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The View From Here


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Fear and Trembling

I first registered an account with Blogger back in 2011 when someone suggested I start a blog after visiting our church one Sunday morning. The fact that nine years have passed by with nothing to show for it speaks pretty clearly as to how comfortable I am with the idea as a whole. So why now? In 2018, the church where I serve as pastor went through an incredibly trying season. When a leader and beloved member of our congregation told me he was gay and that he was preparing to ‘come out’ publicly, I desperately wanted to know how other pastors had responded to a challenge like this without destroying their church in the process. I grasped for anything that could help me get through what I knew would be a daunting leadership experience with significant implications for our church’s future. While I was able to find a number of books written from different sides of this hot-button issue, the primary commentaries seemed to come from those who were not actually leading local congrega

Four Days Late

This is it—my final entry. One day last week, I took a look at the calendar and had a thought that it was probably around this same time last year when I gave up trying to sleep, stumbled down the stairs to the dining room table, and typed the first words into this Google Doc. As it turns out, my first entry was on December 8, which is only a few days from now, so I hatched a plan to set aside some time on that same date to write one final chapter on the precise anniversary of when I began. It was a Saturday, so I figured I would have time, and truthfully I did have time—but as it turns out, I didn’t write anything that day, and then I didn’t write anything for the next couple of days either, so here I am on December 12, four days late. (Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called  The View From Here . Please follow  this link  and start reading at the oldest post,  Fear and Trembling .) The fact that I’m late speaks volumes to where I’ve come over the course of the past year.

The Upper Room

Today is July 24, 2018. This past Sunday morning, during the discussion portion of our service, I extended an invitation for anyone who was looking for a space to talk through our recent conversations about same-sex attraction to join me in the Upper Room. We didn’t make a big deal about it, but put a simple note in the program acknowledging that our conversations around this theme have presented us with some challenging ideas and have led to a mixture of emotions.  We decided to do this because a member of our Staff team had heard from a couple of people who were expressing confusion about where our church was headed and who were hoping to get more clarity. The last thing we wanted to do was continue to let this issue dominate the life of our community, but it was clear there were still pockets of people who had some outstanding questions. The suggestion in our Staff meeting was that if we didn’t provide an opportunity for ongoing dialogue, there was a risk that we would lose people w