Archives For process


mjkimpan  —  July 15, 2015 — 4 Comments


this one is a little link happy.

over the past weekend i was honored to attend and participate in the Wild Goose Festival along with a number of my friends. as is tradition, there were multiple conversations had and relationships established with folks i’d previously not had the privilege of meeting.

a number of these conversations began with simple questions and quickly evolved into more sophisticated discussions. most of these revolved around the life, teachings and example of jesus – and how those of us whom identify as christ-followers can best take our cues from the gospel narratives and apply a christ-centered response in our current culture.

i found myself repeating stories from the scriptures on which i’ve taught or spoken or written – causing me to consider a type of FAQ format for conversations – particularly those on the interpretation of what is so often called ‘good news.’ Continue Reading…


mjkimpan  —  April 28, 2015 — Leave a comment


some exciting changes taking place…

as most of my readers are aware, the past two years have enabled me to participate in some wonderful work as the executive director at The Marin Foundation. over that time i’ve been able to work with political leaders, pastors and culturally competent individuals to actively encourage and facilitate peaceful and productive dialogue at the intersection of faith, gender and sexuality. it has been a great honor to work toward reconciliation in spaces that are too often defined by polarized, back-and-forth, win/lose rhetoric.

while i still wholeheartedly support both the work and mission of The Marin Foundation – as well as its staff here in chicago – it has become apparent in recent months that it is time for me to move on and continue to expand that great work elsewhere, in addition to pursuing my passion surrounding inter-faith dialogue and the ever-unfolding story of God’s good news for all people.

in coming weeks i’ll be making official announcements regarding the new opportunities to promote a just and generous expression of the faith within various spaces, and i’m genuinely excited to do so. one organization i will be partnering with is Convergence and their efforts to work with progressive evangelicals – which you can learn more about here.

i will also be partnering with a number of other friends and organizations that are doing similar work, ranging from hyper-local community activism to global initiatives collaborating for the common good as we address concerns in the areas of peace, poverty and our planet. stay tuned here on my blog for more in coming weeks.

i’m grateful for the tremendous support my readers given to me and this important work, and for your continued friendship and engagement in thoughtful conversation with the purpose of inspiring intentional movement toward the Other. each of these ingredients are essential for the flourishing of what i believe to be the future of christianity – an expression of imitating the life, examples and teachings of the jesus we claim to follow.


mjkimpan  —  March 2, 2015 — 6 Comments



over the past few days, i’ve been in pasadena participating in the Level Ground film festival with friends and colleagues who desire to create safe and sacred spaces in conversations surrounding faith, gender and sexuality across a variety of theological perspectives.

the mission statement of Level Ground is similar to that of The Marin Foundation, with a specific focus on art and film ::

Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.

the name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of isaiah. the name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred – though likely uncomfortable – level ground.

one person doing similar work in her specific context is my canadian friend wendy gritter. she and i spent some good time together this week, discussing both the rewards and challenges of being leaders in these spaces. as we ‘talked shop,’ our  tête-à-tête drifted into some of the less-than-flattering names we’ve each been called – and how we each have at times had a tendency to preemptively label ourselves as heretics in an effort of self-protection. Continue Reading…


prior to coming to The Marin Foundation, i lived for a few short years in central illinois. during that time i became familiar with a practice known as ‘cow-tipping’ – a favorite pastime of rural adolescents, during which they will sneak up on an unsuspecting cow and push it over for entertainment. some say cow-tipping is impossible. others claim to have successfully tipped many-a-cow. the debate rages on.

i kid you not.

while i avoided ever engaging in such an activity (for fear of a response from PETA or being charged by an angry bull, i can’t accurately determine), i suppose in my more gracious moments i can understand the draw. i also can’t imagine cows are easy to tip over…and once you successfully get one to fall, i suspect you’d want to run away – and fast.

Continue Reading…


this one might catch some flack…

as i’ve expressed in previous posts, i’ve been recently again inspired by the wisdom and posture of my friend brian mclaren. in the midst of recent bad news, brian has determined to share only good news specifically through the medium of poetry – daily providing content which is uplifting, inspiring and encouraging – though not absent of a subversive challenge toward (re)thinking the systemic problems inherent within the status quo.

enter dave matthews.

toward that end, we’ve engaged in a series here at the WayWard follower entitled ‘the gospel according to dave matthews’ – aimed at inspiring thoughtful conversation and intentional movement – and we’ve used dave’s lyrics as fodder in those discussions.

today’s post embodies some subtle tensions many within the church may be uncomfortable with – seeing God as a bartender, drink as absolution, sin as an inescapable and even excusable reality of the human experience, prayer as a (sometimes?) futile endeavor, and depicts even true followers as merely more than hope-filled doubters – yet these lyrics encompass, i think, the opportunity for us to honestly grapple with an understanding of God as One who can handle even our most honest and most vulnerable thoughts.

if only our faith communities reflected that reality.

Continue Reading…


we continue our series on an alternative look at the gospel through the lyrics of DMB with a fan favorite during each LIVE performance by the group. everyday has a simple yet deeply profound message – nearly as simple (and simultaneously entirely complicated) as the command of christ to love our neighbor.

Continue Reading…


this is beyond embarrassing.

it is un-christlike.

in the following video, ‘christian’ activists briefly disrupted a hindu invocation in the us senate, marring a historic first for the chamber in allowing an actual separation of ‘church’ and ‘state.’

Continue Reading…


mjkimpan  —  May 5, 2014 — 6 Comments


there is a difference between things that are painful, and things that are destructive.

embrace the former, and reject the latter.

i am convinced we are in the midst of a seismic shift – a massive, historic reformation of the way we define what it means to follow jesus. how we understand the bible, the gospel, heaven and hell are being challenged and poked and prodded and picked up and looked at from the underside before being placed back on the shelf of ‘religion’ – and in many cases, the spot the good book is placed in on the shelf has moved dramatically from where it had initially been picked up.

many have found that in the midst of this shift, some voices – ones who may have helped forge their faith in the past – are no longer able to help them grow; in fact, they may even hinder their growth…holding them back from what they feel called forward to.

how can this be?

Continue Reading…


it’s no surprise that as humans we have an inherent propensity to gravitate toward individuals and ways of thinking which reflect our own personal convictions and biases. our ‘comfort zones’ are made up of the familiar – things which reinforce the world as we already interpret it.

this familiarity provides for us the comfort of the similar – we often surround ourselves with like-minded people – reflecting our belief systems, behaviors and preferred philosophies and perspectives.

this ‘sameness’ is indeed part of the human experience; and yet, left unchecked, it can also lend itself toward the sort of dangerous Groupishness i’ve discussed at length here on the blog in the past. creating a cultural norm of us/them || in/out and refusing to generously engage the Other can, in fact, lead us backwards to a sort of tribalism which is inherently inhospitable and ungracious.

striking that balance is an important part of creating space for civil dialogue and disagreement.

Continue Reading…

missing the point.

mjkimpan  —  May 1, 2014 — 6 Comments


just moments ago, i stumbled across an Op-Ed piece on CNN’s blog.

unsurprisingly, it was written about the recent controversial execution by lethal injection tuesday in oklahoma – a ‘botched execution’ that went so wrong that the same news agency wrote previously that ‘it will also prompt many Americans across the country to rethink the wisdom, and the morality, of capital punishment.

As it well should.

enter al mohler’s Op-Ed piece.

much to my dismay, the title of the article written by the widely respected president of the flagship school for the largest protestant denomination in our country (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) with 16.2 million members was this ::

Why Christians should support the death penalty

how have we gotten the message of jesus so damned wrong?

Continue Reading…