Identity & Purpose

Han Church

Okay, this is one of those cases where I probably should run what I am writing by my Korean-American bishop before I make a fool of myself – but, oh well, why start something new at this late date…  I spent time this week at the North Central Jurisdiction Urban […]

Ecumenically Challenged

There are few things I hate worse than being sick on the road.  My wife and I are in Columbus, Ohio and I determined that now would be the ideal time to get a four-alarm sinus infection.  I can’t focus, I can’t breathe, I have a splitting headache… and I […]

B Church

At a recent workshop, discussion shifted to the question, “So, just what IS the current reality of our local churches in United Methodism?”  The following framework emerged from this discussion.  In summary: The United Methodist Church is an amalgam of three key aspects that work well in combination but are […]

Why Answer the Call?

One of my favorite blogger-buds, John Meunier, raised a great question yesterday that I feel warrants a full response, so I am framing it as a post.  Here is John’s question:  Why should anyone seek ordination in the UMC given the realities you see? Should those interested in discipleship find […]

Vital Is As Vital Does

How are we defining “vital” in the UMC?  Is vitality mere existence?  Is a congregation with a lot of warm, passive bodies vital?  Are people huddled inside their doors happily waiting to be friendly to unsuspecting visitors vital?  Is a congregation that hosts a dozen small groups that do movie/football/bowling […]

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 […]

Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity

“Polymorphous” — having, assuming or passing through many and varied forms or shapes “Pedagogic” — pertaining to teaching, instruction or instructional method “Perversity” — willful contrariness; turning from the acceptable standard or expectation Okay, now that definitions are out of the way, let’s jump in.  In what ways is the […]

Reactive Leadership

It has been an interesting three months.  From November 6 until January 27, I spent most of my time bent over in pain as a sliver of bone gouged into a cluster of nerves along my lower spine.  I have never known such pain and distress in my life.  It […]

Time For A New Mission?

Let’s be honest.  The United Methodist Church has done a remarkably poor job living up to its stated mission (making disciples of Jesus Christ (1996) for the transformation of the world (2008)).  In the same way as Igniting Ministry failed to live up to its slogan (more people find closed […]

Whose Christmas?

I had an interesting encounter at my favorite coffee shop (Beans ‘n’ Cream, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin — greatest people in the world…) last week.  One of the regulars made the following observation, which led to a spirited conversation — “Christmas would be so much more enjoyable if all the religious […]