Mission & Purpose

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, […]

Taylor-Made: A Secular Age

I will move this to “best books” in a week or two, but for now, I want to add Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age to my list of books I believe every pastor should read.  This book came out in 2007 and I am embarrassed to say that it took […]

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 […]

I Love a Mystery

Though I am not overly superstitious, I DO try to pay attention to unusual coincidences.  Over the last three days, I have been led, in one way or another, to look up four passages of scripture:  Ephesians 6:18-20, I Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-10, and 1 Timothy 3:16.  Each of these […]


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 […]

Remembering Who We Are

One of the things I love about the church is that you never know what kind of impact you’re going to make on the lives of those around you.  At a very simple level, the church offers an opportunity to do good and, at the very least, do no harm.  […]


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