As a disclaimer, or perhaps a warning, this is my first sermon since graduating from seminary, so I’m going to download 4.5 years’ worth of education to you in the next 25 minutes.
No, seriously, I did learn a ton in my studies the last five years and I’d like to share some of it with you, and the study I did diving deep into this parable kind of brought together so much of what I gained from seminary, and why I wanted to go to seminary in the first place. I grew up in the church, I feel very fortunate to have had wonderful parents who raised me in the faith, who are great examples to me and my brother about how to live Christianly and to have an intelligent faith that takes scripture seriously and puts feet to that faith with compassion toward others.
But I also realized that I have a pretty narrow worldview. Sure, I spent a year studying abroad in London, and I’ve had the opportunity to do some international travel, and I’ve gone on a half dozen short-term mission trips to extremely poor areas in Mexico. But relatively speaking I still have a narrow, limited worldview and therefore a narrow and limited view of God. My hope, when I enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary was to broaden my understanding of God by gaining a more global and historical perspective of God. I wanted to learn to see God from different perspectives and to interpret scripture from different perspectives. And I feel like I did grow in this way tremendously.
I learned that there’s not ONE RIGHT WAY to interpret scripture – especially when you’re dealing with a parable. Continue reading →
The question of what role women can or should take in leadership within the church has been a hot topic for many years. I believe, and I hope, that we are coming to a point of greater consensus on this matter; a consensus that exegetes the scriptures with an appropriately global and historical perspective that reaches beyond our personal preferences, pat answers, and the comfort of our traditionally accepted (and unquestioned) stances. Here is an overview of the position I have come to through much research, prayer, and seeking wise counsel.
The Whole of Scripture
I believe that when the whole of scripture is taken into account, together with an understanding of the culture and the people to whom it was written, the Bible supports the unrestricted ministry of women today (other than the restrictions that would be applied equally to men) and, therefore, I believe women should be allowed to be pastors and worship leaders and even elders.
Klyne Snodgrass, in his article A Case For The Unrestricted Ministry of Women (http://www.covchurch.org/resources), points out the importance of understanding there are a variety of positions on this issue, including “that women should not speak at all, not teach men and boys, not teach from behind a pulpit, not teach authoritatively, not teach except under emergency conditions (as on the mission field or when no qualified male is present), not teach except under the authority of a male senior pastor. Apart from the first two, none of these positions fits a literal reading of 1 Corinthians 14:33-38 and 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Everyone is making hermeneutical moves to deal with these texts, even if they do not admit it.”
I’ve been leading worship teams for over 20 years, and I’ve learned that the culture of the team determines the effectiveness of the team. A team that has a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is going to be much more effective at working together and leading others in worship. The quality of the relationships among the people on stage has an impact on the environment in the room. If the band is privately quarreling offstage, their presence on stage will reflect that. If the band is a group of best friends, that will translate to the rest of the room when they’re leading worship.
The best way to create a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is to Continue reading →
Here is my sermon from September 1, 2019. The final message in a series answering the question: “What is the purpose of the church?” The Answer: To glorify God by living out the gospel through discipleship, evangelism, and worship. In this message, we look at how to live out the gospel through a lifestyle of worship.
My name is Jathan Good, I’m the worship pastor here, and I’m excited to get to preach this morning! I try to preach every Sunday, but outside of the lyrics of the songs, I’m generally limited to about 30-seconds at a time, so to have 30 minutes to share with you is really special for me. And I get to talk about my life’s passion this morning, but I want to start off with a confession. Can I be vulnerable with you? Is this a safe place? You guys are family, and you love me even with my shortcomings, right?
Our hope is that this self-guided experience will not only enlighten you to the enormity of Christ’s love for each of us, but the depths this love reaches. Christ walked a path no other has ever taken, this was done at a great sacrifice and given freely for all.