Spiritual Growth Resources
Here are some articles and resources about spiritual growth from pastor Mark Brouwer. Mark is author of the Solid Foundation Journal, contributing author of The Christian Handbook of Abuse, Addiction, and Difficult Behavior and The Ministry Essentials Bible, and of the forthcoming Thriving Leaders: spiritual essentials for changing the world without wrecking your life.
- Five Spiritual Practices That Will Change Your Life — long article, with lots of quotes about five core spiritual practices that form the basis of Loop Church's vision.
- Some Thoughts about Ministry, Church, and Faith: Am I the Only One Who Thinks This? — something like a personal manifesto, outlining some of the questions that led me to a deeper understanding of the spiritual life, and different understanding of church ministry.
- “The Friendless Pastor” (from Leadership Journal) on why isolation is so common and dangerous for spiritual leaders
- “Interactive Preaching” (from Reformed Worship) on the experience at Jacob’s Well of having sermons with discussion
- Overcoming Overwhelm in Ministry – which led to further research, and eventually the book I’m finishing up now
- The Danger of Putting Spiritual Leaders on Pedestals – part 1
- The Danger of Putting Spiritual Leaders on Pedestals – part 2
- Is it Time to Remodel How We Live? – more background to the “Not so Overwhelmed” book
- The Work of Giving Spiritual Care and Direction — what is and why pastors so seldom do it
- Some thoughts about Race and Racism — some personal reflections about this important issue
- Thomas Kelly on Living a Centered Life, in the Midst of Busyness — this is the FIRST part of a very important article that outlines Kelly’s approach, with extensive quotes from him.
- Thomas Kelly on Staying Centered and Spiritually Connected Throughout a Busy Day — this is the SECOND part of a very important article that outlines Kelly’s approach, with extensive quotes from him.
- Contemplation, Silence, and Meditation are Christian Practices, and are the Need of the Hour — the title says it all. We must not cede meditation and contemplation to Eastern religions … it is part of our heritage, and incredibly important.
- What the World Needs Now: Mysticism — What mysticism is, and why we need it so badly in the church today.
Articles about Addiction and Recovery
- How to Deal with Someone You Love Who is an Addict — Short article on this topic, with information about the “prayer of releasing” process.
- How Memory Works, and How Memories / Trauma Are “Healed” — Important article about an important topic, based on teaching from people who have scientific understanding and credibility about this issue.
- Why Being "Normal" is a Ticket to Depression, Disease, and Addiction -- Core underlying issues that give rise to addiction are not just found in early family trauma ... it's important to critically assess how we are living today
- How to Tell if Someone is Really Serious About Recovery -- Stop being manipulated and misled by addicts in your life
- What Addiction and Recovery Taught Me About ‘Believing in God’
- Just Fix my Addiction, and Leave the Rest of My Life Alone! — Facing the biggest hurdle for many people in recovery from addiction — and many other problems as well — the fallacious idea that the problem is small and isolated … that it is possible to be “fixed” without changing other parts of life.
- Grief, the Essential – and often Missing – Ingredient for Recovery — This article talks about our tendency to deny grief, and how damaging this is to our emotional health, and to the recovery process.
The official website of the Christian Reformed Church of North America, the denomination with which Loop Christian Ministries is associated. The CRC is very active in the work of church planting, because it is the best way to reach new people for Christ. New churches are starting all over North America, reaching people from many different faith, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Christian Reformed Home Missions provides leadership for this work. Christian Reformed World Missions exists to glorify God by leading the CRC to respond obediently to our Lord's commission to witness to the good news of God's Kingdom and make disciples of all nations. The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee provides relief to those in need in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The Back to God Hour is the electronic media ministry of the CRC. Calvin College in Michigan is the official college of the CRC. Trinity Christian College in Illinois and Dordt College in Iowa are also supported by CRC churches and members.
Chicago Semester is an off-campus program rooted in the Christian faith. The program challenges students to integrate their personal, professional and public lives through internships, academic seminars and urban experience.
Loop Church seeks the welfare of the city in cooperation with San Jose Obrero Mission. There are many opportunities for engagement. Contact the church office for more info.
FaithStreams, a service of Faith & Values Media, offers hundreds of videos and articles on faith-related subjects. Information is available on different faiths, religious holidays, faith in relation to world events and news and how faith intersects with pop culture.