Today we introduce CongreGate Podcast! We’re talking about why we re-branded the podcast and share some more about our backgrounds and experience.

Why CongreGate? We tossed around a bunch of name ideas, but kept coming back to the idea of the “elders in the gate” from the Old Testament times, when men would gather at the city gate to discuss the issues of the day. We decided to emphasize “gate” using the word “congregate” to further highlight the importance of men gathering together to discuss important topics. Listen to the podcast for the full story and more explanation!

We’ve added 2 segments to the show: “Reading in the Gate”, where we recommend books to our listeners, and “Bizarre in the Gate”, where we share weird and ridiculous stories we find on the internet. If you have ideas for better names or other segments, send us your ideas!

Please note: new episodes and show notes will be posted early Tuesday morning beginning next week!

 

Introducing CongreGate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

 

Bizarre in the Gate: Tree Impersonator Arrested in Busy Portland Intersection

Reading in the Gate: Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

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America has been waiting breathlessly for this week for months now. Facebook and Twitter have been going crazy. Scrolling through your newsfeed is an exercise in futility, because no one seems to be talking about anything else. Folks have been constantly checking their phones to see the latest updates. The round-the-clock media coverage is completely engrossing, while at the same time, so nauseating that you can’t look away even while your stomach turns over in knots.

Finally, America… The Day has finally arrived. Sure the election is tomorrow, but who’s paying any attention to that? Has anyone even noticed? Will anyone even vote?

The people have been kept waiting for so long, but today—finally— that wait is over. Their patience is about to pay off, big time.

Because of course, today is Launch Day. Today is the launch of CongreGate. Biblical conversation about church and culture with the Professor, the Officer, and the President. It’s here. The wait is over.

 

CongreGate Podcast | How Our Story Begins

 

You really did think that the election was a big deal, didn’t you?

Getting to November 7th has been a whole lot of fun. When Mark asked Micah and me to join him in hosting a podcast earlier this summer, both of us had the same question: “Why does the world need another podcast? Who’s going to listen to us anyway?” These are probably the questions that keep a lot of great ideas from getting off the ground— the kinds of questions that keep a lot of smart, witty people from launching would-be-great podcasts.

So, we tried it out. You may have noticed that there are already 8 episodes we have recorded with Mark originally released under the Healthy Church Radio brand. (That may lead you to question how this can possibly be a “launch” if we’ve been at it for the last 2 months… In the words of the old and wise Obi-Wan Kenobi, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” In other words, just roll with it.) We’ve already spent some time together chatting about Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest, considering the value of satire from sites like the Babylon Bee, and even about Halloween and this nutty election cycle.

We’re not experts on any of these topics. We’re not megachurch pastors, or world-renowned authors, or even seasoned political operatives. We are husbands, fathers, workers, and Biblically-qualified church elders. Just like you, we engage with the culture daily in a myriad of ways— and just like you, we have to live here. This is just our stab at trying to make sense of the chaos around us—an effort to demonstrate how the Gospel is the answer to the problems that are out there in the world today.

Our premise is simple: there used to be a time in human history when the leaders of a city would go and sit in the gate (that is, “congregate”) to discuss the times and the issues that were shaping the culture around them. The best example of this from the Bible is from the story of Ruth, where Boaz goes out to the city gate and redeems Naomi’s land and earns the right and privilege of marrying the woman of his dreams.

Although we don’t plan to be bartering for new wives (we love the wives we have), we do plan to get together weekly in the modern version of the city gate—the podcast recording studio, and talk about the issues and news stories that are shaping our lives, and apply a Biblical lens through which to see them.

Sometimes we’re going to talk about churchy topics. Sometimes, we’re going to talk about political news, or bizarre news. Sometimes, we may even talk about sports, or how sports impact and shape our lives. We’re planning to recommend books and resources that touch and shake us. I suspect that you’ll agree with what we’re saying at least most of the time (I hope you will), but you might also disagree. If you do— that’s okay. Let us know why. Start by getting in touch with us. I promise—we’d love to hear from you.

So, please join Micah, Mark and me each week for CongreGate!

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This week we chat about Halloween and discuss how the church should engage with the culture on this day.

How should Christians deal with Halloween? Should we make it an issue or is it an area where we have liberty? We also discuss church alternatives, like “trunk-or-treat,” and share what we do with our church members.

There also seems to be a growing trend of adult Halloween parties and adults wearing costumes to work, so we also chat about that briefly.

 

How Should Christians Deal With Halloween? | Episode 8 | CongreGate Podcast
(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

 

Higher Expected Halloween Spend a Treat For Economy via FOXBusiness – article we referenced about Halloween spending

Jared Wilson on Halloween

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

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And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

Today we talk about the culture of political correctness that has grown to a ridiculous level in our nation. Has the expectation for trigger warnings become out of control? Should students be warned about potentially controversial topics and be encouraged to go to their “safe space” if they do not agree?

This year the University of Chicago sent a letter to their incoming freshman proclaiming their lack of support for “so-called trigger warnings” and encouraging students to engage with ideas that might be different from their own. Mark shares how he deals with controversial issues in his own college classroom, and Shawn shares a story about a favorite professor that loved to argue with his students (especially the Christians).

We close with some Biblical encouragement – “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (Tit. 3:2)

 

Trigger Warnings, Pronouns, & Safe Spaces | Episode 7 | Congregate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

 

Links and Recommendations:

University of Chicago Dean Rejects Safe Spaces

Eric Metaxas on safe spaces

If You Can Keep It by Eric Metaxas

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

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And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!

Feeling like your life is out of balance? Today we talk about the need to balance rest and nutrition with exercise and work. Mark shares about his love of long-distance running and how he stays fit.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and an injury may keep us from doing the work or exercise we would like to do. Shawn talks about how the Lord used a running injury to bring more balance to his spiritual life.

We talk about how all of these things need to be kept in balance, beginning with who we are in Christ and discuss the familiar verse, “So whether you eat or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:13) We have a responsibility to do all that we can in our own power to contribute to our health and well-being. We also talk about how we can encourage our wives to find balance, goal setting, comparison vs. contentment, and how to deal with sin in these areas.

And we talk way too much about maple bacon donuts…

Are You Out of Balance? | Episode 6 | Congregate Podcast

(Some of links may be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting the podcast in this way!)

 

Links and Recommendations:

Millennial Men Are Significantly Weaker Than their Fathers

 

Please connect with us!

If you have questions or comments about this episode or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please use the contact form.

Subscribe: iTunes | Google PlayStitcher | RSS

And if you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends!