The United Methodist Church

Walking in the Light

There is an unnecessary tragedy associated with our current obsessive-compulsive fixation on death, decay and decline.  The tragedy is that we are living a lie.  We are walking by sight, not by faith.  We are choosing to accept darkness as truth, and in so doing we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  […]

Dead, Or In Exile?

I watched some of the Global Leadership Summit videos over the weekend and have to admit they depressed me.  It felt like another missed opportunity.  Hopeful rhetoric infuses a blurry and misdirected vision for a limited and inwardly focused future.  It is all about us — and not all of […]

A Church Shrouded in Mystery

We’ve got a problem.  We don’t know who we are.  We have become such an interesting hodge-podge of new and old Christians from such varied backgrounds as Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Reformed, New Age, Independent-Evangelical, Assemblies of God, UCC, UUC, MOUSE as well as UMC and all […]

What’s Wrong With Us?

The answer to the question, “what’s wrong with us?” is that we are fixated on the question “what’s wrong with us?”  Doom, gloom, decline, conflict, controversy, division, discord — all addressed with a cheery irrational rah-rah attitude.  National events that bludgeon participants with “Death Tsunami’s” and calls to action that […]

A Case of Misshapen Identity

How we see ourselves is often very different from how others see us.  In my “former life” doing research for The United Methodist Church, I often went to “secular” audiences to get their impressions and opinions about our church.  It was very easy to do, because my office was half […]

Open Doors 101 – Part 2

Yesterday I began a reflection and critique on my most recent engagement with the ReThink Church campaign.  Today I want to continue the reflection on some “meta-issues” that are related to, but not specifically about, ReThink Church.  However, before I go any further I do want to say that I […]

Open Doors 101

This weekend we hosted a ReThink Church training event in the Wisconsin Annual Conference.  The turn-out and response was great, and it was an excellent reminder at how all-over-the-map we are as The United Methodist Church.  Lots of information was shared, resources were lifted up, and the words “invitation,” “welcome/welcoming,” […]

Sleeping Dragon

I have worked with churches in a wide variety of settings and a wide range of relative states of health.  From these experiences, a conceptual frame emerges that I have found helpful as a consultation tool, and as a way of understanding not only what is happening in a given […]

DMC – Divided Methodist Church

I have been dismayed by the recent “unanimous support” claims for our Call to Action report — since I have had personal conversations with people directly involved who are anything but fully on board.  Oh, I understand the act of solidarity and presenting a unified public face and the potential promotional […]

A Call to Auction

Let’s just put it out there to the highest bidder.  We obviously don’t know what to do with it.  The new Call to Action report came out saying what we already know and offering the same old tired suggestions for “widespread reform.”  What a short memory we have.  We studied […]