What Kind Of Evangelical Am I?


(This post is part of the Patheos "Why I Am Still An Evangelical" conversation.)My four decades in the Evangelical world has been a pilgrim's road trip. I came to faith in 1974 in the waning days of the Jesus Movement, and have since swum laps in a variety of different streams within Evangelicalism: fundamentalist, second- and third-wave Charismatic, conservative and progressive non-denominational congregations, house churches, Messianic Jewish congregations*, and local churches with a … [Read more...]

Forced Out In The Name Of “Reaching Young Families”


***My friend A. was an old hippie who looked a little like Jerry Garcia (the old guy version) with grease under his fingernails. He worked at a body shop by day, and gave his nights and weekends to what he believed was his true calling: a musician who used his gifts as part of his church's worship team. He spent more than three decades as a rock `n roll version of David during his harp-playing days. He worked hard to stay current when it came to trends in worship music. His skills were stellar, … [Read more...]

Practicing Privilege In The Local Church

My friend B. had been a pastor for years before he stepped into the leadership of a parachurch ministry. During his work week, he worked and prayed with dozens of pastors and church leaders interested in transforming their congregations and communities. But on Sundays, he and his wife were invisible members of their own home church."It's not because I'm burned out from my work," he explained. "If anything, the work has energized me. I've offered to serve the pastoral staff in whatever way … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Listening To Millennials And Visa Versa

I've written a lot about the relationship between those at or beyond midlife with the local church. (Click here, here, here and here.) We Boomers and older Gen X'ers have shaped modern evangelical church culture. And many of us have grown increasingly disenfranchised from the very subculture we helped to create. While some have found fresh meaning and energy to serve in their second adulthood, nearly half of those who responded to an informal survey I ran on this blog a little over a year ago … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / The Sermon Zone


At a social event last weekend, I ran into C., a woman I used to know when our kids were young. C. and her family were long-time, active members of a well-known megachurch in our area. Her nest had been empty for a couple of years now. C. and her husband were in the midst of relocating from this area to more temperate climes, delayed only by the sale of a home that has languished on the market for many months.I asked C. if she was still attending the megachurch, and told me she and her … [Read more...]

Two Wildly Different, Strangely Similar Books Asking One Question: Who Am I?

jesus year

It's complicated.No, that's not a Facebook update on my relationship status.* Recently, I wrote a short bit as part of a group post for the Her.meneutics blog about the need to embrace complexity in our understanding of maturing faith. There's complexity, then there's the borderlands just beyond complexity. Those lands have names like Chaos, Confusion, and "It's Complicated".Recently, I read two books that captured the complicated nature of being a Jewish person in an Evangelical … [Read more...]

Come To The Table (Part 2)

Yesterday, I shared the first half of this fictional story about a once-powerful head pastor who lost his job in an ugly game of church politics. (Click here to read it.) While this story is based in the stories I've heard from those who've been beat up in ministry, it also contains the reason I have hope for those who've built a church or organizational culture around their big personalities and ambitions. When all of the artifice is stripped away - and stripping away is indeed the only way … [Read more...]