t come right away.
What Matters: Part 4
Faith was never meant to be an individualistic venture. Change, growth and transformation require a village. The renovation of our heart is a community project. Loving relationships provide a context for us to safely process our faith. Each one of us need people in our lives who will always point us toward truth and not just what we want to hear. These type of connections don’t just happen. They require intentionality on our part. It entails pushing against our natural tendency towards self-preservation. It requires humility and to put the needs of others above our own.
What Matters: Part 3
January 22, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
Authenticity has achieved buzzword status in our culture. This push for authenticity has even become a trendy part of church vernacular. Yet, like many words that get thrown around so casually, the true meaning of authenticity has been distorted and misused over the years. So what does true authenticity look like and why is it important that as a church we value this quality?
What Matters: Part 2
January 15, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
When we walk into a room, we encounter a context. It doesn’t matter if we recognize or acknowledge its presence, but its there. Every time we strike up a conversation with another individual, context makes an appearance. Context is the stuff that surrounds. Often it remains below the surface and gets left unnoticed. But, in every situation there is more going on than we think. Our willingness to value context determines whether connection and understanding take place or whether frustration and confusion dominate. Valuing context requires one to pay attention. It involves being curious and proactive. Living out this principle entails more listening for understanding than speaking to be heard. In order to tell God’s story to others, we must first know their story and the context for which they live their lives.