Holy Conversation (Feb/Mar/Apr 2011)

Ministry is a two-way street. The way we counsel, evangelize, lead, learn, and even preach depends on the give and take of both parties in a dance of holy conversation. Learning to speak and listen in ways that encourage this open exchange is essential to fruitful ministry. This issue discusses how we nurture these conversations in various contexts and on various subjects. From counseling and evangelizing in a bar to helping a dying congregation look to the future, we practice holy conversations.

In This Issue

Holy Listening

Holy Listening

By
Neil M. Alexander
He was sitting across from me in our small group gathering, head bowed and hands clasped in his lap. It seemed a bit unusual for him to suddenly move from an intense declaration…
Relational Preaching: Conversation and Collaboration in the Postmodern Sermon

Relational Preaching: Conversation and Collaboration in the Postmodern Sermon

By
Mary J. Scifres
Preaching in the postmodern world has evolved into an intriguing art form that invites creativity and conversation in new and exciting ways. Whether you preach in a large or small …
From Last Call to My Call

From Last Call to My Call

By
Jerry Herships
After more than ten years of on-and-off bartending, I made the leap and accepted my call to ordained ministry. From the time it was suggested to the time the Bishop placed her…
Holy Conferencing: Unity amid Diversity

Holy Conferencing: Unity amid Diversity

By
Sally Dyck
Conflict is not new to the church. The disciples were arguing as they gathered for the Last Supper, debating who was the greatest among them! Members of Jesus’ rag-tag…
The Legacy Conversation: Helping a Congregation Die with Dignity

The Legacy Conversation: Helping a Congregation Die with Dignity

By
Gil Rendle
The numbers are simply against a good portion of our small North American congregations. North American Protestantism has always been a small-church experience. While most of the…
Pastoral Care in a Digital Age

Pastoral Care in a Digital Age

By
Sally Coleman
I wear two very different pastoral hats. I am a Methodist minister in my late 40s, working a rural circuit in North Yorkshire, UK, where the average age of a typical congregation …
Leadership for Introverts

Leadership for Introverts

By
Olu Brown
As a kid I was pretty normal. I played sports with my friends, enjoying all of the exciting kids’ stuff young people do. As I stumbled through adolescence and into my…
Talking about Justice: Tips for Pastors

Talking about Justice: Tips for Pastors

By
Darlene E. R. Resling
Social justice can be an intimidating concept for pastors to address in the local congregation. I recently traveled with twenty-two other United Methodist pastors to learn about…
Telling Our Stories and Growing as Disciples

Telling Our Stories and Growing as Disciples

By
Roger Frederick
Storytelling has been a staple of human culture since the beginning, but I wonder how many of us today understand the power of these holy conversations for nurturing disciples. As …
Interfaith Dialogue (and Trialogue)

Interfaith Dialogue (and Trialogue)

By
Mouzon Biggs
When I grew up in Panola County, Texas, I knew no Jews and no Muslims. However, when I was a student at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., two of my favorite professors…
Angel in a Gray Sweatsuit

Angel in a Gray Sweatsuit

By
Brian Erickson
June 2008 There is a woman in a gray sweatsuit screaming “At the Foot of the Cross” into a microphone she does not need. The pianist, whose hair resembles something…