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To sub­mit a ques­tion for James, Richel­la, and Nate to con­sid­er dis­cussing on Friends in For­ma­tion, email [email protected]​renovare.​org.

The Pod­cast hosts dig into ques­tions about what the term image bear­er” means, how to expe­ri­ence and appre­ci­ate oth­er Chris­t­ian denom­i­na­tions, and what to do when your cur­rent sit­u­a­tion feels less than ideal.

Show Notes

Three Lis­ten­er Questions—

[2:35] My ques­tion con­cerns a phrase I hear you use often in Ren­o­varé — refer­ring to peo­ple as Image Bear­ers.” I must admit this always makes me sit up as it was not a phrase I had encoun­tered much. At first I won­dered if it was just a poet­ic way of refer­ring to human­i­ty, but am com­ing to real­ize it is an impor­tant truth and atti­tude but one I feel I have lacked — I think because my evan­gel­i­cal back­ground had focused more on the deprav­i­ty of Man’ and begins view­ing human­i­ty (espe­cial­ly one­self) from a posi­tion of sin­ful­ness, where the Image of God is lost and only restored in Christ. Specif­i­cal­ly, HOW you have learnt to see your­self and oth­ers as Image Bear­ers, not just as a the­o­log­i­cal belief but in prac­tice, and how doing this helps your spir­i­tu­al formation.

[17:46] I am cur­rent­ly read­ing The Ruth­less Elim­i­na­tion of Hur­ry (and try­ing, rea­son­ably, to take my time with it), and next on the list is Streams of Liv­ing Water. Some dear church friends have begun to vis­it the church­es of oth­er friends — ones they know have a true, deep rela­tion­ship with God — who attend church­es of dif­fer­ent denom­i­na­tions, in order to gain a bet­ter appre­ci­a­tion and under­stand­ing of their tra­di­tions. I find myself wish­ing that we, too, had many friends of oth­er denom­i­na­tions who could not only serve as our safe­guards, but with whom we could after­ward dis­cuss their tra­di­tions and church’s val­ues, and process those of our own more objec­tive­ly and reflec­tive­ly. We would great­ly appre­ci­ate any sug­ges­tions you could offer as to how to go about this.

[31:33] From two dif­fer­ent lis­ten­ers in min­istry positions: 

  • What do you do when you feel like you are in a set­ting that God hasn’t called you to? I’m a new, young cler­gy, I grad­u­at­ed sem­i­nary last year and feel like I’ve been placed (or have fall­en into) a min­istry appoint­ment doing work that I’m not called to do but am doing because I have the skills to do this work. What can I do to not just sur­vive dur­ing this dif­fi­cult sea­son but thrive? And have hope that God did indeed call me into a life of min­istry and I’m here in this space for a reason? 
  • After serv­ing sev­er­al dif­fer­ent church­es as a pas­tor for about 9 years, I am almost 1 year removed from pro­fes­sion­al pas­toral min­istry. I chose to stop work­ing as a pas­tor because the added strain of COVID left me burnt out, depressed, and code­pen­dent. I am very grate­ful to say that I am in a much bet­ter place now than I have been for quite some time. I am health­i­er phys­i­cal­ly, men­tal­ly, and emo­tion­al­ly. God has pro­vid­ed for my fam­i­ly finan­cial­ly. My fam­i­ly and I are con­nect­ed to a won­der­ful church. I can def­i­nite­ly tell, even now, that God has brought me to this place as a bless­ing to pro­vide me with the heal­ing I des­per­ate­ly need­ed. At the same time, I am strug­gling with being set aside” from min­istry. I had a very clear call­ing expe­ri­ence a cou­ple years before my pas­toral min­istry start­ed. Being a pas­tor is the only real full-time job that I’ve had before now. I am cur­rent­ly work­ing at a fac­to­ry, and while it is a bless­ing in many ways, I find myself con­stant­ly look­ing to what might be next. Do you have any advice on how to bet­ter live into and accept where God has me right now? I have no doubt that I am where God wants me to be, but I still find myself con­stant­ly think­ing about and plan­ning for any and every pos­si­ble next thing.”


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