top3 for October 21, 2022

Before heading out for the weekend, here are three things that I’ve been thinking about this week. Hopefully they will be as helpful to you as they have been for me. Have a great weekend!


Thus, spiritual formation leads not to a proud understanding of divinity, but to docta ignorantia, an “articulate not-knowing.”

Spiritual Formation by Henri Nouwen

In other words…the more I know the more I know I don’t know. I have found this true in my faith journey with one twist. “Upon Christ the solid rock I stand” and everything else may we hold in such a way that won’t undermine or distract from our relationship with him. The articulate not-knowing, therefore, creates a powerful trust in the one who says that he is the truth, life and way.


There is all the difference in the world between power and coercion, power and force. I don’t think we preachers today have enough trust in the power of God to create a truly free-thinking person.

And God Spoke to Abraham by Fleming Rutledge

May we preachers always trust the Holy Spirit to work and trust the people of God to give themselves to the Spirit.


Neither was a particularly gifted or persuasive public speaker, nor an intellectual by training or temperament. Yet both were concerned with building disciplined communities of faith where members could be nurtured beyond the limits of simple conversion.

American Saint by John Wigger

One of the two persons described in the above quote is Francis Asbury. The more I read about Asbury the more I see someone to pattern my life and ministry after. The great contribution to Christendom by the people called Methodist is a nurturing beyond conversion, or as we say sanctification. That was Asbury’s focus. He spent his life being a conduit for the Holy Spirit to create places where people could find support, equipping, consoling and even challenge from God in the midst of others. He did it not out of a sense of duty but of compassion for a people that flowed from his joy in the LORD.

Of all the things he wasn’t, many of which seem to be required for leading (not a gifted or persuasive speaker, not necessarily intellectually curious or given to deep systemic thought) but God used him anyway. Faithfulness is more important than giftedness all day every day. In fact, I wonder how often our talent or giftedness hinders God’s work instead of helping it. How often have I depended on my “talent” instead of the Spirit at work? Not sure the number of times that has been the case, but I am sure that I was standing in God’s way instead of being helpful to God when it happened.