Last week the black church world was in yet another uproar due to Facebook Live. In this installment, infamous gospel, Leandria Johnson goes on a smoke filled rant that included some content worthy of a Parental Advisement sticker. She goes in on the ecclesiastical establishment about hypocrisy, elitism, and the damage it causes people; punctuating her complaints with strong stiff “f*** you” to the church. (more…)

I haven’t completely figured out the official cutoffs, but it’s generally accepted that I am a late Generation X’er. There are many things that differentiate us from other generations but I believe one of the greatest differences is that we are a passion driven generation. Before us, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations were all focused on potential. To this day, Boomers are concerned that their grandchildren live up to their potential by pushing  education and getting a good job. Think about the civil rights movements, feminism, and the space programs of the sixties and early seventies, and you will see how much that generation wanted to maximize the capacity of what they could do. I was raised and educated by that generation, and they are still watching me to make sure I live up to my potential. (more…)

The three words I have often uttered to describe where I am in my ministerial career: “ministry is hard”. Lately, I’m coming to learn that these words may actually be “full of it”. While it is true, for me at least, the ministry was not a career move. I never chose ministry: ministry chose me. I do it because I am truly compelled to, and I feel it is my God-given calling to mainly teach, then preach, and lead. Yes, I feel an obligation to God to fulfill this purpose, and some have made me feel as if the simple presence of purpose should make the process painlessly easy. And I don’t ever want to negate the hard work that goes into studying, planning, and executing ministry, while performing some of the mundane tasks of pastoring. All this may be true, but these aren’t the reasons ministry is hard.  (more…)

In the world of social media, there is a lot that my “friends” are passionate about. From #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, and let us not forget about #KanyeAndKirk. Then there’s the presidential election and water for Flint. There is so much for all of us to be outraged about, or at least worked up. We live in a sad, sad world, that is full of disappointments, injustice and unrighteousness. But at the end of the day we’ve got to pick our battles. (more…)

I am a pastor, and as a pastor, the single most popular question that people ask me is “How is the church going?” Different people ask for different reasons, but they all say the same thing: “How’s the church going?”, as to inquire about its size. I’ll be honest and say, depending on who asked and why I think they asked it, determines how I answer the question; but I always answer the question honestly. For the sake of brevity I will be direct with you, mostly because you didn’t ask. I pastor a small church. A very small: like smaller than the average small church. For me it is both outstanding and overwhelming. It is simultaneously fantastic and frustrating, because small churches, just like everything else in life has its pros and cons. I really enjoy the intimacy of the small church, because it feels like family, but the limited resources present a burden that many larger church don’t have to stress about. So long story short, our church work is good but it’s not easy. (more…)

In the wake of tragedy, we can always be found discussing what happened, why it happened, and who is at fault. It’s human nature to examine problems and find causes. But the key component that we don’t always include are solutions. There is a lot of needed discussion around the topics race relations and police brutality, but I believe the only reason there is violence in the streets is because we aren’t moving quickly enough to solutions that could actually fix the problems. People are tired of talking heads and sound bites. Everyone who has answers, may not really have solutions; so how do we move from rhetoric to solutions? How can you help prevent a Baltimore or Ferguson (or now Dallas, as of 7/7/16) from happening in Your City, USA? 5 Things are needed: (more…)

So here we are, almost exactly 5 months past the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, and there is social unrest in the streets of Baltimore. Unfortunately, lesson have still not been learned, and another unarmed black man is dead at the hands of police. I wrote a piece called, Not Like This, back on December 1, 2014, and this message is yet relevant today. So here it is again with a few names and details changed, because this is the same problem on a different day … (more…)