September 1, 2014

Meeting Jesus Through Community?

I am involved in a number of different communities. Some are communities of faith, but most are not. Now, this may sound like a cop out, but my primary way of introducing people to Jesus has been to introduce those in my non faith communities to my faith communities. Let me introduce you to first […]

Where do I belong?

I want to spend the next couple of Fridays talking about community. This week I want to focus on one way that you can find a church community that is a good fit theologically. I left the Plymouth Brethren in 1986 over a matter of biblical interpretation, with no idea where I would end up. […]

Outsider Lessons

Not long ago, I wrote a Wilderness Update post called, “Square Peg Syndrome,” which resonated with many people. Consider this a follow-up to that piece. Yesterday, I read a similar article called, “A Few Things I’ve Learned as a Christian Outsider,” by Benjamin L. Corey over at his blog, Formerly Fundie. He wrote it for […]

#1 Reason Why Church Attendance Is Down – Really?

No, the number one reason why church attendance is down is not pizza. I did think however, that the story of a fictional iMonk pizzeria might help us understand the flaws in the stated reason and proposed solutions that are detailed later on in the post. Imagine you are a neighborhood pizzeria owner.  As the […]

Lisa Dye: Succession Is For Us Too

Succession Is For Us Too By Lisa Dye “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” —The Nicene Creed I remember standing in my old Presbyterian church as a girl, feeling the cool stone floors under my feet and smelling the polished wood of the pews. I admired the gothic architecture, the stone interior, […]

Why I won’t be going to church Sunday

Last week, our pastor announced that we would be having a patriotic service on the Sunday of July 4th weekend. I won’t be there. Let me make something perfectly clear. I love my country, the United States of America. I have no trouble displaying the flag on appropriate occasions (though my wife, with her Mennonite […]

Where there is no Vision…?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .” – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Proverbs 29:18 may be one of the most misapplied verses in all the evangelical church today. Many a church leader has used it to spiritualize his strategies and blackmail followers into supporting his entrepreneurialism. Vision statements are cast. Mission statements are crafted […]

Church: Not Where We “Find God”

Geoffrey Hill: What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew seeking the heart that will not harbor you, that keeps itself religiously secure? – from “Lachrimae […]

Randy Thompson: The Church as a Hospice for the Dying

The Church as a Hospice for the Dying by Rev. Randy Thompson Forest Haven, Bradford, NH “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer I recently read an interesting article over at Christianity Today’s Parse blog on why the popular metaphor of the Church as a hospital for the sick […]

Lies, Damn Lies, and [Church Divorce] Statistics

While the phrase did not originate with him, Mark Twain once quipped, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics have always been an interest of mine, and it was my offer of statistical support for Michael Spencer’s “Coming Evangelical Collapse” that resulted in me starting to write for Internet Monk. […]