Congregational Life

Tearing Down the Church… Together

The results are in on my study on destructive forces in the church.  Beginning in 2005 and continuing to the present, I have been analyzing the negative, destructive, damaging, unhelpful, hostile, and hurtful practices at work in our communities of “open hearts, open minds, and open doors.”  A whopping 86% […]

Broken for You… But Definitely Broken

You might think that people who do something repeatedly over a period of years would come to know its practice and meaning intimately.  In the case of the celebration of Holy Communion, you would be wrong.  Each month (the preferred schedule for the institution of the Lord’s Supper in United […]

Stupid Christian Education

I keep getting requests for copies of this article and permission to reprint it so I thought I would just re-post it here.  I originally posted it last November. What do you know about God?  What have you learned about Jesus Christ in the past few weeks?  How readily can […]

An Existential Loop

My long time spiritual guide and mentor, Carl Andry, Jr., used to tell us that the purpose of the church could be discerned through the three-fold approach to a single question: Why are we here?  For Dr. Andry, a congregation could only justify its existence by: Asking the question Answering […]

The Irrationalization of Christianity

Two recent conversations raise questions in my mind about the integrity and strength of our beliefs.  A pair of incredibly intelligent, deeply spiritual Christians shared with me heart-breaking realizations that there is no longer any place for them in the church — all because they are reasonable, rational people trying […]

Show Me The Money Mission

Times are tough. The economy is in the tank. People are losing jobs, and those who have them are growing ever more cautious with their money. It’s got to be hurting the church, right?  Well, yes… and no. It all depends on where the congregational treasure is — there will […]

Blasphemediocrity

blasphemy (noun) — irreverent or disrespectful words or actions concerning God or sacred things. mediocrity (noun) — a state of poor or barely adequate quality; neither good nor bad. blasphemediocrity (noun) — the  disrespect of God and the sacred by accepting barely adequate and/or poor quality standards of spiritual belief […]

Preacher Feature

I have some very faithful friends who have continued to collect data and information for research projects I launched but was unable to complete.  One of the questions we began exploring last summer is “What are people looking for in a sermon?”  We asked this of three separate audiences:  long-time […]

Point, Counterpoint, GracePoint

I’ve received a number of emails and phone calls asking if I am going to weigh in on the GracePoint UMC/GracePoint Community Church (Wichita, KS) split story.  Well, yes and no.  I don’t know enough about the specific story to comment intelligently, but on the surface and in general this appears to […]