Leaving Salem

By Chris Johnson, Director of Communications, The Fuller Center for Housing

There are many religious writers out there who can preach to you, often preaching down to you.But there aren’t many writers like Ronnie McBrayer who merely show you windows to new ways of thinking as a Christian. Well, that’s not entirely true. Most of the windows he shows you are actually old ways of thinking, like 2,000 years old.

Jesus framed faith discussions through the windows of his time. Ronnie is brilliant at framing faith discussions through the windows of our times. And without pretending to omnipotent, Ronnie endeavors to make his windows reveal the scene he believes Jesus wanted to show – the path God intends for each of us to follow, a path that may look different to each person but when followed will lead to the right destination.

And Ronnie has a wonderful way with words that makes you want to look through those windows without shoving your head through them. I first learned about Ronnie shortly after becoming director of communications here and explaining to President David Snell my squeaky-wheel views on faith and religion. He handed me a book by Ronnie, and I’ve been a fan ever since. I grew up thinking I’d never be able to reconcile faith and nonconformity. Now that I’ve looked through some new windows, I no longer feel so doomed.

So I was thrilled when I found out Ronnie and Chad Kelly of MatchPoint were going to visit Fuller Center headquarters today. Ronnie is the leader of MatchPoint, a nonprofit that “seeks to be a catalyst for Christ-centered change in the world.” He also is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of books such as “Keeping the Faith,” “But God Meant It for Good,” “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus” and “The Jesus Tribe.” Chad works part-time as MatchPoint’s missions coordinator, helping them find the best service outlets and ministries to further their mission. 

Ronnie is a long-time friend of The Fuller Center and, as have been many people, was deeply inspired by our founder Millard Fuller’s blend of faith and service. Millard sparked a deep-seated desire in Ronnie to serve his fellow man in addition to offering inspiration through his writing and speaking. He and Chad recently returned from a Fuller Center trip to El Salvador and made plans for a return while they visited headquarters today. But the main reason for their visit was to discuss ways they can help The Fuller Center better engage churches in our mission. They are genuine friends of The Fuller Center and want to see our mission grow. They want to play a role in that growth, and we welcome these inspiring North Georgia folks with open arms. Our organizations are both Christ-centered, and such a union is natural.

We’re all looking forward to working with Ronnie, Chad and MatchPoint as we seek to show the faithful across America the windows into our world of wonderful work in lifting God’s people out of poverty housing and into simple, decent homes.

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