The mission of the Hoosier United Methodist Podcast is strengthening the connection in United Methodist Church in Indiana for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ the transformation of the world. In episode 21 of the Hoosier United Methodist Podcasts Dr. Brad Miller has a in-depth conversation with Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Gibbs, chaplain at the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Gibbs directs the campus ministry at the University of Indianapolis and is on the faculty teaching Christian formation. Dr. Gibbs also recently transferred his denominational affiliation from the Assemblies of God denomination to the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church where he is on track to become an Elder. Gibbs shares with Dr. Miller the complex nature of campus ministry at a university with a complex student body which embraces many diverse religious groups. At UIndy Gibbs deals with people from many different Christian denominations and religious backgrounds and styles of worship. He talks about how he can often tell the health of local churches through the spiritual depth and religious backgrounds of the students who arrive at UIndy. This is an area that Gibbs shares comes some concern about inasmuch as to many students arrive at college lacking spiritual depth and religious knowledge. A learning experience that Gibbs oversaw was the integration of Muslim students into the religious life of the University. This is led to some uncomfortably ambiguous encounters where the same worship space was shared by Muslim and Christian students alike which resulted in a gratifying experience of radical hospitality on the parts of students of all faiths.
Dr. Miller and Dr. Gibbs also go into a deep conversation about the transition that Gibbs made it becoming a United Methodist from the Assemblies of God. Gibbs outlines how attending a United Methodist seminary at in particular marrying a United Methodist pastor played important roles in helping him land a position at the United Methodist University of Indianapolis. Gibbs also talks about the theological and church culture reasons for making the transition to becoming a United Methodist. In particular he lifts up two areas of hope in United Methodist Church which he found particularly attractive. The first being the ability to move forward in ambiguity and be welcoming to diverse religious perspectives and the second being the great opportunity for leaders to thrive in the church. Gibbs spoke about joining United Methodist Church during some tumultuous times in the denomination but he is moving forward in faith and does not fear any catastrophic shifts in the United Methodist Church. On a personal level Jeremiah shares how he enjoys the diversely and acceptance of the local church, were his wife is the pastor, inasmuch is he is a part of a biracial family and how he enjoys playing guitar and leading worship at the church’s contemporary service. You will want to listen to the journey that Jeremiah Gibbs makes in this episode of the Hoosier United Methodist Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller. Episode 21 of the Hoosier United Methodist podcast is sponsored by the book “Meet the Good People: Wesley’s Seven Ways of Sharing faith” and supports “Mission Guatemala.” (missionguatemala.com)