Search for a Church 2.0 – Pastoral Transitions

In April 2018, my wife and I started what I've been calling Search for a Church 2.0.  We visited five congregations by May, and another five by June.  By August we expanded our visiting to include three more congregations.   Over the last several months we've focused our time in just a few of these congregations. Pastoral Transitions During our nine month search, three of the thirteen congregations have undergone or announced that they will soon undergo a change Read More …

Search for a Church 2.0: Taking a Detour

The first few months of our search for a church went according to plan.  Each week we visited a new congregation until we had visited all 10 that were on our short list of prospects (check out First Five Visits and Five More Visits). Next Steps After these ten experiences, we narrowed the possibilities down to three congregations.  Our plan was to visit each of these again multiple times, and to begin to connect in ways beyond worship in each of these communities of faith.  Ideally, by the Read More …

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 …

Choosing a Church – New Research

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released a report titled "Choosing a New Church or House of Worship: Americans Look for Good Sermons, Warm Welcome." (I encourage you to read the full report or the associated detailed article about the findings.) It's Personal This new report is incredibly valuable to me for both professional and personal reasons.  Professionally, I have served eight Mainline Protestant congregations in a variety of roles.  Personally, my wife and I have been searching Read More …

Mid-Year Update – Popular Posts

According to Google analytics statistics for So What Faith (based on view counts from January 1 to present) Most popular blog posts published in 2016 Search for a Church: 9 Months & Counting (May) Mainline Members – Political Leanings (February) My 2016 Search for a Church (January) Reflections on Average Worship Attendance (February) Top Religions by State (January) View from the Pew: 12 Sacred Spaces (June) Most popular posts so far in 2016 (regardless of date of Read More …

View from the Pew: 12 Sacred Spaces

Most followers of the Way of Jesus have a primary sacred space in which they gather for corporate worship.  Opportunities to experience elsewhere with another group of people are typically few and far between. While these words describe the norm, I have been living the exception since last September.  Over the last several months I have visited a new sacred space and worshiped with a new community of faith most weeks. Previously, I have shared images of my earliest experiences on this Read More …

View from the Pew: 8 New Sacred Spaces

As someone who has spent most of my adult life serving local congregations, the opportunities to visit other faith communities for worship have been few and far between.  In recent months, however, I have been able to participate in worship in many sacred spaces as a guest. In my final post of 2015 I shared eight images from my "view from the pew" series.  Since the start of 2016, I have been fortunate enough to visit an additional eight congregations.  Images of these experiences Read More …

View from the Pew: 8 Sacred Spaces

Soon after relocating to Texas in September of 2015, I wrote "In Search of a Church," explaining a bit about the process my wife and I were undertaking to find a new community of faith to call our own.  During this process, I have posted a "view from the pew" photo most weeks on Facebook and Twitter. As someone who has spent most of his life working in a church and a good deal of that time in pastoral leadership, my ability to visit other congregations has been limited (and especially limited Read More …