I’m pretty sure I learned more about church at a barbecue pit than I did at seminary. When I was 12 years old my father, also a United Methodist minister, was appointed to Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC. It was probably the best thing that happened to my family when I was […]Read More A Theology of Whole Hog Barbecue
“Dad, it’s really quiet out here. I love it when it’s quiet. I don’t like noisy places.” My five-year-old daughter is just like me. She doesn’t like noise. She doesn’t like crowds. She doesn’t like to hustle and bustle. She likes to get away, to a quiet place, a place where she can think, […]Read More Teach the Children Well
I have often said that you cannot write a job description for a pastor. In the seven years now that I have been in pastoral ministry, I have been with families as their loved ones passed from this world into the next, I have played games and made crafts with kids, I have stirred stew […]Read More Saving Souls or Saving Bees?
I hate being called an environmentalist. I avoid using the word “environment.” The phrase “climate change” is not in my lexicon. At least at church, that is. Why? Because I have found that these and others like them elicit a knee jerk response from a good number of people in my church. When I’m labeled […]Read More How to Talk About the Environment in Your Church
My wife realized early on in our relationship, with a degree of horror, that I am ignorant about art. When we have gone to the local art museum, she has raved about the techniques and the periods and the passion of artists, while I have looked on these same works and thought, “That sure is […]Read More God Created a Job
I was a quiet and well-behaved kid, for the most part. I kept to myself, read a lot of books, and always tried to follow the rules. It was out of character for me, then, and quite audacious, when I told my second-grade teacher, “You’re wrong about that.” It was in a science lesson […]Read More Christians Should Care About Creation
I grew up in the church, and I’m really comfortable here. The hymnal we use today was released when I was six years old; I’ve pretty much been singing out of it my whole life. Though I do not pastor at the churches I grew up in, the Sunday school rooms still look the same. […]Read More Let the Church Die