Congregational Life

Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up

In case I haven’t been clear, I absolutely love Disney/Pixar’s new hit family pic, Up.  I’m not going to spoil the film if you haven’t seen it — and if you haven’t seen it, go, now, I’ll wait…………………….. Okay, great wasn’t it?  As a simple story, it’s nice.  As an […]

Moist & Methodist: Baptism in the UMC

Of the researchstudies on spiritual practices in The United Methodist Church that were suspended when my job got eliminated at the General Board of Discipleship the one I was most disappointed by was our look at baptism.  Following twelve years after the adoption of “By Water and the Spirit” by our General […]

Holy Hyper-Ventilation!

Question:  Which is more important, inhaling or exhaling? Answer:  Depends on which you did last… Breathing requires both, and life depends on good breathing.  Too little oxygen leads to asphyxiation; too much to hyper-ventilation.  You can’t be good at one and bad at the other.  No one can say, “Well, […]

In God We Trust, In Church We Don’t

An insidious distrust is raging throughout our connectional system.  Pastors don’t trust laity and vice versa.  Congregations don’t trust their Annual Conferences, and neither one fully trust the General Conference.  Confessors don’t trust Reconcilers, Contemporary Worshippers don’t trust Traditional Worshippers, and Traditional Worshippers don’t trust that someone won’t sneak drums […]

Evangelisn’t – Part Two

My commentary on the research on evangelism and faith sharing in The United Methodist Church generated some interesting response — some defensive, some reflective, but no one really surprised by the conjecture that we’re not doing very much in the way of inviting people into relationship with Jesus Christ.  I […]

Evangelisn’t

Faith sharing and evangelism have fallen on hard times in The United Methodist Church.  For the most part, we don’t do them — except with people who already believe what we do.  As part of our research on spiritual practices, we asked 922 United Methodist lay people to share their […]

Pleonexia

Pleonexia — (Plē-ō-nĕx´-ia) — the insatiable desire for more; a condition of deep dissatisfaction with what one has; seeking fulfillment through the acquisition of possessions, prestige, or power. Besides being a great word that’s a lot of fun to say, pleonexia is an insightful description of much of modern culture […]

Survival – Revival – Thrival

Yes, I know “thrival” isn’t a word, but it should be.  We spend so much time in the church talking about ‘survivial’ and ‘revival’ that we forget to talk about what it would look like if we truly thrived.  Last year, “…for the transformation of the world” got officially added […]