gentry13

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2005 at 5:13 pm

musing…

for a number of years i believed that substantial training must precede one’s immersion in Christian mission. for this reason, i tried to provide the students and young adults in the ministries that i led with the opportunity to develop the interpretive skills and spiritual disciplines they would need in order to fully participate in the church’s mission of embodied proclamation and compassion. recently a number of things, including the visit of a Haitian missionary to s & s as well as deeper reflection on previous ministry experience, has led me to believe that my assumption (which I think is shared by most Christian education programs and, to a lesser extent, christian institutions of “higher learning”) was at least partially incorrect (if not woefully inept). i am now beginning to realize that the skills and disciplines i sought to teach are more likely to develop in the midst of mission than they are to precede mission. it is the mission of God, not the desire for abstract knowledge or the need to complete a checklist of required qualifications, that compels us to seek His presence through prayer and learn to listen more effectively to His Word. i realize this stuff is probably old hat to many of you, but it has been difficult for me to grasp.

moving forward…

on sunday, june 5 I will be participating in a panel discussion at The Gathering in Salem. the topic for the evening is “pursuing authentic spirituality.” since i am a big believer that “all of us is smarter than any of us,” and somewhat desperate for talking points, i would like to hear what you have to say about this matter. how would you define “authentic spirituality?” what are some of the characteristics of authentic spirituality? how can we contrast “authentic spirituality” with inauthentic and/or hypocritical religious practice? do you question the value of the term authentic in regards to the practice of spirituality? are there any examples of authentic spirituality (i.e., books, music, movies, mentors) that you find particularly intriguing?

if you have any thoughts on this matter, please feel free to post in my comments or email me directly at jeffkelliegentry@yahoo.com. i already have thought through this matter a bit, so i am not completely void of talking points, but i would really like to hear what you have to say. i would love to hear the perspectives of those who do not profess Christ and would be encouraged to hear from lurkers as well. thanks for your help!

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