his week on The Bulletin, hosts Mike Cosper, Clarissa Moll, and Bob Smietana discuss the darkness of our culture in hopes of finding light. Award-winning journalist Sam Quinones joins the show to talk about the opioid crisis; and, with all that’s heavy in the world, Mike, Clarissa, and Bob wonder aloud how pastors have held on as long as they have. Is it any surprise they’re quitting, and what can we do about it? Listen in for a conversation equal parts somber and spirited, weighty and winsome.

Joining us this week:
Clarissa Moll is an award-winning writer and podcaster who helps bereaved people find flourishing after loss. She co-hosted Christianity Today’s “Surprised by Grief” podcast and is a frequent guest on podcasts and radio shows. Clarissa’s debut book, Beyond the Darkness: A Gentle Guide for Living with Grief and Thriving After Loss, was a best-selling new release in 2022. Her three new grief books for children, teens, and adults respectively release in 2024 and 2025. She is the producer of The Bulletin and widow of former CT editor Rob Moll.

Bob Smietana is an award-winning religion reporter and editor who has spent two decades producing breaking news, data journalism, investigative reporting, profiles, and features for magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and websites. Most notably, he has served as a senior writer for Facts & Trends, senior editor of Christianity Today, religion writer at The Tennessean, correspondent for Religion News Service, and contributor to OnFaith, USA TODAY, and The Washington Post. He is best known for his coverage of evangelical Christianity, end-time cat worshipers, and the human side of religion.

Sam Quinones is a journalist, storyteller, former LA Times reporter, and author of four acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction. His most recent book is The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth, released in 2021. Columbia Journalism School selected him as a 2008 recipient of the Maria Moors Cabot prize, for a career of excellence in covering Latin America. He is also a 1998 recipient of an Alicia Patterson Fellowship, one of the most prestigious fellowships given to print journalists.

Resources Referenced:
Pastors Share Top Reasons They’ve Considered Quitting Ministry in the Past Year - Barna Group
Departure: Why I Left the Church by Alex Lang
National Surveys | COVID-19 Religion Research by Hartford Center for Religion Research
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Read More from Christianity Today about Today’s Topics:
With Eyes to See Addiction, Appalachian Churches Respond to the Opioids Crisis
Jesus Loves Opioid Addicts | Christianity Today
The Church Should Ask Two Questions About the Current Drug Crisis | Christianity Today
Pastors, There’s a Ministry in Staying Put | Christianity Today
I’ve Reached My Breaking Point as a Pastor | Christianity Today

“The Bulletin” is a production of Christianity Today
Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
Producer: Clarissa Moll and Matt Stevens
Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
Editing and Mix: TJ Hester
Music: Dan Phelps
Show Design: Bryan Todd
Graphic Design: Amy Jones
Social Media: Kate Lucky