Core Values

Devaluation

We’ll take anybody.  We don’t even require membership classes anymore.  Nobody has the time, and most of the people who join our church are coming from other churches, anyway.  We ask at the end of every service if there is anyone who wishes to join, they come forward, and we […]

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 Lost Discipline

Okay.  Blog vacation over.  I’m back.  I have been unbelievably busy for the past two weeks, but am now going to get back to my two-to-three blog a week schedule.  I’m sure you are all relieved… I have tried in the past couple weeks to keep my thoughts to myself […]

Children of God

I’ve gotten in trouble lately for an idea that I thought was fairly safe, but turns out (as many ideas do) is theologically open to debate.   I suggested that human beings, created in the image of God, might be children of God.  I do have to acknowledge that this is […]

Witness for the Prosecution

Here’s something I don’t understand.  Why do so many people in the church who teach evangelism despise non-Christians?  No, really.  It would seem to me that as Christians we would absolutely LOVE everyone who isn’t a Christian, but this isn’t the case.  Over and over I meet United Methodist evangelists […]

The $100 Challenge

A young man came up to me the other day and led off with the line, “You probably don’t remember me, but…”  Having worked for the national church for almost 15 years, I have met an awful lot of people, and I must confess that I don’t remember too many […]

Compassionot

Who should have a place at the banquet table laid out for us by God?  This is a question that keeps coming up in my life at the moment as I listen to conversations about immigration, homosexuality, capital punishment, and abortion.  In each case, one significant issue emerges: who is […]

What’s Happened to the Heroes?

I don’t consider myself an old fogy or a prude, but I’m getting fed up with what’s happening to our superheroes.  Last year I eagerly anticipated the Watchmen movie, yet I left it disgusted at the glorification of brutality and the gratuitous violence that all but obscured the story.  Now, we […]

Broken By You

I remember attending the worship of a young pastor a few year’s ago who was presiding over his first communion.  He served a rural congregation, known far and wide for the ongoing conflicts within the small fellowship.  It was hoped he could bring peace to an embattled situation.  As he […]

Measuremental Disorders

Blog-buddy John Meunier asked me a question on his blog on a topic that I was in the middle of writing about on my blog.  So here is his question as well as my answer.  His question, “I wonder if anyone who has studied church vitality and maybe even written […]