Mission & Purpose

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.  […]

The “Must” Questions

While working for the General Board of Discipleship, I developed a resource that was never published called “Your New Appointment: The First Hundred Days.”  Not a flashy title, but very descriptive.  It was rejected because “it wasn’t practical.”  I will outline it here and let you decide.  It was predicated […]

Doing and Discipling

Slowly, but surely, I am plowing through old files in a feeble attempt to clean and organize my office.  This process is entering its third year, so success is a remote hope.  However, I do come across some interesting artifacts as I dig through each new (old) layer.  Just this […]

The Obvious Truth Nobody Seems to Know

Okay, here it is — the answer to all our problems in The United Methodist Church.  It is so simple, you probably won’t believe/accept it.  It comes in two parts — the first part is fundamental conventional wisdom, the second part, not so much.  It answers the question: “what is […]

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

I have been reading/thinking quite a bit about creativity and innovation and I am increasingly impressed by the regular occurrence of discontinuity and evolutionary leaps.  Few transformative changes happen incrementally.  The major shifts occur when leaders bring disparate elements together or when “tradition” and “convention” are set aside to make […]

An Unabashed Plug

Clergy and laity leadership across The United Methodist Church — attention.  When you receive the November/December Interpreter magazine, read it, study it, share it, preach it, teach it.  It focuses on The Advance — the United Methodist commitment to second mile giving projects that truly transform the world.  In the […]

Wisdom, For a Change

I received an email from a long-time colleague finding herself in an all-too-common situation: asked to “grow” a church where the leadership begged her to help bring them into the 21st century, she now finds that this same leadership effectively blocks each and every attempt she makes to lead.  Her […]

Shmoo Church

Showing my age, one metaphor that comes to mind for the contemporary United Methodist Church is the Shmoo, from the Li’l Abner comic strip — originally appearing culturally in the late 1940s, and appearing in my young awareness sometime in the early 1960s when my passion for comics and cartoons hit its […]

Ecumenically Challenged

There are few things I hate worse than being sick on the road.  My wife and I are in Columbus, Ohio and I determined that now would be the ideal time to get a four-alarm sinus infection.  I can’t focus, I can’t breathe, I have a splitting headache… and I […]

B Church

At a recent workshop, discussion shifted to the question, “So, just what IS the current reality of our local churches in United Methodism?”  The following framework emerged from this discussion.  In summary: The United Methodist Church is an amalgam of three key aspects that work well in combination but are […]

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