Bus Ride to Memphis

I met a young man on the way to Memphis; he told me quite plainly, though he didn’t say in words, “I’m looking for something I’ve not yet found, I’m looking for someone who won’t let me down.” He said “I’m a cynic” with a kind-hearted sneer; “I’ve known your religion for the past twentyContinue reading “Bus Ride to Memphis”

How to Disagree and Keep Your Religion

A few days after Bill Clinton was elected, I (Rick) was facilitating a small-group leaders’ meeting. One of the leaders whose political convictions leaned strongly Republican suggested that our small groups should have a time of lament in light of the recent election. Some others nodded in agreement. Was this a good idea? I thoughtContinue reading “How to Disagree and Keep Your Religion”

The Greatest Influence on Our Teenagers and Children

Why are parents the most important figures shaping the religious lives and futures of their children in the United States? The primary and powerful role of parents in religious socialization may seem obvious to readers today. But that is because we are familiar with our current system, not because it is historically normal or inevitable.Continue reading “The Greatest Influence on Our Teenagers and Children”

Fellowship of the Faithful

Jesus asked His disciples to do something that clearly was impossible. There were five thousand men, along with their families, and they were famished. There were only five loaves of bread and two small fish—obviously not enough to feed a multitude. The cost of food for even a portion of the crowd would have farContinue reading “Fellowship of the Faithful”

Pardon Me? Your Habits Are Showing.

Remember when people were excited about the end of 2020? Now, at the end of 2021, such excitement seems naive. The pandemic lingers. Polarization remains high. People remain tired. Many churches are still struggling to regain their footing. Reports suggest many pastors are ready to resign. Nobody’s enjoying the disruption to our long-term plans, butContinue reading “Pardon Me? Your Habits Are Showing.”