‘Sweat Evangelism’ in Post-Christian America

I was on a bike ride a while back and I saw something that has become a cultural movement. In the center of town on the public lawn of the Transit Station/Parking Ramp was an outdoor fitness bootcamp happening. Now everyone knows that fitness is an American obsession these days. Gym memberships and fitness classes…

Chasing Lambs

“Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.” LUKE 15 I often begin my day with a morning walk with God at Gale Woods Farm near our home. Rolling hills, a wooded path, a lake and pastures with grazing cows and playful sheep are the background to this life-giving routine. Today as I was…

Pastor as Spiritual Midwife

A few years back I had to write a paper exploring an image or metaphor that describes my personal vision for pastoral ministry. Here’s what I wrote. (Note: Keri was pregnant with Abby at the time). “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” Gal. 4:19…

Going Green with Jesus

“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will reap a crop of my love; plow the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord. HOSEA 10:12 Jesus spent his entire ministry teaching one main message: Open your eyes and see a new way of being human available to…

Loosening the Helmet: Narrative & Communal Dimensions of Salvation

In this essay from 2004, I seek to expand our understanding of salvation emphasizing the significant roles of both narrative and community in one’s conversion. Many years ago, seemingly in a different life,  I found myself on a bus full of zealous Christians headed to a San Diego music festival to pass out gospel tracts on the street corner. Only after…

Move the Stone, Come Out & Be Unwrapped

I’ve been studying the raising of Lazarus recently. I love how a closer examination of a very familiar passage can reveal new spiritual truths. Here are a few little insights I’ve gleaned. First, this story is full of deep emotions and coated with tears, grief, loss and longing. Just think of the last funeral visitation you…

Leadership Axioms for Healthy Congregations

Here are some foundational leadership principles passed on to me related to ongoing congregational health and mission. How have these manifested themselves in your personal ministry? In your lay leaders? In your congregation? Leadership definition:  “Leadership is the process by which a man or a woman, guided by the Holy Spirit, influences a group of…

Stanley Hauerwas & the Church as God’s New Language

An old seminary essay from 2004. I was eager to probe the writings of Hauerwas and looking for an excuse to dig into my recently purchased Ante-Nicene Fathers collection. For a 24 year old, I think I was on the right track. “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.” (2 Corinthians 3:2…