I'm Shawna and I'm trying to walk in the way of Jesus each day by grace.  I'm a wife, mom, pastor, writer, speaker and coffee addict.  I blog about faith, church, theology, parenthood and the beautiful mess of life enlivened by the Spirit.  I love watching God breathe new life into the holy words of Christian Scripture.  That's why I teach in a Bible study series called Breathe.  My B.A. in Philosophy and Theology is from Point Loma Nazarene University and my Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Subscribe to Shawna's blog

View RSS Feed


  • Conversations on social media have become toxic. Today's Christians do not seem to have the same table manners that our Lord modeled. We have despised our own people; why should we be surprised when they feel they have no where to turn but Caesar?  

    Jesus gave his table hosts more than statements. He gave them his presence, his friendship, his concern for their hardship and his mercy for the mistakes. Jesus joined the toxic tables and turned them over to become the platform for his kingdom announcement.
  • Jul29Sat

    I Kissed Mentor Dating Goodbye

    Let hospitality take the anxiety out of mentoring July 29, 2017
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Women in Ministry

     Why is it that finding a mentor feels like dating? Will they meet your expectations? What will the commitment level look like?

    What if instead of thinking of a mentor relationship as an exclusive partnership to secure our desired life/career benefits, we sought to be part of a nurturing community in which we have as much to invest as we have to receive? When mentoring is an act of hospitality within the Christian community it takes the anxious expectations out of the equation and allows mentoring relationships to foster inclusion and discipleship.

  • Yes and No

    Yes and No

    Making Space for Grace November 25, 2016 Shawna Songer Gaines
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Parenthood, Liturgy, Worship
    As Christians we want to say yes to God's grace. But with every yes there is a no. If we don't choose carefully what that no is, our careless yes will choose it for us.
  • May2Mon

    Surviving Sunday

    May 2, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Parenthood

    There are so many couples out there partnering in ministry in one way or another – co-pastoring, Sunday School teaching, ministry leading, worship banding, church planting and so on – who are struggling to live in the blessedness of resurrection day when it feels like the demands of church and family life are crucifying you!

    If that’s you, let me just say, you are not alone! And yes, it’s HARD!

  • In the Church of the Nazarene I believe we have reached a point of desperation when it comes to women in ministry. We have affirmed the place of woman in ministry with our words for over a hundred years. Our words affirmed it when my mother had no examples to see it. Our words affirmed it when I was told to work harder. The words of our history, theology and tradition have not changed our hearts!
  • Feb10Wed


    February 10, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Church, Politics, Faith, Parenthood, Social Justice
    In less than a year, my son, my first born, my baby, will be given over to the public school system. He already has a number. It’s a 10-digit code by which he is distinguished from all the other children in the Nashville public school system. This number reveals his age, place of birth, color of skin, home address, which schools he is and is not zoned for, what options are opened to him and what are closed. As the years go on it will probably reveal what scores he has received in which classes, how much time he spent in detention, which months he earned honor roll and so on.

    In order to get this number I sat in a long hallway with dirty pale blue tile lit by flickering fluorescent bulbs and waited for the woman behind the desk to take my papers. Two other mothers waited with me. The first was black and the second was white.
  • Feb4Thu

    A Letter from the Wilderness

    February 4, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Theology, Preaching

    To my friends in the Wilderness,

    Forgive my plain words. I haven’t the rhetoric of Peter or the charisma of Phillip. The twelve called upon me to wait tables, to feed the poor and hungry, so those gifted with words could do what I cannot.

    Who would have thought that setting tables with bread would lead me here, before an angry mob gathering stones?

  • Jan20Wed

    Fresh Start, Old Me

    January 20, 2016
    Filed Under:

    “This time I will have healthier life rhythms. This time I won’t over commit. This time I will practice real Sabbath. This time I will be a better friend. This time I will strike the perfect balance between family and ministry. This time I won’t be so hard on myself. This time…”

    This is the problem with each and every fresh start… it’s still the same old me.

  • Dec15Tue

    Witnessing to the Future

    December 15, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Church, Faith, Theology, Young Adults
    If you want a sneak peak at the future of the church, look to Jesus.

    Christ isn’t coming back from the grave of our past. Christ isn’t coming through the clouds of progress. Christ’s future has exploded the grave and eclipsed the clouds and is coming to us even now. Christ is coming the same way we say him go. The way of sacrifice and self-giving love.
  • Dec3Thu

    Advent in the Real World

    December 3, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Faith, Parenthood, Social Justice, Mission

    As children who have been raised in relative safety, we hear the story of this young couple with no place but a feeding trough to lay their new-born baby, and we know, even at the smallest of ages, that there is something wrong with the world where God would dare to come as a baby.

    One night Dorothee told Elias about the real drama going on in our world. She told him that there were so many little boys and girls with nowhere to sleep at night. Elias quickly offered, “They can bring their beds into my room!” His mom gently explained that these children have no beds, they left everything they had when they left home. This took little Elias a minute to process. Finally he said, “I guess they could have my bed too.”

    Even the littlest of children know that there is something wrong in this world where God would dare to come as a baby.