I was baptised in the Presbyterian Church as an infant, and aside from my college years when I attended a Disciples of Christ church, I’ve affiliated myself with the Presbyterian Church all of my life. Although I was active in my church growing up (choir, youth group, Deacons), I didn’t really start taking my faith seriously until college when my friend Allen Todd challenged me to think intentionally about my beliefs.
From that time through the 90s, I held to relatively conservative positions on issues of faith. (In some respects I still do). But sometime after the turn of the millenium, I began to question the way we do ministry and “do church”. I grew disillusioned with the gatekeeping and hoops associated with the institutional elements of the church. I began to become dubious about the programmatic approach toward the gospel. I was troubled by the fact that a smaller and smaller percentage of the high school students I had worked with in the youth group were involved in the church after high school and college. I had become dismayed at the tainting of evangelicalism by its practitioners’ never-ending quest for political power.
And so I live mostly on the periphery of the church – a stranger in a strange land. I identify with many of the questions and longings of those involved in what has become known as the emerging church movement (overused though that term may be). I’m finding myself drawn towards a more contemplative approach to faith and ministry. Yet I know that such an approach would likely not be received or understood within the current church machine. So I continue the life of a fringe-dweller…