40+ And The Church/Practicing In Community

tree

"I wonder what the average age is of the group in this room."Author and pastor Ian Morgan Cron scanned the group gathered in the chapel at Willow Creek last Sunday night for the experimental gathering dubbed The Practice. He was there to speak about, then lead us in communion. While there were a good number of twenty- and thirty-somethings representing, the crowd definitely skewed to older Gen X'ers and Boomers. Probably because there is no childcare or children's programming available at … [Read more...]

Interview: Marlena Graves/A Beautiful Disaster

graves cover

One of the first things that struck me about Marlena Graves' writing was how very grounded she was. She could provide great analysis about disturbing cultural trends while at the same time managing to point her readers in the direction of the Jesus she loved. We'd first connected several years ago via our contributions to Christianity Today's popular Her.meneutics blog. (Click here to have a peek at some of the topics Marlena has tackled for the site.) She has written about tough topics ranging … [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...]

Midlife Discipleship: Show Me Your Endurance

running

What do those in the second half of their lives tell the big "C" Church about the kind of faith that endures? I'd like to suggest that those at midlife and beyond have something important to teach all of us about "marathon faith": And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)  While many of us may know a wise older person who serves as a titled leader or ad hoc spiritual mentor in a congregation, I am … [Read more...]

“Is It Enough?”: What A 93 Year-Old Taught Me About Regret

walker

I worked as a paid caregiver for two years. I ran errands, shopped, prepared meals, organized a few closets and pantries, did some housecleaning and provided companionship for some elderly clients trying to stave off checking themselves in to a care facility. All showed me something of the fragility of life, especially as our aging bodies begin to act in ways that our will never intended.  93 year-old Mrs. H, who I visited twice-weekly for nearly a year, showed me the nature of the kinds of … [Read more...]

Review: Broke

broke

When I talk about money with others, the conversations tend to head in one of two directions: either toward Dave Ramsey-type personal finance issues or toward anxiety-tinged discussions of general economic trends, like dim job prospects for recent grads or the real estate meltdown.The conversation I wish I were having a little more frequently with others is the kind of conversation Caryn Rivadeneira is having with readers in her newest book, Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About … [Read more...]


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