A Church Dismantled--A Kingdom Restored Podcast Artwork Image

A Church Dismantled--A Kingdom Restored

Conrad L. Kanagy

In May of this year, 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 18,000 episode downloads, and have had listeners in 50 countries and 802 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 kanagy.conrad@gmail.com or kanagycl@etown.edu.Thanks for listening. Conrad L. Kanagy, Ph.D.

Recent Episodes

Episode 102: An unexpected addendum to the last unexpected addendum about that blind man…”The Truman Show” with Jim Carey…and seeing the blind man’s response from the sociological described in Episode 103...October 21, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 101: An unexpected addendum to the last episode about the blind man…a word from Mom…why it doesn’t matter what the disgruntled think…and gratitude for a Dad who accepts me “just as I am…”October 20, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 100: Why Jesus loves those who are blind and turns a blind eye to those who see…why finding our sight (and our authenticity) is so threatening to those who liked us better when we were blind…and how, according to Brene Brown, authenticity andOctober 18, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 99: For those who have asked about my beef with professional ministry and mission…Pastors stuck in Max Weber’s “iron cage of rationality,” and why a century ago Rolland Allen argued that until everyone is seen as both minister and missionary, theOctober 18, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 98: They wanted a king—God gave them a shepherd…we still want a king…until the day of our death…then only the Shepherd will do.October 12, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 97: From “Don’t preach to me” to coffee with Gunner at Turkey Hill to “where’d that preacher go?” And…does one need to be “preachy in order to preach?October 11, 2020 Episode artwork What sociologists are and what we are not. What we do and what we don’t. What we will and what we won’t: Looking through keyholes, reading others’ mail, and looking in the closets and MOST OF ALL KEEPING OUR EYES WIDE OPEN KNOWING that ignorance is not alOctober 04, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 96: An ordinary but not so ordinary saint, the church’s amnesia about the upside down kingdom, and the righteousness of the last Supreme Court JusticeSeptember 27, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 95: Four months of podcasting "A Church Dismantled—A Kingdom Restored"…95 episodes…16,000 downloads…46 countries…and 715 cities...and a thought from listener Bob McKaneSeptember 24, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 94: For pastors preparing to preach in that perilous pulpit once again tomorrow: Sacred cows, golden calves, and towers 90 feet high…a furnace of fire, but that fourth Man will already be there waiting to greet us!September 20, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 93: If Gentile lives mattered, why not Black lives?...the social conscience of white evangelicals of an earlier time…and how the dismantling of the church and racism is the continued work of the Holy Spirit’s intentions at Pentecost and of Gods' mSeptember 18, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 92: Dear American church attender…your pastor doesn’t believe everything that you do and also believes some things you do not…but that’s the way it has always been…it is why pastors are called shepherds and not sheepSeptember 15, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 91: For pastors only: Perilous preaching in an age of pandemic, protests, and polarization…but the author of Ecclesiastes warned us…and yet, “one little word shall fell them!”September 14, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 90: The dismantling of the church in the global north and the coming of age of the church in the global south.When the church is dismantled, whether you yell “Freedom” or gnash your teeth depends on who you are, where you are, and what you have toSeptember 12, 2020 Episode artwork Interview with Chief of Police Ed Cunningham (Elizabethtown, PA)--with a vision for policing reform driven by Kingdom valuesSeptember 11, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 89: Interview with David Garlock--client of attorney Bryan Stephenson and convicted of homicide in the death of his long-time abuser...a story of a life restoredSeptember 10, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 88: Reflecting on my interviews with Mennonite church leaders Al Motley and Hyachinth Stevens: Why the church must once and for all exorcise the sin and demonic oppression of racism—or else lose its soul to that one clothed in sheep’s woolSeptember 09, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 87: When the church is dismantled, its always easy to hear who the winners are—they are the ones singing “free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last!” The losers? They are still in that “iron cage” or gnashing their teeth September 06, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 85: The dismantling of racism in the church--an interview with Reverend Hyacinth Stevens, Bronx NYSeptember 04, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 86: The dismantling of racism in the church--an interview with Bishop Al Motley, Chester, PASeptember 04, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 84: Will you cross party lines in November?September 03, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 83: Pap (Erie) Renno's last smile, "Jesus loves me this I know," and what a dismantled church can learn from the relationship between aging and life satisfactionAugust 31, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 82: About that call for my resignation in Episode 81, the tragic loss of feetwashing to the church, and breaking bread with my friend who called for my resignation August 30, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 81: When I told God when I would become a pastor and God told me when I wouldn't, and why I am thankful in retrospect that God knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the endAugust 28, 2020 Episode artwork Episode 80: Three new podcasts: Crime, Cops and Criminal Justice?...Race, Racism and why Black Ĺives Matter...and Riddles of Society and Answers from Sociology--how these relate to the restoration of the Kingdom by reclaiming what matters to JesusAugust 27, 2020 Episode artwork