Creativity Is Brewing


Creativity is brewing with today’s podcast guest!  Stephen Brewster serves as the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

He believes that the Church as a whole should be trying to regain the position of leader of the creative frontier.  He shares:

“I believe that at the core we were all created to be creative . . . Whether you are an accountant or whether you are Picasso, God instilled inside of you creativity and curiosity . . . You would never walk into a Kindergarten class and and be like, ‘Ok, who are the creative kids and who are the analytical kids?’  You just put a piece of paper down and some crayons and they all go to town! “

Stephen feels that the church has the opportunity to help guide people in their creativity and to reengage with the way God made them to be.  He’s passionate about leading this sort of experience and creating a space for people to connect with God.

Tune in to learn about his passion and to gain some perspective on what your church could be doing to help create these sorts of environments!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

Frequency.FM

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Thinking About Sustainability


Ed Cyzewski is a wordsmith.  He is an author, editor, and blogger.  He’s got a self-proclaimed sarcastic and imperfect tone when it comes to writing about Jesus, but is passionate about sharing truth and helping other’s develop their relationships with God.

His favorite topics are Christian living and theology and we’re thrilled to have had a chance to get to know him better in this interview.  He shared with us:

“One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my work and in my writing is to talk about carving out that time for God in our lives.  So that means making sacrifices and cutting things out, but at the same time, thinking about sustainability. “

Be sure to check out Ed’s blog:  In a mirror dimly – where he writes about sustainable discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

The Attractive Emergence Movement


You might imagine Phyllis Tickle as the coolest grandma around – but not just because she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie.  She’s cool because she’s the epitome of wisdom and lives her life as an expression of grace.

One thing is for certain – She knows her stuff.  Considered an authority on religion, Phyllis serves as the founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly.  She’s also written over three dozen books, served as a professor and dean, and is now a lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church.

Phyllis is a theorist and student of the Emergence Church movement and this episode will help you comprehend the related beliefs.  She shares about the attractive emergence movement and what has captivated her.  For instance,

“Emergence Christianity represents, or names, a set of sensibilities:  non-hierarchical, deeply liturgical, deeply narrative, non-doctrinal, very green.”

“One of the things I find most attractive about Emergence Christianity is it’s real fair of human arrogance and it’s real sensitivity to it and how it limits our worship and our sense of awe.”

Get ready to take it all in as we hear from Phyllis!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ed Cyzewski

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Easter People In A Good Friday World

Can you imagine speaking to a crowd of thousands?  Can you picture teaching at a church that averages 24,000 attendees each weekend? Can you imagine still thinking that number was too small?

Steve Carter serves as the director of Evangelism and as a teaching pastor for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.

He values and hopes to impact those 24,000, but perhaps his greatest passion is to see more people impacted by the Good News of God and His love for us.

Steve believes that Christians are Easter People in a Good Friday world.  He shares:

“I think for many people in Christianity, we love the cross but we often forget that the tomb is empty . . .  I see Christians and disciples as people of the resurrection.  We’re Easter people.  We’re people that proclaim that the tomb is empty, and yet we live in a world that’s broken and fractured.”

Steve shares that he knows the idea of evangelism is a sensitive topic for many people.  Quite frankly, leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.  So just how should we evangelize?  What is the context evangelism should happen in?

We hope you’ll watch along with us today to hear what Steve has to say.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Phyllis Tickle

Ed Cyzewski

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

The Historical Jesus w/ John Dominic Crossan


John Dominic Crossan has always been fascinated by the Bible and it’s teachings.  He’s dedicated his life to teaching, exploring, and always asking more questions of the text.

He has served as a Catholic priest, an author, a professor, and a scholar.  Throughout all of his pursuits, he has set his compass to seek and find the truth.

His beliefs and assertions have been both embraced and criticized.  He works with various topics, but is known best for his controversial views on The Historical Jesus.

We’re thankful for Dom’s faithful work and for the opportunity to study and search along with him.  Thanks for tuning in with us today!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Steve Carter

Phyllis Tickle

Ed Cyzewski

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Visualize God’s Love


Psalm 34:8 says that we are to “Taste and see that the LORD is good.”

Ginny Owens has dedicated her life to helping others visualize God’s love.  She may not see the same as others do, but she certainly sees God’s love and shares it with others through timbre, lyrics, and devotion.

