Critical Thinking

The Hegemony of How

Responses to Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity provide a fascinating illustration of the difficulties we face employing adaptive leadership process.  Adaptive leadership, by definition, recognizes that our penchant for problem-solving pushes us to seek answers before we truly understand the complexity of the challenge before us.  In other words, when faced with […]

Childish Church

This is a rant, so take it with a grain of whatever.  I met with a young pastor and asked him how his ministry was going.  He replied, “We have eight new members and our attendance is up from 35 to over 50 a week.”  I said, “That’s not what […]

All For Nought

Zero is an interesting concept.  Is it the presence of nothing or the absence of anything?  Is it a baseline from which to measure or a null point?  Is it normal or is it failure?  Is it a goal for which to strive or a default by which to reset?  […]

Synecdoche

It’s taken us a long time to get where we are. It will take us a while to get somewhere better. A focus on quality will take us somewhere different from a focus on quantity. There are dozens of congregations in United Methodism who know this (though dozens out of […]

Reform or Refunction?

Well, what do you know, I basically agree with the General Secretaries of our General Boards and Agencies (with a few exceptions): we should be very clear about the missional outcomes we are trying to produce before we determine the best structure to adopt.  Amazing.  There are some in the […]

United Methodist Preservation Society

The latest wave of announcements about our future are dismaying.  Not because they are negative, but because they are pedestrian.  We are not “rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic,” as some assert; we are strategically planning and designing a Titanic upon which to rearrange deck-chairs.  The short-sighted, defensive, U.S.-centric, survival-mentality, institutional […]

Christi-inanity

Four recent conversations point out a serious (and growing) problem in many of our congregations: we don’t know what to do with smart people who ask tough questions.  I have had (intentional) encounters with people in the state of Wisconsin who have visited United Methodist congregations and found them lacking.  […]

A Moral Miasma

Disclaimer up front: don’t hold me to the veracity of the terms I am going to use.  I am thinking out loud using terms and concepts I think I remember from a Philosophy lecture from my freshman year of college in 1976.  I apologize in advance for everything I mis-remember…  […]

Pure Theology

There is one phrase I hear that just drives me crazy when it comes to the Bible: I don’t interpret scripture; I just read it and do what it says. Basically, this is a false statement intended to end discussion by claiming that the person speaking has a crystal clear […]