What are We Building: A House on a Rock

Text Matthew 7:21-27 Leaders build. They build a sanctuary in time, a community of joy, and a city on a hill (see previous devotionals). They build a community that is a house on a rock. Jesus delivers his kingdom manifesto in Matthew 5-7. The manifesto is a brilliant, hopeful, and superb picture of how kingdom people live with each other … Read More

Leaders Finish Well

by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity CRCNA In the summer of 2015, I was tired and angry at my church. I led a congregation on the southwest side of Grand Rapids for twenty years and things were not going well. People were leaving, finances were rapidly decreasing every Sunday and I wanted to bail out as fast as I could. … Read More

Leaders Do Hard Things

written by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity CRCNA Let’s admit that having conversations with people who disagree with you is really difficult and frustrating. Former Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger received an open letter of rebuke from eleven family members because of his disagreements with the former president. They wrote, “What a disappointment you are to us and to God. You … Read More

Leaders Cultivate Meaning

written by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity CRCNA Augustine loved being a playboy and enjoying the fruit of high living. He had a good job teaching and life appeared to be going just peachy. Until strolling through the paved streets of Milan on a summer day in 386 A.D., his ear caught the voice of a young lad singing an … Read More

Leaders Say Yes to Life

Written by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity CRCNA In a recent book I read by best-selling author Bruce Feiler on navigating life changes, he suggested that the average adult might experience thirty-six disruptions in their lifetimes. Of the thirty-six, three to four of those disruptions would become major life altering experiences. That means every leader will undergo some kind of … Read More

What are We Building: A City on a Hill

Leaders build. They build a sanctuary in time and a community of joy (see previous devotionals). Creating this type of community means living a certain way before the world and before each other. Living this way is a powerful reminder that one of the central truths of the church is that it is to be a picture of God’s coming … Read More

What are We Building: A Community of Joy

Leaders build. Last week we saw that in this pandemic and during so many other struggles, leaders build a sanctuary in time. Continuing to live in these unique and, at times, overwhelming times, leaders need to create a community of joy. Deep in our roots is a feast that is the greatest of all feasts. This feast lasts for seven … Read More

What are We Building? A Sanctuary in Time

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3 that leaders are about building. We build on the foundation that is Jesus Christ. What are you building as a leader? That’s a question that many continue to ask as they survey how their congregations respond to Covid 19, Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, politics, refugees, and so much more. As leaders, … Read More

Who’s at the Table

The Last Supper. We scan the faces at the table seeing the 12 disciples and Jesus. But who’s really at the table? Fishermen who are considered the middle class of their day. A tax collector who likely ripped fishermen off and who supports Rome. People with Jewish and Gentile names—are they less than fully committed to Jewish ways? A zealot … Read More

Easter More Than Our Resurrection

Easter is the wonderful good news of Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of the resurrection to eternal life for all who believe in him. But hidden from view is a greater and more stunning reality. In the beginning all is well. God lives in harmony with his creation and with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve live in harmony with … Read More