Di*cip*eshi*

What in God’s name do we think we are doing?  If I hear one more prominent church leader define discipleship as going to church I will scream.  We aren’t going to count the number of people who attend church anymore.  Some genius decided we will count “disciples” in worship.  What?  […]

Christi-inanity

Four recent conversations point out a serious (and growing) problem in many of our congregations: we don’t know what to do with smart people who ask tough questions.  I have had (intentional) encounters with people in the state of Wisconsin who have visited United Methodist congregations and found them lacking.  […]

Take Time To Be Holy

Are we really all too busy to spend time with God?  I was in a situation recently where one group was bashing another group and I innocently asked if they had ever gotten together to pray.  You might have thought I suggested they mate with animals.  The idea that we […]

Choose Your C

I have been reading both Bruggemann and Block (The Word That Redescribes the World  and Community/Abundant Community) and have been challenged in my thinking to a great degree about how we live together in healthy Christian community.  Both books press a very simple, yet signficant distinction between two Cs: consumer […]

Garden Club Christianity

Every community has its own unique interests and passions, and when I served in northern New Jersey in the 1980s, that interest was gardening.  In Westwood and the three towns surrounding (Emerson, Hillsdale, and Park Ridge), garden clubs were the rage.  To be a pastor seeking to connect with the […]

The Decade After

I remember a trip to New York City in November of 2001.  I rode past hundreds of signs with three basic messages: thanks and gratitude to the fire fighters and law officers, heart-wrenching pleas for information about lost/missing loved ones, and hate messages against a slew of foreigners.  These three  emotions defined the […]

More-a-torium

Often we believe that if we do more of what does not work, it will finally work.  This is the dilemma of the consumer economy.  It leads us to the place where, when we reach a limit and still are unsatisfied, we think, if we only had more, we would […]

Accountability Ability

Three “laws” of accountability: There is no progress without accountability — holding people accountable to the vows they make is the key to development, growth and maturing Actions have consequences — where there are no consequences (positive or negative) there is no accountability Lack of accountability renders relationships meaningless — […]

One Indignation Under God

Have you noticed the mammoth chip some United Methodists have on their shoulder?  Just mentioning it makes some people mad.  I’ve received eight nasty emails since yesterday, when I posted the not-too-profound concept that anger is a choice and that no one else can offend us; we can merely choose […]

Loser’s Choice

One key to our future is the way we choose to deal with one another, and I emphasize the word choose.  Often, we prefer to ignore the fact that we choose to react or respond to others as we do.  I’ll use myself as an example.  The fact is, no one […]