S02E13: Destruction vs. deconstruction, with John Emery

Destruction vs deconstruction: growing into uncertainty with John Emery

“The sexy thing in the #exvangelical world right now is destruction. That’s the easiest path, just shoot flaming arrows at the thing, tear it apart, poke holes in it.
 
Destroying something is deeply satisfying the moment, especially when there is a lot of hurt.
 
Deconstruction has a lot more intention behind it, it’s much more careful in its exploration.”
S02E13 - Destruction vs deconstruction cover
Hello and Welcome to This Little Light Of Mine, my name is James Powell and I’m really glad that you are able to join me for today’s interview episode.
 
Today I’m joined with my personal friend John Emery. John is a former evangelical worship pastor who made the decision to walk away from his role in the church in order to search for a more inclusive and affirming path forward for himself, his family, and for all people.
John Emery worship pastor

John is on his own personal journey of deconstruction where he is learning to grow into spaces that encourage him to be more vulnerable, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous in his relationship with God and how he defines church.

John Emery family
John is a strong LGBTQ+ ally who lives with his wife and three kids in Freeport Maine where he is the founder of branding agency Emery. Emery works to help bring clarity and confidence to brands and they believe that every “good idea” deserves a great reputation. John’s overall life goal in everything that he does is to help grow fruit on other people’s trees.
 
With that, let’s jump into my conversation with John Emery.

Where are you on this spectrum?

Where did that conversion with John take you?
 
I really appreciated how the conversation with John was a reminder, for me, about the ‘sin of certainty’ and that trusting, co-creating, and staying in places of uncertainty is part of the creation process.
 
I’d like to give a huge shout out to John for sharing his time, some of his personal journey with us, and for encouraging us to lean into some of the VUCA in our own lives, even when that may feel uncomfortable or scary… I know I need that reminder.
 

What’s your hope for the church?

Are you fighting to keep things the same?
 
Do you want to return to someplace from the past?
 
Do you want to destroy something that has caused pain?
 
Or are you focused on deconstruction so that we can open up space where you can co-create something new?
 
Wherever you are on your journey I want to remind you that we are all designed and created as unique individuals. In order to honour our divine uniqueness and individuality we need more spaces that promote, encourage, and create space for us to wrestle and stay with feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
 
As you grow, gradually let go of what is no longer serving you, and start to open yourself up to co-create safe spaces where you trust yourself with more vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity know that many of these strange and uncomfortable feelings are signs of your growth.
 
Your individuality, your uniqueness, and your distinctiveness are all signs that you have been created in the image of God.
 
You are accepted and loved unconditionally by God who made you exactly as you are.⁠ ⁠ You, your heart, your mind, your body, your spirit, your gender expression, your sexuality and the way you love, are created perfectly in God’s image.⁠ ⁠
 
You are created on purpose and your purpose is to fully love yourself, connect deeply with others and share your love with the rest of the world
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