An Online Resource for Clergy
Created by Clergy
Ben Cremer started pastoring a small church in 2013.
Danny Quanstrom started pastoring one in 2014.
Both churches were strapped for funding which meant finding quality resources was difficult. Free online resources were mostly from fundamentalist leaning organizations and paid online resources were mostly from Reformed or Catholic traditions. While we appreciated the resources from other traditions we noticed a large gap in strong, theologically inclined, online resources; especially from a Wesleyan tradition.
We emailed about 200 of our friends - pastors, professors, and scholars - with our vision for A Plain Account, and, to our surprise, most agreed to contribute to our small project. Our first commentaries were posted for Ash Wednesday in 2016. Back then A Plain Account was only a preaching resource; Revised Common Lectionary based commentaries. Today, like then, A Plain is still 100% volunteer led.
Once this little project started to gain some traction, we decided to start a podcast. We had no clue what we were doing, but thought it would be a good companion to the written commentaries. Ben and Danny started the podcast together, frequently bringing contributors onto the show. After a few years, and some more growth, Danny stepped away from the podcast to focus on the written commentaries and future organizational development. Ben brought Alicia McClintic onto the podcast and they cohosted for a few more years before Ben stepped away to focus on a new ministry assignment and growing family. Today the podcast is stronger than ever with hosts Alicia McClintic and Megan Pardue with Matt Gose producing.
One other major gap in resources for smaller or underfunded churches is quality discipleship material. Like other online resources, most online discipleship sits squarely in the fundamentalist camp. We reached out to pastoral friend, Jason Buckwalter, about the lack of robust Wesleyan discipleship resources. Jason pioneered our discipleship resource; providing weekly leader and student guides. As with everything else, this curriculum is free because we know how hard it can be to find quality material. We put Jason's pedagogical expertise up against any other online resource you might find!
Thing at A Plain Account started coming together; with commentaries, podcast, and discipleship, there were two areas we had hoped to grow, but needed the personnel to create and curate them. First was liturgics; a resource for worship planning and liturgical elements. Resident liturgist Brent Neely saw the need and stepped into this role. Every week Brent curates resources for corporate worship; call to worship, weekly collect, etc. Look for more liturgical resources coming in the future.
The other team we wanted to develop was a team to curate song selections. After a few years scrambling to get this resources off the ground, Marvin Jones stepped in. A worship pastor and university professor, Marvin brings the expertise and the experience that makes this resource valuable. He, with his team, provide weekly song selections based on that week's lectionary readings.
The last development is that in 2022 A Plain Account became a 501(c)3. We are a non-profit organization so any donations are tax deductible!
Learn more about the A Plain Account Team.