GP Spring19 questions tag

 

GP Spring19 questions title

 

1. Name one or two key factors that prompted the original idea for this book. 

Love Like That is the result of a long quest. I’ve written several books on relationships over the years, but I’ve always known that truly successful and healthy relationships are the result of loving like Jesus (see John 15:12 and Ephesians 5:2). The bar for doing so, however, seems so high. Can anyone really do this? We all fail in our attempts to love like Jesus, but if we follow Christ we keep trying. So, I wanted to know how to do this on a very practical level. How can loving like Jesus become more doable? 

That question became a personal quest. Love Like That is a result of what I’ve learned in my years of seeking a practical answer. I feel compelled to share it. Love Like That is my attempt to put the cookies on the bottom shelf and make it easier for Christ-followers to love family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers more and more like Jesus.

 

2. If you have to list three key takeaways from this book you would like for the reader to experience, what would they be? 

The biggest takeaway is this: Loving like Jesus is more obtainable than you might imagine. I actually give readers five real life takeaways (one in each of my five chapters). 

If you want to love like Jesus, you’ve got to: 

*become more mindful—less detached 

*become more approachable—less exclusive 

*become more grace-full—less judgmental 

*become more bold—less fearful 

*become more self-giving—less self-absorbed 

 

Is this an exhaustive list of how Jesus loved? Of course not. It is a way to get an earthly handle on this heavenly ideal. Time and again, Jesus demonstrated these five qualities and spoke about them. These are doable. I dedicate a chapter to each one and show why it matters and how to do it in your everyday life. 

 

3. Do you have a favorite passage or chapter in this book? 

 

That’s easy. The title of the book comes from Ephesians 5:2 (MSG) where Paul says: “Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” This is the hub of the wheel. If we don’t continually hone our ability to love like Jesus, we are missing the point—and missing out on everything our relationships were meant to be. 

So that’s my favorite Bible passage that I reference in the book. The first paragraph of the book is also among my most favorite. I get a lot of kind feedback on it, and it’s probably the most vulnerable writing I’ve ever done. I’ll leave it to you to see why. 

 

4. In what specific ways can this book equip, encourage, and/or instruct ministers? 

 

A minister I deeply respect reviewed the manuscript early on. The first thing he said was, “This book is an ideal preaching series.” He and others encouraged me to create a church kit for this book with everything a minister needs to do a Love Like That church campaign: 

 

Six complete sermon transcripts and outlines 

Compelling screen graphics and bumpers 

Promo video 

Social media graphics and campaign plan 

Small group curriculum with leader guide 

Bible reading plan and devotional 

 

I’ve never done this with any of my other books, but this felt like a natural. My hope is that many ministers will use these tools to help the people in their care discover how doable it is to love more and more like Jesus. Pastors can learn more at LoveLikeThatBook.com. 

 

5. If you were sitting beside the reader, what portion of the book do you feel you would want them to spend extra time on? 

 

To be honest, I would have to say the appendix of the book. After they spend time in five chapters that take a deep dive into the five practical ways to love more like Jesus, in the conclusion—and even more in the appendix—I help the reader come to terms with the fact that we will never truly love like Jesus until we fall in step with the Spirit of Jesus to love others through us. 

In other words, we don’t do the loving alone, the Holy Spirit (the Friend, as Jesus said), helps us love others. This can seem mystical and abstract to many of us, but this is the keystone habit that empowers the other five other habits I have written about. When we fall in step with the Spirit, we don’t have to make nearly as many decisions to become more mindful, approachable, grace-full, bold, and self-giving. We become more attuned to the Spirit’s voice, and loving like Jesus becomes more and more of a daily habit. 

 

GP Spring19 review tag

 

GP Spring19 parrott review title

 

This is a book for those who have felt like failures, for those who desperately want to follow Jesus and yet have fallen short of his selfless love. It is a book for those who keep pressing on, putting one foot in front of the other as they learn what it looks like to love like Jesus.GP Spring19 parrott review graphic


Dr. Les Parrott, #1 New York Times bestselling author, has written a book in which he reveals five practical ways to love like Jesus in your day-to-day relationships: as a parent, spouse, friend, coworker, neighbor, and more. Parrot calls his five practices “secrets” because he believes most people, when thinking about loving like Jesus, only think of big sacrifices, and underestimate  the small, ordinary ways in which we are called to practice the cruciform life.


