April 21, 2014

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. […]

Reviewing “What is an Average Size Church?”

Chaplain Mike’s post on small churches reminded me of one of the first posts I had made on Internet Monk in July of 2009. As many of our current readers may not have seen it, I thought it would be worthwhile to post again. Based on the last two surveys that were done, the numbers […]

The Dark Side of Small

In forsaking the ability to change, they diminish the capacity for hope. – Kathleen Norris I have often praised smaller churches. I continue to hope in the restoration of community life across the U.S. and the revitalization of neighborhood churches that will bring the Gospel back down to its proper human scale. But I am […]

What is Church?

Chaplain Mike declared in a previous post that he was a Liturgical Christian. I cannot say the same for myself. While I have a lot of respect for liturgical and sacramental traditions, my own significant spiritual growth did not come in a liturgical church setting. In fact, you could argue that it did not even […]

It’s a Small [Christian] World [in Canada] After All

Yesterday there was a list posted of 100 fantastic Canadian Christian women leaders. It was posted in response to a list of 101 [Mostly American] Christian Women speakers. The authors of both lists recognized their own limitations in creating these lists, and both agree that there are many other names that should have been included. […]

Sunday Morning with the Kranks

John Grisham wrote a book called Skipping Christmas, which was later made into the movie, Christmas with the Kranks. It tells the tale of a couple, Luther and Nora Krank, who decided to go against the established traditions of their suburban community and forgo celebrating the Christmas holiday. The decision got them into all kinds of […]

A Conference I Recommend: Slow Church

UPDATE: A great place to start getting to know more about Chris and his church is with his book, The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities. It describes how his inner-city congregation made conversation among themselves and with their neighbors a primary practice in the church. It’s available as a […]

MLK on the Church

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 20, 2014 Today, we present an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, written April 16, 1963. King wrote this in response to a public statement that had been made by eight white Alabama clergymen, who disapproved of Dr. King and his methods of civil […]