Integrity

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

I have been reading/thinking quite a bit about creativity and innovation and I am increasingly impressed by the regular occurrence of discontinuity and evolutionary leaps.  Few transformative changes happen incrementally.  The major shifts occur when leaders bring disparate elements together or when “tradition” and “convention” are set aside to make […]

Knittin’ Mittens for a Snake

When will we begin to listen?  Much of what we are offering people, they don’t want, can’t use, and don’t value.  A growing population of deeply devout people — of all ages — have determined that organized religion is for the judgmentally insane.  I was sitting in a meeting with […]

Parallel Universes

I sat listening to two older couples talking at my favorite coffee shop.  I was working on a presentation for an Urban Ministry Strategy seminar I will be attending next week, and I have been immersed in the demographic and ethnographic realities of poor inner city life for a few […]

We v. They

Like everyone else, Raleigh Hayes saw the world, and the people with whom he was obliged to share it, through the kaleidoscope of his own colored designs.  As the years turned the viewer round and round, the bits of glass fell into new patterns, but the perspective remained limited to Raleigh’s eye.  […]

Disciple Dissipation

I listened with growing despair to a prominent United Methodist leader talking about our mission.  Within just a few sentences he completely devalued and distorted the entire concept of discipleship. “Once we say ‘yes’ to Jesus, we are forever after his disciples.” “Discipleship is a gift, a privilege — it […]

Cheapening the Church

Culture works on church like a cancer.  Popularity is the new standard of excellence.  Having a slogan or a sound bite or a brand is so much more important than being relevant or having integrity.  Our get-’em-in-the-doors-by-any-means mentality has done more to kill the church than almost anything else, but it […]

False Profits

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 11, verses 15-31; Original Old Prophetic Scripture In English (Oopsie) Version — (this is satire and parody; I am fully aware that these things AREN’T really in the Bible… but thanks to those who have expressed concern!) And Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets […]

The Nice Curse

Well, it is official.  The United Methodist Church is “popular.”  At least this is what a recent survey from the Baptist LifeWay Research indicates.  Americans across the United States — well, 3-out-of-5 of them — claim a “very” or “somewhat” favorable view of the UMC.  (Does anyone else see “somewhat” as […]

Christmas C.S.I.

My posts of the past two weeks have generated some fun and interesting discussions around Christmas.  While I am not a fan of the “war on Christmas” rhetoric adopted by evangelicals operating from a victim mentality, I do agree that Christmas as a religious observance is in trouble.  My contention, […]

The Mediocre Commission

From the Gospel According to Bob, 28:16-20: Then Jesus sayeth unto them, “Go, invite people to come sitteth for an hour in church once every six weeks or so, telling them that very little will be expected of them, that they will heareth good music and that there will be coffee and snacks.”  […]