Welcome to StretchyChurch!


To tell you the truth, I've never really been a blog reader. I've just never gotten into the habit. But I've recently made some new friends, all of whom are young pastors in their 20's and 30's and have their own blogs. I'm gonna admit that I've actually never even really read their blogs (Sorry, guys!). But we have such great discussions when we get together--discussions that spark all kinds of deep thinking for the next two or three days--that I decided I really needed a place to unload all my thoughts. A place to collect my thoughts and organize my ideas. And hopefully get some feedback on my ideas! (And I promise I'll start reading your blogs!)

First of all, who am I? I'm Markus Watson. I'm 33 years old. I have a beautiful wife named Robin and a precious 10-month-old baby boy named Micah. I'm the Associate Pastor at Union Presbyterian Church in Union, Kentucky, just 20 minutes south of Cincinnati, OH. Originally, I'm from Los Angeles and I continue to consider L.A. to be home. One day, my family and I will be back in Southern California, God-willing.

Anyway, my primary responsibility at the church is the youth ministry, so for most of my hours "on the job" I'm a youth pastor. For the rest of my time I have to be a grown-up (heh heh...). I'm also in charge of our monthly contempory/postmodern service (I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on why I call it postmodern--or if I should call it postmodern) which we call the Third Service. Plus, I get to do all kinds of other pastoral stuff (like preaching--which I actually love even more than youth ministry!).

Here's the other question you're asking: why is this blog called "StretchyChurch"? For me, the name captures two things: 1) what the Church as the body of Christ is and 2) what the Church as an institution/organization should be.

As the body of Christ, the church is a family. And in a healthy family, there's flexibility. People are free to make mistakes. People are free to grow and change. New people are welcomed into the family, even people who are very different from us. The idea of "stretchy" also connotes God's own stretchiness, God's flexibility, in working with us, His church and His world.

As an institution/organization, the church should be stretchy--though most of the time it's not. We get into our ruts and routines. We do things the way we do things because we've always done things the way things have always been done. (Say that 5 times real fast!) I'm a disenchanted Presbyterian. I think that for the Presbyterian church to continue to thrive (although it hasn't been thriving for decades--it's been barely scraping by) we need to change the way we do things. Historical Presbyterianism doesn't work in our culture anymore. I believe that if the Presbyterian church doesn't change, adapt, stretch--it won't exist in 50 years (aside from maybe a few tiny, insignificant, and unfruitful congregations here and there).

So, there you go. StretchyChurch. I'll have more thoughts for you soon.


DGH said...

Strech away man! Same goes for the UM church so I am right there with ya...and please know I am glad you join the blogging masses! Wellcome abord!

Aaron said...

Markus!!! welcome to teh blogosphere! i love the stretchy metaphor for church. and i'm really enjoying getting to know you better.

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