Our Search for a Church is Over!

In March 2015, my wife, Susan, relocated to Denton, Texas from Naples, Florida.  Six months later I finished an interim ministry position in Southwest Florida and joined her. 70 Weeks of Searching  From late September 2015 through early February 2017 (17 months!) we embarked on a one of a kind journey I termed our "search for a church."  Despite our often conflicting professional travel schedules, we managed to worship 61 times in 36 different Mainline Protestant congregations within a Read More …

Search for a Church: Attending Membership Classes

Some days it feels like my family has been searching for a church for many years and other days it feels like the journey hasn't been long at all. It has been long enough to allow us for visits to three dozen different churches, including repeat visits to nine. The search has given us enough clarity to select two congregations to learn more about through participating in their classes for perspective new members. These churches, hereafter Church A and Church B differ dramatically. These Read More …

Sermon: An Opportune Time

Sermon Text: Ecclesiastes 3:1-6 Sermon Excerpt: A month before I graduated from seminary I started my first pastoral position.  I was one of the associate pastors in the oldest continually meeting Protestant congregation in Dallas, Texas.  My official job title was so long even I had a hard time remembering it.  It included elements of congregational redevelopment with an emphasis on reaching new people – especially those who were younger. For some reason people assumed that since I was Read More …

The Future Church (v.2020) – 10 Shifts

Over the last two weeks I have shared the top ten ways I hope the American church of 2020 will differ from the church of 2012.  The list builds on trends in church and the larger culture; is realistic rather than idealistic; and is guided by hope in rather than fear about the future. The list seeks to consider broad shifts within American Christianity rather than specific changes or changes more likely in some traditions and less likely in others.  Additionally, it intentionally Read More …

Review of Christianity After Religion

Meet the Author Diana Butler Bass is "an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture."  Currently she serves as a Chabraja Fellow with the SeaburyNEXT project at Seabury Western Theological Seminary.  Additionally, she has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. In the early years of this century she was the Project Director of a national Read More …