Parrott believes that loving like Jesus looks like these five practical habits: mindfulness, approachability, graciousness, boldness, and selflessness. Research has shown that truths make their way from our heads into our lives when we discuss them with others, contemplate them, reflect on them, and begin an intentional practice. Therefore, Parrott provides self-reflection quizzes and a number of discussion questions at the end of each chapter.


Parrott’s book is simple, but convicting.In his chapter on being mindful, he challenges the reader to set aside his or her own agenda to really tune in to others. He states, “Even if your personal agenda seems holy and righteous, you may need to set it aside if you are to be loving” (p.17). In outlining the practice of being approachable, he challenges readers to notice where they might be setting themselves above others in pride and provides ideas for practicing humility in daily interactions.


Parrott’s chapter on grace addresses judgmental attitudes and the fallacy of salvation by works and then offers the reader practical ways to receive a life-altering grace from God in order to extend that same grace to others. When writing about boldness, Parrott dares readers to be kind to others by being clear with them and to be honest, courageous truth-tellers who are vulnerable and authentic in their relationships.


In his chapter on self-giving, Parrott defines loving like Jesus as emptiness and self-denial. He urges readers to pick up the practice of empathy and insists through empirical data that when one lives for the other then one is truly happy as God is happy and holy as God is holy. He states, “When you imagine what life must be like in the other person’s skin, you change. Empathy shapes you. It fashions a heart that is more closely aligned with Jesus” (p. 148).


Finally, Parrott makes clear that all of these practices are possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His power at work in a person’s life. He urges readers to daily make space to be breathed up into the loving life of the Triune God in order to breathe back out that love of God to others.


Though Parrott is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, a licensed psychologist, researcher, and professor, this is not written as a textbook for graduate students or a study guide for professionals in the helping field. His book is written in a you-took-your-pastor-to-coffee-and-asked-what-it-looks-like-practically-to-follow-Jesus tone, yet he provides dozens of studies, research outcomes, neurological insights, scientific findings, and quotes from a myriad of sources.


Parrott is scholarly, does his exegetical homework, and at the same time, he brings it all to where the “rubber meets the road” in his conversational tone and his delivery of specific and immediate ways to practice loving like Jesus. This book with its powerful but simple message would be a great resource to use in book studies, small groups, and teaching and discipleship circles.

 

GP Spring19 parrott review author

 

Managing Editor Charles W. Christian talks about the relaunch of Grace & Peace Magazine as a quarterly resource for Nazarene clergy.

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Nazarene clergy reading one entire issue of Grace & Peace receive one Lifelong Learning Hour. Sign up or login to the Lifelong Learning Registry (www.learning.nazarene.org) to report your participation in this learning activity.

Economic Summit

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Nazarene Theological Seminary hosted an Economic Summit, which was also sponsored by Pensions & Benefits USA and the USA/Canada Region. The theme, “Funding Clergy and the Church in the New Millennium,” featured a panel discussion and other presentations (which are below).

The State of Clergy Financial Wellness

The State of Clergy Financial Wellness

by Dale Jones, Director, Nazarene Research Services
8 minutes, 9 seconds
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Can the Church and the Minister Afford Each Other?

“Can the Church and the Minister Afford Each Other?”

Featured speaker: Molly Marshall, president and professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary
46 minutes, 6 seconds
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Panel Discussion on Nazarenes and Giving

Panel Discussion on Nazarenes and Giving

Panelists: William Sawyer (Moderator), J. Clif Christopher, Dan Copp, Jerry Kester, Megan Pardue, Carla Sunberg, and Don Walter
54 minutes, 32 seconds
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Competing Is NOT a Dirty Word

“Competing Is NOT a Dirty Word”

Featured speaker: J. Clif Christopher, author and CEO of Horizons Stewardship Company
74 minutes, 22 seconds
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Grace & Peace Magazine Video Story

Angels Unaware

Angels Unaware

When Antioch First Church of the Nazarene struggled to cope with an aging building and other challenges, they found a creative solution that has revitalized their congregation.
5 minutes, 1 second
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Theology Conference

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nazarene pastors, scholars, and students from across the United States and Canada gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, at Nazarene Theological Seminary for a three-day USA/Canada Theology Conference. The conference’s theme was “The Pilgrim People of God Living in Exile.” Full conference papers are available at http://didache.nazarene.org. The conference was sponsored by Nazarene Theological Seminary, Global Clergy Development, and the USA/Canada Region.