When asked why she does what she does, she replied:

“I really feel like my “why” is that I write music to communicate the gospels, to communicate the hope that I have in Christ, and to communicate to others that there is indeed hope. “

When it comes to Ginny’s music, there is always a reason behind the rhyme.  She speaks of encountering others who are at points of desperation and wanting to share a reminder and invitation to know the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus.

Thanks for tuning in to this beautiful story of hope!  You can listen to Ginny’s music and find updates on her latest album.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

John Dominic Crossan

Steve Carter

Phyllis Tickle

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Doug Pagitt, Possibility Evangelist


Doug Pagitt’s business card might read a little differently than most.  He gives himself the title of Goodness Conspirator and Possibility Evangelist.  He is a creator with an entrepreneurial spirit who seeks to find ways to invite people to join in on the desires God has for us all.

Doug certainly wears many hats while serving as an author, Pastor of Solomon’s Porch church, consultant, radio show host, and director of the Cana Initiative.

He believes in humor, taking a different approach, being vulnerable, and finding creative and progressive ways to share truth.  A lot of his beliefs spring from the following:

“We have this great opportunity to make things happen, and what we’re called to as human beings – as people who are alive physically and spiritually, emotionally and mentally – is to generate the kind of world that we want to live in.”

We hope you’ll catch a bit of his contagious spirit as you listen with us today!

 

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ginny Owens

John Dominic Crossan

Steve Carter

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

4-Square & Ziplines & S’mores: Why Camp Changes Lives


Wouldn’t you love to have an office overlooking a lake?  Hearing the sounds of children laughing, campfire songs being sung, the zipline going through the woods, and boats driving by?  How about having s’mores every day for dessert?

We’ll today’s guest has landed the dream job.  Jeff Jacobs is the Executive Director of Camp Henry in Newaygo, Michigan.  Truth be told, he doesn’t like marshmallows, but he’ll gladly eat a s’more if you make him one!  Jacobs believes that camp changes lives and is the perfect environment to unplug from the outside world and plug into truth.

Camp Henry has been serving campers since 1937 and provides us with an outstanding model of positive life change, connection to nature, and growing in faith.  This unique year-round camping facility serves youth, families, school groups, youth groups, and much more.

We hope you’ll tune in to learn more about the Power of Camp!

 

The Arts Deliver Truth: Eric Samuel Timm Interview

We may have outdone ourselves this time!  Today, we’ve got a real live Jedi on the show.  That’s right, a Jedi!  Just like any other Jedi, he guards peace and justice – but he doesn’t stop there.  He also speaks through the noise and challenges his audience to do the same.

Eric Samuel Timm shares his heart in many mediums – be it paint, passion, speaking, writing, or teaching.  In addressing all modalities of learning, he sheds a new light and paints an image that speaks along with his vision of hope.

Eric believes that the arts deliver truth.  He shares, “People need truth … the arts are the best vehicle to deliver that truth.  I think that the arts are entrusted to us by God in a way that allows us to experiment and experience profound truth in a way that I don’t think you can otherwise.  With art, people can see what they could never hear, and without it, they may not hear it.”

We know you’ll experience truth as you tune in today!  Be sure to check out Eric’s latest book, Static Jedi, and to visit his ministry website , No One Underground.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Doug Pagitt

Ginny Owens

John Dominic Crossan

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Discipleship #009: Missionaries There & Here

When we hear the word “missionary” we tend to think of a ministry that is distant from us, or foreign to us.  But in the broader sense of the word, missionary is simply a disciple sent by Christ to preach in his name and make new disciples, someone who takes into heart the command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Missionary is not only the person who leaves her comfortable home for a third-world country forever, but also the African Christians reaching out to Muslims in America. Missionary is also an ordinary boy inviting his lonely pal to go to Sunday school together. Therefore, although technically a Christian missionary refers to a specific calling, a life-time occupation supported by the church, there is no doubt that all of us, as Disciples of Christ, have the same mission to make more disciples.

A Story of a Missionary

This is the story of Lee. Lee was born in Chun ju, South Korea, in 1963. He was not Christian by birth, and no one in his family was either. When he was a kid, he would show up for Sunday school when he was bored and just for the holiday events when the pastors would give away free candy. It was not until he went to the city of Pusan for college that he found a good church and started believing in God.

