While most people are giving their “top posts” of 2005, I figured I would do the same. Though I wanted to add some context to the posts and try and tell the story of my year. This will basically be a list full of stories and links.

Here goes nothing…

  • I took a class(blog post) with Joe Myers as part of etrek this spring at Biblical. This class was not only great because i was able to get to know Joe really well (often when you read a book you wonder if the author is actually a the kind of person you are reading about – Joe, who has become a good friend, is definitely one of those guys), but I took this class with my dad and since then his church has hired Joe as a consultant and has made some great changes towards thinking a little more missionally. This is a big deal especially for a church in the northshore of Chicago and is like turning a giant cruise ship with a fishing boat. slow and difficult. But possible.
  • I had one of those “defining moments” in reading Blue Like Jazz this year. I have grown to realize how selfish I life. This post tells a bit of that story and has some good thoughts from Miller’s book.
  • I turned 28 this year and was apparently feeling lonely that day.
  • Had a great time at the Kairos Gathering in March. Really opened my eyes up to how many different denominations and churches are seeking to be faithful to our (the church) role as the missionary people of God. Read:Pastor’s Gathering
  • Being a pastor can often lead to receiving criticism. Some of it is warranted and others its hard to tell. Being in community also naturally leads to disagreements. I put together these thoughts one day after a long period of working through this idea. Read: On Giving and Receiving Criticism.
  • I have been trying to think more and more communally in my theology this year. What it means to pursue Jesus in the midst of community and what it means to “be” Jesus to the world along with community. Read: Follow Me, I’ll Give You a Graphite Pole and a Flashy Lure. This was one of my favorite posts this year.
  • I have started to realize how every moment in our lives has the potential to be life altering. I wrote about that in an entry. Read: Seeing Every Moment as Significant.
  • Social Justice. This was a year that our church really spent a lot of time asking ourselves what it means to respond to the needs of our world in a manner that reflects Christ. A message by Brad and a couple people from our community was a really impactful one for me and our whole church. Read: Does our Worship Stink?
  • This was also the year of perpetual website redesign for me. This post starts that story.
  • Suburban Redemption. This post gives a glimpse into my growing uneasiness with suburban life (not wanting to desert it, but rather be part of God’s redeeming it). Read: Am I Agent Smith? and also read: The Cost of Comfort, Our Souls and: The Prophetic Voice in Suburbia and Missional and Incarnational in Suburbia.
  • We started gathering with some other missional-thinking leaders in the greater Philadelphia area this year. It’s a great gathering of pastors and lay people where we simply get together to talk about how we can, together, be the church in our region. We spend a lot of time simply praying and talking. It really has been a blessing. Read about our emergent cohort: phillyemergent.
  • My wife and I celebrated five years together this year. Read post.
  • I got a great phone. Then it got ran over by lots of cars. It was a sad day.
  • It was a great day that day I said goodbye to Starbucks. It’s been really nice to have a more flexible schedule, be able to do some more webdesign and actually sleep like a normal person! Read Post.
  • Speaking of web design. In August I launched a new website for The Well. It’s changed since then but I have become really pleased with how it looks.
  • The Well had a nationally syndicated article which appeared first one the front page of the Philadelphia Enquirer. The content and subtitle cause a little stir so we crafted a little response to it. Read about it here.
  • I have started journaling again this year and its been really healthy for me. Read: Journaling.
  • Hurricane Katrina was really a shock to all of us. Here were my thoughts on the church’s response. Read: Is it Cool to Help Katrina
  • I started Reading Scot McKnight‘s Blog. He’s a seminary Prof at North Park Seminary in Chicago. He’s become a great mentor for many theologically minded emergents. Go to Scot’s Site where we writes about blogging. I am also reading his book Jesus Creed with a discipleship group I am helping lead.
  • My friend Kevin Subers started blogging. Kevin has been a great encouragement to me the past six months that I have known him. Its been great to learn from his journey. Read: Kevin Subers Blogs.
  • My son continues to teach me lessons on life. It’s amazing what happens when we viewed life through the eyes of a child. Read: Airplanes are Really Incredible.
  • In November, my uncle Gordon Longenecker passed away. This was really unexpected and very hard on the family. I blogged about the weekend of the funeral and its been amazing to get e-mail after e-mail from family and old friends of my uncle. I wrote a post that gives links to all the posts from that weekend. Read: Posts relating to my uncle’s death. Also, this post was easily the most emotional post I have ever written. Read: In Between Life and Death.
  • Okay, this post is getting long. In December we had a great art show at The Well and I brought in the new year with a fun night.
  • My Favorite Blogs of 2005:
    Andrew Jones
    The quintessential emergent blogger. I have never seen someone be so gracious in his responses to critique’s than the Kiwi. Also, his design on his site is very, very nice.

    Scot McKnight
    I have already mentioned him above but he’s worth another mention. Its been so great to have a such a wise, fair and mentor-type voice in the emerging conversation.

    Ed C
    (for the life of me I can’t spell his last name) – Even though he’s from Vermont, Ed has a great mind and a good pen.

    Sherman Kuek
    Sherman is from Malaysia and has some great thoughts on being missional. he’s the first blog I check each morning.

    Jordan Cooper
    I am slightly addicted to his “contextless links.” I also can’t fathom how he blogs as much as he does.

    DJ Chaung
    I have really been fascinated with DJ’s thoughts on multiethnic churches. I can also count on him to keep me updated on blog and web apps.

    Well, welcome to 2006.