Christian discipleship

Make-No-Wave United Methodist Church

I received an interesting email from a pastor today who “followed my advice” and raised questions about expectations and accountability in the church.  He asked the “what is the church?” and “what is the church for?” questions, and zeroed in on what our membership vows really mean.  He was shocked […]

Too Busy

Meeting with a group of clergy last Thursday, the conversation turned to prayer and the idea of teaching people to pray.  There was general consensus that prayer is a good thing, but it became quickly evident that most in the group view prayer as something we “have” to do rather […]

Holy Warps

Okay, I understand disagreements over theology.  I understand disagreements over fundamental beliefs — between different religions.  I think most of the divisions and debates are pointless, but I understand them.  What I don’t understand is the virulent and vehement disagreement over discipleship and church membership.  What are our defining features? […]

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Church.  What a concept!  There are two simple questions I believe every congregation should take some time to seriously consider: 1) what is “church,” and, 2) what is church “for”?  We assume we know what church is, but much of what we think and believe is nothing more than validation […]

Brace for Impact

Why are we here?  I don’t have one answer that applies equally to all congregations, but I believe this question is THE question every congregation should discuss and wrestle with.  Why do we exist?  What difference are we making — in the lives of our members and friends, in our […]

Call Waiting

Are we missing something?  I have worked with college and seminary students for about twenty years now, and I am alarmed that the concept of “call” is on the endangered species list.  In a recent conversation about “call to ministry,” I actually had a second year seminary student come to […]

United Methodists Wanting to… What?

The United Methodist Church… wants to… what?  This is a question I asked for years when I worked for the General Board of Discipleship and travelled across the country.  I let people fill in the blank, then pressed to be sure I understood what they meant.  I came upon a […]