Welcome To Post-Adulthood?

This recent Washington Post article highlights an idea foreign to the majority of us living in Western culture. Dr. Bill Thomas contends, "...there is a 'third' phase of life beyond adulthood that can be as rich as either of the phases that came before." This idea has implications for the church - if only we have ears to hear.For those interested in nurturing spiritual growth and development throughout every phase of life, and some of those who work with aging populations, these words are m … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement: Church by Org Chart

The middle-aged man stood before our group of mostly thirty-something congregational lay leaders and announced with the kind of certainty that comes from being a paid, invited consultant, "80% of most congregations are comprised of people with the spiritual gift of helps."Our pastoral team had invited him to come to our church in the early 1980's to help us come up with a way to move forward after the resignation of the leader who'd launched the church during the Jesus Movement during the ea … [Read more...]

Can Two-Dimensional Non-Community Be Church?

In a world where many large Protestant churches livestream their services online, where both Catholic and Evangelicals/Charismatics have their own basic cable networks, why show up in person at a local church when you can watch a much slicker version of church on your computer or TV? Why show up at a local church when the "quality" of the worship service may seem like a low-budget version of old school TV talent show Ted Mack's Amateur Hour and the group dynamics scream middle school instead of … [Read more...]

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...]