New Episode and New Web Site

Hey friends, I published a new episode of The Ekklesia Podcast a few minutes ago. It coincides with the launch of my new Ekklesia web site. I’ve purchased a domain that gives me more control over what appears on it, with no ads. Plus, it’s cheap, and I’m all about cheap as I progress further into retirement. You’ll find the new web site and all future episodes of The Ekklesia Podcast at http://ekklesiapodcast.com/. You’ll still see all future and past episodes in whatever podcast app you use on your smart devices. There’s nothing you need to do.

I hope you’ll make the leap to http://ekklesiapodcast.com/ and continue to join me as I talk about my journey from Church back to Ekklesia!

-Mike

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Episode 11 | Pulpits and Pastors

Welcome to episode 11 of the Ekklesia Podcast. Let’s talk about pulpits and pastors. Almost without exception, the pulpit is central in institutional church settings. Everything points to the pulpit. The seating is intentionally arranged facing the pulpit. The pulpit is probably on a raised platform. All of the instructions associated with the Sunday event are pulpit dependent and originate from one person or a select few. We’re told when to stand, when to sit, when to sing, when to say hi to people, when to eat the cracker and juice/wine, and when to give. The pulpit is central and our Sunday morning instructions and lecture originate there. Is this the ekklesia? Is this community?

Is this healthy for the assembly, or harmful? Let’s talk about it. This episode is based on two short blog posts I’ve written.

-Enjoy!

Episode 10 | Community and Accountability

Happy New Year and welcome to episode 10 of The Ekklesia Podcast. We’ve broken through the single-digit episode barrier on this first day of 2018! In this episode, let’s talk about community and accountability. In our various church settings, we hear a lot about community and accountability. In fact, we often hear them referenced in conversation as two components of the same thing. We’ve been told that accountability is the vehicle that gets us to genuine community so we climb aboard the accountability bus, thinking it’s going to take us to community only to find that bus is traveling in the wrong direction.

All things being equal, most of us warm up to the idea of community. Most of us desire genuine community that’s based on love and affection but we cringe at hearing the word accountability. And rightly so. More often than not, accountability kills genuine community because instead of being based on love, it’s based on conformity to rules and it employs rewards for conformity to those rules and punishments for failure to conform.

This episode is loosely based on a paper I wrote entitled, Rethinking Church: Community and Accountability. You can download that paper at https://ekklesiablogs.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/rethinking-church-community-and-accountability/. It’s part of a five-part series I wrote called Rethinking Church. You can see the entire series at https://ekklesiablogs.wordpress.com/category/rethinking-church-series/.

-Enjoy!

Episode 9 | Rethinking Formal Church Membership

Welcome to episode 9 of the Ekklesia Podcast. Let’s talk about formal church membership. Is formal church membership necessary and why do most institutional church settings require it? Why am I viewed with suspicion if I don’t become a formal member in an institutional church? Is formal church membership a neutral idea or is it something that is detrimental to genuine community and practicing the “one anothers” in the New Testament? Am I obligated to sign a formal church membership contract? Is formal membership in a church a required part of Christianity? Does God require formal church membership?

Let’s talk about these questions and more in this episode of The Ekklesia Podcast. Most formal church membership contracts revolve around three main areas affecting our lives:

  1. Your Money and Personal Resources.
  2. Power, Authority, and Your Accountability.
  3. Threat of Excommunication for Failure to Meet Expectations.

In this episode I talk about all three as I interact with on-line sources and draw from personal experience as a former pastor.

Sources referenced in this episode:

Enjoy!

Episode 8 | Flirting with Moses

Welcome to episode 8 of the Ekklesia Podcast. As I take my place behind the podcast microphone for the first time in about 2 months, let’s talk about some foundational truths that we’ll be drawing on in future episodes. Let’s talk about some of the major differences between the Old and New Covenants and how the church tends to confuse the two and get things mixed up. I mentioned in a previous episode that we don’t really know what to do with Moses. We like to keep enough of Moses around to use the Law for guilting people into supporting our institutions. We like to flirt with Moses by letting just enough of what he has to say creep into our New Covenant settings without getting too carried away. We like to use Moses to guilt people into jumping through more hoops than they already are, or to keep them jumping through the same ones they’re already jumping through.

But does the Law of Moses and the Old Covenant have any place in the ekklesia or in the New Covenant? Let’s talk about it!

-Enjoy!

Episode 7 | Performance Burnout: My Conversation with Rocky Glenn

“Before I got saved, they said God loves me unconditionally. Now after I’m saved, they gave me a list of conditions and instructions.”

This is a quote Rocky Glenn shared with me during our conversation about his journey out of the institutional church. It’s a quote that describes the experience of so many as they are leaving the institutional church setting to find a more authentic experience outside its walls. While so many are exiting the traditional, institutionalized church setting, they are not leaving the Jesus. They feel the institutional church has to varying degrees. The freedom we initially experience when new to the faith, quickly gets squashed as we’re told we need to do more and try harder. We’re told we need to get busy jumping through all the hoops the church throws at us and if we fail to perform as expected, God is somehow disappointed in us. Climbing on the performance treadmill in this way is the beginning of the end for many of us when we realize it’s an expectation of the institutional church and not God. We end up exhausted and the relationships with the people in our lives who matter most, suffer the most. Eventually, many throw in the towel and walk away from it.

In this episode Rocky and I interact with his story as he relates his experiences leading up to his departure from the institutional church environment and the circumstances around that decision and where that decision has taken them thus far. Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a comfortable chair, and join our conversation.

What is the Ekklesia?

Ekklesia (pronounced ek-lay-SEE-a) is a transliteration of the Greek word used in the New Testament that is most commonly translated “church” in our English Bibles. The word “church” comes from an old English wording meaning “a lord’s house” and is a poor translation of ekklesia. Far from referring to a location or an institutional setting, ekklesia refers to a community of people living life together without the added pressure of institutional obligations that lead to burnout. We will no doubt, flesh this out more as future episodes unfold.

Links we talk about in this episode:

Subscribe to The Ekklesia Podcast in iTunes.

Enjoy!

Episode 6 | A Greater Than Moses

Welcome to episode 6 of The Ekklesia Podcast! So much of what we encounter in the institutional church setting has its roots in the Old Covenant. Sanctuaries, special days, special places, special people who alone, can intercede between God and the people, tithing, and observance of Old Covenant rules and regulations spot the institutional church landscape. But do these things have any place in the New Covenant ekklesia? Are these pictures that are all over the Old Covenant something we should be preoccupied with today, or are they done away in Christ?

Put your thinking caps on and let’s talk about some of the differences between the Old and New Covenants. It seems like we don’t know what to do with Moses. What is the role of the Old Covenant law of Moses in the ekklesia today? Does it even have a role? Let’s talk about it.

This episode coincides with the launching of The Ekklesia Podcast YouTube page. Yep, I started a YouTube channel for The Ekklesia Podcast. Check it out on YouTube

-Enjoy!