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!

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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 2 | How Did We Get Here?

Welcome to episode 2 of The Ekklesia Podcast! My wife Susan joins me in this episode as we escape the extreme heat of the southwest and find ourselves in the tall pines of Arizona. It was there that we decided to record this episode – a podcast in the pines. I’m pleased with the way it turned out. I was a little concerned because we were outside in an uncontrolled environment.

In this episode we talk about how we got here. How did the institutional church get to where it is today? Where did the modern top-down authority structure that we see in so many institutional church settings come from? Did we get here by accident or was it intentional? What did Jesus say about top-down authority? Does the modern institutional church reflect the New Testament’s anticipation of it? Join us as we ask honest and direct questions about these subjects and more!

This episode was originally on my old UnSunday Podcast. I’m shutting that podcast show down and have moved it here instead. I think “Ekklesia” is a better reflection of the things I want to say than “UnSunday” was.

Enjoy!

Episode 1 | Introduction

Welcome to the new Ekklesia Podcast! I’m labeling these first four episodes UnSunday because they are the episodes I started on my UnSunday Podcast and have since moved them to the new Ekklesia Podcast. Ekklesia more accurately describes this podcast, so I will be closing the UnSunday Podcast soon. All the Unsunday episodes are here and labeled UnSunday in the title.

In this episode, I introduce the podcast and talk about some of the subjects I want to cover in future episodes. I chose the name Ekklesia because I think it accurately describes my own journey out of the institutional church and into a more authentic reality that enables me to be more genuine about who I am. As a former pastor in the institutional church setting, I had to wear a lot of masks to cover up who I really was and what I really thought. As I mention in this episode, I love Christ’s assembly, but I question whether many of the practices in the modern institutional church setting are what Jesus had in mind and whether today’s institutional church is an accurate reflection of what the Ekklesia should be.

Join me on this journey as we engage in this much needed ongoing conversation.

-Mike