Maybe I’m a Mennonite

bookjacket.jpgA few weeks ago during the Futuregen Conference here in Pheonix, I went out for some drinks and appetizers with some very interesting/smart/kind people. There with me were my friends Dan Kimball, JJ Peterson, Zack Newsome and while sipping some ale I had the chance of meeting Shane Hipps (Actually, Shane and I had emailed each other once before but while initially meeting in person, we had no idea). Shane is the pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, AZ and he’s also the author of the book “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture”. After hearing some of Shane’s ideas about Church and media, it was fairly obvious that he has an enormous ammount to offer the Christian faith. When leaving the bar that night, two things seemed very clear to me: 1)Read Shane’s book and 2) go to Shane’s church and see what it’s all about.


Yesterday I followed through with completing both of these items and now that I have, I’m am so glad I did. Unfortunately, Holly and Ava were spending time with family, so I had to venture alone. Before going to Shane’s church I had very little knowledge about the Mennonite tradition. After going yesterday to Trinity Mennonite, I can’t say that I have it pegged still but I very much enjoyed going there and being a part of their worship. The music was refreshingly unslick and void of the “American Idol” factor that so many churches seem to be chasing. Shane’s teachings are always very thought-provoking, insightful, and powerful. I was greeted multiple times by people who seemed genuinely intersted me. I never felt like they were doing so to make me want to come back, but rather to really find out something about me. The only negative is that it’s, at best, 45 minutes away from our house.

I highly recommend checking out Shane’s book and his church. If you don’t live in the Phoenix area, you can subscribe to Shane’s teachings podcast here.


12 thoughts on “Maybe I’m a Mennonite

  1. I think we should all be Mennonite. My mom’s whole side of the family is Mennonite so I have a lot of Mennonite influence on me. I think if I were to switch to something other than being Presbyterian, I may very well be a Mennonite…

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been looking for intelligent books about the meeting of faith and culture in the vein of Francis Schaeffer. Perhaps this will be one.

  3. hmmmm. I actually went to a Mennonite church years ago with a girl I met at school. I really liked it (as it was refreshing), but I’m not sure if I would have continued to go after some time.

  4. Whoa! I was worship pastor at a Mennonite Church in North Glendale for the last year…well, that ended last October. At the heart of it…I’m just too Presbyterian. However, I hold to so much of the Mennonite ethos that I will never let go of.

    Maybe a forty five minute commute would be a good way to burn off some of that extra time you posted about. Glendale, it’s like a dream in the middle of Phoenix. How bout some cheese with that queso?

    Glad to hear that Shane went to Fuller. My Fuller education was a large percentage of the impetus to leave…

    Anyway, peace be with thee!

  5. Hey! So…I go to Trinity. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I think Trinity had a pretty good Lenten season. It gave me some new perspectives about engaging both grief and joy. I thoroughly enjoyed leading worship during Lent with one of our worship teams, but I’m glad our other worship team can take the reins for a month or so. Anyway, I think Shane is going to be with our Sunday School class studying his book a bit the next couple weeks, so feel free to join us at 9:15am this Sunday or next.

  6. This is late and probably unreadable to many. But figured I needed to comment on something so close to home. Here in southern Manitoba (Canada), the mennonite population is enormous. Im a mennonite on both sides of the family. A lot of people peg a “Mennonite” as someone a part of an organization or clique not unlike the Amish. Sure, there are a lot of “old mennonites” that ban dancing and drinking and cards and rock n roll….. A lot of people are embarassed to call themselves mennonite here. Im not. Its my heritage. Its like being embarassed to call yourself Russian or Jewish.
    I dont agree with everything the mennonite church teaches, but it is such a gracious loving church.
    Miriam Toews has written a book about the struggles growing up in a small mennonite town: A Complicated Kindness. Its actually up for the Booker Prize and its John K Sampson’s (weakerthans) selection for CBC book of the year. A really really good read.

  7. So glad you connected with a guy like Shane. I agree, he has much to offer “The Church”. He was a college roomie of mine and is still one of those “friends I neglect to connect with often, but when we do, it’s like we are all caught up again”. Blessings on you, Zach, as you check out his church.

    PS: I am jealous of the drumming skills! I can only hope to tear it up like you do…(I drum on the side…but have no current outlet. I miss it!)

  8. what is up with this?? i suffer through elementary and high school being asked,”do you have electricity?”. “Where’s the buggy?” and now its cool to be mennonite? this sucks! only to be in high school again.

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