A Major Announcement
This year, I've joined forces with a beautiful group of people called Life in the Trinity Ministry, based in Dallas, Texas. LTM was founded in 1985 by Rev. Joseph and Suzanne Stabile. LTM encourages civility, fosters personal growth, and works to create of community among all people. My title will be "theologian in residence." I won't be moving to Dallas, but will be on-site there several times each year to lead workshops, seminars, etc. We plan to record these seminars and make them available via download, cd, and dvd. Here's what's planned for 2012:
Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World: I'll preview my new book, exploring how Christian identity can grow more robust by becoming more benevolent towards other faiths. We'll look at historical, doctrinal, liturgical, and missional dimensions of multi-faith engagement. We'll explore the role of religion in violence and prejudice - and ways that Christians and local churches can become agents of peace and hospitality, rather than suspicion and hostility. (Suggested Prereading: Secret Message of Jesus, Everything Must Change, A New Kind of Christianity)
Four Stages of Faith Development: Drawing from my book Naked Spirituality, I'll present how the four-stage framework (simplicity, complexity, perplexity, harmony) can help in personal spiritual formation, pastoral ministry, preaching, outreach, and conflict resolution. We'll use role play, experiential learning, and interactive Bible study as well as lecture and discussion to become fluent in understanding and applying this framework. (Suggested Prereading: Naked Spirituality, A New Kind of Christian)
Spiritual Formation - Becoming Christ Like - Christ in You: We will explore the biblical theme of the image of God in us, integrating insights from Scripture, church history, and the monastic tradition, exploring how the church in its liturgy, preaching, and program can become a dojo, school, or studio of Christ-like feeling, thinking, virtue, integrity, and action. We'll consider the imitation/embodiment of Christ as the heart and soul of Christian living. (Suggested Prereading: Naked Spirituality, Finding Our Way Again, A New Kind of Christianity)
Dec 7 Pre-conference workshop - Worship Leaders and Songwriters Workshop
We will bring together gifted practitioners to assess the status of worship music, the areas where creative input is needed, and ways to develop and disseminate new worship resources. We'll experiment with some collaborative songwriting as well, culminating in a shared worship experience. (Suggested pre reading: Finding Our Way Again, Naked Spirituality, A New Kind of Christianity, Everything Must Change)
Dec 8-9 Conference - details TBA.
Dec 9-11 Public Worship as Spiritual Formation
We'll look at ways that the form and content of gathered worship contributes to - and detracts from - formation for Christ-like character and mission. We'll wrestle with fidelity to tradition and fidelity to current and future generations, devoting special attention to the problems of religious language - including the word "God." And we'll use action-reflection to engage in liturgical practices and seek to understand them through experience. (Suggested prereading: Finding Our Way Again, Naked Spirituality, A New Kind of Christianity, Everything Must Change)
When I met the LTM team, I was deeply impressed: a positive and inclusive Christian community bringing together Protestants and Catholics, believers and seekers, to learn and grow together. I had some creative projects in mind that I knew I couldn't achieve alone, and LTM generously offered their experience and abilities. I look forward to what we can do together.
I've included the LTM press release below (after the jump). There are lots of resources available here:
DALLAS – January 13, 2012
Brian McLaren, author, international speaker, and listed by Time Magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals, has joined Life in the Trinity Ministry as Theologian in Residence. A frequent speaker at the Dallas-based ministry annual conferences, this innovative pastor and Christian leader will now play a more active role in the organization.
According to the Rev. Joe Stabile, co-founder of Life in the Trinity Ministry (LTM) and pastor of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church and his wife Suzanne Stabile, co-founder of LTM, “Suzanne and I believe that Brian is the most effective and well known speaker on the issue of What is Emerging in Christianity in Our Time. His willingness to partner with Life in the Trinity Ministry affords us an unprecedented opportunity to continue to convene and host conversations among persons of many faith expressions. These gatherings have and will continue to include those who have left traditional church settings in search of alternative paths of discipleship. It is our belief that this partnership will bring together people of varied backgrounds to further the kingdom of God in our time.”
McLaren is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs, and has appeared on Larry King Live, Nightline, and Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His work has also been covered in Christianity Today, Christian Century, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and many other print media. A former pastor and college English teacher, his books have become pivotal texts for “Emergence Christianity” as he attempts to tell the Biblical story in a new way.
“When I met the LTM team, I was deeply impressed: a positive and inclusive Christian community bringing together Protestants and Catholics, believers and seekers, to learn and grow together” McLaren said. "I had some creative projects in mind that I knew I couldn't achieve alone, and LTM generously offered their experience and abilities. I look forward to what we can do together."
McLaren’s 2004 release, "A Generous Orthodoxy," has been called a "manifesto" of the emerging church conversation. Other notable works include:
The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix, (Zondervan, 1998, rev. ed. 2000)
More Ready Than You Realize (Zondervan, 2002), a refreshing approach to spiritual friendship.
Adventures in Missing the Point (coauthored with Dr. Anthony Campolo, Zondervan, 2003, theological reform in a postmodern context.
A New Kind of Christian" (Jossey-Bass, 2001), his first work of fiction, won Christianity Today's "Award of Merit" in 2002
The Story We Find Ourselves In" (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
The Last Word and the Word After That" (Jossey-Bass, 2005), an exploration of the question of hell and final judgment.
A New Kind of Christianity and Naked Spirituality (Harper One, 2010, 2011), which propose fresh approaches to Christian thought and practice.
His upcoming books include “Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World,” and “Re: Catechesis.”
McLaren has taught or lectured at many seminaries and has served on a number of boards, including Emergent Village (emergentvillage.com), Sojourners (sojo.net), Mars Hill Graduate School (mhgs.edu), International Teams (iteams.org), Off The Map (off-the-map.org), and (currently) Claremont School of Theology, and he is a founding member of Red Letter Christians (redletterchristians.org).
For more information or to set up an interview:
Luci Neumann 469-233-6403
Nancy O’Malley 817-271-5135
Life in the Trinity Ministry, founded in 1985 by Rev. Joseph and Suzanne Stabile, is a non-profit, Christian ministry located in Dallas, Texas. This inclusive ministry uses Christian principles to encourage civility, to foster personal growth and to work toward the creation of community among all people. www.lifeinthetrinityministry.com