Five Elements of Church Error – The Unexpected Jesus (Part 1of 4)

Part 1: Were We Wrong About Jesus Being Wrong About Eschatology?Early in my journey to a fulfilled eschatology perspective, I had the question, “How could the mainstream church have been so wrong for so long about eschatology?” I asked the question this way, because I held to the presupposition that God wouldn’t let the faith I grew up in be in error about something as significant as the timing and nature of the coming of Jesus for “most” of history.I had the perspective that the majority … [Read more...]

Recovering Storytelling

Mobility is an ongoing issue, and church statisticians tell us that a church has essentially a new (not 100% new, but vastly turned over) congregation every 7 years due to individuals' mobility. The idea of being grounded in one geographic location will continue to change as people move and travel once again becomes both affordable and ordinary. For many of us who travel for business and pleasure regularly, distance of place no longer is viewed in the same light as our parents' and grandparents' … [Read more...]

We Go Up to the Mountains

I am blessed to live in a place where we can easily go up to mountains. Daily we can look on them and be reminded of how small we are and how mighty they are. Daily I can gaze at their beauty, take pictures of them in different light, see how they change in snow and cloud. Mountains are amazing. They make you remember the Creator and remind you to be amazed to see all that he has made.But I have also discovered that mountains are more than just something to observe. They are something we … [Read more...]

Stepping Away from Leadership Voluntarily

I have had, over the years, some interesting and deeply thoughtful conversations with leaders, primarily in the church, on the subject of leadership. Prior to my engagement with church leadership, I had experienced leadership roles in community nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and my career as a commercial banker.I believe that many leadership skills can be taught and enhanced through education and training, especially in workshop and seminar settings with other leaders … [Read more...]

Sit with me in the I don’t know

Does the weight of the world lie  heavy on your  shoulders most days these past few weeks?  I wrote many drafts for this month's blog post on topics such asmy first experience at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in support of a friend celebrating 6 years sober how mindfulness practice can quickly ease the inner voice of resistance my inspiring experience at the Transform Network DC conference on urban transformation.But ultimately, I've decided that the timing isn't right to offer my … [Read more...]

Why Busy Christians Need to Learn from Thomas Merton

The Catholic mystic Thomas Merton’s witness and wisdom can help those of us seeking to integrate contemplation and action today. Who would have thought that a cloistered monk, writing from behind the gated boundaries of the austere Cistercian order, would become a counter-culture hero, the “conscience of the peace movement,” as Daniel Berrigan called him, and a spiritual teacher to millions?Merton first published a spiritual autobiography narrating his conversion to Catholicism and the monas … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]

“You’re Only As Good As Your Friends”

Last night, Anthony Smith (aka Postmodern Negro) and I celebrated our 10-year friendiversary with an impromptu livestream conversation, recorded and shared here for posterity. During our hour-long conversation, we reminisce about the last decade of emerging church conversation, our local involvement in the Charlotte Emergent cohort group (which is still going, by the way!), and the power of friendship (among many other things, including the 15 books Anthony is reading right now!). As Anthony … [Read more...]

Apocalypse on all Our Houses… a guest post from Pamela Chaddock

From a 7 minute slideshow presentation given at Christianity 21 in Phoenix, 2015, by progressive religionist, Pamela Chaddock.The term ‘apocalypse’ makes me think of Tony Jones. Well, that’s because at last year’s Christianity 21 in Denver, Tony Jones inspired me with his talk about apocalypse. He dismissed the prevalent definition of “catastrophic destruction” for the original meaning – to “uncover, disclose, reveal”. Tony described the book of revelation as “a fulcrum or pivot-point between … [Read more...]

“Flipped” About Lent & Resurrection

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of lengthening, stretching ourselves, as we journey toward celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.Lately I've been thinking about an idea that has stretched me further, lengthened me. And, luckily, it has a roundabout connection to the Resurrection. So I'll share it with you.Last night my friend, and pastor, Doug Pagitt, hosted a book release party for his fantastic new book, Flipped:The provocative truth that changes … [Read more...]


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