These are the resources that I'm brewing for real Christians like you. Look for digital downloads and products in the days ahead. And for now, feel free to browse the youth ministry, podcast, and preaching content below:
In a world that is messy and a church that is imperfect, it's easy to let our faith be lost. But that doesn't mean we have to lose God. It means we must consider that perhaps our idealized expectations are wrong.
Everyone has a backstory, and for preachers, that backstory sets the stage for preaching.
The Elephant in the Room according to Taylor Mertins
This episode was supposed to be a collection of interviews about the Commission on The Way Forward. But because no one wanted to go on the record, Jason, Taylor, and I talk about the one thing that everyone wants to talk about but doesn't want to talk about.
In this collection of sermons, you’ll find three United Methodist pastors doing what pastors do, sharing the good news. And trying to help us members of the laity get a healthy dose of some blessed catechism.
We talk about offerings each week during worship as metal plates passed through our sanctuaries. Did you know offerings go back to the Hebrew Bible and were a part of how the day-to-day religious life of Israel was organized?
By purchasing this book you are helping to keep the conversations about faith without stained-glass language going. Proceeds from this book will help cover the cost of servers, websites, and future live event.
If God is all things is Dr. Johanna correct in her 3rd-grade question, "is God in my poop?"
Lets talk about steep learning curves, the challenges of regular preaching, pastoral transitions, the intersection of politics and theology, faithful hospitality, proper boundaries, ecclesial whiplash, sleeping in church, and what it's like to work with the Tamed Cynic.
Lets talk about the Law, Romans 13, proof-texting, Jeff Sessions, and MSNBC. Is the take away its okay to suck or is it as Dr. Johanna insists that we should have some shame?
Quoting Genesis instead of echoing Deuteronomy, Jesus told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of G-d, G-d’s disruptive reign, will empower those previously without power. Social structures designed to keep people groups in their place will be disrupted. This point is driven home further when Jesus double-down, using children, a segment of the population viewed as property, to illustrate what kind of dependency, reliance on G-d, will be necessary to be apart of the Kingdom building work Jesus has begun in his own ministry.
“Hey, excuse me, sir, um could you please move so uh I can get a glimpse of Jesus. Yeah, I’m the guy who took more in taxes from you than you needed to pay, yeah don’t worry I’m still holding onto the money, I haven’t spent it all yet. But could you do me a solid and help a brother out?”
Everything leading up to Jospeh’s rise was counter to the cultural norms. His rise to Pharaoh’s court forced Joseph to enter into the ““culture of now”” and convince them it was time for a change to prepare themselves for what was about to happen.
How we earn money is a clear and accurate indicator of our priorities. We might speak out in favor of honest work that others should be doing but do we follow the same prescription in our own businesses? We can earn by following the footsteps of someone else but at some point we have to begin living into the calling G-d has place on our lives because what you are called to will look different than what your mentor has been called to. We can preach about Sabbath and ethical practices but if we are not observing them ourselves our true commitments become more apparent.
Marriage is risky business. Today the two of you are not just saying ‘I do’ to the person standing next to you; you’re also saying ‘I do’ to whomever or whatever that person is going to become- something that is unknown and unseen to the both of you
Living in unity with one another means that we love one another just as Christ loves us, even if they don’t do things the way we’ve always done them.
More often than not the phrase is used in a cavalier manner. I do not doubt the sincerity of the hymn being sung in worship and prayed corporately or individually. The problem with this phrase arises when it is used without the acknowledgment of the blessings G-d has already given to America.
Hasn’t G-d already blessed America?
The Bible says a lot of things. It is a collection of books telling the story of the people of God. It is a book of covenant, heartache, promise, lament, renew, and hope. But “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it,” creates a problem.
It is not that we should not invite people to church. Instead, our lives are to be a force of transformation, a living witness to the Word of G-d made flesh in Jesus Christ, and that is a far greater invitation than anything else we can offer.
The Gospel is not a habit or practice. It is not a list of mission trips must-dos or daily prayer journal habits, but instead, the Gospel is a history. Proclamation of the Gospel is the declaration that something happened on a tree on a hill over 2000 years ago and that three days after that something happened something even greater happened.
Andy Root thinks the church's obsession with growing young might be misguided. Joined by Rev. Drew Colby, Jason and I interviewed Dr. Andy Root of Luther Seminary and author of Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with Youthfulness on the latest episode of Crackers and Grape Juice.