Episode 041: Rethinking Church Pt. 1 with Steve Barker

Show Notes

Intro musicVentura Tyler Bates

Featured Music: New Rose The Damned

Hi Pilgrim,

Steve Barker

Steve Barker was a occupational therapist turned full time Christian minister, and now a full time OT again having journeyed out of the traditional church structure.   Regular listeners to Beyond the Pale know I have some serious reservations and questions concerning church structure.

I blame Steve Barker…just kidding…well, not totally

Steve used to live here in Hong Kong and would keep me sane over frequent coffees in my office as we processed our faith together back in 2012-2013.  Steve was one of those guys who not only helped me understand about the nature of grace but would often provide the “push back”  I need when I’m wrestling though an idea.

As you can see over the next two episodes Steve is doing some wrestling as well.  Among other things and as one of things he shares today, he’s  learning how to see “grace” not as a theological endpoint to camp on but a catalyst to a freer way of interacting with and loving those around him.

Get ready to journey out with Steve Barker!



iTunes description: Former church pastor Steve Barker sits down with Steve & Tammy to share how he left the “Sunday morning church” in order to find church in the life and people around him.

Show Index

5:50- God’s “clear” Biblical model?

11:15- How “no manipulation” changed everything

17:58- It’s all about relationship

21:03- The current system ain’t so bad

29:28- Tammy’s thoughts on leaving church

37:22- Releasing control

40:59- New thoughts on “grace”
Check out this episode!


  • paul whittaker

    Hi guys. This is great and I was really looking forward to hearing this. I have quite a unique take on this as I know you both and, indeed, was part of the church model with you both at separate times in the UK and Hong Kong.
    We have had a remarkably similar journey to Steve Barker in terms of trying to get our heads around “what is church”. I look back now and realise I was incredibly naive and, in some way, because of this was controlled by church leaders and ministry teams etc.
    I feel a great sense of freedom now but it is not freedom away from God or His people but a freedom to get closer to Him and a freedom to see “church” in every part of my life on a daily basis and not just Sunday mornings or leaders meetings etc.
    Thanks for this guys and we will pray for your journeys. It has been a long time since we have seen each other but we see you as faithful friends who have shared some of our journey so far.

    Unbelievably, New Rose by The Damned is the first punk rock single that was ever released, it is a classic, and I saw the Damned in 1981 in London !!!

    • Steve

      Hi Paul, so good to hear from you and yes, it is encouraging to see many of us on a similar place in our journey as we figure out what “church” is. Love to the family!

      P.S. You know the Damned have been around a while when you saw them in London in ’81 and I saw them in Hong Kong in ’17 🙂

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