its not what you think week

the yeah-it’s-not-what-we-think-it-is week.

kathyescobar advent & lent, faith shifts, incarnational, jesus is cool, leadership, spiritual formation 7 Comments

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week.  I know people are all over the place on this week. Some love it and it is one of the most important weeks in the church calendars. Others aren’t feeling too holy and are struggling, gearing up for those He is Risen! posts on Easter Sunday that trigger all kinds of painful feelings. Others are everywhere in between, a mix-of-bunnies-and-Jesus-and-just-happy-the-sun-is-shining-more-this-time-of-year. Palm Sunday is one of my favorite days of Holy Week because it reminds me of the contrast …


trickle-down or from-the-bottom up.

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, equality, faith shifts, incarnational, injustice, leadership 10 Comments

In conversations about politics, I’ve often told my kids, “If someone tells you that trickle-down economics is a great idea, make sure you remember that it sounds all well and good but the reality is the money and resource rarely trickles down.” Oh, I know some who are reading might be shaking your head right now. I understand. But I truly believe that while the idea sounds good in theory, the money just doesn’t usually trickle down. It just doesn’t. A conversation with a new friend …

power is always resistant to uncomfortable

power’s resistance to the uncomfortable.

kathyescobar advent & lent, down we go, incarnational, jesus is cool 2 Comments

This time of year I always think of how much I love the Christmas story. Not the neat and tidy shiny story that often gets told and is depicted on Christmas cards and all kinds of slogans, but the real story that is underneath it. The story of God coming into the world in such a subversive, unexpected way. The story that doesn’t make sense and involves ordinary people who step into a complicated story and have to live with all the consequences. The story that reminds us …

franciscan blessing

5 popular ways to shut down conversations about power.

kathyescobar crazy making, equality, incarnational, injustice, relationships 20 Comments

Years ago when I started speaking out against the powers-that-be about “church”, I noticed a pattern. Almost the minute something negative was shared, there would be an immediate defensiveness and responses like “be careful about being divisive”, “the church is made up of imperfect people”, “t’s not all bad”, or “I’ll pray for you.” The basic summary of the responses–“quit saying negative things, we don’t like it.” When the events in Ferguson broke out last year, I was appalled at the comments on Facebook when people from …

power & transformation.

kathyescobar church stuff, equality, faith shifts, incarnational, injustice, leadership, spiritual formation 11 Comments

This month’s Synchroblog was centered on spiritual abuse & redemption. I didn’t have time to write earlier but it is a topic near and dear to my heart. At the Denver Faith and Justice Conference two weekends ago my friend Ryan Taylor shared about 5 stages of power, a blend of Janet Hagberg and Richard Rohr’s work on power. Respecting and understanding these stages is important and something I wish we would talk about more openly, more honestly, more reflectively in small and big pockets. As we get …

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 …

all roads lead to power.

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, injustice, leadership 16 Comments

I don’t usually wake up thinking of the word “power”, but I do often wake up thinking about: My friends living on the fringe. Those who are trying to leave or heal from abusive relationships. People I know from all over the place who are healing from “church”. The realities of mental illness. The women I intersect with who are meant to lead in church but probably never will have a chance. How to keep The Refuge alive financially. Rising violence in the world and how powerless …

three things about one word: power

kathyescobar church stuff, leadership 23 Comments

power is a hard thing to talk about.  as Christ-followers, it is even trickier because Jesus was so anti-typical-power that talking about it can be misconstrued. i feel this sometimes when i am advocating for women’s empowerment (and others, too, who are underrepresented) because it can be perceived as being contrary to humility.  some also falsely think i believe in shifting power only toward women. nothing can be further from the truth. i am most passionate about diffused power–not minimized, not limited, not watered down—but rather …