Church Leadership

Sleeping Dragon

I have worked with churches in a wide variety of settings and a wide range of relative states of health.  From these experiences, a conceptual frame emerges that I have found helpful as a consultation tool, and as a way of understanding not only what is happening in a given […]

A Call to Auction

Let’s just put it out there to the highest bidder.  We obviously don’t know what to do with it.  The new Call to Action report came out saying what we already know and offering the same old tired suggestions for “widespread reform.”  What a short memory we have.  We studied […]

So Much for the Meek

This morning’s USA Today has a front-page story below the fold on bullying among teens.  It appears that bullying is widespread, and apparently acceptable.  52% of students have hit someone in anger in the past year.  50% admit that they have bullied, and 47% report being the victim of bullying.  […]

Random Thoughts

I am becoming more and more convinced that coffee shops are the new mission frontier.  I stopped at Beans ‘n’ Creme in Sun Prairie this morning for my usual fix (nothing fancy, just plain old coffee…) and I saw a group of men all with their Bibles open having a […]

Holy Disorientation

The root of the word “orientation” comes from the idea of using the rising sun — the east — as a reference point to stay on course.  We” orient,” then as the day passes into night, we become “dis-oriented,” until the sun reappears and we can “re-orient” ourselves.  A sublime […]

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 […]

Moxie

Moxie — 1. vigor; verve; pep, 2. courage and aggressiveness, 3. skill; know-how.  Moxie is an American slang word, coined from a depression-era soda pop (that tastes a little like carbonated shoe-polish…).  It came to be a term of admiration — someone with Moxie was brash, bold, eccentric, impressive and […]

The Conflict Conflict

My thesis: the greatest danger to today’s Christian church in the United States doesn’t come from outside.  It isn’t atheists.  It isn’t gays or lesbians.  It isn’t the liberal media.  It isn’t terrorists of other faiths.  No, the greatest threat to our church today is us — the silly little […]

Mediocrity Not A Goal

I received three different requests for this article in the past two weeks, so I am reprinting it here (from February 2009) No Christian leader that I know ever sets out to do an “average” job for God. Oh, sure there are a few jaded pastors who are just counting […]

Balance

Want to know a secret?  The key to congregational vitality isn’t growth, it’s balance.  This shouldn’t be a secret — and it isn’t for about 10% of our United Methodist congregations — but sadly it is for the vast majority.  Ever since the late 20th century when we lost our […]