Finding God In Earth, Water, and Sky

Experiencing God in nature is one of the prime targets of those who condescendingly dismiss the spirituality of people who identify as spiritual but not religious. Apparently it's superficial and narcissistic to find God in in the mountains or in a sunset. Or, it's not enough to experience such … Read more about Finding God In Earth, Water, and Sky

Tired of Being Insulted

Now that I've established some of my assumptions and interests, I'm beginning my "giving up church for Lent" journey wth Diana Butler Bass' new book, Grounded: Finding God in the World---A Spiritual Revolution. Bass' previous book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a … Read more about Tired of Being Insulted

Attractional Church No Longer Works

A major assumption behind this "giving up church for Lent" thought experiment is my conviction that attractional church models no longer work in post-Christendom. Church growth strategies designed to attract members with better worship services and programs have a limited return on investment … Read more about Attractional Church No Longer Works

Church Stockholm Syndrome

A few weeks ago I made a short video to propose an ignite talk for the NEXT Church national gathering happening in Atlanta later this month. It wasn't one of the five ignite talks selected, but the video has still generated some curiosity and interest. It is very much in line with my theme of … Read more about Church Stockholm Syndrome

Giving Up Church for Lent

I didn't grow up in a Christian tradition that celebrated Ash Wednesday or Lent. In fact, we were not-so-subtly taught that it was something strange or silly that Catholics did. (We were also not-so-subtly taught that Catholics were probably not real Christians.) But when I became a Presbyterian as … Read more about Giving Up Church for Lent

My “Secret Agent” Spiritual Guide

College was something of a crisis of faith for me. I was basically a fundamentalist when I left high school. After planning on a career in space physics and applying to schools based on this plan, by the time I needed to decide which college to attend I had felt a call to ministry that I could no … Read more about My “Secret Agent” Spiritual Guide

Managing Decline or Pruning the Tree?

Every mainline Protestant institution---churches, denominations, seminaries, publishing houses, parachurch ministries, non-profit organizations---has been dealing with decline for decades. Increasingly, this is becoming the norm for evangelical institutions as well. I routinely find myself in … Read more about Managing Decline or Pruning the Tree?