Future Christian

Future Christian

At the Future Christian Podcast, we talk to pastors, authors, and other faith leaders for helpful advice and practical wisdom to help you lead your church into the future.

Episodes

April 9, 2024 61 mins

Its no secret that the church as an institution in America is undergoing great change, and with it the role and function of clergy. In this episode, Ted Smith joins the show to talk about the history of formal theological education in the United States, the transition from the standing order to voluntary associations as the primary sociological gathering model, the professionalization of ministry, and the emergence of denominations...

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So, you're trying to sustain a church for continued health... while also disrupting the status quo... impossible, right? Not so, says Pastor and author Doug Powe. In this episode, we talk about his book Sustaining While Disrupting, emphasizing the importance of thinking like an outsider, taking risks, and putting aside convictions. Doug makes his case from the stories of the early church in Acts.  He also addresses the challenges o...

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Churches and individuals are facing a time of division and uncertainty, as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, political discord, and changing beliefs about God. In this episode, Mark Feldmeir delves into the realities of leading a progressive congregation in a conservative community, the innovative responses to the pandemic, and the denominational shifts within Methodism. Mark also shares insights from his book, 'Life After God...

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In this episode, Ryan Panzer and Jake Doberenz join Loren and Martha to discuss the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the church. They share examples of how they are currently using AI in ministry. They also discuss the potential and possibilities of AI, including its role as a tool for helping to articulate faith stories and as a productivity booster. The conversation also highlights the importance of preaching and teaching, ...

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In this conversation, Liz Cooledge Jenkins shares her journey from growing up in a Mainline Protestant church to exploring conservative evangelicalism and eventually returning to Mainline Protestant communities. She discusses the reasons why many people leave mainline contexts for evangelicalism and the challenges she faced within evangelical churches. She shares insights from her book, 'Nice Churchy Patriarchy: Reclaiming Women's ...

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Is your church seeking to advocate for affordable housing? In this episode, Jessica Dominguez joins the show to talk about her work helping churches develop land for housing and what churches can do, big and small to make a difference. Beginning with a 20-year career in public education to a pivotal role in shaping Denver's housing priorities, Jessica recounts the moment that ignited her mission to combat housing insecurity, a call...

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In this conversation, Dave Boden discusses the importance of reaching people beyond the church and the need for a fresh approach to evangelism and discipleship. He emphasizes the concept of belonging before believing and the power of hospitality in creating a sense of community. Dave also highlights the limitations of logic-based arguments and the importance of experiential learning in the process of faith. He encourages Christians...

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Pastoral ministry seems harder than ever. Data shows pastors are increasingly feeling burnt out while churches are also less inclined to want to change. What is a stressed pastor to do? In this episode, recorded at Phillips Theological Seminary during the Remind and Renew conference, Kinsie Tate, a licensed counselor and founder of Restore Clergy, discusses the challenges clergy face, including burnout exacerbated by the pandemic, ...

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In this episode, Rev. Dr. Irie Lynne Session, co-pastor of The Gathering Experience, a Womanist church in Texas, joins the show to talk about Womanism and how it has profoundly influenced her interpretation of scripture and her methodology in preaching. Recorded at Phillips Theological Seminary during the Remind and Renew conference, Dr. Irie discusses her transition from Churches of Christ to the Christian Church (Disciples of Chr...

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Do you believe you can accomplish what God has placed on your heart? This is the key question Dea Jenkins helps pastors and spiritual leaders through, encouraging them to trust their heart and trust the process, letting go of the results. In this conversation, Dea also addresses the challenges of harmful practices within church institutions and emphasizes the importance of relationships and listening to God, oneself, and the commun...

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Since Covid, most churches have whole-heartedly embraced digital. But what are the effects of the digital age on discipleship, community, and understanding the Bible? In this episode, Jay Kim talks about the intersection of digital culture and the church, emphasizing the importance of maintaining analog, embodied practices within the church to foster transformation, despite the informative nature of digital mediums. Kim describes t...

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It's predicted by 2030, an estimated 100,000 church buildings will either be sold or repurposed. With this impending reality, Mark Elsdon asks a key question--will these buildings be gone...for good? In this conversation, Mark compares this shift to the decline of video rental stores and underscores the need for purposeful action in repurposing these spaces. Mark highlights the community impact and explores alternatives to selling,...

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In this episode,  Dr. Scott Thumma discusses the evolution of congregational life and denominational shifts, drawing from 30 years of research. He reflects on his personal faith journey and the rise of megachurches, noting their advantages and the challenges smaller congregations face. The conversation also explores the growth of non-denominational churches and the decreasing importance of denominational identity. Dr. Thumma emphas...

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In this episode of the Future Christian Podcast, guest host Martha Tartarnic sits down with Justin Anthony, the rector of Chingford (UK) parish, to delve into the nuances of leadership within the church and why our pervasive language around leadership is actually ill-defined and problematic. The conversation aims to invite careful and considered thought about how we talk about ministry in the church and why the language we use has ...

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In this episode, Martha Tatarnic talks with Michael Graham, co-author of The Great De-Churching about his journey from a fundamentalist upbringing to a more gospel-centered faith. Graham shares his transition from a focus on end times and culture wars to a tradition that emphasizes the core of the gospel and its implications for life. He discusses the importance of Bible study, healthy discipleship, and interdenominational cooperat...

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Guest host Martha Tatarnic leads a conversation with Dr. Amy Frykholm, senior editor at the Christian Century magazine. They discuss the role of media in serving the church, their personal faith journeys, and the mission of the magazine. The conversation also covers the redesign of the magazine, the themes of the Future Christian Podcast, and Dr. Frykholm's hopes for the future of Christianity. 

Amy Frykholm is a senior editor at T...

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In the final episode of Season 14 of the Future Christian Podcast, guest host/co-host Martha Tatarnic joins Loren Richmond Jr. to reflect on the season's highlights and broader themes.  The conversation includes a discussion on the church's role in a secular age, why sacred space matters, and the importance of maintaining wonder and awe in faith. They also touch on the grief of church closures and the future of theological educatio...

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Historically, the church has a tendency to colonize as a means to achieve growth. To break that dynamic, new models need to emerge. Enter DisciplesNEXT, a methodology from Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez and the New Church Ministry Team of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In this conversation, we talk about how the model emerged, how it seeks to be different from previous models, and what are the "ecclesial minimums" or "faithful...

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What's the Future of Theological Education? In this episode, Rev. Ulysses Allen, the Director of Recruitment and Retention at Phillips Seminary joins the show to talk about the challenges faced by seminarians, including student loan debt and limited job opportunities. Despite these challenges, Allen highlights the importance of seminary education in providing a foundation for engaging with difficult texts, understanding oneself bet...

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Most Pastors would agree that the American church in the midst of a crisis of decline, as lagging attendance, giving, and influence continue to cause havoc in local congregations. Yet, despite all this, Andrew Root argues the real crisis that should keep pastors up at night isn't shrinking budgets or lessening participation--rather it is the realization that for most people, even many pastors, we can live and act as if God doesn't ...

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