Church Leadership

ReDo, UnDo, DoDo

United Methodist congregations seem to regularly get “stuck” in one (or more) of three places.  Annual Conferences, too, share this affliction.  Instead of channeling energy positively, it dissipates in non-productive — and sometimes damaging ways.  Conversations tend to focus on problems to solve rather than possibilties.  People get bogged down […]

Contexistentialism

For a reader, a coffee shop is a frustrating tease.  Whenever I think about taking a good book to the coffee shop, I envision sitting cozy in one of the comfy chairs with a good cup of coffee, losing myself in whatever I am reading — perhaps with some good […]

The Measure of a Church’s Soul

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  What a brilliant turn of phrase.  Not where the heart is, the treasure will be, but what we count and pursue and value indicates what matters most to us.  Genius.  So, based on this premise from scripture, what does The […]

Reality Check

The tragic results of this spirit (looking for quick and easy shortcuts in our faith) are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic […]

Via Negativa

I note with dismay that your blog is consistently critical of the church.  It doesn’t seem fair or balanced to continuously pick at flaws while ignoring the good.  While we certainly have problems, there is little benefit in dwelling on them all the time.  I don’t care to be made […]

Recalculating

I have a special relationship with my GPS.  It’s a Garmin and her name is Greta.  Like most couples, we have moments when we don’t see eye to eye.  Greta wants me to go one way, and I choose to go another.  Every time I disregard Greta’s sage advice, she […]

Prophet Margin

Are there prophets in the church today?  Are there any willing to speak the truth regardless of the consequences?  Anyone willing to point out the unconscionable amount of money and time we waste in meetings and conferences?  Anyone willing to point out that our own systems and structures are as unfair […]

Pastor Paté

Over a decade ago, Evelyn Burry and I did a study of the issues that District Superintendents most hated dealing with.  In the broadest category, DSs hate having to deal with people — but that’s not fair, because the thing they like most about their jobs is people as well.  […]

Dumbfounded

There are times that I am stunned to silence (not many, granted, but a few…) by my own denomination.  I wonder what it is that we believe and what our witness to the world really is.  The latest brick in the wall of incredulity came when I saw that William […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

One of the sidelights of the research I did into congregational vitality from 1999-2008 was the opportunity to identify and interview young pastors who were doing truly meaningful, serious, and innovative work in the church.  Many of them were not lead pastors, but those who could specialize in youth, young […]