Losers Focus on… Losing

Negative energy is seductive and strangely appealing.  In The United Methodist Church we have established a history of focusing on our decline and failures.  For the short-sighted and faithless, how many members we have lost is more important than how many members we have.  For the fatalist and facile, what […]

Emerged

I love young adults.  They slap me upside the head every time I meet with them.  They are the supreme reality check.  They burst my bubble every single time I talk to them.  I NEED twenty-somethings to help me see what I am missing.  Case in point.  I met with […]

False Profits

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 11, verses 15-31; Original Old Prophetic Scripture In English (Oopsie) Version — (this is satire and parody; I am fully aware that these things AREN’T really in the Bible… but thanks to those who have expressed concern!) And Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets […]

Synecdoche

It’s taken us a long time to get where we are. It will take us a while to get somewhere better. A focus on quality will take us somewhere different from a focus on quantity. There are dozens of congregations in United Methodism who know this (though dozens out of […]

Diss-cipleship

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 6, verses 31-45… Then Jesus said, ‘Think well and hard before you respond to the call to be my disciples, for many are called but few are truly prepared.’ Robert the follower, also called Bob, piped up, saying, ‘What’s that ‘disciple’ thing?  Is that […]

Simple Isn’t Easy

I received a number of responses and comments on my Simplicity Itself post.  I think three in particular deserve specific response: Dan.  I hear you, and agree with many of your points, but I am curious to how you propose to live this out either in your ministry in the […]

Simplicity Itself

Following the endless conversations about “what comes next?” in The United Methodist Church, it becomes more and more apparent that most of the suggestions, reports and recommendations made thus far are all designed for just one purpose: to avoid the hard work that actually must happen.  In my humble opinion […]

Reform or Refunction?

Well, what do you know, I basically agree with the General Secretaries of our General Boards and Agencies (with a few exceptions): we should be very clear about the missional outcomes we are trying to produce before we determine the best structure to adopt.  Amazing.  There are some in the […]

Settling

I was speaking with one of our retired bishops recently, who framed the current recommendations this way, “Well, it’s better than no plan at all.”  There are so many things wrong with this statement, and each one is more depressing than the last.  If the plans are poor plans, then, […]

The Mediocrity of More

Pick up a ball, toss it in the air, catch it.  Take two balls and toss them one at a time, catch them.  So far, so good.  Very few dropped balls.  Take a third and juggle them.  With practice, you become sure-handed and drop very few.  But what about four […]