Church Family Acquaintances, part 1

Richard Beck, a professor and experimental psychologist at Abilene Christian University, offered some interesting and personally challenging insights about online social networking in a recent blog article. You can read his article by clicking here (warning: some of you may find the article dangerously boring…but I am a nerd, so I enjoyed it).

To sum up, the subject Beck was addressing was the impact of Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media on social activism. In other words, does Twitter help organize efforts to feed the poor and correct other social injustices, or does it only serve as an outlet to vent frustrations over injustices without providing the connections and motivations necessary to fuel the real, difficult work of actually feeding the poor? Will Twitter move people to work on the problems, or just talk about them? Continue reading

Do Men Hate Church?

Today I joined a group of Christian men, mostly preachers and other church leaders, for lunch, conversation, and some spiritual encouragement. Lunch was good. (just kidding Jake and Mike.)

Anyway, my friend and techno-neanderthal Jake King had some thoughts to share with the group about men and spirituality. He had been reading a book called “Why Men Hate Going to Church.”  Jake shared some information about the disparity between male and female church attendance (there are 13 million more women in American churches than men). He discussed the trend in church life to have more women-oriented events than men-oriented events: ladies’ Bible classes, ladies’ brunches, ladies’ days, women’s retreats versus the occasional men’s retreat or men’s breakfast. He also shared some thoughts from the book about why this might be the case and what we, as Christians and/or church leaders, might be able to do to help the problem. Continue reading

First Century Church

I try to imagine, sometimes, what it would be like as a new Christian in first century Rome. How hard would it be to leave my former life, either as an orthodox Jew, or a Samaritan worshiper of Jehovah, or a gentile worshiper of the gods? What would have to change in my home life? My work life? My politics and philosophy? What would it be like to hear Paul or Peter preach? To meet someone who could still recall the gentle inflections in Jesus’ voice, and the wrinkles in the corners of His eyes? Continue reading

Why Do I Go?

I grew up going to church. That’s just what we always did. Every Sunday and Wednesday. And maybe this happened to you if you grew up going to church, but there was a point in my life where I began wanting to go to church.

Before that point in my life (roughly junior high age I think), I was fairly indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it’s just that I didn’t have a great desire to go. There were times I really wanted to be at church to hang out with friends, and there were times I just did not feel like going. I had (have) good parents, so I always went anyway.

But, there was a turning point in my life when I began wanting to go to church. Continue reading