Integrity

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 […]

Di*cip*eshi*

What in God’s name do we think we are doing?  If I hear one more prominent church leader define discipleship as going to church I will scream.  We aren’t going to count the number of people who attend church anymore.  Some genius decided we will count “disciples” in worship.  What?  […]

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.  […]

More-a-torium

Often we believe that if we do more of what does not work, it will finally work.  This is the dilemma of the consumer economy.  It leads us to the place where, when we reach a limit and still are unsatisfied, we think, if we only had more, we would […]

Accountability Ability

Three “laws” of accountability: There is no progress without accountability — holding people accountable to the vows they make is the key to development, growth and maturing Actions have consequences — where there are no consequences (positive or negative) there is no accountability Lack of accountability renders relationships meaningless — […]

Paradoxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…  But who deserves such blessing?  The poor?  Immigrants (especially those illegal ones!)?  The sick (who can’t afford health care)?  Anyone who disagrees with me on any of my core beliefs?  There is a weird paradox at work when it comes to our views […]

A Heart Strangely Harmed

Way back in the last century — 1988 to be exact — I prepared a sermon for the 250th anniversary of John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience.  When I arrived on Sunday morning and looked at the bulletin, I realized that my title had a typo — instead of “Heart Strangely Warmed” the […]

Plugged In

Two of my colleagues have recently returned from renewal retreats, and it reminds me again how very critical spiritual self-care is for leaders, both clergy and lay.  I conducted a variety of studies on clergy wellness, morale, self-care, renewal and spiritual practice when I worked for the General Board of […]