After studying mechanical engineering for three years, Lee decided that he was going to be a missionary. Nothing really dramatic had happened to him to prompt his decision, nothing close to the calling of Samuel or Paul’s dream of the Macedonian. Every weekend he had helped his pastor evangelize to foreigners who arrived to the port, and he had found that he simply wanted to do this kind of work for the rest of his life. The missionary work abroad he envisioned for his future was to be an extension of the missionary work he was been practicing at home.

Lee graduated in 1987. He applied to a seminary in Pusan in 1989 and after three years, he moved to Seoul to obtain his masters degree. He enjoyed studying at the seminary a lot more than when he had studied engineering.

Then the rest worked out like a puzzle. Though in the beginning, Lee’s intention had been to go to Japan and work there as a missionary, his church thought that Japan was too close and well-off for missions work and rejected his proposition. So Lee did some research and learned that the countries with the least number of missionaries were Peru and Mexico. After a couple of months, a message from Peru came saying that they needed a missionary.

Eventually the time came for Lee and his wife to leave their homes, families, and culture. Carrying a three year old, a baby of ten months, and two large immigration bags, they set foot on the arid city of Trujillo in the month of June, 1995. When asked about what he had felt when he arrived to the opposite side of the globe, Lee answered, “In that situation, there is no space for thought; there is no space for feeling. You just find yourself focusing every minute on adapting to the new environment.”

Among the hardships Lee and his family had to go through were homesickness, the inability to digest the local food, and the lack of knowledge of Spanish.

For one year, they stayed with another missionary in Trujillo to learn about the language and the culture of the country. In their second year, they moved to a town of red clay roads called Pucallpa in the Amazon jungle to help a colleague build a school. In 1998, they returned to Trujillo, and from that time on they remained in that city as the only Korean family in the area.

Lee specialized in planting churches and helping them grow until they were able to become independent. In the course of 17 years he had planted three small churches, which in turn built two other churches by themselves. Each of them had its own set of problems of economy, leadership, and fellowship. But sometimes they met for a picnic at the beach or a volleyball tournament.

He was the happiest when he saw people change for good. He found it the hardest to see people who had been Christians for a long time refusing to change. He never regretted coming to Peru. He knew what his role was in God’s plans. He had not worried much about how his decision would affect his children. He had been sure that God would take their futures into His hands.

According to Lee, his job had always been to “evangelize and serve others while sharing his life with them.” Like Lee said, a missionary’s job is not to simply go and make as many converts as possible, it is to share one’s own life with others. Just like Jesus shared his.

“Local” Missionaries

Mother Teresa once said, “It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

Being a missionary abroad has its own list of hardships, but being a missionary at home is just as hard. We humans are creatures of compartmentalization that many times like to have our jobs separate from our hobbies, our church friends separate from our school friends. But when being a “local” missionary, our identities as disciples are not nametags we use when we go to church or volunteer at another town— they are lifestyles.

John Eldredge is President of Ransomed Heart Ministry. He furthers the spiritual lives those around the U.S. through his work and books of counseling. Jenny Simmons’ music reaches out to those that are heartbroken in their homes. Adam Sterenberg, as the principal of Tree of Life School in Kalamazoo, shows his love and passion for the Lord through education and the renewing of minds.

These are only a few of the “local” missionaries around us. Let us be inspired by them and ask ourselves how we are being “local” missionaries ourselves. There is just so much to do right here.

Criticism

Missionary work comes with its own set of controversies. For instance there are concerns that missionaries lack respect for other cultures as they put their goals of evangelization first. For example the Akha people of South East Asia complained the missionaries prioritized the building a church than building a clinic. Also, because Christianity often requires change within the culture and could potentially destroy traditional social structures and values, sometimes mission work is perceived as a threat to cultural diversity.

On the opposite spectrum, there is the concern that the original mission of evangelization will be overshadowed by the needs of the people. As Oswald Chambers points out in My Utmost for the Highest, “to the point that human sympathy for those needs will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus.”

As imperfect people, missionaries always tend to lean to one side more than the other. This is why we need the greater wisdom from God to balance both sides, to not neglect the needs of the people while bringing the gospel to the culture to add to it rather than to take the pieces that are precious and beautiful away from it. God calls us to be disciples and missionaries outside the country, in the streets, our churches, and our homes. After all, love and the Gospel are not things that can be limited by space and time.