The United Methodist Church

Christian Discipleship for Dummies

I was in conversation with some of my colleagues about the state of The United Methodist Church.  We each took a Post-It® Note and wrote what we thought was the most pressing need/critical issue facing the church.  Most of the notes were about declining numbers — not enough new members, […]

In Defense of Christian Crybabies

I never see it coming.  I write something I think is compelling or provocative, and no one seems to care.  I toss off something I don’t give much thought or energy to, and it gets 3,000 hits.  I posted “Crybaby Christians,” and thought I might get some push-back about it […]

Systemic Ambivalence

Systemic — pertaining to or affecting a whole system Ambivalence — holding two competing values in equal regard If the unexamined life is not worth living, then perhaps the unexamined institution is not worth having.  And we try desperately hard not to look too closely at the institution we serve […]

Who Are We Again?

At a recent event, I made the statement that today’s United Methodist Church exists because our predecessor denominations held three critically important functions in common: missional service, evangelism and social justice.  In other words, we hold core values of caring for others, inviting all people into a life-changing, life-fulfilling relationship […]


Just saw Tomorrowland — the new George Clooney film (not great, but good fun, nonetheless).  It triggered in me an odd reaction.  I think our Council of Bishops and all the nay-saying, “gotta turn this ship around”, “death tsunami” consultants need to go see this movie and view it as […]

Welcome Back, the Right Reverend Ross

I love hearing good news about the church I love, and the best news I have received in years is the return of Vance P. Ross to the leadership of Discipleship Ministries (formerly the GBOD, formerly General Board of Discipleship).  Vance is one of the brightest, deepest, truly compassionate, and […]


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