Communication in the Church

You Need to Understand

Working for the church, first at the denominational level, then at the conference level, I am surprised at how often people will open their communication with me with the words, “You need to understand…”  A more narcissistic and ego-centric phrase may not exist, because the people who open with such […]

Guilty By Dissociation

A fascinating occurrence.  I reported an incident that happened in another conference in an article entitled Guerilla Christianity, and I have had four separate responses from other United Methodist Churches believing that I was talking about them!  Obviously, what happened in the incident reported struck a chord with these other […]

Hearing and Listening

I remember strolling down a church hallway toward the Sunday school rooms, when I heard a sweet, little piping voice singing.  At first I couldn’t make out the words.  All I knew was it was the voice of a 4 or 5 year-old girl, and the tune was “We Are the […]

The Driver’s Seat

In college, I had three friends that I hung out with on a regular basis.  Whenever we went anywhere, there was a brief battle over who would drive and who would ride shotgun.  I am a very basic, boring driver — taking the easiest route, staying within 7 miles per […]

Teach

I may get blasted on this.  That’s okay.  I am sharing almost twenty years of similar responses here, and I think we — especially clergy — need to listen.  Laity across the United Methodist Church are sending four messages loud and clear:  prayer, stewardship, evangelism and Bible are NOT being […]

Who Do I Think I Am?

This is a common question: who do you think you are?  I get it all the time — probably more than most because I speak my mind and I speak with conviction.  I have gotten three different “who do you think you are” emails this week.  Here are excerpts from […]

Missing the Forest For the Trees

In response to my “Back to Basics” post, many people are asking (demanding?) whether or not theology is at the root of “seeker aversion” to organized religion.  More conservative voices posit that our lack of Biblical integrity and adherence, our loose morals, and our “anything goes” liberalism may be what […]

We Are The Church… Together?

Yesterday, I posted a piece on the nature and purpose of the church, thinking it to be a fairly safe (but important) topic.  I received this email today, and share it (eliminating names and any reference to the specific congregation, and framing it as dialog — with the author’s permission). […]

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 […]

Mission Motivation, Mission Manipulation

I witnessed one of the best missions presentations today at the Wisconsin School of Christian Mission.  Anita Ayers Henderlight, Executive Director of the Africa Education & Leadership Initiative presented an uplifting, positive, informative, hopeful and highly motivational program on the Sudan.  Uplifting?  Positive?  Hopeful?  SUDAN?  What gives?  The United Methodist Church […]