Month: May 2009

An Offer of Grace

What follows is an email, in its entirety, that I received today.  The author has approved my sharing its content, but asks that I protect both her identity and that of her congregation.  I think it is both a message of hope and realism — fair, reasonable, balanced, and deeply […]

In God We Trust, In Church We Don’t

An insidious distrust is raging throughout our connectional system.  Pastors don’t trust laity and vice versa.  Congregations don’t trust their Annual Conferences, and neither one fully trust the General Conference.  Confessors don’t trust Reconcilers, Contemporary Worshippers don’t trust Traditional Worshippers, and Traditional Worshippers don’t trust that someone won’t sneak drums […]

Evangelisn’t – Part Two

My commentary on the research on evangelism and faith sharing in The United Methodist Church generated some interesting response — some defensive, some reflective, but no one really surprised by the conjecture that we’re not doing very much in the way of inviting people into relationship with Jesus Christ.  I […]

Evangelisn’t

Faith sharing and evangelism have fallen on hard times in The United Methodist Church.  For the most part, we don’t do them — except with people who already believe what we do.  As part of our research on spiritual practices, we asked 922 United Methodist lay people to share their […]

Wanted: Heart Warmed — Strangely or Otherwise

I sat through another United Methodist worship service — this time bombarded by thumping, lively praise music extolling how awesome, moist, and shiny Jesus is.  (If you’ve experienced ‘contemporary’ praise music, you know what I mean…)  The energy was high, it was the theology that was missing.  Everything was simple and […]

Pleonexia

Pleonexia — (Plē-ō-nĕx´-ia) — the insatiable desire for more; a condition of deep dissatisfaction with what one has; seeking fulfillment through the acquisition of possessions, prestige, or power. Besides being a great word that’s a lot of fun to say, pleonexia is an insightful description of much of modern culture […]