Church membership

Cagey Christians

A couple weeks ago I posted a blog called Cranky Christians, so this, I guess could be considered a companion piece.  Whereas cranky Christians are those who gripe and moan about every little thing, throwing tantrums to get their own way, and acting out in a wide variety of unpleasant […]

Moist & Methodist: Baptism in the UMC

Of the researchstudies on spiritual practices in The United Methodist Church that were suspended when my job got eliminated at the General Board of Discipleship the one I was most disappointed by was our look at baptism.  Following twelve years after the adoption of “By Water and the Spirit” by our General […]

Methodist to the Core

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the General Board of Discipleship championed an effort to get The United Methodist Church to focus on ¶122 of the Book of Discipline — “The Process for Carrying Out Our Mission”or, the core process of our church.  (This has also been called “Our Primary […]

Amendment 1 and the Temple of Doom

Inclusiveness of the Church —  The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ.  The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth and that we are in ministry to all.  All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status or […]

Lowest Common Denomination

With the exception of a couple brief positive blips, membership and worship attendance have been in steady decline in The United Methodist Church since the Methodist/Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) merger in 1968.  This isn’t news.  It has been virtually impossible to read anything written about our denomination over the past 40 […]

Faith By Numbers

When I was a kid, I used to love paint-by-number sets.  Paint-by-number was the perfect solution for someone like me with absolutely no artistic ability whatsoever.  There was a picture presented in ink outline and in each section of the outline was a number that corresponded to a color paint.  […]

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. […]

Confirmation Consternation

Worship Connection posted an interesting article by Shane Raynor this week, Reinventing Confirmation.  As I read it, I experienced a strange ambivalence — agreeing with many of the observations Shane makes while feeling like something was missing.  Some of the insightful points in the article challenge the “one size fits […]