Communication in the Church

The Division-Driven Church

Generally, a vision is a positive thing — something worth pursuing, something people want.  Promised Land.  Land flowing with milk and honey.  City on a hill.  Shining light.  Good thing.  At its best, the church is all about vision.  Or, it should be.  Too often we are about division instead […]

The Enemy Within

On a not-too-infrequent basis, Christian commentators will rant and rail against secular and non-Christian forces conspiring to destroy our faith.  Any given day, the Muslims or the scientists or the atheists or the Jews or the secular humanists or the liberals or the homosexuals or Planned Parenthood or the… you […]

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. […]

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 […]

Communichaos

Pastors are generally noted for their preaching and teaching — their communication skills.  Yet, have you ever noticed how often “expert communicators” have so much difficulty communicating?  I have been doing church consultation for almost twenty years, and the number one concern at both congregational and conference levels is often […]

Ravings of an Angry Evangelical

Our country is being destroyed by ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians.  They call themselves evangelicals, but throughout history they have been known by other names: tyrants, despots, hate mongers, fools… David Carlsson, Message to America, 2009 Hold on.  I confess that there are ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians out there […]

Caustic Criticality

This has been one of those interesting days where one theme keeps recurring no matter where I turn.  A gentleman stopped me this evening to tell me how displeased he is with my blog — that he has, in the past, found value in my writing, but that my blog […]

Who Needs a Sermon?

It never fails that when I am looking for something in particular, I manage to find something else I was looking for months ago.  Such is the case with interview notes I took in Colorado, Iowa, and Connecticut with 20-60 year old spiritual seekers.  These notes have been the missing […]