The United Methodist Church

Why Answer the Call?

One of my favorite blogger-buds, John Meunier, raised a great question yesterday that I feel warrants a full response, so I am framing it as a post.  Here is John’s question:  Why should anyone seek ordination in the UMC given the realities you see? Should those interested in discipleship find […]

Vital Is As Vital Does

How are we defining “vital” in the UMC?  Is vitality mere existence?  Is a congregation with a lot of warm, passive bodies vital?  Are people huddled inside their doors happily waiting to be friendly to unsuspecting visitors vital?  Is a congregation that hosts a dozen small groups that do movie/football/bowling […]

The Hegemony of How

Responses to Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity provide a fascinating illustration of the difficulties we face employing adaptive leadership process.  Adaptive leadership, by definition, recognizes that our penchant for problem-solving pushes us to seek answers before we truly understand the complexity of the challenge before us.  In other words, when faced with […]

Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity

“Polymorphous” — having, assuming or passing through many and varied forms or shapes “Pedagogic” — pertaining to teaching, instruction or instructional method “Perversity” — willful contrariness; turning from the acceptable standard or expectation Okay, now that definitions are out of the way, let’s jump in.  In what ways is the […]

Reactive Leadership

It has been an interesting three months.  From November 6 until January 27, I spent most of my time bent over in pain as a sliver of bone gouged into a cluster of nerves along my lower spine.  I have never known such pain and distress in my life.  It […]

Time For A New Mission?

Let’s be honest.  The United Methodist Church has done a remarkably poor job living up to its stated mission (making disciples of Jesus Christ (1996) for the transformation of the world (2008)).  In the same way as Igniting Ministry failed to live up to its slogan (more people find closed […]

The Janus Conundrum

A day of new beginnings often produces mixed results — hopefulness & skepticism, promise and problems, anticipation and anxiety.  In The United Methodist Church we are poised — some say on the threshold of a new day, others say on the brink of utter annihilation (most feel we are somewhere […]

De-Loved Community

We face a tragic reality in our United Methodist Church today — the inability to disagree in Christian compassion and fellowship.  For the past few years I have been promoting a vision, albeit personal, for beloved community.  This vision is fairly specific, and contains the following propositions: Beloved Community is… […]

Homophily Abounds

Recent church visits strike me with an undeniable pattern — we tend to associate only with those most like us.  I have yet to visit any church that does not consider itself “friendly,” yet rarely is there a deep level of awareness that answers the question, “friendly with/to whom?”  Two […]

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.  […]