Christian Community

The “Must” Questions

While working for the General Board of Discipleship, I developed a resource that was never published called “Your New Appointment: The First Hundred Days.”  Not a flashy title, but very descriptive.  It was rejected because “it wasn’t practical.”  I will outline it here and let you decide.  It was predicated […]

Miracle Eye

On occasion, I catch the late-night ads for “Miracle Ear” — a hearing enhancement device that sounds (no pun intended) too good to be true.  I finally met someone who actually purchased and uses a Miracle Ear, and he is delighted with it.  His testimonial is simple, “I am no […]

Jumping to Confusions

What is it about we human animals and our tendency to climb the ladder of inference and leap blindly into a steaming pile of assumptions?  Each and every day we create chaos, confusion and pain for ourselves by ascribing intention, assuming motives, projecting values and jumping to conclusions.  Compounding this […]

Functional Filtration

Another aspect of the complexity around navigating our differences and disagreements of our personal filters and mental models.  By basic premise the past couple blogs is that we need better ways of disagreeing and living with differences of opinion, worldview and values.  However, it has been interesting fielding emails that […]

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

I have been reading/thinking quite a bit about creativity and innovation and I am increasingly impressed by the regular occurrence of discontinuity and evolutionary leaps.  Few transformative changes happen incrementally.  The major shifts occur when leaders bring disparate elements together or when “tradition” and “convention” are set aside to make […]

Wisdom, For a Change

I received an email from a long-time colleague finding herself in an all-too-common situation: asked to “grow” a church where the leadership begged her to help bring them into the 21st century, she now finds that this same leadership effectively blocks each and every attempt she makes to lead.  Her […]

Grace-free Living

Two recent conversations (that I eavesdropped) cause me a moment to pause.  Both occurred in United Methodist churches, both involving long-time members.  Conversation one went something like this: Obamacare is going to kill America.  Giving free health care to those who give nothing back is ridiculous.  No one is giving […]

What Color is Your Prayerachute?

I am still wrestling with a shock I had the other day.  A person I know and respect was asked to pray for the situation in Syria.  I consider this person to be a fair-minded, mature Christian committed to love, peace, harmony and justice.  For this reason, I was shocked […]

Parallel Universes

I sat listening to two older couples talking at my favorite coffee shop.  I was working on a presentation for an Urban Ministry Strategy seminar I will be attending next week, and I have been immersed in the demographic and ethnographic realities of poor inner city life for a few […]

Too Busy to Learn

Yesterday, I had the great honor to launch a new learning academy in our annual conference — something we have been talking about for a long time, but for a variety of reasons couldn’t get launched earlier.  We are attempting a conference-wide, ongoing Leadership Learning Academy for clergy and laity […]