Deconstruction is not a trendy choice; it’s a survival technique.
Ten Warning Signs your Church Culture is Rotten
One of the common refrains we hear when a church implodes is “I just didn’t know.” Sometimes that ignorance is willed or a legal cover, but for most folks, I think it’s true. Even plugged-in participants, church-rats, and lay leaders are just unaware of what a church in trouble looks like. Here’s 10 warning signs […]
Disenchanted with Disenchantment: “What World are They Living in?”
We are living in a liminal moment, a moment in which we are crossing the threshold from a familiar space to one unfamiliar. For too long we’ve acted as if we are simply passing between rooms in the same house, of similar dimensions and made of the same materials. Rooms only differentiated by furniture easily […]
A Response to Carey Nieuwhof: Get to Know the Dones
Carey Nieuwhof does not understand the Dones, i.e., those who have enough of Christian community and leave. Or maybe he’s only talked to the most vapid, shallow, and inarticulate of the bunch. Or maybe Carey Nieuwhof just built a straw man he could work over on his blog with no challenge. But something went really […]
When the Pastor Wants to Die: My Story of Hurt and Healing this Mental Health Awareness Month
I have started and stopped this piece more times than I can count. The words have been hard to come by and I’ve asked myself so many times if the vulnerability is worth the risk. It is. I’m done with the silence. I’m done with the fear of judgment. I’m done with the shame. And […]
What Transgender Bans tell us about High School Athletics
We’re hearing a lot about “fairness” these days. State legislatures are voting on bills that would ban transgender students from participating in sports that correspond to their understood (and not birth certificate assigned) gender identity, all in the name of “fairness.” We’re learning a lot about these legislators’ pitiful, if not willful, ignorance around the […]
Is the Vaccine a Sacrament?
I’ve been volunteering at COVID vaccination sites these last few weeks, but yesterday, I volunteered alongside someone who has me thinking about the vaccine differently. She was vaccinating people, and I was disinfecting clipboards But just a little over a year ago (before the virus shut down in-person worship) she was holding the cup, and […]
Calling or Culling? What’s Happening to Our Pastors?
Several months ago Thom Rainier reported that the majority of pastors his company works with were in the process of leaving their churches. Twenty twenty had proven a gauntlet too tricky to run for too many. As of today, I know of 4 pastors – just in my immediate orbit – currently in painful situations […]
Wounding Churches,“Wounded Resistors”
What I’ve Learned Since my Last Post Since my last post, we’ve had so many of you reach out and express your love and support for our family. Some of you have also reached out in vulnerability to share with us your own stories of “church hurt.” We are humbled and grateful for all the […]
Dear VOA – My Last Weekly Note
Friends, This is not how any of us hoped this would turn out. I am writing to you from home with emotions and memories swirling around me. I’ve heard from many of you experiencing the same. Though my employment status may indicate otherwise, this is my last weekly letter to you as your pastor. There […]