The Church is on Trial

by Len Jennings

After posting the article – On Renouncing the Plastic, Cheaply-Fabricated, Celebrity-Style of Christianity – (re-posted on Churchleaders.com) a few months ago, a reader, Len Jennings, was inspired to write these song lyrics. I think it captures the essence of what I was trying to communicate in the short piece. If you haven’t read the article already, why […]

church

Learning to Follow a God Who Constantly Calls us Forward

Shaping New Ecclesial Identities Around a Fresh Kingdom Vision of the Future

God constantly calls us forward, never backward. We often want to go backward, but God is not there. God is always directly in front of us. God was ‘back there’ but is now ‘right here’ wooing us to himself and towards bigger and better things. The biblical story depicts this calling forward by God. God […]

God

Are Churches Replacing Presence with Atmosphere?

Have we become so proficient in creating ambiance that we have at times traded authentic presence for atmosphere?

I read this question in my Twitter feed a few days ago and knew the person was on to something. “Churches are replacing presence with atmosphere. True? I think so.” I have to agree – contemporary church gatherings have become very good at creating atmosphere and packaging it as presence. Contemporary churches have become good at creating atmosphere and packaging […]

churches

A Conversation with Leonard Sweet on the Future of the Church

leonard sweet

A Few of my Favorite Quotes From the Interview “Jesus is already in our future and he is inviting us to join him in what he’s already doing there.” “You grow a soul from the sound up.” “There is no artist in history that has painted Jesus singing.” “There is only one singularity that matters […]

Entertainment Fatigue

Are People Growing Tired of the Church's Glitzy Stage?

When a local church creates a culture of entertainment in an attempt to build a congregation, it will only be a matter of time before they begin to experience the negative consequences that emphasis will bring. Over the past number of years I have observed that when a church centers their congregational structure on an […]

entertainment fatigue

The Church of Me, Myself and I

Recapturing the beauty of community in an age of individualism.

We know that contemporary Christian faith is being largely defined as a private affair when, in the name of setting a mood and atmosphere for worship, we make our gathering places so dark that we can barely see those sitting next to us, let alone those on the other side of the room, all in the name of […]

church

A Few Days With Leonard Sweet

The Pacific Advance is an intimate gathering of Christian leaders from a variety of vocational and denominational backgrounds hosted by Leonard Sweet at his home base on Orcas Island, Washington. The event took place this year from March 13-14. For additional information about this particular Advance, as well as others, please visit Len’s website. Each […]

When Christians Engage in a Battle Over Words

Letting Go of the Defend and Conquer Mentality

The problem is simple – the church has developed a defend and conquer mentality, rather than a dialogue and conversation mentality. How do I know this? After years of working within the Church and writing about and for the Church. My perspective is not from someone on the outside, but from the inside. Someone who […]

defend and conquer

Worship is Like Monday Morning

From a Christian perspective, when I say the word ‘worship’ what immediately comes to mind? Music? Singing? Songs? Sunday? Worship teams? Lights? Dark auditoriums? Professional musicians? Set list? Worship practice? By no means is this list exhaustive, but I think it would be safe to assume that when many of us reflect on the term […]

worship

Redefining Holiness Jesus-Style

Transforming the World from the Inside-Out

When many of us first embraced Christianity, we almost immediately began to define our journey by the things we could no longer do. The words ‘not’, ‘do not’ and ‘cannot’ came to characterize not only our approach to our new-found faith, but the ways we lived it out as well. However, the more I read […]

holiness