Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I'm now a member of the Committee on the Preparation for Ministry (CPM), a Presbyterian committee that guides and screens potential ministers in our denomination. Aside from absurdly long meetings and seemingly interminable procedural discussions, I'm relishing the experience. One of my most immediate observations is that many of our younger candidates - those still in seminary, or just out of it - do not find the "traditional" pastoral roles to be very compelling. For many of them, their hearts are not leaping at the chance to fulfill the role of "senior pastor" or "associate pastor"or other central leadership positions within the confines of a congregation. I'm not just observing this from a distance, I'm living it. I was ordained to work in a parachurch ministry, and since then I have been a hospice chaplain and a writer. Recently, I came to the unsettling, relieving conclusion that full time church ministry is really not where I want to be, though I am open to part time work. I haven't drawn any grand conclusions yet about this trend in younger generations, nor traced the roots of it, though I expect them to be rooted in a postmodern movement away from centralized leadership and the activist tendencies of especially the millenial generation.

For now, I have questions. Are others of you out there noticing this trend? How does it require us to change our understanding and policies around ordination?

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Title

Just wanted to pass on that my book has a title:

Introverts in the Church:
Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture

It will be out in the fall, and I'll know more specifics soon.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New book

My first book, on introverts in the Church, is done, and will be hitting bookstores in the fall. But I'm not stopping there. The process was too fun and too satisfying not to give it another shot. So I'm working on a new book, on the topic of listening. Here are some chapters I am entertaining:

Listening to God
Listening to the creation
Listening to the scriptures
Listening to others
Listening to the cry of the poor
Listening to ourselves

This is all very preliminary - I just came up with the idea 6 days ago. What are your thoughts? Do you know of any resources that might help me in considering this topic?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another mp3

Here's a link to another audio sermon of mine. This one is from last month and is directly related to the topic of my book - helping introverts navigate an extroverted church culture. This isn't the audio file - the link will take you to another page which houses the mp3.

The Goals and Perils of Community Life

Monday, October 20, 2008


Here are a couple of mp3s of sermons I have preached in the last few months:

World Vision International Chapel Service - "The Shalom Project"

Irvine Presbyterian Church - "Rejoicing in Suffering"

There is a inexplicable pause in the middle of the first sermon, but just wait a few seconds and I'll be back.