discipleship

10 Things the Church Can Learn from Community Theater

Dwayne’s brother played Snoopy in the Warren Players’ production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  It was his first musical theater experience since High School.  So, of course, being community theater geeks, they couldn’t keep Dwayne and me from making the drive to northwestern Pennsylvania to see the show this past weekend….

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What about a Biker Missionary?

Throwback Thursday a day late.  This is an article I wrote in September 2009 and was published in the October issue of “Connections,” the newsletter of New Covenant Presbytery.   I share it here, because this story will be featured in the fourth chapter of the book I’m currently working on, “Twenty-eight…

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Uncovering the “Rock” of Christ in Fluid Times

I have spent most of my spiritual discernment around the relationship of Christ and culture.  It must have started long before my bold request of the church council to play guitars in church as a twelve-year-old.  Was it questioning my grandmother’s understanding that getting sick is a result of our sin?  Was it…

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Shooting at Emmanuel AME: Time for Repentance

I want to make sense out of the shooting at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, SC. We want to make sense out of the things that shock us or disgust us or frighten us. We want to be able to explain the horror simply and clearly so we can “fix” it…

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Church: Keep it Real

This was the “General Presbyter” report given to the Presbytery of Monmouth on Tuesday, April 28. Sitting behind the communion table, waiting for the elders to bring the elements back to the table, I leaned over and whispered to the pastor, “I could listen to you preach every week … ”…

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Why I’m Presbyterian

I was born asking the question, “Why?”  My father tells the story of driving the three-year-old-me miles to the local electrical sub-station all the while tracing the wires from our house, because I asked “how come?” every time I turned the light switch on and off.  As a preschooler, I drove my…

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Spiritual Health Club

What if new member orientation in a church was more like an initial meeting with a personal trainer at a health club?  This is the question Reggie McNeal asks in his book, The Present Future (2003). Instead of dumping a packet of church club member stuff on them, why not interview…

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Going through the Motions

On Christmas Eve, I had the opportunity to worship with the Missouri Synod Lutheran church that I grew up in.  The sanctuary looked virtually the same as it did on December 24, 1970, the first Christmas Eve in that building.  The hymnals had changed color since then, but the liturgy…

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Congregations Insufficient!

That title makes me cringe.  One of the things you’ll hear me say over and over and over again is that the congregation is the heart of the church … the Church only exists through the work and ministry of it’s congregations.  As a leader on presbytery staff, this has…

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