The Next Niche Market

In the competitive church market, where ministry heavyweights duke it out for supremacy with ever greater programmatic offerings, ever larger campuses, ever bigger high definition broadcast screens and quality technical equipment and expertise (I saw where a church in Georgia recently hired a production manager for $225,000 per year…), mid- […]

Preacher Feature

I have some very faithful friends who have continued to collect data and information for research projects I launched but was unable to complete.  One of the questions we began exploring last summer is “What are people looking for in a sermon?”  We asked this of three separate audiences:  long-time […]

Axegesis

The Bible should not be used as a weapon. It should not be used as a legalistic dividing wall to separate the acceptable from the unacceptable. And it should never be used to justify hate, anger, ugliness, judgmentalism, prejudice, or evil.

Point, Counterpoint, GracePoint

I’ve received a number of emails and phone calls asking if I am going to weigh in on the GracePoint UMC/GracePoint Community Church (Wichita, KS) split story.  Well, yes and no.  I don’t know enough about the specific story to comment intelligently, but on the surface and in general this appears to […]

The Outward and Visible Sign

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve posted a couple blogs — “An Ash Wednesday Reflection” and “The ‘Bob the Southwest Airlines Gate Attendant’ Personality Type Indicator” — that caused people to send me to this video.  If you want to spend the best 15 minutes of your day, check it […]

Attendance Down, Participation Up

For the entire 20th century, worship was the centerpiece of congregational life in the United States.  As the first decade of the 21st century nears its end, this is no longer true.  Experiential learning is the “new” worship in many mainline churches, with service to others hot on its heels. […]

New on United Methodeviations

March — in like a lamb, in a like a lion.  Zombie Congregations, The Urgency Element and Confirmation Consternation (recent posts) are generating some fun attention.  New in “Buzz” is a capsule review of the March Book of the Month — John Nuessle’s, Faithful Witnesses — a fine book on mission and […]