Seminary President: Veer From ‘Either Or’ Thinking

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

veerCalvin Theological Seminary President Jul Medenblik cautioned pastors and church members in a recent email to veer from "either or" or" thinking during the ongoing days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Every church needs to develop their ministry in ways that fit their context and follow the unique calling that God has given them," wrote Medenblik, who served as a pastor for 16 years. "As I have listened to churches and pastors who are stressed by the challenges of ministry in a pandemic, I am concerned that many are confronting 'either/or' thinking.

"For example, those who are not ready to fully return to in-person church gatherings are sometimes labeled by others as "not trusting God enough" or letting the government tell us how and when we worship.

"Another example, if we cannot sing without masks at church, others might raise the concern that 'we are not following the Bible' or 'we are going to lose what it means to be church.'

"These words are real, life examples. Either/or thinking and arguing fails to develop common ground because it fails to really listen to others who may disagree. We live in divisive times. It takes work to listen and lean into relationships and it has only gotten harder to do so during this pandemic. As we continue to move into the challenges of working and ministering together, may we grow in connecting, listening and learning from each other. God certainly wants us to be His witnesses in this time and that means we see the value of unity which Jesus still prays for us."
Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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