Review of Not a Fan

Meet the Author Kyle Idleman is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, which is the fifth largest church in America.  After attending Ozark Christian College, he did an internship at Southeast Christian, planted Real Life Church in Southern California, and then returned to Southeast Christian in 2002.  Idleman is the author and presenter of the award winning video curriculum H2O: A Journey of Faith and The Easter Experience. His first book,  Not a Fan: Becoming a Read More …

Sowhatfaith.com – The First 2 Years

Happy 2nd birthday to sowhatfaith.com!  Over the course of the last two years, a great deal has changed in my life and with this site. I have transitioned from full-time to part-time ministry in a local congregation transitioned from serving a Presbyterian (PCUSA) parish to serving one affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC) started working full-time for a university Sowhatfaith.com has transitioned from posting new content twice a week (101 posts in the first year) Read More …

What Kind of Disciple?

Scot McKnight, renowned New Testament scholar and professor of religious studies at Northpark University, wrote an article entitled "Full Disciple" in the February-March 2011 edition of Neue Magazine exploring the discipleship ministry of local congregations.  McKnight asks his readers, "What kind of disciple is your church producing (p.56)?,"  before suggesting that churches would benefit from aligning their vision with that of Jesus: For Jesus a disciple is someone marked by kingdom holiness Read More …

Review of Naked Spirituality

Meet the Author Brian McLaren served in pastoral ministry for twenty years as the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church.  In 2006, he stepped down from that role to devote his time to writing and speaking.  McLaren has written numerous books, including Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011),  Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (2010), A New Kind of Christianity (2010), and Everything Must Change: When the World's Biggest Problems and Read More …

Effective Worship Services?

John Ortberg is the Senior Pastor of the 4,000 member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and the author of multiple books on spiritual formation.  In the Spring 2011 edition of Leadership Journal, he wrote an article entitled "What Does God Think of Entertainment," in which he set forth his view on what a successful worship service looks like: The primary criteria for the effectiveness of a church service is not "holding people's attention."  It's not compliments after the service or growth Read More …

Toward A Christian Response to the Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s death has been a lead news story for the last several days.  Over the course of the week I have read a number of tweets, Facebook status messages, and blog posts commenting on the matter from a Christian perspective.  These reflections represent a wide range of theological beliefs, including a number that place United States citizenship above one’s place in the reign of God and sound quite unChristian.  In contrast, I offer the words of leaders from two of the mainline Read More …

Should Clergy-Scholars Lead the Church?

Donald Miller is the author of several books including A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing my Life (2009) and Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003).  To connect with him,  read his blog, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter. Earlier this month he posted, "Should the Church be Led by Teachers and Scholars?"  In the article he questions the centuries old norm of the church being led by clergy scholars who possess academic Read More …

Returning to Parish Ministry

After my first time away from parish ministry since the early days of seminary, I will be returning to that role effective May 1 when I  assume the role of Director of Adult Education at Naples United Church of Christ.  Some of my regular readers may be familiar with that name as I have written several times about my volunteer leadership experiences in this community of faith, especially in leading worship (i.e. sermon manuscript or other recent materials: 1, 2, 3, 4).  NUCC is a growing parish Read More …

A Year With the Sermon on the Mount

For the last few years, I have been studying the life and ministry of Jesus in an attempt to more fully answer the question: “Who is Jesus?”  A few months ago I wrote series of posts sharing areas of emphasis in my study of Jesus over the last several years: prayers, parables, priorities, and creed.  Recently, I read a blog that has led me to ponder the possibility of spending some time focusing on preaching.  That blog, "A Year With the Sermon on the Mount," encourages participants to make Read More …

Review of One.Life

Scot McKnight.  One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow.  Zondervan, 2010.  ISBN: 9780310277668. Meet the Author Scot McKnight is professor of religious studies at Northpark University.  He is a leading authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus.  McKnight has written over 20 books including The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (read how this book has influenced me), Fasting (read my review), The Real Mary: Why Evangelicals Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus Read More …