Jump directly to the Content

The Year of Fear

How do we minister amid terrorist attacks, racial violence, and the most polarized election in memory?
The Year of Fear

I gathered a group of pastors for dinner, intending to discuss the changing landscape of ministry. But before we could begin, Jason Mann, one of my dinner guests who does campus ministry in Austin, Texas, looked at his phone and said, "My goodness! There's been a terrorist attack in Nice, France, just now. A truck plowed through a crowd of people, and dozens are dead, hundreds injured, maybe more."

We paused to pray for the people involved and their families, for justice and peace to prevail, and for ourselves as we sought to be faithful to Jesus while ministering in the wake of yet another tragedy.

Before our conversation could get underway, we had experienced part of the current state of the pastorate and the complicated role pastors are called to fill in 2017.

1. Recurring Violence

"I never imagined that, as a pastor, I'd have to continually help our congregation navigate what feels like an unending stream of public, tragic, violent events: Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Muscular Christianity or Fluid Theology?
Muscular Christianity or Fluid Theology?
Letting go of certainty and learning to flow with the future.
From the Magazine
An Alternative to the Bonhoeffer Option
An Alternative to the Bonhoeffer Option
Christians today can learn from WWII-era theologian K.H. Miskotte about resisting without resorting to political violence.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.