Church Leadership

Be A Tree

There is this great old Peanuts cartoon.  Lucy is explaining to little brother Linus how the world works.  She takes him to a tree in the yard and shows him the falling leaves.  She explains that this is a normal occurence, one of those wondrous cycles of nature.  She says […]

Four Sin-Dromes

The concept of “sin” actually means “to miss the mark.”  It doesn’t matter if you miss by an inch or miss by a mile — a miss is a miss is a miss.  And there are four “sins” — ways we are “missing the mark” — prevalent in our congregational systems […]

Remembering the Future

I spent the day at the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC 21) summit in North Charleston, South Carolina.  The positive spirit and energy of this gathering is infectious, and the hopeful vision is noble.   But this is a gathering of leaders from throughout our connectional system, […]

ReDo, UnDo, DoDo

United Methodist congregations seem to regularly get “stuck” in one (or more) of three places.  Annual Conferences, too, share this affliction.  Instead of channeling energy positively, it dissipates in non-productive — and sometimes damaging ways.  Conversations tend to focus on problems to solve rather than possibilties.  People get bogged down […]

Contexistentialism

For a reader, a coffee shop is a frustrating tease.  Whenever I think about taking a good book to the coffee shop, I envision sitting cozy in one of the comfy chairs with a good cup of coffee, losing myself in whatever I am reading — perhaps with some good […]

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 […]

The Measure of a Church’s Soul

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  What a brilliant turn of phrase.  Not where the heart is, the treasure will be, but what we count and pursue and value indicates what matters most to us.  Genius.  So, based on this premise from scripture, what does The […]

Reality Check

The tragic results of this spirit (looking for quick and easy shortcuts in our faith) are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic […]

Via Negativa

I note with dismay that your blog is consistently critical of the church.  It doesn’t seem fair or balanced to continuously pick at flaws while ignoring the good.  While we certainly have problems, there is little benefit in dwelling on them all the time.  I don’t care to be made […]

Recalculating

I have a special relationship with my GPS.  It’s a Garmin and her name is Greta.  Like most couples, we have moments when we don’t see eye to eye.  Greta wants me to go one way, and I choose to go another.  Every time I disregard Greta’s sage advice, she […]