Leading in the Little Things

Here is one of my old guy rants that may sound like “what’s wrong with the younger generation?”, but in fact is a “what’s wrong with our leaders?”  I stop for coffee just about every morning at a local shop, and while it is always busy, it is still a […]

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 […]

Narrative Transformation

In recent comments, an interesting thread appears: how do we in the church have open-ended conversation about the deepest and most challenging aspects of our life together?  Too often, we have no vision for what a new or different conversation might look/sound like.  When we think about changing our thinking, […]

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 […]

Spirituality KAMP

I received a wonderful email from one of my “kids” (a member of a youth group I led in 1978) who tracked me down and shared a humbling note.  Here is part of what she wrote: …over the past thirty-five years I have attended Presbyterian, Episcopal and Methodist churches, and […]

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 […]