Pastors teaching love in the 21st century church
Pastors can be considered teachers and mentors as they provide spiritual advice and guidance to the community. For them, it is vital to teach and show love for the population to allow for the growth of a church. As feelings and emotions hold a primary position in the postmodern world, it is necessary to translate traditional teachings about these concepts to the current perspectives. Pastors can interpret Clapper’s ideas about love and use them in a personal conversation with the twenty-first-century church in the following ways.
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In the modern world, the Weasley’s vision of Christianity as the renewal of the heart should be re-envisioned to be understood. For humans, emotions have intentional nature as they motivate people to behave in particular ways. However, Clapper notes that emotions should be perceived as affections that serve appropriate reasons and are different from passions (2010). Affection and love may be seen as interconnected concepts.
In the Christian understanding, love is a key concept and attribute of God; it should be self-sacrificial and focused on giving to others (Wood, 2016). Thus, pastors can use the idea of love as a rational and not purely romantic or erotic emotion in their services.
To teach this concept in a personal conversation with a twenty-first-century church, pastors should involve affection in their actions. It is vital to remember that although affection and love are related, they are not identical. To perform ministry, pastors should strive to kindle affection. For example, they can show genuine interest in people’s families, celebrate positive events and changes that happen in individuals’ lives, and be kind to them. These actions reveal a caring attitude and indicate the pastor’s yearning, compassion, and sympathy. As a result, through positive emotions and feelings, church members can learn the meaning and significance of affection.
Imagery of exile
The imagery of exile influencing the evaluation of the church
Beach (2015) discusses the need for spiritual leadership in providing the community with the resources vital to see that God is in control of everything. The author notes that for individuals, hopelessness can be a result of their marginalized position. The author explains that exile is a central concept in Christian faith and can be found in various aspects of individuals’ lives. Each person is a distinct human being that has particular perceptions and beliefs. People experience exile when they feel abandoned or alienated, which may be a significant problem for Christians in the West due to the cultural marginalization (Beach, 2015). The imagery of exile the author presents helps the evaluation of the church in the following way.
Exile may have a significant role as its presence in people’s lives may lead to positive and negative outcomes (Rankin, 2016). The goal of the church is to assist individuals in overcoming, accepting or celebrating the events related to the separation of any kind, outlining that exile is one of the major themes of human existence. It is possible to say that Beach’s (2015) imagery of exile allows for gaining an in-depth understanding on the significance of the church’s role in the twenty-first century, where the boundaries between individuals become more evident compared to the previous decades. Belonging is a fundamental human need; religions helps individuals to connect to God and each other. Thus, the imagery of exile supports the evaluation of the church and its purposes.
Pastor feel aids in leading the 21st century church in its current context
Beach (2015) presents strong points that pastors are significant in leading the twenty-first-century church in its current context. One of the significant ideas is that today, church leadership should offer an imaginative vision to the individuals and allow them to develop a different perception of things. The goal of the church is to increase people’s trust in God. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to engage the population in meaningful congregational conversations, which are only possible with pastors’ aid, as they help the church to guide the community’s spiritual journey (Barentsen, 2015).
Another strong point Beach (2015) outlines is that leaders of the church should take actions to respond to exilic realities and adjust the church’s vision to the current circumstances. With the help of a pastor, it is possible to support the population’s faith in God’s continued existence. As it is vital for the twenty-first-century church to remain modern and be able to respond to individuals’ needs, pastors play a crucial role in creating the atmosphere that can enhance people’s trust in religion and provide them with relief. Thus, effective church leadership in the current context should involve a pastor that reengineers established congregations and supports their faith.
Barentsen, J. (2015). Church leadership as adaptive identity construction in a changing social context. Journal of Religious Leadership, 15(2), 49-80.
Beach, L. (2015). The church in exile: Living in hope after christendom. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
Clapper, G. S. (2010). The renewal of the heart is the mission of the church: Wesley’s heart religion in the twenty-first century. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Rankin, S. K. (2016). The influence of exile. Maryland Law Review, 76(1), 4-54.
Wood, H. (2016). A Christian understanding of the significance of love of oneself in loving God and neighbour: Towards an integrated self-love reading. HTS Theological Studies, 72(3), 1-10.