Ok, this page really isn’t about Joe, at least not yet. Right now, this page is about what Joe can do for you. You see, Joe is a pastor at heart. This means, fundamentally, his life is about soul care.
But Joe isn’t your ordinary pastor. On one side, he’s highly intelligent and educated. But this doesn’t make his distant and inaccessible because he’s also taken few trips to hell and back. So, whatever you’re experiencing, odds are, Joe can relate … all the way to spending a night in jail.
When you combine Joe’s education with his real and raw life experience and toss in a somewhat defiant personality, you end up with a guy who isn’t cut out to pastor a typical American congregation. However, that could make him the perfect freelance pastor for you.
A Freelance Pastor?
That’s right, Joe is a pastor for hire. A pastor for people who don’t have someone to fill that role in their life. Specifically, Joe is a pastor for academics, pastors, and the churchless … but more on that in a moment.
How did Joe end up as a freelance pastor? Honestly, he needed a business idea. One that not only made the most of his gifts but his personal background. It was also important that, whatever he did, it allowed him to prioritize his family. Finally, it needed to enhance his earnings (while he digs slinging footwear and gets great insurance from REI, it isn’t paying the bills).
A few days after dedicating the child of a couple he married a number of years back, his wife Kiana asked, “Why don’t you make yourself available for pastoral services?” About the same time, he started work as a second reader on a doctoral dissertation and loved the process of helping the author find her voice and enhance her work. Thinking about those projects and the loneliness he experienced as a struggling pastor of a church birthed the idea behind what you’re seeing at joeburnham.com … a freelance pastor serving academics, pastors, and the churchless.
The Expected About Joe
With all that in place, here’s more of the typical stuff about Joe stuff.
Joe has almost 20 years of ministry experience. This includes working with children, youth, young adults, and adults. He’s served in urban, suburban, and rural settings, including both Black and White congregations. He also served as a guest professor at a South African seminary. Others mark his strengths in both preaching and teaching. That said, in 2010, Joe’s personal life derailed what, at the time, appeared to some as a larger-than-life ministry career.
Today, Joe is a sex addict actively engaged in recovery. His journey towards health dramatically shapes his approach to faith and theology. Because of the spiritual abuse in his own story, Joe passionately challenges shame-manipulating theologies that present a false image of Jesus. The resultant theological transformation and personal reformation birthed his heart’s desire to see the subversive Church he reads about in the Bible manifest itself in the lives of Christian’s today. Sadly, more often than not, this leaves him at odds with much of popular Christianity.
More personally, Joe married Kiana in August of 2012. They have one son, Robbie, from Joe’s first marriage. Joe sees Kiana as a gift from above who not only provides a tangible framework for God’s love but is the prophetic voice in his life that was necessary if he was ever going to leave the darkness of addiction.
Robbie lights up Joe’s life and, more than anything, Joe wants to father his son into the man he’s becoming rather than the man he’s been.
The three of them, along with their two Saint Bernards, live in urban Denver. Together they enjoy the outdoors, obstacle course racing, and cheering for the Denver Broncos.
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