Author Archives

Dan R. Dick

I am the lead pastor at People's United Methodist Church in the Wisconsin Conference of The United Methodist Church, husband of my beautiful wife, Barbara, dad to my fantastic son, Josh and his wife Caroline, step-dad to my phenomenal son, Greg, his wife Hannah and our fabulous/glorious/perfect granddaughter Evie, author of seventeed books on spirituality, stewardship, congregational development, research, and spiritual gifts discovery, and an advocate for a more loving, inclusive church for the 21st century and beyond.

Behavior Modification or Transformation?

Some comments at the School of Congregational Development highlight an incredibly important distinction.  “We’ve heard all this before.  The problem is putting it into practice.”  “You don’t have to talk me into thinking this is important, tell me ways to make it happen.”  “Doing this stuff is a lot harder […]

Sects in the City

I was speaking to a pastor from Chicago who lamented the appearance of street preachers who claimed the corner outside his church to read scripture aloud, preach, and pray with passersby.  I asked if the men (they were all male) were disruptive or aggressive?  No.  I asked if they accosted […]

Crossing the Great Divide

I’m attending the School of Congregational Development this week in Evanston, Illinois, and in just the first few hours I am struck by a radical disconnect in our church.  There is such energy and passion here.  There is a deep vision for transformation of individual lives, congregations, communities and the […]

Perspectival Prestidigitation

What I said: “No matter how well we are doing, we can always do better.  There is virtually nothing we do that cannot be improved.” What people heard: “No matter what we do, it’s never good enough.” “Our best efforts are doomed to fail.”  “We’re obviously doing it wrong.” “We’re […]

How?

In strategic planning work with both conferences and congregations it is common practice to focus first on “who we are, why we’re here, and what we need to do” before moving on to “how.”  Getting to “how” to do things is the bane of successful planning — too often we […]

Cagey Christians

A couple weeks ago I posted a blog called Cranky Christians, so this, I guess could be considered a companion piece.  Whereas cranky Christians are those who gripe and moan about every little thing, throwing tantrums to get their own way, and acting out in a wide variety of unpleasant […]

United! In What Ways?

There is a great deal of discussion these days about what makes United Methodists “Methodist.”  What I find more challenging is what makes us “United” Methodists.  The fractures to our connection are deeply painful to me.  There is no real freedom to disagree in love.  People talk about one another […]

Superstitious Atheists, Superficial Believers

I read with some amusement the article in USA Today about “de-baptism” yesterday, and it raised for me the same question such stories always do: “What are atheists so afraid of?”  In the past year, disgruntled and former believers have gathered in Ohio, Texas, Florida, and Georgia have gathered before […]