40+ And The Church / The Sermon Zone

sermon

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)

kitchen table

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...]

Come To The Table (Part 1)

pop tarts

Someone recently asked me who my blog readers are. It seems like many of them fall into two categories: those who've been wounded by the church and leaders of small/mid-sized churches. I told the person asking that I didn't think the two groups were all that different from one another in some core ways. The people in both groups love Jesus. They care at some level about what is happening in the Body of Christ. And each group is looking for some honest companions to share their pilgrim's road … [Read more...]

“The Church is the New Israel”: Ideas Have Consequences

olive tree

Professor Diane Leclerc of Northwest Nazarene University has a piece up on the Christianity Today website called "The Good News About Bad Churches". In it, she asks, "How, then, do we explain the seeming contradiction between what we believe about the church and what we experience in the church? Is it wishful thinking to proclaim the church holy? Are pain and heartache just inevitable?"She goes on to express the tension that exists between that grateful, forgiven kingdom behavior that should … [Read more...]

Is this my seat at the kiddie table?

kiddie table

Just in time for this winter's epic Polar Vortex to swoop into town this winter with its alternating gifts of snow and subzero weather, my husband and I decided it was time to figure out if it still made sense to make the hour and twenty minute round trip drive to attend our church on Sunday mornings. Rush hour traffic threw additional travel time into the mix on weeknights, which prohibited our attendance at other church events. No one else we knew at the church lived in our community. We'd … [Read more...]

Whose Gifts Are They Anyway?

gift

I grabbed a paper cup and pumped hot coffee into it just as I did each week before the Sunday morning worship service began. The coffee table in the lobby of the church was a hive of pre-service Sunday morning activity. As I reached for a lid to cover my cup of brew, I noticed a small, gift-wrapped box tucked just behind the trio of sugar containers. I picked it up and noticed my name penned neatly on a tiny gift tag. I glanced around me at the crowd filling their cups and greeting one another. … [Read more...]


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