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:

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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


Episode 5 | Our Journey Out of the Institutional Church

Welcome to Episode five of the Ekklesia Podcast! The is the first episode in our new home at The Ekklesia Podcast. My wife Susan joins me again for this episode as we talk about our journey out of the institutional church setting and into a more authentic and genuine experience of the ekklesia. We both hit a wall of performance Christianity in 2009 which started us on this journey we’re still on today. The notion of leaving the institutional church was foreign to us until we hit a wall of performance – and we hit it hard! After all, I was a pastor in institutional churches for 20+ years. Why would I leave when I was the one leading?

Join our conversation as we recount what that experience was like and what it continues to be like as we discover a fresh way to live apart from institutional obligations.


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.