In this episode, I interview Chris Staron, host of the Truce Podcast. We discuss the effect wealth inequality has on the church--how it makes wealthy people's voices heard while others may get drowned out, how it pressures pastors and churches to cater to what wealthy people want, how it has the potential to make the church complicit in injustice, etc. We discuss what the church can do to protect against this, as well as how to think Christian-ly about those who are ultra-wealthy (especially when they do things to oppress others).
In Churchthink's first interview episode, Dave Ebert and I discuss how to love God, ourselves, and others through depression. We discuss signs that other people are depressed and how to help them, ways the church can help depressed people, and we encourage anyone who is struggling to take a brave step and reach out to someone. If you are depressed or you know someone who is or you just want to know more about depression and how to help people who struggle with it, you will be blessed by this episode.
More about Dave Ebert:
Dave Ebert is a credentialed minister, improviser, improv coach, speaker, and host of the Gifts for Glory Podcast, a show featuring testimonies of faith and how the guests are using their gifts for God's glory. Dave rededicated his life to God in January 2013, and shortly thereafter he relocated back to the Chicago suburbs where he's spent the last 8 years using his gifts for God's glory. He founded the Well Versed Comedy improv ministry team in 2013 and has been performing clean comedy all over Chicago-land since. Since 2018, Dave has been using his passion for God and comedy in teaching improv to sex trafficking survivors. Dave has a passion for using the healing power of God-honoring comedy.
Dave Ebert (Acting/Speaking/Improv Coaching)
Gifts for Glory Ministries
Well Versed Comedy
The amount of mental health issues and loneliness in America is concerning. There are many factors that contribute to this, but one big one that I rarely hear discussed is city design. We live in isolated bubbles, much too far away from others to walk or bike to them. This decreases the amount of human interaction we get, and it degrades the quality of our human interaction. If we want mental health and loneliness to improve, we have to redesign the places we live in.
(This is the audio from a video I made for my FB page Mishpat and Tzedakah). The American definition of justice is generally punishment or legal consequences. But I don’t think that’s the Bible’s definition. If we aligned ourselves to the Bible’s definition, we could make a massive positive change in society.
American cities are, in general, very spread out. We have to drive to do almost anything. But what if urban/suburban sprawl contributes to loneliness and other social woes? Wouldn’t it be in the church’s interest to advocate for change? Yet how many pastors are addressing this?
The proliferation of opinions on the internet is overall a good thing. But its upside is its downside: anyone can use it. That means some Christian content, while it may have a large following, isn’t very good.
Church attendance among millennials has declined, and research suggests they won’t just come back, even if they have kids. What can churches do to get millennials in church? The answer may just change how we do church.
Many American churches focus on growth. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t also have a vibrant community, it makes close-knit community harder. Churches should consider focusing instead on developing a close-knit community, because this will foster better discipleship (and also alleviate America’s loneliness problem).
If you want to understand any work of literature, you need to understand its historical and cultural context. The Bible is no different. However, American evangelicals hardly discuss the Bible’s context. Put simply, if we did, we’d understand the Bible—and God—better.
What most evangelicals mean by the word “gospel” is the following: Jesus lived a perfect life, died the death we deserve, and rose again so anyone who trusts in Him will go to heaven. That’s not wrong, but I think what Jesus meant was so much more.
There’s a lot of mud slinging nowadays, even in the church. Is this a constructive approach—one that will actually get everyone to consider all sides of the argument and make a more informed decision? Or will it only generate hostility?