Well, here it is. I am finally launching ThePunkPastor.com. I have been dreaming about this website for a long time, and I have finally committed to diving in. In the past, I have made some feeble attempts at getting a blog going, but this is my passion project. This is the place where I will authentically share my hopes, dreams, visions, and all of the many thoughts that constantly swirl through my mind. As I have reflected on what my purpose for sharing all of this is, a phrase keeps haunting my thoughts: Provoking a revolution of kindness.
Provoking a Revolution of Kindness?
Yeah, it's one of those phrases that I can't seem to shake. When it first popped into my head I thought it sounded pretty ridiculous. Well, as ridiculous as it is, I can't think of anything else that better describes what I hope to do here. For as long as I can remember, I have looked at the world and believed that we are not living the way we should. There have been times when I have looked around and seen nothing but brokenness and pain. I have struggled to find meaning and purpose in the world in the midst of all the suffering. Eventually, I started to believe that there is hope for humankind.
Perhaps I just couldn't hold it in anymore. Perhaps national and global events over the past year or so have magnified just how broken and divided we are. Or, perhaps I have met enough people who are asking deep questions about meaning, purpose, and what it means to live together in the world. Whatever the reason, I am ready to start speaking. I am ready for a revolution.
Why call it The Punk Pastor?
There are two parts of my identity that deeply inform my worldview and my vision for what life together can look like. The 90's & early 2000's New Jersey punk scene was the community that nurtured me through my formative teenage and young adult years. I had a large network of friends who treated one another as one large family. Sure, it was a dysfunctional family, but what family isn't? It was in this setting that I learned what it was like for an authentic community to journey through all of our struggles together. Of course, punk rock also nurtured my rebellious spirit and taught me to question oppressive authority, challenge stagnant institutions, and stand up for what I believe in.
Although my punk sensibilities lead me to question everything, they did not necessarily provide me with the tools to fill the void of everything that I was deconstructing. A few transformational mystical encounters with God moved me to return to my faith and my roots in the United Methodist Church. Although I was not a fan of the institutional church, I also knew that there were authentic, loving folks within my home church. I found community within the broken institution. In time, I felt called to the ministry and to work within the institution to bring about change. To this day, I continue to believe that Jesus was a radical community builder who set out to start a revolution of kindness.
What will this all look like?
As far as the form that my musings will take, it is my intention to mostly focus on putting out weekly podcast episodes. Those will be my personal playground for wrestling with radical ideas about meaning, purpose, and community building. Eventually, I will also bring guests on to share in my ranting and wrestling. I have been agonizing over trying to record something that is perfect, and that has been keeping me from putting anything out there. So, very soon I will be recording something that will probably be far less than perfect but will get the ball rolling. If you want to know when the podcast launches sign up for my email newsletter here.
In addition to the podcast, I will be blogging and playing around with video and other stuff. The podcast will be the heart of the site with everything else evolving over time. For now, I invite you to jump in and follow along. You can connect with me on The Punk Pastor Facebook page, on Twitter @ThePunkPastor, or sign up for the email newsletter. I hope you'll join me. It's time for the revolution!