Matt Till is a lecturer of Christian Ministry and Communications at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL, lead pastor of Restoration Church in the Chicago suburbs, and a regular contributor to Ephesiology (ephesiology.com), an online community and podcast dedicated to the study of the early Christian movement. Follow and connect with him at matthewtill.com and on Twitter, @MattTill1.
How can the church remain culturally relevant while remaining distinct in its mission for a greater purpose? This week we bring you part 1 of a conversation about consumerism and its relationship with the church, both negatively and positively. In this episode, we begin the process of understanding how to speak the “native” cultural language of consumerism as people of faith and how it shapes our everyday life experiences through religious and non-religious liturgies.
In the second part of our conversation with Arman Sheffey, we learn about the #blacklivesmatter movement and practical ways we as people of faith can positively engage in the on-going conversations of racial injustice from a Kingdom perspective.
This week’s interview is with Arman Sheffey, a husband, father, and church planter in the Chicago suburbs. He shares his personal story with us and helps shed light on our current moment of “cultural awakening” to systemic racial injustice. Arman also helps answer the question, “Why is racial justice at the heart of the gospel message?”
Paradigm shifts in the faith community and in our religious systems are not easy, but at the end of the day, this is the Spirit’s work. In part 2 of our interview with Alex Whitaker, we’re on a search for God’s Kingdom; a journey that takes us to rediscover the message of Jesus. If you have been questioning your evangelical faith, been turned away from the church, or are feeling alone and disenfranchised, this episode is just for you.
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the Christian faith or you are a church member feeling a “holy discontent” wondering if there is supposed to be more to a life with Jesus, you are not alone. This week’s interview is with Alex Whitaker who shares his story of stepping away from professional pastoral ministry to explore what would become a rediscovery of faith and the beauty of seeking first the Kingdom of God.
How can we recognize when our children are struggling with stress and anxiety? How can we help guide them through our “pandemic moment” in healthy and constructive ways? In this episode, Matt interviews Stephanie Landon, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who helps answers these questions and more as we protect the other vulnerable members of our society – our children – by leading them well through crisis.
Waking up to a world you hardly recognize is disorienting, confusing, and tragic. As we continue to process through grief and loss in our global pandemic moment, there will continue to be competing voices of “reason” from our political leaders, religious leaders, social leaders, medical professionals, journalists, family members, and those on the fringes. So who’s voice will you trust and what next step will you choose to take to restore your life with meaning and purpose? In other words, how do we move forward and where should we put our confidence to do so in uncertain times?
This week we have an opportunity to learn from the past by hearing the words of Jeremiah to grieving exiles not unlike us. When there is no going back and “normal” has been significantly altered for the foreseeable future, where do we turn and who do we trust? In God’s economy, hope is never lost.
What is grief? How can we identify it in our own lives? And what can we do about it? This week Matt talks with Becky Feryance, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in our community. She’ll help us understand grief and discuss some helpful tips and strategies on grieving well in a season of loss and disruption.
Matt has an update on Restoration Church and announces new weekly podcast episodes beginning on Monday, May 18th! Tune in for the details and how Restoration Church has been adapting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Easter of 2020 will not be forgotten. It’s the year of significant disruption to our family, work, school, and the practice of our faith. What is typically known for large gatherings of Christians in celebration has been pushed into the quiet and lonely places of our home. It’s an Easter like no other, and the temptation might be to skip it, ignore it, or dismiss the prospects of a greater purpose in the disruption. However, when we lean into the moment, we discover the beauty of God and His mission in the world through the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The resurrection disrupts fear with hope-filled faith; a faith that sparks and sustains a worldwide movement over two-millennia (and counting).
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
Are you lacking peace of joy right now in your life?
What fears do you need to invite the presence of Jesus to disrupt?
How is the Lord calling you to actively participate in God’s missional-movement by extending forgiveness, grace, or restoration to the sick, poor, widows, orphans, oppressed, or sinners?