Disclaimer: About This Blog
THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Pastors Leaving The Building
I want to thank and acknowledge some men who have had tough decisions as they changed their beliefs regarding some church traditions. Some aspects of my recent journey have been painful for myself and my family. However I haven't had to switch careers or even lose fellowship with close brothers and sisters.
I keep coming across brothers who used to be vocational pastors and are now part of a movement spreading the message that there is more to church than institutional church. At some point in their lives they found themselves serving/leading the church as vocational pastors. They believed that was their calling. They had been trained for this, and had gained enough respect from the church to fill pastoral positions. These are men who the church trusted to teach them and shepherd them in the Christian faith.
So what happens when these men change their way of thinking about the position or office of the vocational pastor? Let's be clear. They have not lost their faith in Christ, or their devotion for the church.
I must say I have extra respect for these men. They not only took the risk of losing the approval of man. They also took the risk of losing their way of earning an income. So I thank these leaders, these shepherds, these teachers. These men are not simply tired of warming pews. They have always been leaders in some ways, but no longer desire to lead from the front.
Wayne Jacobsen - Life Stream Ministries. I have been encouraged by his books: He Loves Me, So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore, The Naked Church, and his contributions in The Shack. I also have been encouraged by many of his podcasts.
Dave Coleman - co-authored So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore
Eric Carpenter - I've been encouraged as he shares his heart openly on his blog A Pilgrim's Progress
Kevin-Neil Ward and Kathleen Ward - I am encouraged by their focus on Church in a Circle.
Jeremy Myers - I respect his dedication to teaching others as he blogs at www.tillhecomes.org and has other book and web projects.
Alan Knox (sort of) - He changed his way of thinking as he was being trained to become a vocational pastor. He has since been on a journey to discover a different career path while he teaches, cares for, and serves the church. I have loads of respect for Alan. Always wise. Always gracious. And leads well by example as he shares his journey at www.alanknox.net. (And he sometimes reads my blog... so I have to be nice to him.)
Paul Vieira - author of Jesus Has Left The Building. A local Winnipeg author I recently discovered existed.
Rob McAlpine - a friend of our family, or family of a friend. Something like that. Actually the only brother on this list I have met in real life so far. I love the title of his book Detoxing from Church, a description I think fits well for many of us. I have appreciated how he has shared his journey on different blogs over time, he is now blogging at www.robbymcalpine.com.
Keith Giles - author and blogger at subversive1.blogspot.ca.
Will Rochow - another fellow Canadian blogs at http://rethinkingfaithandchurch.rochow.ca and show his humorous side at http://theothersideofwill.rochow.ca/.
The truth is none of these pastors have left the church. They are all still caring for and shepherding others. They are still active members in Christ's church. And yes, I'm sure some of them still use buildings from time to time. :) I won't do justice if I try to explain what each of them believe, and how each of them serve the church. You'll have to check with them if you want more info.
I just wanted to say thanks for being leaders on this journey.