Christian witness

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 […]

Devaluation

We’ll take anybody.  We don’t even require membership classes anymore.  Nobody has the time, and most of the people who join our church are coming from other churches, anyway.  We ask at the end of every service if there is anyone who wishes to join, they come forward, and we […]

Make Us One, Lord

I used a hymn at this year’s annual conference that I wrote the words to about 20 years ago when I was charged with merging two congregations that didn’t really want to merge.  There was loads of competition and strife, so I wrote this song as a call for unity. […]

Fruit Smoothie

I have been working on a sermon for this coming weekend and I have been doing a lot of thinking about the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  Spiritual gifts, graces and fruit have been an interest of mine for some time (check out Equipped for Every […]

The Day After

Well, Wisconsin Annual Conference, Session the 41st, ended yesterday.  Tracking all my rookie mistakes — this being my first year organizing the agenda for conference in my role as DCM (Director of Connectional Ministries) — I can proudly say I only made a few, and a couple of them were of […]

AC/DC

Where is the power and energy at Annual Conference this year?  I am not talking about any one Annual Conference — I’m talking about all of them.  Is our energy toward building, creating, forming, bridging, healing, mending, bonding, uniting, and becoming?  Or is it about conflict, controversy, contention, competition, factions, […]

Let’s Be Clear

I am fast coming to despise email.  Not just the quantity, nor the spam — but the high level of miscommunication it engenders.  Three examples: you’re not the kind of example I would expect from The United Methodist Church. I have never heard such nonsense about the church before. The […]

The Lost Discipline

Okay.  Blog vacation over.  I’m back.  I have been unbelievably busy for the past two weeks, but am now going to get back to my two-to-three blog a week schedule.  I’m sure you are all relieved… I have tried in the past couple weeks to keep my thoughts to myself […]

Witness for the Prosecution

Here’s something I don’t understand.  Why do so many people in the church who teach evangelism despise non-Christians?  No, really.  It would seem to me that as Christians we would absolutely LOVE everyone who isn’t a Christian, but this isn’t the case.  Over and over I meet United Methodist evangelists […]

Compassionot

Who should have a place at the banquet table laid out for us by God?  This is a question that keeps coming up in my life at the moment as I listen to conversations about immigration, homosexuality, capital punishment, and abortion.  In each case, one significant issue emerges: who is […]