Footwashing: Resource Video

Posted by tom | Apr 21, 2011

Collect for Maundy Thursday: Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Darice shared this beautiful footwashing video,, as background to the practice of footwashing during the 'Spiritual Formation in Ministry' Social Justice Tradition Presentation (Evangelical Theological Seminary, Myerstown, PA). Thank-you Darice! 

I encourage you to take a few minutes as you celebrate Maundy Thursday to enjoy the Word of God [beginning with Luke 22:24-26, followed by John 13:3-17 (Jesus' washing of the disciples feet), Matthew 20:26-28, Matthew 25:40, Mark 10:45] and the paintings depicting footwashing in background to the Scriptures shared.  May be a helpful resource for your local congregation/ministry (part/all) as you practice footwashing and/or consider the Last Supper.

Getting Ministry Out of the Building

Posted by tom | Apr 14, 2011

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9

I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the "Getting Ministry Out of the Building" conference sponsored by Evangelical Theological Seminary's Center for Leadership Impact. It was so good to hear the call to share the Word and Life of Christ in daily life through lay-led relational (and strategic) ministry teams receive attention. In addition to hearing from Drew Williams' (Senior Pastor, Trinity Church, Greenwich, CT), I enjoyed the inclusion of a testimony which drew attention to the reality that many of the "revolutionary ideas" given at these conferences are humming along in campus ministry.

A young woman shared testimony of missionally serving God as a student involved in a Christian Union.* Every Saturday night members of her chapter gave out bottles of water to every person leaving a pub near campus. The gift of re-hydration, some called it holy water. New students out on the street in ministry challenged to 'be little Christs' & to share 'why' they're doing this sheltered background. ... "Time and again people’s faith came alive … an amazing time to see those whose faith is wavering commit to the mission." Praise God! 

I wonder how close the various fellowship groups and the "Radical Christian" Adult Elective at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ come to Clusters (Mission Shaped Communities), such as what one finds at St. Thomas Crookes, Sheffield, England?  I'll root around.  As Theresa and I serve our local congregation by leading the Disciples Fellowship Group, we'll reflect upon: (More)

Inquiry: Ministry Family Life, even a 'Rule of Life'

Posted by tom | Mar 21, 2011

As part of my continuing desire to offer every aspect of my life to Christ, I'm exploring the development of a "Ministry Rule of Life" which takes into consideration "family life as a husband and father."  This has become the focus of an "Engaged Learning Project and Integrative Report" for a Spiritual Formation in Ministry Class at Evangelical Theological Seminary, Myerstown, PA. 

If you're in ministry and have a family, what books, mentors/models, practices, resources, and/or seminars have you found helpful to yourself or others with regard to family life in the midst of ministry (could be about parenting in general)?  I'd love to find a book focused on being fully engaged as a father/husband while in the practice of ministry.  It may very well be Nathan Foster's "Wisdom Chaser" which made this topic hard for me to shake (scroll from the bottom up at  Note:  If you're not in ministry, please feel free to make some observations, speak out of your own experience (as a follower of Christ in the midst of the people of God, what you in the lives of ministry families), and/or pass the post along to someone in ministry who you think would have good material to share.

Books I've already 'dug into' include:

  • Exhortations to husbands and fathers in Ephesians, Colossians and 1 Peter
  • Austin's 'Wise Stewards:  Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting'
  • Francis Chan's 'Crazy Love:  Overwhelmed by a Relentless God'
  • Cloud & Townsend's 'Boundaries'
  • Foster's 'Celebration of Discipline,' 'Streams of Living Water' 
  • St. Gregory the Great's 'The Book of Pastoral Rule'
  • Gordon MacDonald's 'Ordering Your Private World'
  • Peterson's 'The Contemplative Pastor,' 'Working the Angles'
  • Gary and Barbara Rosberg's '6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage'/Video
  • Swenson's 'Margin,' 'In Search of Balance'
  • Willard's 'Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ,' 'Spirit of the Disciplines:  Understanding How God Changes Lives'

Books in cue, largely by recommendation:

  • Chan's 'Spiritual Theology:  A Systematic Study of the Christian Life'
  • John Eldredge's 'The Way of the Wild Heart'
  • Foster and Griffin, eds., 'Spiritual Classics:  Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines'
  • Marilyn Robinson's Gilead
  • Mulholland’s Deeper Journey
  • Ortlund's 'Disciplines of the Home'
  • Peterson's 'A Pastor's Memoir'
  • Romero's 'Seeking:  A Paraphrase of the Rule of Saint Benedict with Commentary' 
  • "Bo's Cafe," "True Faced," by John Lynch, Bruce McNichol, and Bill Thrall


  • "The Two Roads" by John Lynch (video 45 minutes) 
  • "The Hope of Prayer," "The Four Streams" by John Eldredge (audio)

Spiritual Formation in Ministry: Reflections (1)

Posted by tom | Feb 23, 2011

Click here to read my first Spiritual Formation in Ministry Reflection Paper (Evangelical Theological Seminary), mentioned in Come Messy in Prayer (2/21/2011). Two pages, less than 800 words ;-)  

Loving God with our 'Head, Heart, and Hand' in the context of the Biblical story
Thomas B. Grosh IV

Introduction:  In A Spiritual Formation Workbook:  Small-Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth (1999) James Bryan Smith and Lynda Graybeal serve the people of God by providing a practical resource to “put skin on” the six streams of spiritual life explored in Richard Foster’s Streams of Living Water (2001). In concert the streams reflect how God calls the Body of Christ closer to Himself, one-another, outsiders, and the creation. I am closest to the incarnational or sacramental heart tradition, but I do not find much satisfaction in charting the practice of disciplines or working toward a balance of streams. Instead, I desire as a follower of Christ, father, and campus minister to grow in love for God and neighbor. I find Dennis Hollinger’s weaving together of “Head, Heart, and Hands” a more helpful rubric for guiding the spiritual life.

"Stirring the pot," would receive your feedback/comments.  Next reflection paper for the class will be on Dallas Willard's Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

Introduction to "Seminary: Undeclared" thread coming ...

«Previous   1 2 3