Mission & Purpose

Taking It All Too Seriously

This afternoon (May 5) I received an email that really got my gears grinding.  It was a personal note from someone of position and influence in The United Methodist Church.  I respect the opinion.  But three things were said in the missive that I can’t let go of.  And so […]

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 […]

What Do You Think ReThink is Thinking?

The prefix “re” usually implies “again,” — return, turn again; review, view again; regain, gain again; reframe, frame again — so in the case of ReThink Church, the implication is that we have thought church through at least once.  (It doesn’t work so well with regret, gret again?, rebate, bate again?, […]

A Tale of Three Paradigms

Once upon a time, Christians in the United States rushed to build church buildings anywhere and everywhere they could — especially close to other churches who didn’t quite worship God the right way.  There was a flurry of competition, with new “independent,” “non-denominational,” “alternative” groups joining the mix each and […]

Easter for LEADERS

As Christian leaders, we NEED Easter.  We need it because it reminds us of who we absolutely must be as clergy and laity guides in the Christian faith.  It reminds us that we are entrusted with three (at least…) impossible tasks, made possible by the Lord and Savior we follow.  […]

Metaphoraging

It is striking to me that the very healthiest congregations I visit all have a unique, compelling, and descriptive metaphor at the heart of their sense of identity and purpose.  One describes itself as an orchard where seeds of faith are planted and nurtured to produce fruit that feeds and […]

Ratiocinational Anthem

Jesus loves me, this I know For the Bible tells me so, But Jesus does not love you, Because of all the crap you do. (scribbled on a church bathroom wall) There is a perverse logic at work in the Christian church.  Recent polls of regular church goers indicate that […]

An Existential Loop

My long time spiritual guide and mentor, Carl Andry, Jr., used to tell us that the purpose of the church could be discerned through the three-fold approach to a single question: Why are we here?  For Dr. Andry, a congregation could only justify its existence by: Asking the question Answering […]