Been There, Done That

I wonder how many United Methodists are simply tired and bored with the same old, same old?  There is a growing dual attitude about our churches that is important to note: some feel that we are irrelevant while others feel that we are little more than boring.  Not everyone.  I […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This is the reprint of an article that appeared in The Wittenberg Door (September/October 2007), Alive Now! and on the General Board of Discipleship website, and a sequel to yesterday’s, The Church in the Plastic Bubble.  Since I wrote the original article, I discovered that this is not an aberration, […]

The Church in the Plastic Bubble

A week ago I posted a blog entitled, Driven to Abstraction, where I shared a story of a young pastor disillusioned with his congregation after they refused to accept the presence of homeless people in their midst.  Today I received an email that I know was meant to be helpful, […]

The Happy, Happy Hornet’s Nest

Man, what a can of worms!  In two days I have received over 30 emails “helping” me to understand: the emergent movement the emerging church Emergent Village the emergent church The Emerging Church the emerging movement the Emergent Church the emerging and missional church The Missional Church emerging spirituality And […]

ReThink Redux

Having now had some involvement with three Annual Conferences and watching the ReThink Church campaign rolled out, I have had ample opportunity to talk to hundreds of United Methodists about it.  Let me say clearly up-front: United Methodists love this campaign.  Each video receives a strong ovation.  The resources literally […]

Dan Dick Is A Jerk

A pastor came up to me with a devilish grin on his face.  “Have you seen this?” he asked, shoving a copy of an email under my nose.  It seems I irritated a prominent, high profile pastor of one of our premiere large membership congregations with my thoughts on the […]

Spiritual Dispurnment

For the past fifteen years I have had opportunities to meet with a wide variety of congregational, conference, and agency leadership teams to look at their processes and practices.  Generally, I am there by invitation to offer insights and suggestions for improvement.  One of my most frequent suggestions often meets […]

United Methodist Emergent-cy

“Are you emerging?” the young pastor asked as he shook my hand.  He has been reading my blog, and simply had to know.  At first I looked down to see if I had come untucked, then I realized what he was asking (a variation on “are you emergent?”).  I never […]

What is Prayer For?

I sat in worship, praying the congregational prayer as written in the bulletin: gracious God, protect those who serve you as agents of light, and strike down all those who serve as agents of darkness…” I stumbled over the words as if I struck my shin on a misplaced table.  […]

Driven to Abstraction

Recently, a young pastor shared this story with me.  He and his congregation studied Vital Signs together over a year ago, and they have been working to balance their inward focus (ministries for the membership) with an outward focus (ministries to the community).  He thought the church was doing a really […]