A Church Dismantled--A Kingdom Restored Podcast Artwork Image

A Church Dismantled--A Kingdom Restored

Conrad L. Kanagy

For more information and resources go to www.achurchdismantled.com.In May of 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, I wrote what I have called for years my “Weekly Email” to the congregation where my wife Heidi and I have served in a ministry role for nearly fifteen years. My email that week was “Why the church cannot be reopened,” and addressed the ongoing calls for reopening local congregations along with retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and so on. That little piece caught the attention of folks who passed it on to others and so on. I posted it on Facebook and received the same positive reaction. This began a series of blog-like postings that immediately attracted an audience on Facebook along with dialogue with readers who resonated the essays. As a result, I decided to try a podcast.The primary theme, from the beginning, was based upon research that I had conducted in 2006-07 when I carried out a survey of members of Mennonite Church USA, with the results reported in a book entitled Road Signs for the Journey: A Profile of Mennonite Church USA (Herald Press, 2007). One of the questions that I began to raise during that time was: “Is God's Spirit dismantling the church because we have so failed God's mission?” Prophetic or not, the idea I posited fifteen years ago of a dismantled church has only gained traction since I first posed it. Certainly the sociological perspective has long been a prophetic voice speaking truth to power and revealing the truth of the taken for granted realities we so often blindly embrace. Thus my work of the last fifteen years lies both within the prophetic tradition of Judaism and Christianity but as well in the prophetic and critical tradition of my academic discipline which sociologist Max Weber argued more than a century ago would be needed once modernity found itself locked in the “iron cage of rationality.” The response to the podcast has been quite unexpected, beginning as I did with such little sense of what I was launching at the time. This summer for some time the podcast was ranked in the 97th percentile among Buzzsprout’s 65,000 plus podcasts in terms of number of downloads. Within the first five months I have recorded 104 episodes, have had nearly 25,000 episode downloads, and have had listeners in 57 countries and 1001 cities globally. I have had numerous emails from listeners who resonate with my writing, including folks who are churched, dechurched, unchurched, of Christian faith and of no faith. The podcast has represented for me the intersection and integration of various areas of my professional and personal life that had been disparate entities in the past. It has allowed me to draw upon nearly three decades of teaching sociology, thirty-five years of sociological research, fifteen years of church and denominational consulting, twenty years of ministry, my childhood and coming of age in a conservative Mennonite/Amish community, and my diagnosis three years ago of Parkinson’s Disease. In many ways, the writing of these seemed to emerge as a Pentecost like experience where for nearly every morning for three weeks as I met with the Lord, a new word emerged. Some of the episodes are more personal than others and addresses lessons I've learned about suffering and pain through some personal crises including my diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. Part way into the podcast, I created Episode 0 as the Introduction to the Podcast, providing some context for the episodes. I encourage you to listen to that episode sooner rather than later as you walk your way into the larger story of "A Church Dismantled." I can be reached at conradkanagy@achurchdismantled.com. Thanks for listening. Conrad L. Kanagy, Ph.D.

Recent Episodes

Episode 3 of Ministry in a Dismantled Church: “God’s people are still the only ministers of shalom—but only as we are dismantled and marginalized”January 18, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 2 of Ministry in a Dismantled Church: "When the multiplication of the church might be working against the Spirit's division of that same church"January 15, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 6 of "A Church Dismantled" Season 2: ““The day the saints went marching in—to Washington D.C., and Jesus, the Divider-in-Chief”...and a bit of deja vu for AnabaptistsJanuary 14, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 5 of "A Church Dismantled" Season 2: “Why the dark shadow of the Anabaptist martyrs, that created terror for me as a child, might actually be the shadow of the cross with life and light on the other side”January 13, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 4 of "A Church Dismantled" Season 2: “A nest found only in the dark—a surprise discovered only in the dismantling of our Christmas tree.”January 12, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 1 of "Ministry in a Dismantled Church," Conrad is interviewed by friend and pastor Shawn O'BrienJanuary 10, 2021 Episode artwork Season 2 Episode 3: “What I missed in yesterday’s episode about split screens...a third screen where God is...and where I want to join him...”January 08, 2021 Episode artwork Season 2 Episode 2: The dismantling of democracy and the church...the incongruity of “how to become a number 5 church” on one screen and an insurrection on the other...and will this dismantling by the Spirit convert the church once again? Or not?January 07, 2021 Episode artwork Season 2 Episode 1: "All things dismantled--bodies, churches, ministry and more: A look forward to the podcasts of 2021"January 04, 2021 Episode artwork Episode 124: Looking back at a year of dismantling...the disappearance of Down Syndrome and “whatever you do, do not allow Parkinson’s Disease to define you!” December 28, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 25 of A Light Still Shines: "When Christmas disappoints"December 26, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 24 of A Light Still Shines: "Just the beginning...but the End will be glorious!"December 24, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 23 of A Light Still Shines: “Sometimes I think God is powerless to stop the suffering.” “That’s bad theology” he replied.December 23, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 22 of A Light Still Shines: "A Roman road or a path toward Bethlehem?"December 22, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 21 of A Light Still Shines: "That sermon about the Christ-child that I didn't preach yesterday."December 21, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 20 of A Light Still Shines: "Will you have coffee with me?"December 21, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 19 of A Light Still Shines: “A Christmas Eve visit to Great-Grandpap Byler, reading the Martyrs’ Mirror, and secrets about that same great-grandfather.”December 18, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 18 of A Light Still Shines: "Old, barren, and dried up--just what God is looking for."December 18, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 17 of A Light Still Shines: "God in the Dark."December 17, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 16 of A Light Still Shines: "If you pray this prayer with me—then squeeze my hand.” He did so and met Jesus, but to my great surprise so did I.”December 17, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 15 of A Light Still Shines: “Another sinner seeking who found and another congregation of knowers who missed what was right in front of them because they knew better.”December 16, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 14 of A Light Still Shines: “Seekers who know because they seek and knowers who don't because they won't."December 15, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 123: A final word from Don Kraybill--Those who embrace the upside down kingdom are those who embrace a dismantled church...and why the Upside-down Kingdom and a Dismantled Church are so incompatible with Trumpism December 15, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 122: My interview with Dr. Donald Kraybill—the Dismantled Church meets the Upside Down Kingdom...What can the dismantled church learn from the Old Order Amish? Are the bars coming off Weber's iron cage? Does it matter if our church is dismantling?December 14, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 121: My interview with Dr. Donald Kraybill—the Dismantled Church meets the Upside Down Kingdom...and the connections between being a dismantled church and actually fulfilling God's Kingdom purposes and God's missionDecember 14, 2020 Episode artwork