I’m an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts in Communication from Drury University. Prior to ministry, I spent almost 20 years working in the journalism and nonprofit worlds. I serve as Pastor of Digital Ministries and Director of Communication at Brentwood Christian Church (DOC), Springfield, MO.
After growing up in the fishbowl of parsonage life, I ran away from church for a long time. Part of my journey back to God, to Love, included exposure to content creators who talked about God in a different way. There was more grace in it. God was more expansive. In seminary, I learned anew how to recontextualize the Sunday school stories I’d heard my whole life.
When I’d talk to friends with similar social locations – middle class, mostly of European descent, almost exclusively from Evangelical and Fundamentalist church traditions – they’d get excited about what I was learning. They’d never heard someone talk about stories they loved in ways that did not require them to love a God who always seemed to be out to get them. Most of them left church around the time I did.
I don’t know what “Church” looks like in the next 20 years, 40 years. It’s certainly changed in shape, size, and form since the early house churches, pre-Constantine. Wherever two or more are gathering, I want them to have resources. I want to equip the people who miss God with tools by which to reclaim their faith with boldness. I want to provide an easy resource for Mainline Protestants whose church expressions de-prioritized Biblical literacy in response to Fundamentalism. I want to do this in an academically responsible way, while still being accessible to the laity, to my friends, and to people like them.
This is an idea that has been simmering in the back of my mind for decades, from the first incidence of inadvertent deconstruction and reconstruction in high school. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring this idea to fruition with the guidance of the professors at Pacific School of Religion, thanks to assistance from the Disciples Seminary Foundation.