"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
In Meeting God at the Boundaries: Cross-Cultural–Cross-Racial Clergy Appointments (2003), Lucia Ann McSpadden offered a penetrating analysis of the struggles as well as the joys and opportunities experienced by persons engaged in cross-cultural–cross-racial ministry in The United Methodist Church. Soon after the book was published, it became apparent that a volume was needed that would offer the various individuals and groups involved in this ministry hands-on, practical understanding, skills, and competencies for serving in cross-cultural–cross-racial ministry.
Meeting God at the Boundaries: A Manual for Church Leaders fills that need. It provides succinct summaries of the basic concepts and competencies in cross-cultural–cross-racial understanding and communication. It then offers practical exercises and tools for equipping key leaders and groups involved in this ministry—clergy, their spouses, and families; staff-parish relations committees; district superintendents and bishops—to carry out this ministry effectively and faithfully.
Produced by the General Board of Higher Education In Ministry.