Church and Main

Church and Main

Church and Main is a podcast at the intersection of faith and modern life. Join Pastor Dennis Sanders as he shares the stories of faith interacting with the ever-changing world of the 21st century.

Episodes

July 23, 2024 58 mins

 Jack Haberer returns to talk about his latest book, "Swimming with the Sharks: Leading the Full Spectrum Church in a Red and Blue World." Using encounters with sharks as a metaphor, we explore the divisive forces in society and the importance of empathy in bridging divides. Jack challenges binary thinking, encourages partnership over proselytizing, and emphasizes biblical teachings on love and compassion. 

Suggested Reading and Li...

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In this episode, Loren Richmond Jr. and I discuss President Biden's surprising exit from the 2024 race and his endorsement of Vice President Kamala Harris. We then touch on navigating cognitive decline in loved ones and highlight the significance of supportive relationships in guiding individuals through transitions and tough decisions.  Emphasizing the role of faith communities in addressing societal challenges, we promote empathy...

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Retired pastor Robert Cornwall discusses recent political events, emphasizing the importance of Christians responding to polarization and violence by seeing each other as children of God and fostering unity. The conversation explores the motives behind the assassination attempt on Trump, highlighting concerns about increasing polarization and violence in politics. Cornwall stresses the need for faith over political allegiances and ...

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What happens when you replace human-driven church growth strategies with a prayer-centered approach? In this enlightening episode, we sit down with Jeff, who recently completed his doctoral dissertation on the role of prayer in evangelism, to explore just that. Pastor Geoff Mitchell opens up about his personal prayer journey, especially amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. His experiences of prayer walking through Mi...

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In this episode, theologian Ted Smith explores the transformation of denominations in the United States, moving from broad structures to more specialized affinity groups. The shift is driven by societal changes, leading to more homogeneous and smaller denominations. Smith highlights advantages like reduced conflict, clearer paths to ordination, and lower institutional overhead. Despite benefits, challenges include the loss of diver...

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In this solo episode, Dennis looks at the first Presidential debate and the tendency in American politics to see our presidential candidates as saviors.

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The 226th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is set to meet soon in Salt Lake City.  One of the many issues to be discussed is a proposal called the "Olympia Overture," which would formally prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Presbyterians, but could according to some make it hard for those with different theological interpretations to remain in the denomination.  In this episode, I talked with retired PC(USA) past...

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What happens when a historic denomination faces a seismic shift? Join us as Drew McIntyre, our returning Methodist guest, unpacks the significant developments from the recent United Methodist General Conference in Charlotte. We explore the groundbreaking rescinding of language that restricted LGBTQ clergy and marriages, and Drew offers keen insights into the potential impact and historical context of these changes, including the co...

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We tend to think Evangelicals helped create Christian Nationalism, but did Mainline Protestantism have a role? I sat down with Beau Underwood, co-author of "Baptizing America: How Mainline Protestants Helped to Build Christian Nationalism," to explore the historical roots and contemporary impact of Christian nationalism in America. Beau talks about how mainline Protestants have laid the groundwork for modern expressions of Christia...

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In this episode, I revisit a video from early 2023 with Lutheran Deacon Nina Joygaard where she interviews me on how to do spiritual practices as someone with autism and ADHD.

Prayer Lab Minute on the Road Interview with Deacon Nina

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In this episode, I welcome back  Steve Thomason, an Associate Professor for Spiritual Formation and Discipleship at Luther Seminary. Steve shares insights on enriching your spiritual journey through practices like prayer, silence, and community. He addresses overcoming barriers to spiritual practices in today's world and discusses adaptations for those with ADHD or on the autism spectrum. We also look at how spiritual practices can...

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In this episode, we explore the intersection of faith and food, featuring the inspiring journey of former pastor and sous chef, Andrew Camp. The podcast highlights how food connects spirituality and community, discussing Andrew's upbringing, culinary education, and integration of faith with his culinary passion. His decision to pursue a career as a sous chef stems from a heartfelt desire to harmonize his faith with his culinary pas...

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In this episode, I talk to Joshua Gritter, who is the co-lead pastor along with his wife Lara at First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, NC.  We talk about his article in Presbyterian Outlook “Anxiety, politics, and the lost mysticism of the church,” where he talks about how we Christians in the US have placed their faith in politics and "electing a high priest" instead of in God.

Show Notes:

Joshua's article

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In this "shorts" episode we look at a 2023 interview with Lutheran pastor Seth Perry . Seth candidly discusses his journey living with bipolar disorder, overcoming stigma, and rediscovering his faith after getting sober. He shares his struggle to disclose his diagnosis due to fear of judgment in the church and societal stereotypes about bipolar individuals. Seth reflects on the success of his "Give Up the Stigma" campaign, which en...

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Ever since January 6, 2021 we’ve heard the term Christian Nationalism.  There have been news stories, articles, books and podcasts all focused on the threat of Christian Nationalism to democracy.  Christians of all stripes have come out against it and denominations have passed resolutions condemning it.

Christian nationalism is a concern.  And yet, are we making too much of it?  Theologian Ted Peters tends to think so. In this epis...

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It's common these days to focus on the drawbacks of church.  But what's good about church? Theologian and pastor Anthony Robinson joins me on the podcast to talk about his most recent blog post on the positive aspects of the church in our society. Robinson highlights the importance of institutions and how the church can provide a sense of community, mentorship, and a framework for coping with life's challenges. Churches have a role...

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In this bonus episode, I revisit an interview with Joy Moore, a professor of biblical preaching at Luther Seminary. We discussed reconciliation amid societal divisions. Moore shares stories illustrating the challenges of reconciliation and stresses the importance of finding common ground across racial divides. referencing instances like Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis working together to desegregate schools, showcasing the power of part...

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In this episode, I delve into the essence of the podcast and the current state of mainline Protestantism.  I share my journey of self-discovery in launching the podcast and reflect on the challenges facing mainline Protestantism, emphasizing the importance of diversity of thought as much as visual diversity. I advocate for reform within the church, highlighting its role as an inclusive space and calling for a balance between tradit...

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Can artificial intelligence hold its own when it comes to the soul-stirring task of crafting spiritual materials? Guest Jeremy Wilhelmi and I embark on an enthralling discussion on the intersection of AI and pastoral ministry. We delve into Jeremy's experiment that tests AI's ability to compose benedictions, prompting us to reflect on whether a machine's output can ever truly resonate with the human heart as deeply as a message bor...

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Ever wondered how churches can sustain their missions in a world where the traditional offering plate falls short? The financial fabric that supports our churches is undergoing a radical makeover. This episode isn't just about recounting struggles; it's a treasure trove of inventive solutions, from the entrepreneurial spirit of minority and immigrant churches to the pioneering use of digital platforms like crowdfunding. We'll explo...

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