Mini Me: I long to see Jesus followers leading the way in addressing poverty, inequality, and other social injustices. Building on my PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University, I’m interested in how local churches impact their surrounding neighborhoods in processes such as gentrification, segregation, and economic development. My current project, “Jesus on Main Street: Good News through Community Economic Development“, equips church leaders and church planters to bring the healing effects of the gospel to local economies.
Bigger Me: I’ve been a Jesus follower for all my adult life, but I confess that in many ways it has been more about me and the Christian-version of the American Dream than about me and Jesus. God has worked on my heart through a long process of spiritual formation and miraculously shifted my priorities as promotions, raises, financial security, and the size of my house have faded in importance. At the same time, I’ve been captured by the way of Jesus that attracted the marginalized and oppressed, while repelling the established and the mighty. I believe that the good news (the “gospel”) is holistic, touching every aspect of a person’s life, including the communities and institutions around them. Jesus followers in North American cities and suburbs are experiencing a reawakening to our holistic mission. In various leadership positions in churches and non-profits, I’ve seen the tremendous energy and potential of the faith community, but I’ve also seen much of this energy squandered “playing church”, leaving the work of restoration and healing to others.
I’m grateful that God has redeemed my career experience in high-tech software companies, startups, raising capital from skeptical investors, nonprofit and church board experience, and my most recent foray into doctoral-level work on community and economic development. I love to walk alongside wonderful leaders of churches and faith-based non-profits, helping them to understand and bless their communities.