Monthly Archives: October 2005

Kyle Lake Remembered

I was deeply saddened yesterday to get the news of Kyle Lake’s passing. The following was copied from the Emergent weblog.


I pray for the family and the UBC Waco family.  


Brian McLaren Remembers Kyle Lake

by Brian McLaren

2005 will be the year many of us in the emergent community will always remember as the year we lost two important people in our lives. Speaking personally, Stanley Grenz was a slightly older brother and wise mentor and friend to me; he passed away in the late winter, suddenly and unexpectedly.  Now, this fall comes another sudden and unexpected death:  Kyle Lake, a young leader in whom we all saw so much potential.

Kyle was killed in a freak accident on October 30.  He was performing a baptism in front of his congregation of 800, and was somehow electrocuted.  He leaves behind his wife Jen and three young children, a large extended family, and a grieving congregation, along with a wide network of friends and people who have read his writings.

Three memories stand out when I think of Kyle.  First, he was extraordinarily alive.  He radiated energy and enthusiasm and zest for life.  Whether he was showing you pictures of his family, telling stories about ministry at University Baptist Church in Waco, or talking about a hunting trip on a Texas ranch during his last vacation, his eyes sparkled and he almost glowed with a boyish excitement.  It’s terrible to think of any young person dying, but for someone as cheerful and vital as Kyle to leave us at so young an age hits all who knew him especially hard.

I will always remember Kyle’s zest for learning as well.  Whenever we would see one another, he would tell me about books he’d been reading and he’d have some theological questions he wanted to discuss.  We’d spend a bare minimum of time in small talk, and then we’d jump in the deep end to talk about matters of significance.

As well, I always had the sense that Kyle was going to do more and more significant things over the years.  He was brimming with potential.  He had a great attitude, a sharp mind, outstanding charisma and friendliness, a good and pure heart – the kinds of qualities that make Christian leaders both solid and productive over the long haul.

I took a long walk after receiving a number of phone calls from mutual friends with the news.  I felt, and feel, the unspeakable loss that this means for Jen and the kids, the trauma it brings to UBC, the broken heart that all of his friends will share, and something more … the loss Kyle’s death means to the whole Christian community.  All of us involved in seeking to live and teach the good news of Jesus Christ have lost a good colleague, a good man, a good friend.  This has been a tough year.  With the untimely loss of a seasoned leader like Stan Grenz, and now an emerging leader like Kyle Lake, it feels like we all have some extra responsibility to share.

I thank God for Kyle.  I will miss him.  May God give strength to his beloved family to bear the days ahead.  May the radiant example of his life inspire UBC and sustain them in their trauma and grief. May we share his zest for life and learning, and may many more young leaders like him arise to follow God in the way of Jesus, serving the church and loving the world with a good and pure heart.


Jesus For the Rest of Us

I am beginning to outline a book idea I’ve been working on, but until recently have been reluctant to move on (thanks doug). It is tenatively titled “Jesus For the Rest of Us” and explores what it means to be a follower of Jesus today, as well as looks at the common conceptions of Jesus in our culture.

 I believe that the patterns that we follow christ morph over time, as does our beliefs, our worship expressions, our language, our tastes in food, our hair, everything…so, what does it mean to be a Christ follower in a post-christian/post-colonial/post-evangelical world?

I have the notion that following Jesus begins less with proper cognitive thought and more with emotive responses and actions. For example, years ago when I was still a youth pastor…we took a group of kids to work for the less fortunate. One of these young people was an asian american from a Buddist family. It wasn’t my intention to “de-Budda” him, rather I invited him to participate with us in a practice of serventhood that we are compelled to do as people of love. Later, he became a Christ-follower….but is still a Christ-following Buddist, which is cool.

Any suggestions?



Spring Hill Camp Revisited…this time with Doug

I am home tonight after spending the day with my friend Doug up at Spring Hill Camp. It was nice and weird to be back there again. I have such a long history with that place. Plus, it was great to see some friends again.

 It was so great to spend some quality time with Doug again. I rarely get the chance to just talk with someone so openly like I do with him. I appreciated it.

There was a pretty weird vibe at camp this weekend. There continues to be a pretty be transitional phase going on, which I think was pre-eminent with most people there. 

One of the greatest things was I was able to spend some time with Linford Detwiler! I have been a huge fan of Over the Rhine for years now, and just being able to meet him was incredible. Not to mention, my wife and I now have some passes to the next OtR show at Calvin next month! I can’t wait. It’s been three years since I’ve seen them in concert.

It was a beatiful time up north. I am grateful to Mike and Amy for their hospitality and only wish we could’ve stayed longer.


Peace to you