A few years ago when we moved to Massachusetts, I made the discovery that we lived a mere fifteen minutes from Walden Pond. Since high school, I had long been intrigued by the life and work of Henry David Thoreau, and my new found proximity reintroduced my obsession. Yet, as I started frequenting Concord and picking up some of the best biographies on his life, I found out that not everything was as it seemed.

When we think of Thoreau we often conjure up images of a hermit, a man living on his own terms, describing for us a lifestyle…

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Note: This article was originally posted on the blog at the Russell School of Ministry.

Our culture is obsessed with innovation. In our fast-paced, technological society, innovation is the fuel that keeps us moving forward. Startup companies build their brand on innovation, and existing brands constantly feel the pressure to develop or acquire new products to stay ahead of the competition. Colleges and universities continue to raise support to fund innovation labs, where students can get support and guidance for developing new ideas. Every industry, from health care, to automotive, to entertainment, is being quickly changed by the innovation conversation…

Photo by Nicolas Lobos

In 2017, my family announced that we were heading to the Greater Boston area to start a new church work. We didn’t totally have all our plans vetted out at that point, but as time went on it was clear that we were going to take a missional approach to planting. Such a decision was met with quite a bit of push back, and we were forced to spend well over a year clarifying our dream of microchurches and missional living to those who were supporting us. At every step in the process we’ve been dismissed or had naysayers.


Photo by Eddi Aguirre

You’re a pastor or a church planter who has moved to Brooklyn or Berkley or Boulder. Maybe you received a call to transplant yourself from Georgia or Grand Rapids or some other “religious” region of the country, sensing a burden to proclaim the gospel in one of the many so-called “godless” urban regions of North America. You’ve left your Jerusalem on a mission to Babylon. You came with what you thought were all the answers to the unanswered questions these “secular” people had. But it didn’t take long for you to realize that the questions weren’t just unanswered; they were…

Photo by Spencer Watson

“I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.” — Raymond Carver

I stayed up late a few weeks ago reflecting on an evening that snuck up and grabbed my heart in the most unexpected way. Just a few hours earlier I had been sharing life and worshipping with our microchurch community, when in the midst of an otherwise nondescript evening, something subtly significant transpired. I couldn’t sleep as I pondered all that I was feeling.

Photo by Cathryn Lavery

“Discipleship, we might say, is a way to curate your heart, to be attentive to and intentional about what you love.” - James K.A. Smith

The church is in the business of change. From our inception, we’ve been called and commissioned to join God’s redemptive work in the world of making all things new. It’s a job we do not own, but one we simply participate in.

Nothing about that is all that shocking. Almost every church shares a similar heartbeat of missional calling — plastering statements on walls and websites that look almost identical. …

Photo by Marvin Sandoval

The end of the year is a time for reflection and evaluation for almost everyone. There is something powerful about nearing the end of our calendars when we can dwell with our joys, regrets, and accomplishments from the last twelve months while looking forward to turning the page and starting fresh in the new year.

I’ve always been one to cherish this simple exercise. As an Enneagram Type 3 who is always pushing forward, driving performance, and trying to be the best I can be, this fits in my wheelhouse pretty well. …

Drew Thurman

Church planter & aspiring social entrepreneur in Boston. Also the hub director for Forge Boston. I write about faith, spirituality, and missional expressions.

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