Practicing Privilege In The Local Church

excluded

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

old young eyes

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

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...]


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