How we failed to plant a successful church

Bec Cranford-Smith works at the Gateway Center in Atlanta. She is the site supervisor of  contextual education in partnership with Gateway Center and  Candler School of Theology. She is the pastor of Church of the Misfits.

 How We failed at Successful Church Planting  I sat with middle aged white men in a room decorated by someone infatuated with browns and oranges. The paintings seemed vaguely reminiscent of French vineyards and Italian streets, yet I was closer to crop dust, cotton and Crepe Myrtles in Macon, Georgia. The inquiry began after a couple of jokes and a word of prayer. I crafted my vision of the Church of The Misfits, sharing with conviction about contextualizing Christ to … [Read more...]

Holiday Serving: Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

What happens when we value others we are serving?

What can you do to help those who are experiencing homelessness this holiday season?It seems many people think about those less fortunate around the Christmas holiday.  As soon as the coffee shops roll out their peppermint latte, we instinctively want to connect with others.I don’t know if it’s ingrained in us as a civilization to come together during the Mid-winter around the light. Maybe it’s left over from our days of being agrarian; we needed the light to help us, and give us hope dur … [Read more...]

Diving Deep Into Urban Ministry


To continue the new arc we embarked upon last year at the 2014 gathering, Transform Network is partnering with Wesley Theological Seminary to offer a weekend of diving deep into urban ministry. … [Read more...]

To Change Everything, We Need Everyone


A year ago, Holly Roach and I were in New York City at the time of the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. This week, Occupy turned three, and this weekend, Holly and I will be in New York City again, this time to participate in the world's largest march for climate justice, the People's Climate March.We are going, because we are convinced that people of faith must act proactively and in partnership with other movements for positive social change if we are going to see … [Read more...]

Is Missional a redefinition of Evangelical?


Something I have been pondering suggests a potential pitfall for missional dialogs that repeat the pattern established by Evangelicals and their predecessors. As demonstrated by my friend Steve Knight and his networks, I believe this is a faulty assumption, but I am concerned about the direction the missional conversation might take.Is Missional another way to place the primary mode of Christian expression a 'bring them in for Jesus' end that Evangelicals have established?Or put … [Read more...]

Busy Show – Interviews with Richard Rohr, Fink & Holsclaw, and an Easter Explanation

It's been a busy week on Doug Pagitt radio. We spoke with David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw on their book Prodigal Christianity which calls for missional Christianity. Then, we had a chance to talk with Richard Rohr about his book Immortal Diamond. Tune in to hear Fitch & Holsclaw's explanation of missional Christianity and a Easter explanation for your kids from me.Listen here:Watch here: … [Read more...]

Poetry : Randy Woodley, The Haunting (A Tribute to Richard Twiss)

Richard, Randy, Terry, Jeanine, Asbury

Over the next several months I will be posting some of my poetry every Wednesday. Why? I feel like too many words are going out all around us with too little credence given them. It is difficult to hear through too many words, which often excuses us from doing. Sometimes a song or a poem can change the way we hear things or even change a life. For now, I'll keep my songs hidden and just share poetry. My poetry covers a wide variety of topics, all I feel are relevant to Emergence and the churches … [Read more...]

Return to a Theology of Normalcy or the Same Old Homogenous Imperialism? By Randy S. Woodley

It is coming….the signs of restored racism in our society are beginning to show… Increased hate crimes, record gun sales, White Male Supremacy is definitely on the rebound! It was precipitated by the organized resistance to the first Black President, (think Tea Party and the hijacking of the Republican led House). The Tea Party and their corporate donors have mastered the redistricting game and are now working on gerrymandering on a state level. They intend to win again and "they" mostly rep … [Read more...]

May Christmas be Filled with Mouse Poop and Camel Spit By Randy S. Woodley


In this cynical and snarky world in which we live, we are getting pretty good at diagnosing the problems in the world, sometimes even to the point of paralysis. We blog about them, we read about them, (many Christians today would like to read themselves into Heaven),we discuss what's wrong with the world and we even preach about them. Being informed is not a bad thing but it is often the only thing we do. Our Western worldview has come to equate knowledge with real spirituality. I would like to … [Read more...]

Heal Me: Why Tommy and the White Western Colonial Church? By Randy Woodley

I began this conversation I called, See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me as a challenge to the colonial Western Church to be more inclusive of ethnic minorities at all levels. Here are titles of the prior post:Intro to SeriesSee MeFeel MeTouch MeThis series has taken quite a turn of events and has spread to voices well heard and seldom herd, representing both dominant and minority ethnic cultures. Feelings have been hurt and misunderstandings have occurred. In spite of all the … [Read more...]