Can We Talk About Fasting?

Can we talk about fasting? When I was in college, two Bible professors at our school regularly told their students that they fasted one day per week. Another professor criticized them for this, saying that they were violating what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: But when you fast, put oil on your […]

Hope Network and the Power of the Interim Season

You know the feeling of that moment. You’re sitting in your usual seat. The worship period is just beginning. The elders move as a group to the pulpit. One of them steps forward with a paper in hand, and says, “We have an announcement to make.” Uh oh! What’s happened? What awful thing are we […]

November 2019 E-news from the Siburt Institute

Renewal begins: Another congregation’s journey In my consulting work with congregations I have the remarkable opportunity to walk alongside all sorts of churches. More and more often, the ones I work with are churches that recognize they are getting smaller and older. Recently I have had multiple conversations with leaders in churches that are preparing […]

Christian Ecumenicalism is Essential to the Future of the Churches of Christ

If you have spent any amount of time in the theological tradition known as the Restoration Movement, specifically in the Churches of Christ, you have probably been told that “church of Christ” exclusivism is a conservative idea. In other words, if a congregation or individual openly proclaims that everyone who attends worship somewhere other than […]

Is Our Focus on Paul Related to Our Lack of Focus on Fasting?

I made mention a while back that the word disciple is used nearly 300 times in the New Testament, all in the Gospels in Acts. The word is never used again after Acts. Meanwhile, the word “church” is used only a couple of times in the Gospels while it is used repeatedly in the epistles. […]

God’s Mission Requires Radical Prayer, Fasting

If your church is like mine, then you likely spent the past 25 years deconstructing the unhealthy elements of your faith. You slowly and painfully stripped away the toxic lies. A previous generation had taught a legalistic view of faith, and you needed to undo that. You finally realized that salvation was not dependent on […]

The Power of No

Fasting is a fascinating subject. When I bring it up in conversation or in a lesson, some have a knee jerk reaction and quickly say “there are no commands in the New Testament for us to fast!” I get it. That’s what I was taught, too. I agree that there is no explicit command and […]


Fasting is not a command but a privilege.  Perhaps the most familiar fast to the Bible student is that of Jesus in the wilderness.  He went without food for 40 days. (Matthew 4:1-11)  It was assumed by Jesus that his disciples would fast (Matthew 6:16-18).  The disciples of John the Baptist engaged in fasting and […]

HOPE Network: Mentoring Leaders. Guiding Churches.

Written by Grady D. King, D. MinHN Co-Leader His voice reverberated with frustration and weariness. As an elder for a declining church in a changing neighborhood, what are their options? Her voice quivered as she described the depth of her loneliness in ministry. As the children’s minister, she was isolated, does anyone care? Our elders […]

November Theme: Fasting & Prayer

My first exposure to fasting was in undergrad. I had to write a paper for a gen ed Bible class and I choose fasting. If it tells you anything I was stunned by how normal fasting is talked about in the Bible in general and the New Testament in particular but didn’t engage in the […]