Missing the Forest For the Trees

In response to my “Back to Basics” post, many people are asking (demanding?) whether or not theology is at the root of “seeker aversion” to organized religion.  More conservative voices posit that our lack of Biblical integrity and adherence, our loose morals, and our “anything goes” liberalism may be what […]

Back to Basics

News flash!  We’re making the gospel harder than it needs to be.  I mean, how difficult is “good news?”  What part of “God is love” is so confusing?  What’s with our penchant to load up “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son” with rules, regulations, […]

We Are The Church… Together?

Yesterday, I posted a piece on the nature and purpose of the church, thinking it to be a fairly safe (but important) topic.  I received this email today, and share it (eliminating names and any reference to the specific congregation, and framing it as dialog — with the author’s permission). […]

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Church.  What a concept!  There are two simple questions I believe every congregation should take some time to seriously consider: 1) what is “church,” and, 2) what is church “for”?  We assume we know what church is, but much of what we think and believe is nothing more than validation […]

Blackest Night

Since I was eight years old, the Green Lantern has been my favorite comic book hero.  Test-pilot Hal Jordan was a normal Joe, picked to be the Green Lantern of sector 2814 (space surrounding our solar system).  He wasn’t super-powered, but was given a ring that could create anything the […]

Why the Church We Have Is Not the Church We Need

Is the church relevant in the 21st century?  Depends on what your definition of “church” is.  Looking biblically/historically, there is still a desperate need for the ecclesia — the gathered body of Christ serving the world.  Looking culturally, specifically in the United States, what we know as church bears little […]

Faith, Money & Spirituality

Western philosophy tends toward dualism: good and evil, light and darkness, inside and outside. This way of thinking permeates all aspects of our lives. We draw lines of distinction that help us organize our lives. We put things in categories that help us make sense of the world. Often, this […]

United Metholdist

We’re not getting older; we’re getting better.  Well, actually we are getting older, but this doesn’t mean we can’t get better as well.  The graying of our church — a subject of great concern and incredible misplaced anxiety — is worth looking into, but as an opportunity, not a problem […]

Brace for Impact

Why are we here?  I don’t have one answer that applies equally to all congregations, but I believe this question is THE question every congregation should discuss and wrestle with.  Why do we exist?  What difference are we making — in the lives of our members and friends, in our […]

Moxie

Moxie — 1. vigor; verve; pep, 2. courage and aggressiveness, 3. skill; know-how.  Moxie is an American slang word, coined from a depression-era soda pop (that tastes a little like carbonated shoe-polish…).  It came to be a term of admiration — someone with Moxie was brash, bold, eccentric, impressive and […]