thrive UMC Blog

On Being Awesome

As a kid, I had powerful aspirations for greatness.  I was going to inspire people.  On quiet nights, I could picture the amazing feats I would soon accomplish.  There were visions of crowds gathering around me, showering me with adoration and praise, to the staccato of flashbulbs and women gasping as they faint.  I was

28 Jan 2014


There was a woman I met several years back who was one of my greatest sources of encouragement: she showed up to things I planned and led, in spite of that fact that they weren’t planned or publicized very well –a fact made even more remarkable considering I had called her by the wrong name

23 Jan 2014

What Church Could Be, part 3: Honest

As I’ve had the chance to speak with more people, and heard more stories about why so many young people aren’t bothering to participate in ‘church’, a common theme has consistently arisen:  There’s a disturbing disconnect between ‘Christian’ words and deeds. So, in the confessional spirit, I’ve made a quick (and admittedly far-from-exhaustive) outline of

20 Dec 2013

What Church Could Be: Part 2 -Less Christian

A lot of time and energy has been invested in the promotion, maintenance and what I call the ‘gate-keeping,’ of Christianity.   And yet, at the same time, it seems to grow less and less clear what the word ‘Christianity’ actually designates.  Even as the Christian Church in America declines dramatically in almost every statistical metric, the

10 Dec 2013
thrive umc west des moines

What Church Could Be: Part 1

Yesterday I had a friend of mine make a less-than-flattering comparison between churches and pay-phones.  For starters, he suggested, there are a lot less of them than there were even 15 years ago.  Sure, every once in a while you’ll still see them, but it always makes you wonder why they’re there, and about the kind of

17 Nov 2013