The United Methodist Church

Not Our Issue

I am attending the North Central Jurisdiction CORR (Commission on Religion and Race) learning event this weekend in Milwaukee.  As I gather in this place with these people I notice three things about myself.  First, I can breathe.  I don’t feel at all constrained or worried about what others might […]

Make-No-Wave United Methodist Church

I received an interesting email from a pastor today who “followed my advice” and raised questions about expectations and accountability in the church.  He asked the “what is the church?” and “what is the church for?” questions, and zeroed in on what our membership vows really mean.  He was shocked […]

Back to Basics

News flash!  We’re making the gospel harder than it needs to be.  I mean, how difficult is “good news?”  What part of “God is love” is so confusing?  What’s with our penchant to load up “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son” with rules, regulations, […]

Mediocrity Not A Goal

I received three different requests for this article in the past two weeks, so I am reprinting it here (from February 2009) No Christian leader that I know ever sets out to do an “average” job for God. Oh, sure there are a few jaded pastors who are just counting […]

Devaluation

We’ll take anybody.  We don’t even require membership classes anymore.  Nobody has the time, and most of the people who join our church are coming from other churches, anyway.  We ask at the end of every service if there is anyone who wishes to join, they come forward, and we […]

The Day After

Well, Wisconsin Annual Conference, Session the 41st, ended yesterday.  Tracking all my rookie mistakes — this being my first year organizing the agenda for conference in my role as DCM (Director of Connectional Ministries) — I can proudly say I only made a few, and a couple of them were of […]

AC/DC

Where is the power and energy at Annual Conference this year?  I am not talking about any one Annual Conference — I’m talking about all of them.  Is our energy toward building, creating, forming, bridging, healing, mending, bonding, uniting, and becoming?  Or is it about conflict, controversy, contention, competition, factions, […]

The $100 Challenge

A young man came up to me the other day and led off with the line, “You probably don’t remember me, but…”  Having worked for the national church for almost 15 years, I have met an awful lot of people, and I must confess that I don’t remember too many […]

Measuremental Disorders

Blog-buddy John Meunier asked me a question on his blog on a topic that I was in the middle of writing about on my blog.  So here is his question as well as my answer.  His question, “I wonder if anyone who has studied church vitality and maybe even written […]

United Methodists Wanting to… What?

The United Methodist Church… wants to… what?  This is a question I asked for years when I worked for the General Board of Discipleship and travelled across the country.  I let people fill in the blank, then pressed to be sure I understood what they meant.  I came upon a […]