For more than 20 years, I’ve enjoyed a multi-dimensional career as a religion journalist and a UCC pastor. The work has always been complementary. What I’ve learned by interviewing religious leaders and ordinary people of faith has made me a better pastor. And what I encounter in parish life leads to story ideas and shapes questions that congregations like mine need answered.
From this unique vantage, I now see opportunity where others see only decline. I’ve witnessed more than a few pockets of vitality flourishing in mainline Protestantism. Having studied these patterns and systems, I now want mainline congregations to learn more than I can teach in one local church at a time or in an 800-word news story.
That’s why I’ve added consulting as a third dimension to my work. Consulting lets me convert insight from my journalism and ministry work into resources such as books, toolkits, workshops, talks and courses.
I focus on mainline congregations that are moving away from extreme dependence on clergy and toward a robust sharing of ministry among all believers. I also help pastors learn to thrive in part-time ministry. Many are finding synergy among what’s needed, what’s affordable and what conditions make flourishing possible.
Meanwhile, I still practice solutions journalism and parish ministry. Both are like laboratories where hypotheses get tested and new discoveries are made. All three dimensions of my work are needed, I believe, to uncover what’s emerging on the mainline landscape and help proven methods to proliferate.
I help mainline Protestant congregations find new vitality while substantially lowering their costs. I do this in three areas: