Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

Sharing Laity Lodge: An Introduction

Part 1 of series: Sharing Laity Lodge
Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series
If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you know that I’ve taken a new position as the Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence for Laity Lodge, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas. One of my responsibilities in this position is to organize and facilitate retreats at Laity Lodge. During the school year I’ll be out in “the Canyon” where Laity Lodge is located once a month or so. In the summer, I’ll be out there for almost all of our retreats. When I am not overseeing a retreat, most of the time my fellow Director, Steven Purcell, will be in charge. He will take the lion’s share of the retreats during the school year as I focus on the broader responsibilities associated with my job.
In the last few weeks I’ve participated in two retreats at Laity Lodge: a men’s retreat for men from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin and a leadership retreat. During both of these retreats, I found myself wishing I could share with others what I was experiencing through the teaching, the music, and so forth. To be sure, part of what makes a retreat at Laity Lodge special cannot be experienced apart from being there. It’s impossible to convey adequately the sense of peacefulness, freedom, reverence, joy, and friendship that one experiences at a retreat in the Canyon. Nevertheless, some of what Laity Lodge offers can be shared through the Internet, and that’s what I’ll try to do in this series.
I expect I’ll offer different kinds of material in this blog series. Sometimes I’ll put up highlights from the speakers. At other times you’ll get, not descriptions of what I heard so much as my own responses. I may also comment on the musicians and artists, or on anything else that seems worth sharing with my blog readers.
Now you may wonder if I have a hidden agenda here: Am I really trying to get you to come to a retreat at Laity Lodge? Let me be clear from the outset: Sure! I’d love to have some of my readers participate in Laity Lodge retreats. I think what we do out there is fantastic, and I’d love to get more of my friends involved. In fact, several of the folk I have met at Laity Lodge in the last month have turned out to be among my “blog audience.” That’s been fun for me. But even if you never actually visit Laity Lodge, I hope this series will allow you to enjoy some of God’s gifts that are given so lavishly there. (You can find out much more about Laity Lodge at our website.)
I expect that I’ll contribute to this series occasionally. It will be of the “on-again, off-again” type. Chances are you’ll get more in the summer and less during the school year. But, who knows? One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the opportunity to start out on a literary journey without knowing exactly where it is going.
A Word from Lloyd Ogilvie
Last weekend’s leadership retreat featured Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, and my pastor and mentor for the last 35 years. In my next post I’ll say a bit more about what Lloyd shared in his four messages. Today I want only to highlight one his sentences, one that I’ve probably heard at least a hundred times, one that has had a huge influence on my life. Here’s the sentence:


“To be in Christ is to be in the ministry.”

The phrase “in Christ” is common in the letters of St. Paul. It describes the status, almost the location, of all believers in Jesus. If you are a Christian, then you are “in Christ.”
And also “in the ministry.” Now I realize that it’s common to speak of “the ministry” as that into which clergy are ordained. Only pastors, preachers, and priests are “in the ministry,” according to common speech. But Lloyd Ogilvie faithfully summarizes the biblical vision of God’s people, in which all Christians are called into and empowered for the ministry of Christ.
If you read my last series, Why Move?, you know that I first learned this fundamental biblical truth from none other than Lloyd Ogilvie, when I was fourteen years old. It has had a profound impact on my life since then, and is one of the main reasons I have joined the team of Laity Lodge. What Lloyd put into one succinct sentence lies at the heart and soul of Laity Lodge’s vision.
Oh, if only the people of God really believed that “to be in Christ is to be in the ministry”! How liberating this would be! How challenging! How transformational of individual lives, families, churches, businesses, and universities . . . even of governments and whole societies! Lloyd Ogilvie had more to say about the implications of this basic truth. I’ll summarize a bit further in my next post.

  • AZDean

    I’ve been making my way around TheHighCalling website and finally found your article here. It is helpful especially given your heartfelt plea in the last paragraph that we all understand and live what you learned from Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie when you were 14.
    I like the sentiment and I appreciate how much the people of God could indeed transform society if we lived this way, but I’ve recently been to two conferences with Lance Wallnau and he has a similar though different vision. His approach is that Christians take advantage of the spheres of influence they live and work in, not just to demonstrate Christ in us, but also to use God’s wisdom in what we do in those spheres. The examples he often uses are Daniel and Joseph. Even though they had minimal impact at converting the societies they lived in, they did have a great influence and were used by God.
    I’ve written up a report on these conferences that I’ve posted on my blog ( . If you have time, check it out.
    But thanks so much for sharing your heart. That truly helps me understand what you are doing and I pray God will be with you in all you do. And may Christ that is in you shine out to all you minister to — no matter where you are!

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Mark D. Roberts. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration ...

posted 2:09:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Conclusions
In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we cannot fully understand ...

posted 2:47:39am Apr. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that ...

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy ...

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with ...

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.