Favorite Music of 2018

Favorite Music of 2018

There is a massive amount of great music being made today (and plenty of mediocre music), so one person’s list surely only scratches the surface. But for whatever it’s worth, here are the 2018-released albums, songs, and cover songs (in our overwhelming and confusing musical present, the past has become an important inspiration) I enjoyed the most.

If I Could Design My Dream Church

If I Could Design My Dream Church

On days when I’m sitting in my real church and feel frustrated by something, I sometimes daydream about my ideal church. I dream about a church I would always be proud and never embarrassed to call home; a church so amazing that any non-Christian who visited would never want to leave.

Favorites of 2017

Favorites of 2017

I maintain a Google document going each year that keeps track of the best music, movies, books, and TV I've enjoyed that year. Sometimes I even take note of best restaurants and food experiences. As we close the book on 2017 and as I prepare to create a blank 2018 Google document in a few days, here's a look at what made the cut in my favorites of 2017.

Stars and Cells and Advent

Stars and Cells and Advent

For a few months in 2003-2004, the Hubble Space Telescope zoomed in on a seemingly blank, small spot in the sky. To the naked eye it looked like a speck of black emptiness. But once developed, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image showed that inside that small, randomly selected patch of sky, over 10,000 galaxies could be seen.

The Most Radical Mission for Christians May be the Most Mundane

The Most Radical Mission for Christians May be the Most Mundane

It may not sound exciting. It may seem too predictable and institutional and bourgeois. It’s certainly not going to be comfortable. But showing up at church week after week, and giving oneself to the building up of the body, is a revolutionary act of mission.

We Are Stones

We Are Stones

I love the New Testament passages that describe the church in terms of stones. Peter says Christians are “like living stones” who are “being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5), with Christ as the cornerstone (2:6-7). Paul says similar things in Ephesians 2:19-22

“Uncomfortable”: Out in Stores Now!

“Uncomfortable”: Out in Stores Now!

I wrote Uncomfortable to remind Christians of this: that in spite of the awkwardness, the challenges and the discomfort of local church life, it is worth it. The discomfort of it is how we grow, as we lean not on ourselves but on the Holy Spirit at work within us, supernaturally doing things in and through churches that by all fleshly accounts should not and could not happen. 

When to Leave a Church and How to Find a New One

When to Leave a Church and How to Find a New One

One of the assumptions of my new book Uncomfortable is that church is hard.Discomfort, frustration and pain are inevitable. But another assumption of Uncomfortable is that these are not necessarily reasons we should leave a church. On the contrary, I argue in the book that discomfort in church community is actually a huge part of how we grow.

10 Churches, 10 Uncomfortable Challenges

10 Churches, 10 Uncomfortable Challenges

In preparation for writing Uncomfortable I wanted to get a sense for what proves most uncomfortable about Christianity in real churches today. I emailed a number of pastors from around the world and asked them about what aspects of Christianity or church life proved to be especially uncomfortable, challenging or offensive in their particular congregations and contexts. Here are 10 of the responses I received.