Out To The Margins: Tim Fall

What does honest faith look like? If I head out to the margins, the places at the edge of things where our messiness and Christ’s forgiveness meet, I have the best chance of finding the answer to that question. From time to time, I’d like to introduce you to people I know who’ve followed Jesus out to the margins. You and I may not sign off on each of these friends’ choices or convictions, but I hope their stories will spur you to wander out to the margins yourself. (If you do, let me know who you … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Beyond Sunday Morning Church Attendance

Church is where you go on Sunday morning, right?Over 70% of those who've taken my informal survey reported that they attended corporate worship services weekly. At the same time, 42% of those who took the survey noted that they were less involved in the life of their local congregation than they were a decade earlier. Those who attend church aren't tied to the programming of the church as the focus for their spiritual lives like they once were.Those who have maintained or increased their … [Read more...]

40+ Adults And The Church / Outgrowing The Congregation?

Is it possible to spiritually "outgrow" a local congregation?It is not only possible, it happens more often than you'd think. One trend I saw in my poll of those over 40 was that a notable percentage of those who'd changed churches or decreased their level of "official" involvement at their present congregation did so because they'd grown past what the church offered.I've met precious few church leaders who believe that anyone could "outgrow" their congregation. Think about it. When was … [Read more...]

40+ Adults And The Church/An Update

Last week, I shared some preliminary results (here and here) and first thoughts (here) about what I was hearing from those who took my quick survey (here) asking those over 40 to reflect about their relationship with the local church. On Monday of this week, Dr. Scot McKnight highlighted the survey on his popular Jesus Creed blog (here). As a result of that exposure, nearly 400 people have now taken the survey. Because many Jesus Creed readers are church leaders, a few of the stats I'd reported … [Read more...]

My Teenager Made Me Finally Grow Up

New parents are often told that giving birth to a baby makes them adults. That 'round-the-clock responsibility for another human is a life-altering shift that pushes us into our next life stage. Responsibility alone didn't transform me into a true adult, but parenting a teenager did.You know you're an adult when you're at a crowded mall with your preteen daughter and debating what to tell her about the adorbs (her word), inappropriate (my word) outfit she's picked out. Is it…? [Read more] … [Read more...]

Pilgrim’s Road Trip #11 – Don’t Have To Live Like A Refugee

We live as exiles. We’re called to be pilgrims.I am journeying through Scripture chronologically, stopping at a few oases along the way, in order to contemplate our exile experience. I’ll also offer some helpful thoughts about how Christ can reshape that identity and reorient our journey so we live as pilgrims. To read earlier posts in the series, click here. * * * * * * * Tom Petty's anthem addressing a lover who clutched her past baggage like a security blanket and lived as though she was … [Read more...]

40+ Adults And The Church / Survey Results #3

Sidelined by loss. Pushed out by politics. Tired of doing, doing, doing. Invisible. Irrelevant.More time = greater availability to serve. Anxious to contribute. Longing to transmit the faith to the next generation.Mutually exclusive sentiments?Not when it comes to the relationship those of us over 40 have with the local church.A week ago, I posted a survey on the topic here. I wasn't sure if I'd get much of a response. I was hoping to hear from maybe 50 of you. As of this … [Read more...]