Ed Gungor is a veteran pastor, faith and culture expert, and New York Times best-selling author. A rare wonder in the American church, Gungor often conducts well-informed discussions on philosophy and church history but can’t go more than two sentences without laughing at his own jokes. He became a follower of Christ as a teenager in the early 1970’s and has been deeply involved in the spiritual formation of others for over thirty-five years. Ed has a passion for authentic transformation, a phenomenon he feels is all too rare in today’s church. "Christianity is like a cough," he muses. "Standing at a safe distance and imitating someone else’s cough is nothing like getting close and catching it yourself."
As a self-described "church futurist," he is constantly aware of the changing needs of the next generation of Christians, the ones who haven’t yet experienced spiritual formation. To effectively communicate the gospel to this group, he believes our notion of "destiny" in the American church needs to be re-imagined. Ed longs to see believers willing to abandon their Christianized versions of the self-important American Dream, embracing instead the miraculous, surprising, and contagious Christianity that comes when they see themselves as the servants of God who find their home with Messiah and his people as they participate in the mission of God (mission dei).
Building on the idea that "we can stand for truth without acting like terds," Ed eschews "the culture wars" in favor of cultural connection. "What I really want is to build bridges to people who would not normally walk into a church or think they have anything in common with a Christian --- to share the gospel of Jesus Christ," he says. "We can be kinder to people without side-stepping the truth or being ashamed of it."
Ed is known for his down-to-earth, engaging communication style. With transparency and his own unique brand of wry humor, he cuts through the usual "church-speak," gleefully slaughtering any sacred cows that distort the true message of Christ. He is the author of several books, including RELIGIOUSLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES: Finding a Cure When Faith Doesn’t Feel Right, THE VOW: An Ancient Path of Spiritual Formation That Still Transforms Today, and the New York Times bestseller THERE IS MORE TO THE SECRET. His latest book, WHAT BOTHERS ME MOST ABOUT CHRISTIANITY: Honest Reflections from an Open-Minded Christ Follower, is scheduled for release in June 2009.
Ed and his wife Gail have been married over thirty years. They have four children and live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ed currently serves as lead pastor at Sanctuary in Tulsa and travels around the U.S. and abroad speaking in churches, universities, and seminars. For more information, visit http://edgungor.com/.