I’m a native-born Tennessean and hopeless layman whose spent most of his life attending and working for this crazy denomination called the United Methodist Church. As a five second glance at this blog will attest, I’m a huge theological nerd who feels the need to write down everything that goes through my head (whether I should or not). If you enjoy reading any of it, all the better.
I was born in Memphis where I attended Trinity United Methodist all the way through high school. I can’t say it taught me a lot about theology, but it did offer genuine Christian love and safe place to grow and make friends, and for that I’ll always be grateful. I left home to attend Hendrix College, a Methodist school (sensing a theme now?) where I learned about the history and theology of my denomination and this crazy guy named John Wesley for the first time. The ideas of this Eighteenth Century pastor astonished and challenged me: grace and works acting together in salvation, grace acting on its own outside the walls and minds of the church, and Christians being expected to comform every aspect of their lives to model total love for God and neighbor. I realized then I wanted to be a Methodist and advance the mission of this denomination.
I attended divinity school in Nashville and got my Masters in Theological Studies in 2011. After working as a contractor for the United Methodist Commission on Communications (long name for the people in the church who write news stories, promote ministries, and create church media) I was hired by the General Board of Discipleship as the Communications Assistant for New Church Development (the people who help start new congregations and faith communities around the country). That’s where I still work today. I attend Belle Meade UMC in Nashville every Sunday.
I’m called to be layperson. My day job is part of that calling, but not the total sum of it. Most people assume with a seminary degree you either preach or teach. I’ve never had much interest in writing sermons and I only teach the occasional Sunday School lesson. It’s not always easy to explain to people what I do or why, but they all believe me when I say there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.