Tell us a little about yourself.
I am priest at St. Andrew’s Church Little Rock where I serve as the “pastor of discipleship.” My wife, Caralisa, and I have lived here for 5 years. We have a daughter named Ruthie. I’m also currently a DMin student in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary. If I’m not writing, you can find me hiking with my family, running, or cycling. All of these things are fueled by a steady stream of coffee, which also happens to be my love language.
What is Missio Alliance and how did you get connected with them?
Missio Alliance is a network of pastors and churches who seek to understand how the church can join God’s mission in ways that are faithful to the Gospel in an increasingly post-Christian, North American context. More than anything, MA is a hub for cultivating an imagination for this type of missional, Gospel faithfulness in a way that is grounded in sound theology and practice. The “voices” that represent this network come from a plurality of “denominational” backgrounds (Baptist, Methodist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and even Anglican). You can learn more about the history, distinctives, and initiatives of MA on their website: http://www.missioalliance.org/originating-convictions/
I got involved with MA through relationships developed while my wife and I lived in Chicago. Some of the early conversations that birthed MA were happening in our community, so there was a sense in which I was naturally caught-up into the movement as it was unfolding back in 2011. After MAs first national gathering in 2013, the executive directors sought to develop a greater online presence with a blog, and I was asked to be part of their writing team. I’ve been writing for MA since the blog launched.
How did you start writing? Where did this start for you?
Writing has been a creative outlet for me for as long as I can remember. In grade school I would write fantastical, freeform stories. I took pleasure in simply letting my mind wander, not knowing where I would go. Throughout college and graduate school, writing became necessary for survival. Now, in the midst of a busy schedule, writing has become a discipline – a practice that I submit my body to even when I don’t feel like it. There is a holy catharsis in this process.
What do you hope to accomplish in this endeavor?
I look at this endeavor relationally – I’m honoring a covenant I made with my fellow missional practitioners when I accepted their invitation to join the network by writing. I know that I’ve honored that covenant when I’m faithful to tell the truth about what I see and what is in me. That is my primary goal. Secondary to that is the recognition that the only way to become a better writer is to write, so I see the responsibilities I have with MA as a way to be held accountable in practicing this discipline.