A Conversation with Brian Zahnd

Imagine what it would look like to dismantle the mega church you started. You are not starting satellite campus or birthing new churches. Rather, you have decided to begin preaching and practices a gospel that is not intertwined with the American political evangelicalism that dominates the Christian landscape. This is the journey of pastor and author Brian Zahnd.

“I was pastoring a church that met every metric of success for the American Church. We had money, the numbers, and a certain influence in the greater community. But I began to feel a disquietedness in my soul,” confessed Zahnd.

My conversation with Zahnd was timely. With the recent events in Charlottesville, we tried to tackle difficult questions around the resurgence of a blended American patriotism and Christianity, as the normalcy of racist, xenophobic, and sexist language from those who claim to follow Jesus.

Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He has authored several books, including, Water to Wine, A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness. His latest book is Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.

Subscribe or Livestream

CBF’s podcast shares stories from across the Fellowship and innovative practices of those working to renew God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from ministers, authors, and practitioners.

Join this bi-weekly audio podcast by subscribing in iTunes or in SoundCloud.


This podcast episode is brought to you by Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond and CBF Reference and Referral.

Andy Hale leads Church Starts Initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is a CBF church starter who serves as pastor of Mosaic of Clayton in Clayton, N.C.