Luke McFadden caps off this inaugural season of the Field Notes Podcast. His ministry in Waukegan, IL at Christian Neighbors Church embodies the best of the profound simplicity and subtle revolutionary possibility that has characterized the stories in Field Notes this season.  

In each episode of Field Notes, we hope you’ve noticed a common theme. The featured voices are regular, ordinary leaders just like you. Without a doubt, each person has a remarkable story, navigating the challenges and hopes of local ministry in ways that witness to the surprising and revolutionary work of God’s spirit. The point is that these ordinary stories—the stories unfolding outside the city-limits of celebrity Christian leadership—are loaded with the embodied signs of how God is remaking and reconciling our lives if only we have eyes to see.

Place and Space:

  • Waukegan, IL

  • Working class neighborhood north of Chicago

  • Planted 11 yrs ago

  • Denomination: Evangelical Free Church

  • Solo pastor w/ elder board and congregational polity

God was moving in the midst of what felt to me like chaos.

Theological Themes:

  • Planting a multi-ethnic church

  • Ministry of reconciliation

  • Prioritizing friendship over programs

  • Deconstructing old scripts for planting

Tension and Disorientation:

  • Realizing that many deeply held assumptions still reflect a vision for “big box evangelical” ministry and those assumptions don’t have currency among the people

Hope and New Life:

  • Watching young leaders step up and take ownership over different aspects of the work of ministry

Note from Host Seth Richardson:

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As always, I want to hear from you. Let me know what listening provokes in you. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can engage directly with the Telos Lab and create a custom research project for your community, drop me an email. I would love to chat.