The Unintentional Net Effect of Youth Ministry

Unintentionally, the net effect of youth ministry has been largely to alienate younger generations from the ordinary life and ministry of the church.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 184

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The Church is the Pasture With Christ as the Good Shepherd

The church is the pasture with Christ as the good Shepherd, who provides undershepherds to guide us in our pilgrimage.  Just as the soil is important for his plants, as Jesus emphasized, so is the pasture for the sheep.  We not only feed on doctrine, as if we were only independent minds, but on nutrients that only a particular environment can produce.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 174

Four Common Threads in the Analogy of Christ’s Kingdom

What are some of the common threads we can draw together from Jesus’ organic analogy of his kingdom?  First, it is his kingdom.  Second, there is no personal relationship with Christ, the Vine, apart from his church, the branches.  Third, the growth of his kingdom (and each member of it) is slow.  Who would ever have imagined that a tiny mustard seed would become a massive tree with branches filling the earth?  Yet it isn’t something you can measure day by day.  Fourth, it takes a lot of work.  The gardener is always doing something to tend the vine in view of his harvest.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 173

Blurring the Distinction between Saving Grace and Common Grace

In addition to collapsing Christ and his work into the church and its labors, as well as collapsing the age to come into this present age, the transformational emphasis can blur the distinction between saving grace and common grace.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 161

It Is the Lord’s to Give and to Take Away

Contentment is the virtue that contrasts with restlessness, ambition, avarice.  It means realizing, once again, that we are not our own – as pastors or parishoners, parents or children, employers or employees.  It is the Lord’s to give and to take away.  He is building his church.  It is his ministry that is saving and building up his body.  even our common callings in the world are not really our own, but they are God’s work of supplying others – including ourselves – with what the whole society needs.  There is a lot of work to be done, but it is his work that he is doing through us in daily and mostly ordinary ways.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 150-151

The Challenge of Church Unity

After all, the cult of the Next Big Thing is always the assertion of a new generation of emerging adults.  Movements are largely youth-driven, whereas institutions are usually run by elders.  The challenge, especially in the church where we are drawn together in Christ from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and generations, is to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 69