You Cast Me Into the Depths

You Cast Me Into the Depths

Sermon that opened the theology conference by Scott Daniels, senior pastor, Nampa College Church of the Nazarene.
47 minutes, 58 seconds
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Session 1: Peril & Promise of Exile - Biblical Narrative Speaking to Us Today

Session 1: Peril & Promise of Exile - Biblical Narrative Speaking to Us Today
Session 1: Peril & Promise of Exile - Biblical Narrative Speaking to Us Today - Panel Response

Presenters: Tim Green & Roger Hahn
Panelists: Dean Flemming (moderator), Sarah Derck, Steve Green, Albert Hung, Stephen Riley, and Sam Vassel

Video 1: 32 minutes, 41 seconds
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Video 2: 50 minutes, 8 seconds
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Session 2: Life in Exile - Ministry in a Changing Culture, within Changing Congregations & the Challenge of Leadership

Session 2: Life in Exile - Ministry in a Changing Culture, within Changing Congregations & the Challenge of Leadership
Session 2: Life in Exile - Ministry in a Changing Culture, within Changing Congregations & the Challenge of Leadership - Panel Response

Presenter: Kathy Mowry
Panelists: David Wesley (moderator), Tim Crutcher, Eddie Estep, Greg Garman, Roberto Hodgson and Simone Twibell

Video 1: 27 minutes, 40 seconds
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Video 2: 49 minutes, 10 seconds
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Session 3: Being the Pilgrim People of God - Called to Identity, Mission & Ministry

Session 3: Being the Pilgrim People of God - Called to Identity, Mission & Ministry
Session 3: Being the Pilgrim People of God - Called to Identity, Mission & Ministry - Panel Response

Presenters: Tim Gaines and Shawna Songer Gaines
Panelists: Tom Noble (moderator), Jay Height, Diane Leclerc, Steve McCormick, Mark Quanstrom, and Montague Williams

Video 1: 27 minutes, 48 seconds
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Video 2: 50 minutes, 13 seconds
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Session 4: Forming the Pilgrim People of God - Practices of Discernment and Formation for and with Congregations

Session 4: “Forming the Pilgrim People of God - Practices of Discernment and Formation for and with Congregations”
Session 4: “Forming the Pilgrim People of God - Practices of Discernment and Formation for and with Congregations” - Panel Response

Presenter: Dan Boone
Panelists: Ian Fitzpatrick, Brannon Hancock, Janine Metcalf and Brent Peterson
Moderator: Rebecca Laird

Video 1: 26 minutes, 58 seconds
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Video 2: 61 minutes, 38 seconds
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Friday, September 30, 2016

Session 5: “Preparing Leaders for Exile & Pilgrimage - Formation for Ministers & Laity

Session 5: “Preparing Leaders for Exile & Pilgrimage - Formation for Ministers & Laity”
Session 5: “Preparing Leaders for Exile & Pilgrimage - Formation for Ministers & Laity” - Panel Response

Presenter: Gordon Smith
Panelists: Ron Benefiel (moderator), Susan Carole, Jesse Middendorf, Jeanne Serrao, and Brian Wilson

Video 1: 32 minutes, 20 seconds
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Video 2: 56 minutes, 36 seconds
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Session 6: “Thy Kingdom Come” – A Panel Discussion

Session 6: “Thy Kingdom Come” – A Panel Discussion

Panelists: Dan Boone, Tim Gaines, Shawna Songer Gaines, Tim Green, Roger Hahn, Kathy Mowry and Gordon Smith
62 minutes, 5 seconds
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God's Pilgrim People - Closing Worship

God's Pilgrim People - Closing Worship – Sermon by Carla Sunberg, president, Nazarene Theological Seminary
29 minutes, 40 seconds
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