Readers write: I have been unchurched for several years now, after a lifetime of service to a number of evangelical and charismatic churches as a musician and worship leader (and more)
A reader writes:
You probably don’t have time to read all your emails, but just in case, I wanted to write and thank you for your unceasing efforts in the evolution of Christianity.
I have been unchurched for several years now, after a lifetime of service to a number of evangelical and charismatic churches as a musician and worship leader. I took myself off the ministry team, because I knew I could no longer promise that everything that came out of my mouth while leading worship would conform to the party line. Since then I have experience a freedom of thought and inquiry that has almost made up for the loss of community (hey, there’s always Facebook) - lol.
I have led a local Meetup group for several years now [in the Pacific Northwest].... In spite of our reputation for openminded liberal hotbed thinkers, we have no churches (that I can find) that really qualify in this new paradigm. Anyway my group meets in a local tavern and discusses questions that are not usually welcomed within the walls of the church, because they are too controversial, or because the answers have already been decided and there is no room for discussion. Other than that, I keep my head down and wait for change, trying to nudge it along where I can.
Your books have given me hope that I am not alone in this effort, and that the change will inevitably come in time. But it has taken a lot of courage for you to bring up the questions you have, and take the heat. So I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for speaking for those of us who can no longer reconcile the Christ we are taught in church with the loving reality of Who we are in relationship with.
Bless you over and over
Another reader writes ...
We met briefly at the CYNKC Conference in DC but I wanted to send you a word of encouragement... I went through a long desert period of doubting and being angry and it was there that I found your writing and felt renewed and inspired to press on.
What I'm most thankful for is your courage. The personal price you pay grieves me. Like other folks, I hope the encouragement you receive emboldens you and takes away some of the sting. I'm also thankful for your cogent writing and thinking. I like the way you think! And for your graciousness toward those who disagree.
You have done nothing but help me lean in to love others more fully and see God in new and refreshing ways. You brought back the inimitable mystery of God and with that has come joy and wonder. I'm most thankful.
Thanks for these notes. It is indeed tough to break out of old boxes and paradigms ... but when we encounter "the inimitable mystery of God" in fresh and deeper ways ... along with the accompanying "joy and wonder" ... it's all worth it, indeed.