Christian Community

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 […]

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 […]

The Conflict Conflict

My thesis: the greatest danger to today’s Christian church in the United States doesn’t come from outside.  It isn’t atheists.  It isn’t gays or lesbians.  It isn’t the liberal media.  It isn’t terrorists of other faiths.  No, the greatest threat to our church today is us — the silly little […]

The Division-Driven Church

Generally, a vision is a positive thing — something worth pursuing, something people want.  Promised Land.  Land flowing with milk and honey.  City on a hill.  Shining light.  Good thing.  At its best, the church is all about vision.  Or, it should be.  Too often we are about division instead […]

The Enemy Within

On a not-too-infrequent basis, Christian commentators will rant and rail against secular and non-Christian forces conspiring to destroy our faith.  Any given day, the Muslims or the scientists or the atheists or the Jews or the secular humanists or the liberals or the homosexuals or Planned Parenthood or the… you […]

Devaluation

We’ll take anybody.  We don’t even require membership classes anymore.  Nobody has the time, and most of the people who join our church are coming from other churches, anyway.  We ask at the end of every service if there is anyone who wishes to join, they come forward, and we […]

Make Us One, Lord

I used a hymn at this year’s annual conference that I wrote the words to about 20 years ago when I was charged with merging two congregations that didn’t really want to merge.  There was loads of competition and strife, so I wrote this song as a call for unity. […]

Fruit Smoothie

I have been working on a sermon for this coming weekend and I have been doing a lot of thinking about the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  Spiritual gifts, graces and fruit have been an interest of mine for some time (check out Equipped for Every […]

The Day After

Well, Wisconsin Annual Conference, Session the 41st, ended yesterday.  Tracking all my rookie mistakes — this being my first year organizing the agenda for conference in my role as DCM (Director of Connectional Ministries) — I can proudly say I only made a few, and a couple of them were of […]

AC/DC

Where is the power and energy at Annual Conference this year?  I am not talking about any one Annual Conference — I’m talking about all of them.  Is our energy toward building, creating, forming, bridging, healing, mending, bonding, uniting, and becoming?  Or is it about conflict, controversy, contention, competition, factions, […]