Ministering in the Middle of It: There’s More Than One Way to Pastor

Is it the pastor’s place to console, or is it the pastor’s place to challenge? Should ministers emphasize comforting the afflicted, or afflicting the comfortable? In the piece that he wrote for Bearings last week, Adam J. Copeland pondered these questions when he asked, “What’s the Point of a Pastor?” It’s a great question—and one that has stuck with me all... Read more

After the Awakening that Slept In: Can the Mainline Church Listen to a New Wake-Up Call?

For the last year or so I’ve been saying an unpopular thing to people in Mainline churches, but it’s a thing I think we need to hear: There is no Next Great Awakening. The promised Emergence has retired to a cottage in the Ozarks. And, perhaps most discomfiting of all, the Missional Church has pretty much lost its way. How do I know this? Well, how do we all... Read more

Coming Clean on Bringing Millennials Back to Church

Can you hear it? It’s the sound of Mainline ministry leaders around the country breathing deep sighs of relief, patting themselves on the back, and smiling in self-congratulation in response to the recent news that what Millennials—that generation woefully absent from their churches—really want from the church is . . . the sacraments. In her new book, Searching... Read more

Graffiti & Grace in the Liminal Church: The Church Mediates God’s Love. That’s Social, But Not Always Digital

Editor's Note: An edited version of this story previously appeared in The Narthex.  We are thankful for that publication’s permission to share the piece here. The Rev. Thomas Broad and wardens of Grace Episcopal Church in the rural hamlet of Randolph, New York engaged in a remarkable act of social media ministry one Sunday morning a while back. I learned... Read more