Vision

Balance

Want to know a secret?  The key to congregational vitality isn’t growth, it’s balance.  This shouldn’t be a secret — and it isn’t for about 10% of our United Methodist congregations — but sadly it is for the vast majority.  Ever since the late 20th century when we lost our […]

Four Sin-Dromes

The concept of “sin” actually means “to miss the mark.”  It doesn’t matter if you miss by an inch or miss by a mile — a miss is a miss is a miss.  And there are four “sins” — ways we are “missing the mark” — prevalent in our congregational systems […]

ReDo, UnDo, DoDo

United Methodist congregations seem to regularly get “stuck” in one (or more) of three places.  Annual Conferences, too, share this affliction.  Instead of channeling energy positively, it dissipates in non-productive — and sometimes damaging ways.  Conversations tend to focus on problems to solve rather than possibilties.  People get bogged down […]

Contexistentialism

For a reader, a coffee shop is a frustrating tease.  Whenever I think about taking a good book to the coffee shop, I envision sitting cozy in one of the comfy chairs with a good cup of coffee, losing myself in whatever I am reading — perhaps with some good […]

Prophet Margin

Are there prophets in the church today?  Are there any willing to speak the truth regardless of the consequences?  Anyone willing to point out the unconscionable amount of money and time we waste in meetings and conferences?  Anyone willing to point out that our own systems and structures are as unfair […]

Do We Really Love “Them?”

I saw a heartening article in USA Today on Christmas Eve.  Jews and Muslims in the Detroit area were joining together to do charity work on Christmas Day to help compensate the lack of Christians who would be off celebrating their holiday instead of working in soup kitchens and food […]

Belief Is Choice

I surf a lot of sites and listen in on a lot of discussion threads about what people choose and choose not to believe.  What is interesting is that both sides deny they are making a choice about what to believe.  Dogmatism swings both ways, and many loud voices on […]

Do Something

Is part of our problem that we make things too hard?  Maybe the key to congregational health, strength, and vitality is well within our grasp, but we keep looking for some grand answer because the truth seems much to simple and easy.  Over the weekend I went through some files […]

Running Church

Stephen King wrote a novella entitled, The Running Man, about a brutal futuristic society where game shows and public executions were combined to produce the ultimate reality show.  Prisoners were given the opportunity to try to escape death — on national TV — by facing unexpected and unimaginable challenges.  The […]