Church Leadership

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 […]

Observe, Listen & Reflect

In my experience, United Methodists tend to be problem solvers in search of the quick fix.  All too often, we wait until a challenge reaches crisis proportions, then we seek a simple, easy solution.  Frustration sets in and we begin looking around to see if someone else can solve our […]

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 […]

Han Church

Okay, this is one of those cases where I probably should run what I am writing by my Korean-American bishop before I make a fool of myself – but, oh well, why start something new at this late date…  I spent time this week at the North Central Jurisdiction Urban […]

Too Busy to Learn

Yesterday, I had the great honor to launch a new learning academy in our annual conference — something we have been talking about for a long time, but for a variety of reasons couldn’t get launched earlier.  We are attempting a conference-wide, ongoing Leadership Learning Academy for clergy and laity […]

Lego Church

Forgive the annoying “back when I was a boy…” beginning to this reflection, but, back when I was a boy a Lego kit consisted of a box of white, black, yellow, blue and red bricks that came in eight different sizes.  You could make anything your imagination could conceive of, […]

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 […]

Prayerheads

I am deeply distressed by the state of prayer in The United Methodist Church – at least among pastors.  As I am visiting with clergy leaders, I am asking about their personal devotional lives, and far and wide I am finding that many have no personal devotional life.  I have […]

Why Answer the Call?

One of my favorite blogger-buds, John Meunier, raised a great question yesterday that I feel warrants a full response, so I am framing it as a post.  Here is John’s question:  Why should anyone seek ordination in the UMC given the realities you see? Should those interested in discipleship find […]

The Hegemony of How

Responses to Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity provide a fascinating illustration of the difficulties we face employing adaptive leadership process.  Adaptive leadership, by definition, recognizes that our penchant for problem-solving pushes us to seek answers before we truly understand the complexity of the challenge before us.  In other words, when faced with […]