Pastoral Ministry

How Did I Get Here?

I unearthed an old file from my GBOD (General Board of Discipleship; now, Discipleship Ministries) days, and I discovered an article I wrote that was never published.  It focused on interviews with pastors, district superintendents, bishops, authors, and other key movers-and-shakers in The United Methodist Church, and it raised a […]

The Obvious Truth Nobody Seems to Know

Okay, here it is — the answer to all our problems in The United Methodist Church.  It is so simple, you probably won’t believe/accept it.  It comes in two parts — the first part is fundamental conventional wisdom, the second part, not so much.  It answers the question: “what is […]

Biblical Preaching

If ever there were a more confusing claim, I don’t know what it is.  Biblical preaching.  In the past few months, I have encountered people who either complain that their pastor doesn’t “preach the Bible,” or proudly boast that they have a “Biblical preacher.”  (One over 2000 years old…?)  But […]

Pastor Paté

Over a decade ago, Evelyn Burry and I did a study of the issues that District Superintendents most hated dealing with.  In the broadest category, DSs hate having to deal with people — but that’s not fair, because the thing they like most about their jobs is people as well.  […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

One of the sidelights of the research I did into congregational vitality from 1999-2008 was the opportunity to identify and interview young pastors who were doing truly meaningful, serious, and innovative work in the church.  Many of them were not lead pastors, but those who could specialize in youth, young […]

Working Ourselves to Death

Someone I went to seminary with passed away recently, and I found it interesting that colleagues and members of his churches fondly and appreciatively noted that “he was so dedicated.  He must have worked 80 hours a week, at least!”  Many people made mention of his Herculean work style, often […]

Church Is Easy, People Are Hard

“My people won’t let me take a day off,” confessed a colleague. “What do you mean “won’t let you?” I asked. “I mean that they call me and they hunt me down.  They will not leave me alone.” “Well, what are you doing about it?  How are you defining and […]