I have a new book coming out at the end of September. It’s my first foray into the publishing world, and let me tell you: It has been an education. But that’s a topic for another day.

What prompts this post is the overwhelming support I’ve received from members of the Lake Street Church  community.  They have offered help with reading, editing, querying agents and editors, marketing, and selling the book. And it’s not just a little support. Lots of people. Dozens. Offering a level of support and help that I never expected.

They’re not doing it for me. That’s what they tell me. They say that it’s about time I wrote a book, and what they are chiefly interested in getting out the message of Lake Street Church. That is, they want to open up the kinds of conversations we have at church every week to a broader audience. They want other heretics like themselves to have a safe place to worship without feeling like they are being judged or required to sign on to a whole series of beliefs that they don’t share.

Lake Street Church may be unique in that way. We are a Christian church, but the pews are filled with people of diverse faith backgrounds, each of them on an individual faith journey. At our communion table, we don’t screen people out based on whether or not they share a common belief…rather, we are rooted in the table fellowship of Jesus who welcomed one and all regardless of religious belief, social status, sexual orientation or any other humanly contrived notion. He said, “no matter who you think you are, you are more. Every living creature is a word of God. There’s a place set at our table for you. Theist or atheist, rich or poor, devout or deviant, at this table there is a place for you.”

When I preach a sermon on a Sunday morning, I look out at an enormously diverse group of people who have come together because they wanted a safe place where they were allowed…and encouraged…to live their real lives and ask difficult questions. And they challenge me all the time to do the same.

We want to know about other churches that share this radical (as in going to the root) understanding of what it means to be a spiritual community. Are there other churches like Lake Street out there? Please, let us know!