survival of the fittest church

kathyescobar church stuff, equality, incarnational, injustice, jesus is cool, leadership, rants 38 Comments

A few months ago I made a big plate of nachos for all of the kids. Within 10 minutes, they were devoured and I made a joke about how life around here is like “survival of the fittest.” The strongest and most-able-to-elbow-everyone-out-to-get-the-guacamole wins. The past few weeks, I also talked to some amazing pastors & leaders who are some of the most humble and kind and dedicated people I know but are struggling with what it looks like to lead in their contexts. Their communities are …

women, men & church: what hurts, what helps

kathyescobar church stuff, co-pastoring, equality, ex good christian women, leadership, women in ministry 14 Comments

Two fridays ago The Refuge hosted our first “Beyond Seminary: Moving Theology into Practice” gathering. Our amazing friend and seminary professor Dr. Deborah Loyd facilitated and we were challenged, encouraged, inspired in all kinds of ways. There were 25 of us there, 21 women and 4 men. Yep. That was a little hard for me but probably tells the real story. Oh, we have to figure out how to get these conversations more balanced! Real, lasting change will happen when both genders are equally committed to learning and …

what if…

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, dreams, incarnational, leadership, the refuge, women in ministry 19 Comments

i was at a really lovely meeting a few weeks ago with a bunch of pastors, and it was wonderfully hopeful except for one thing–there were only three female pastors and a whole lot of white male ones, and not one person of color. even though i know this is reality, it still always startles me. then i heard about a new local church plant that intrigued me. i tried to be hopeful about what type of community it might be, and then i looked at …

the difference between “cultivating communities” and “building churches”

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, dreams, incarnational, leadership, the refuge 15 Comments

i originally wrote this post in 2010, and it’s part of down we go. but in the past couple of weeks i’ve had some interesting conversations that reminded me of it and i thought i’d pare it down and re-post it. it’s funny, still, after these years, my thought is pretty much the same except for adding one more point at the end. there’s a huge difference between cultivating a community & building a church.   like the word “pastor”, the word “church” has become gravely misunderstood. …

healers, bridge-builders, and community cultivators

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, dreams, equality, faith shifts, incarnational, leadership, women in ministry 29 Comments

it was a great weekend at transform 2014 in san diego. it was lovely & inspiring hanging out with old friends & making some new ones, and on my middle-of-the-night-and-trying-to-stay-awake drive from san diego to LAX to catch a morning standby flight that ended up getting cancelled, i had a lot of time to reflect. and a weird thing happened as i was driving:  i started crying for the church.  no matter how mad i get at it, no matter how frustrated i am at the same-old-same-old …

rock boats, upset apple carts, ruffle feathers. it’s worth it.

kathyescobar church stuff, dreams, equality, ex good christian women, injustice, leadership, women in ministry 19 Comments

saturday was  international women’s day.  i wrote this post that morning but never got around to posting it so it’s going up today. i have written about it in the past–we just can’t stand by & the power of being wanted & belonging, and for a few consecutive years i shared why i am an advocate for women.  this year, though, after 4 different conversations in the past week all centered on the same topic, i decided to write something new because it’s on my heart in a …

equality is a bumpy road (and sometimes it makes me want to stand on tables & scream)

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, equality, ex good christian women, friendship, injustice, leadership, rants, the refuge, women in ministry 29 Comments

i am coming upon my 10 year anniversary in full-time vocational ministry. january 1st of 2004 i went on a big church staff as the associate care pastor; the following year i became the adult ministry pastor, and then the year after that i lost my job after a big ugly bru-haha related to power & politics & inequality that would make your stomach turn.  since then, i have been co-pastoring our wild and beautiful little faith community, the refuge, alongside my friends & brothers & …

charisma, fairy dust and our addiction to kings

kathyescobar church stuff, co-pastoring, leadership, the refuge 27 Comments

last week we hosted a small gathering of co-pastors from 5 different communities/4 different states. it was a lovely, simple time centered on sharing the ups and downs of shared leadership and pastoring these kinds of nutty churches.  i have a lot of respect for people who co-pastor because it is a very unpopular & rare model in a world that loves to follow one strong charismatic leader and is used to being clear on “who’s really in charge.” i have a theory that as humans we …