1. I am an imperfect pastor
Some people expect pastors to be holier than thou. I will never claim to be perfect. I am a human being with flaws and transgressions like everyone else. In addition to being a called seminary trained professional, what distinguishes me as pastor is that I also live my life in covenant with the church to further a commitment to very specific Christian values and priorities.
2. I preach from the Bible and other sacred texts
Inspired people wrote the Bible about an inspiring God. There are many people throughout history who have encountered God and been inspired to write texts that can empower us and shape our way of being and living in the world.
3. I don’t really know what I am doing. I rely on the power, inspiration, and courage of the Holy Spirit every moment of my life.
I work very hard to study, keep a balanced schedule, incorporate spiritual practices into my daily routine, and stay connected to resources that will better inform my craft, but at the end of the day, I will never know all there is to know. In fact, if there are things that you know, that you wish to share, email me here.
4. You will never be encouraged to adopt a rigid set of beliefs.
The wonderful thing about your beliefs is that they are YOUR beliefs! I know what I believe about God, and I know what I believe about things like joy, peace, faith, courage, and abundance. When you know like you know like you know, you cannot be convinced of anything else. For those seeking a deeper spiritual relationship with God, and for those who want to deepen their connection to a positive and nurturing community of faith, then what you believe will be manifested in your life.
5. We don’t entertain.
Whether you are in a small group of 10 or at a community event with thousands of people, we are ALL the church therefore we each have a role in “doing” church. Church happens because of all the people present in community together. Bring your gifts, your time, and your skills to the church and incorporate them into the larger vision for where God is calling us to go as a people. We are producers–not consumers–so what is God inspiring you to produce with your life?
6. Things are always shifting. We aren’t afraid to try new things.
If something grows stale there is always the opportunity to try something new. If a method, or procedure, or way of thinking proves to be ineffective, the Holy Spirit gives us the power and ability to embrace perspectives, actions, and ways of being that can maximize our potential for greatness.
7. You won’t hear feel good sermons that promise never-ending wealth.
I don’t believe God calls us to be poor. I don’t believe God calls us to be rich either. God created each of us to prosper and to live in abundance. Prosperity and abundance have more to do with the energy and power our lives generate. In a manmade economic structure, it’s easy to understand prosperity and abundance in terms of money and accumulation. Love is the currency in God’s economy.
8. I don’t hate gay people.
It’s true. I don’t hate gay people. In fact, I am transgender and if I were born genetically male, I would probably identify as a gay man. I believe that sexuality, just like gender, is fluid and that if more churches equipped people with the tools they needed to truly love themselves the way that God loves each of us, our society could advance toward being one that can openly discuss and embrace the ever-evolving spectrum of human sexuality, identity, and expression.
9. The truth hurts.
We go to church to live in and with a community of faith that has an intended vision and purpose. What this means is that the object of the community is to serve as an incubator for life to happen. Challenges, triumphs, conflict, resolution, a sermon that you didn’t like, a person that gets on your nerves, an activity that speaks to you, a person that inspires you…ALL these things are found in the church! There is no perfect church and there is no ONE church that will meet all your needs 100% of the time. There is no one-sized fits all church but when you do find the church that is for you, your life can be transformed and can be a vehicle for transformation. We all have gifts, skills, and talents that can benefit the church, the community, and the world. Go where the energy of the Spirit feeds you, moves you, and empowers you to be your best self and live your best life.
10. I don’t believe in an anthropomorphic God and that heaven is some far off place in the clouds.
God is a spirit. Spirit is energy. 1 John 4 explains the very nature of God as, “love”. We embrace God as love energy, and we accept that this power is greater than us and has the power to transform us from the inside out. Once a person realizes the power and potential of the Spirit of God living on the inside of them, ALL things become possible! Heaven doesn’t need to wait until death to be embraced. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven“! In other words, we can literally live in heaven on earth right NOW! When the Spirit of God transforms us, our very lives will generate good and reflect the glory of God.
If you’ve made it to the end of this list, you can clearly see that these are all reasons that I hope you do in fact visit my church. Is this a shameless effort at self-promotion? No. In fact, it is just the opposite. All of these statements on this list are true. What’s even more important, is that in spite of these things all being true, I believe that God is calling me to connect with people just like me who are imperfect people. People who love God and who love life and who want to experience the joy of living their most authentic lives as a reflection of God’s infinite power and potential. I know and have experienced the goodness of God and I am excited to be an instrument for peace and possibility.
My desire is to connect with everyone who is inspired to explore faith in the context of a Christian community that doesn’t come with all the shaming and pretending. I believe in covenant, and when a community is in covenant, amazing things become possible. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know what Power holds the future. With the power of God working in us and through us, transformation becomes possible. There is still time for you to live a powerful life and become the person you always knew you could become. The possibilities are endless as we discover just how big we can dream together.