Evangelism

Multiple Choice

Okay, here’s an easy one: “and they’ll know we are Christians by our —– love idiocy hate bigotry I want to choose #1, but in light of the current news about an evangelical whack-job in Florida who wants to commemorate September 11 with the burning of the Koran, I am […]

Witness for the Prosecution

Here’s something I don’t understand.  Why do so many people in the church who teach evangelism despise non-Christians?  No, really.  It would seem to me that as Christians we would absolutely LOVE everyone who isn’t a Christian, but this isn’t the case.  Over and over I meet United Methodist evangelists […]

Ravings of an Angry Evangelical

Our country is being destroyed by ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians.  They call themselves evangelicals, but throughout history they have been known by other names: tyrants, despots, hate mongers, fools… David Carlsson, Message to America, 2009 Hold on.  I confess that there are ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians out there […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Ray of Hope

I had a long, boring conversation with one of our denominational mucky-mucks this week about our impending doom.  He feels that I am unreasonably optimistic about the state of the church.  (Obviously he hasn’t read everything I have written…)  Two points in particular motivated his getting in touch with me: one, […]

Ecumental Disorders

Some of the most fulfilling ministry I’ve been a part of in my thirty+ years has been either ecumenical or inter-faith.  Beginning in my own “dark ages” as program director for the religious council at Ball State University, those projects and missional programs drawing from a broad diversity of faith […]

That’s the Old Team Spirit

This past weekend I had the exceptional dining pleasure of chipped beef on toast (with eggs over easy) at the Dry Dock restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota.  It followed morning worship (of God) then proceeded to the afternoon worship (of football) with the Vikings-Ravens game on one screen and the Packers-Lions’s […]

Near-Miss Evangelism

When did “evangelism” become “marketing?”  At what point did the church rise up and say, “You know?  Evangelism doesn’t have to be personal.  We can phone (email, billboard, television, webcast) it in!”  The shift from relational evangelism to representational evangelism is almost complete in some areas.  At the School of […]

Sects in the City

I was speaking to a pastor from Chicago who lamented the appearance of street preachers who claimed the corner outside his church to read scripture aloud, preach, and pray with passersby.  I asked if the men (they were all male) were disruptive or aggressive?  No.  I asked if they accosted […]