Christian service

How Did I Get Here?

I unearthed an old file from my GBOD (General Board of Discipleship; now, Discipleship Ministries) days, and I discovered an article I wrote that was never published.  It focused on interviews with pastors, district superintendents, bishops, authors, and other key movers-and-shakers in The United Methodist Church, and it raised a […]

Brace for Impact

Why are we here?  I don’t have one answer that applies equally to all congregations, but I believe this question is THE question every congregation should discuss and wrestle with.  Why do we exist?  What difference are we making — in the lives of our members and friends, in our […]

Mission Motivation, Mission Manipulation

I witnessed one of the best missions presentations today at the Wisconsin School of Christian Mission.  Anita Ayers Henderlight, Executive Director of the Africa Education & Leadership Initiative presented an uplifting, positive, informative, hopeful and highly motivational program on the Sudan.  Uplifting?  Positive?  Hopeful?  SUDAN?  What gives?  The United Methodist Church […]

Call Waiting

Are we missing something?  I have worked with college and seminary students for about twenty years now, and I am alarmed that the concept of “call” is on the endangered species list.  In a recent conversation about “call to ministry,” I actually had a second year seminary student come to […]

Changing the World

The United Methodist Church is issuing a challenge: “Change the World.”  Billed as a “worldwide event,” this April 24-25 threshold event will show where the values, heart and soul of the UMC really is.  I am not talking about participation in this two-day event.  I am talking about whether it […]

When It Matters Most

Sometimes it takes a crisis.  Sometimes it takes a terrible tragedy to remind us what’s important.  In a week of unremitting sadness for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, it has been oddly refreshing to turn to United Methodist information sources and not read about our institutional plight, but […]

Sins of Nomission

A large number of United Methodist congregations are struggling — with money, with members, with commitment, with leadership, with a host of problems large and small.  Many of these churches aren’t doing anything wrong to cause these problems — in fact, they aren’t doing anything much at all.  And that’s […]