Choosing the MiDL Way

Recent articles from Barna, Alban and Gallup highlight a growing trend in young America — a deep desire to be engaged in activities that make a positive contribution to others and that yield immediate results.  We are witnessing a shift from passivity to engagement — not a new phenomenon, but […]

Best Book: The Wisdom of Teams

Once in awhile, a book comes along that is so seminal, so formational, that it stands as a standard for a long time.  One such book, for me anyway, is Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith’s, The Wisdom of Teams.  For congregational leaders, who do so much in small group settings, […]

A Clash of Values

It is said that one of the most important functions of leadership is to bridge the gap between where we really are and where we say we want to be.  Where we are — our current reality — reflects our lived values.  Lived values are those that cause us to […]

Outgrowing the Church — Outgrowing God?

As I have been clearing files, I came across a very interesting conversation.  It is a one-on-one interview with a young Christian woman who has turned her back on “organized religion.”  I present an excerpt from it here verbatim, then offer a few personal reflections.  My portion of the conversation is in […]

Fiduciary Faith(lessness)

In times of economic stress, it is fascinating to see how the church responds.  ‘In God We Trust’ is apparently only true to the extent that we have the currency on which it is printed.  Cut losses, panic, make shortsighted decisions for the short-term — it makes one wonder, where […]

An Offer of Grace

What follows is an email, in its entirety, that I received today.  The author has approved my sharing its content, but asks that I protect both her identity and that of her congregation.  I think it is both a message of hope and realism — fair, reasonable, balanced, and deeply […]

In God We Trust, In Church We Don’t

An insidious distrust is raging throughout our connectional system.  Pastors don’t trust laity and vice versa.  Congregations don’t trust their Annual Conferences, and neither one fully trust the General Conference.  Confessors don’t trust Reconcilers, Contemporary Worshippers don’t trust Traditional Worshippers, and Traditional Worshippers don’t trust that someone won’t sneak drums […]

Evangelisn’t – Part Two

My commentary on the research on evangelism and faith sharing in The United Methodist Church generated some interesting response — some defensive, some reflective, but no one really surprised by the conjecture that we’re not doing very much in the way of inviting people into relationship with Jesus Christ.  I […]

Evangelisn’t

Faith sharing and evangelism have fallen on hard times in The United Methodist Church.  For the most part, we don’t do them — except with people who already believe what we do.  As part of our research on spiritual practices, we asked 922 United Methodist lay people to share their […]