We caught up with Dean Heath in her first month at Duke to ask her some questions about her work, passions, and guilty pleasures as part of our Patheos 10+1 Interview Series , in which we ask the same 10 questions (plus one unique bonus question) of Christian game-changers and thought-leaders who are inspiring us today. What, in the broadest sense, is your work in the world? My work is to bring renewal to the church through higher education, so that the church of tomorrow can fulfill its missional vocation. What are you most energized by, professionally or personally, at the moment? Professionally, I am most energized by my new position as Dean of one of the top divinity schools in the world. Here I am privileged to work with outstanding faculty, staff, and students, to guide our institution to equip missional leaders for the church of tomorrow. On a personal level Im loving our new location, Spring Forest, which is an intentional community and farm in Hillsborough, NC. Our friends who lived in community with us in Texas, relocated so that the ministries of prayer and hospitality of our house could continue here in NC. We are delighted with our land and home, and the ways in which our home will serve as a gathering place for spiritual formation and friendship building in the years to come. Whats inspiring your work right now? The people who inspire me the most at this time are President Obama, for his remarkably centered, unwavering leadership over the past eight years in the face of many obstacles; Pope Francis whose leadership models in very basic, public ways, the practices of Jesus; and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose communal and prophetic experiment in theological education points toward our own day in which we must ground our studentsfuture leaders of the churchin spiritual practices of prayer, hospitality, and justice. All three of these leaders understand the power of genuine community, and the importance of integrity in the life of the leader.
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They compete for our jobs, our promotions, our attention. They need our help when they are painting, and it will always be at the busiest time of our week, on Tuesday afternoon. They are often those we are accidentally evading while gazing at images of others on Instagram with whom we are not presently present. They are folks whose breath we have smelled, and whose troubles have gotten on us. They are the very ones we are actively becoming strangers to while cultivating a football-field wide, but Saran-wrap deep acquaintanceship with others across the inter-webs. Phil Dunfee, on Modern Family, once had an epiphany about his wife Claire, whom he suddenly glimpsed in a new and stunning light. He reflects on how hard it is to maintain a certain adoring awe when you are in close quarters with another: Thats the hard thing about marriage, you marry this extraordinary person and over time you start to see them as ordinaryI think its all the nagging. But Its Nourishing Too! But for all that can so perilously rub us the wrong way about concrete expressions and requirements with the actual folks we encounter, it is also the avenue down which we walk to have unexpected collisions with the nourishing love of God. When we love each other, were reassured, Gods love is made complete in us. No wonder then that the Apostle benedicts with the wishful prayer that God may make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else…. There is a sweetness and refreshment our Lord intends, even in the loving of our most ardent enemies, that simply needs frequent multiplying. Lets pray wed daily see each person who comes across our path, whether a customer, spouse, or inconsiderate neighbor, as an assignment from the Lord entrusted to us to fulfill our communal vocation of doing them good with the resources that the Lord himself is brokering through us in real time, even on busy Tuesday afternoons. —– Eric Youngblood is the senior pastor at Rock Creek Fellowship (PCA) on Lookout Mountain.published here
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Eric Youngblood: Pettiness, Bad-Breath, And Embarrassing Tweets – Chattanoogan.com