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 4 | Rethinking the Clergy/Laity Distinction

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Ekklesia Podcast. In this episode I crack open the lid on the clergy/laity distinction that exists within the institutional church. Like so many other topics we’re going to discuss as this podcast continues to grow and move along, this won’t be the only time we address this subject. It’s more of an introduction to the issue.

Do the words “clergy” and “laity” appear anywhere in the New Testament and if so, what do they refer to? Is there such a thing in Christ’s ekklesia as a professional clergy who have authority over a non-professional segment of his body, called the laity? What is the role of history and tradition in influencing our thinking of the clergy/laity separation? Has tradition trumped scripture in our understanding of top-down authority structures in the institutional church? Join me as I talk about these important questions and more. Welcome to The Ekklesia Podcast!

This episode is the 4th of 4 episodes that were originally on my old UnSunday Podcast. I’m shutting that podcast show down and have moved here instead. I think “Ekklesia” is a better reflection of the things I want to say than “UnSunday” was.

-Mike

Episode 3 | Who Are the Pastors?

Welcome to the third episode of the Ekklesia Podcast! I’m still feeling my way through the newness of this podcast. Thanks for joining me on this journey. In this episode, I interact with Jon Zens’ latest book entitled, Jesus is Family: His Life Together as I talk about pastors in the ekklesia and the detriment that top-down authority structures are to authentic life in the assembly. We seem to be ignoring Jesus’ words, “It shall not be so among you” when it comes to power and control in the institutional church. Zens’ book is one of the best I’ve ever read on the ekklesia. I recommend it without hesitation.

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

Enjoy!