Season 7: Formation Everywhere You Look | Episode 8
The last episode of our season on formation begins with co-hosts Lisa Greenwood and Tim Soerens each sharing their top three takeaways from the season. Don’t miss this great season wrap up! And then: We couldn’t imagine a better conversation partner to end this season with than Jonathan Brooks, or as he’s better known, Pastah J, who offers a hopeful vision and powerful challenge for the church to lead the way out of these hard times: practice presence with all neighbors in all neighborhoods. “I don’t actually think that there are ever any God forsaken places,” Pastah J says, “but there are church forsaken places because it is the church that has decided to take all our gifts and talents, all that God gives us, our power, and reside in more comfortable spaces.” Rooted in scripture and grounded in theology, Pastah J reminds us that God is as interested in where people live as God is in whether they will go to heaven. Pastah J invites us to engage our neighborhoods right now for God’s sake.
In this conversation, you’ll hear:
Tim and Lisa each share their top three takeaways from this season on formation (0:43)
Pastah J: how place impacts the way we live out our theology and formation (14:27)
The pivotal moment Pastah J realized that his neighborhood and his church were intimately connected (18:45)
The impact of the narrative of upward mobility on urban neighborhoods and how it leads to “continual disinvestment” (23:10)
Jesus call us to be uncomfortable and to reinvest in some of the places we have run away from (25:35)
We need to need make bifocal “Glory of God” and “Brokenness of Humanity” glasses to fully see the world the way God does (32:00)
Discipleship and formation happen in relationship to each other and to the places we live (39:30)
God’s gifts and goodness exist for us in community with each other (44:42)
Words of hope for everyone doing the work of God (49:35)
Meet Our Guest
Jonathan Brooks, or Pastah J as he is affectionately known, is a lifelong resident of Chicago, IL and currently serves as Co-Lead Pastor at Lawndale Christian Community Church in the North Lawndale Neighborhood. He is also Board Chair of the Parish Collective. He previously served as Senior Pastor at Canaan Community Church in the West Englewood neighborhood for fifteen years. As an educator on many different levels and a firm believer in investing in your local community, Jonathan has a deep desire to impress this virtue on the students and young people in his congregation, classroom and community. His ministry focuses on youth development, holistic health, college scholarships, art and music training as well as restorative justice practices and care for the incarcerated and their families.
Pastah J is a sought after speaker, writer, artist and community activist. He has contributed to numerous blogs, articles and books, and his most recent book is Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods.
Jonathan Brooks, or Pastah J, is Co-Lead Pastor at Lawndale Christian Community Church in the North Lawndale Neighborhood. An artist and community activist, he is Board Chair of the Parish Collective and author of Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods. Learn more about him and his work at pastahj.com.
This podcast is brought to you by the Leadership Ministry team at TMF and Wesleyan Investive. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high-capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission.
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