“A Great Day For the Children of Indiana”

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We were honored to host a momentous occasion here at Englewood Christian Church today. Because of Daystar Childcare, our widely-recognized daycare, we were selected as the site where Gov. Mike Pence would sign into law, a new bill that provides state funding for Pre-Kindergarten.  As noted by Nicole Baker-Fulgham in her talk at the 2014 Justice Conference last month, Indiana was one of the last remaining states that did not provide any state funding for Pre-K. We were delighted to be the place where the journey began toward better care for the children of Indiana, and especially children of … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Go To Church

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There has been a lot of buzz online in recent days about the value of church attendance.  Initiated by a pair of posts by Donald Miller, ( The initial post... and the followup.), who bravely confessed that he rarely goes to church, Miller's posts were followed up by this piece on Christianity Today's PARSE blog, which dug a little deeper but had more of the feel of an expose, and didn't get to the heart of what seems (to me anyway) to be the crucial issues about church.I appreciate Donald's honesty -- and Brian McLaren's as well, in response to the PARSE piece -- and I have no interest … [Read more...]

From Frankenstein’s Monster to The Body of Christ

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 I have had several conversations over the last week that reminded me how little regard we have for the church as the body of Christ.In reflecting on those conversations, I began to wonder if Dr. Frankenstein's monster might be a fitting image for how we typically think of the body of Christ: a collection of parts, thrown together (and easily interchangeable) and animated by some external, mystical force like a lightning bolt.Having been deeply formed by the individualism of Western Culture, we are trained to narrate our lives primarily as individuals and to think of … [Read more...]

Slow and Local are Where We Must Begin.

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A Response to Jamie Smith...  I have a deep appreciation for Jamie Smith’s work.  His latest book, Imagining The Kingdom, will most likely be one of The Englewood Review of Books’ (of which I am the editor) best books of the year for 2013, and his Desiring the Kingdom was one named one of our best books of 2009.  And yet I can’t help feeling like the brilliant young philosophy professor has created a straw man in his latest blog post for Cardus: Knitting While Detroit Burns. This post is a response to Brandon Rhodes’s recent profile of Tacoma, WA’s Zoe Liveable Church on … [Read more...]

Meredith Gould’s THE SOCIAL MEDIA GOSPEL [Patheos Book Club]

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of The Social Media Gospel ] Slow Church and a number of related projects of mine in recent years have focused on the central themes of connection, community and conversation.  Given that all three of these themes converge online in social media, I am always eager to see what others are saying about churches and their use of social media.  Meredith Gould's book The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways is the latest in a loose series of recent books that explain social media to churches, and help them reflect … [Read more...]

The Virtue of Dialogue – Workshop Slides

Today I led a workshop for The Center for Congregations on the practice of conversation, based on Englewood's experience with conversation, and my book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press 2012).  The slides from that presentation are included below....I did make a rough audio recording of the workshop, so if that turns out to be listenable, I might also share it here.I've given a similar presentation to a number of churches and groups of churches. Contact me if your church would be interested in hosting such a conversation...  Download the Slides Here … [Read more...]

Animate.Faith: A New Kind of Christian Education

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of animate.faith ]I recently had the opportunity to review the new animate.faith curriculum from Sparkhouse, which is a groundbreaking effort to create a new kind of Christian education resource for emerging/progressive church communities.  The curriculum consists of a DVD with seven segments by respected teachers (and bonus segments consisting of interviews with the seven speakers), a facilitator's guide and a participant's journal.  While the DVD and facilitator's guide are essential to the curriculum, I tend to agree with Adam W … [Read more...]


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