Archives For March 2012


***EDIT: Below is a summary of The Hunger Games triology which may contain spoilers. Should you wish to skip it, go to the paragraph that begins with “The relationship between Dominant violence…”

This weekend, the film The Hunger Games opened in the U.S. and is on track to become the biggest box office smash hit of a first-installment-of-a-teen-series-based-on-a-book since the last first-installment-of-a-teen-series-based-on-a-book hit theaters. It will, reportedly, gross somewhere between eleventy zillion and one bajillion dollars (US).

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One year ago today, I was fired from my job at a suburban megachurch. 

Why? Well, in the short meeting that was held to inform me of the decision the only reason given was a nebulous, “you’re just not a good fit for the role.” I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on that after my inquiries for further explanation via email went unheeded. I think that there were probably a variety of bad fits that led to my dismissal.

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The first time I read Shelley Trebesch’s Isolation was in the summer of 2010. I’d recently been “let go” from my job at a church for “not being a good fit.” It was (and still is) a painful experience and I was (and still am) having a tough time processing it. 

My friend and doctoral colleague, Glenn Williams, suggested Trebesch’s book. He’d also navigated a similar situation and found the small book offered big insights into what happens when someone in ministry experiences a period of isolation. The book is written for people in ministry about how to navigate times when they are not actively engaged in ministry. As another colleague, Russ Pierson, notes on his blog, this limits the scope of Trebesch’s immediate audience and possibly narrows the context of applicability. 

You, dear reader, may not be involved in something you’d call “ministry.” But I’ll wager that Trebesch has something to say to you as well. If you have the time and the resolve to expose yourself to 100 pages of “insider” talk about the practice of ministry, analysis of Biblical characters, and the insecurities of those who practice professional ministry, you might find that there are takeaways that work in your context as well. Continue Reading…


It seems like every few months a new social media service is launched or a new tech product hits the market. Just this week, Apple launched the third iteration of its iPad. In the two years since its initial appearance, the iPad has become Apple’s best selling product. Ever. SXSW Interactive kicks off today and we’ll likely be hearing a lot about the new media showcased there (the festival played a huge role in Twitter’s growth back in 2007). 

Less than a year ago, people we clamoring for invites into Google+, which promised to revolutionize the way that users interact with one another via the internet. More recently, the photo reblogging site Pinterest went viral with the 20- and 30-something (mostly female) set just a few months after its launch, spawning male-oriented imitations like Gentlemint and Manteresting.

New media isn’t, well, new. For the past two centuries we’ve grown accustomed to a steady stream of innovative technology and means of communication showing up in the marketplace. Time, it seems, acts as the final arbiter for determining a given media’s long-term successContinue Reading…