.An interview with John
Leaven for Living is a video
teaching series project sponsored by the
Sword of the Spirit and is aimed at
engaging Christians in their daily pursuit
of the Lord. Each teaching series focuses
on a topic that is meant to embolden and
encourage each participant. The series
consist of lively talk as well as a brief
reading from classic and contemporary
Christian sources. Participants receive
questions to foster personal reflection
and application of the teaching. These
questions and the course content can be
used individually, on the commute to work,
or you may want to go through the material
together with a discussion group.
During the Forty Days of Lent last year
(2017), the Sword of the Spirit offered a
weekly teaching video series called Leaven
for Living: Crushing the Serpentís Head.
This series focused on the victory of Jesus
Christ in the resurrection and was entitled, Crushing the Serpentís
In the following interview, John Yocum, who is
the organizer for the teaching series, tells
us what is ahead for Leaven for Living.
John, what is your vision for
Leaven for Living?
We want to offer brothers and sisters in the
Sword of the Spirit and beyond an opportunity
to hear strong, inspiring and formative
spiritual teaching from some of our leaders.
Our hope is that itís not only intellectually
informative and interesting Ė and we do aim
that Ė but also touches peopleís hearts and
impacts their relationship with the Lord.
You offered the first installment during
the 40 Days of Lent last year
(2017). How was that received?
Crushing the Serpentís Head had around
300 participants, and almost all of them stuck
with the course through all seven sessions. I
was surprised at the number who signed up, and
even more surprised at the percentage that
stayed the course.
We gave an opportunity for feedback after the
course and overall it was very positive. There
were enough critical comments that Iím
confident the responses were sincere. We also
had some helpful suggestions that I think will
help us serve people better in the upcoming
series. So, overall, I think it was an
excellent first run.
What plans do you have for expanding the
program in the future?
This past autumn (2018) we offered a
four-part series entitled From Glory to
Glory, Transformation in Christ, which
was taught by Dan Keating.
Beginning in December 2018 we are offering a
new series entitled, Our Salvation Born. This
is a weekly three-part video teaching series
that focuses on the the Incarnation of Jesus.
There is a profound reason why the feast of
Christmas has become so very important for
Christians. Its importance lies precisely in
the question of "who" this child is. It is
this question which opens up the great mystery
of the Incarnation. This series will start on
December 5 and will be given by Jim Kolar, a
gifted teacher from the Christ the Redeemer
Community in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. This
series is free and anyone can sign
up online by clicking this link.
Two more series are in the planning
stages for the upcoming 40 Days of Lent
(February and March 2019), and a future summer
series in 2019 as well.
Can people who are not in the Sword of
the Spirit participate?
Absolutely. Reaching a broader audience is one
of our aims. How can someone sign up for
Leaven for Living?
Simply go to www.leavenforliving.com.
[Dr. John Yocum is an elder in the
Servants of the Word and teaches at Sacred
Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, USA.]