Mission & Purpose

Paradoxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…  But who deserves such blessing?  The poor?  Immigrants (especially those illegal ones!)?  The sick (who can’t afford health care)?  Anyone who disagrees with me on any of my core beliefs?  There is a weird paradox at work when it comes to our views […]

Christian Fruit Loops

While this is fairly easy to find, people are constantly asking me for a “copy,” so I am posting it here again. People who know me know that I am very big on fruit: the outward and visible manifestations of the faith we profess.  James says it all when he […]

Finding What We Look For

Scott Kline, a professional driver, managed to wreck a million-dollar prototype hybrid car when it was first being tested.  When asked to explain what happened, Kline reported, I got so engrossed looking at all the dials and gauges and screens on the dashboard that I forgot to look where I […]

The Unforgiving

I am back from Annual Conference (and a few days off to recuperate…).  My inbox is packed with mail from people who loved this year’s conference, hated this year’s conference, were proud of this year’s conference, were ashamed by this year’s conference, were excited by the delegation we elected to […]

The Costs of Low Expectations

While cleaning out some files the other day, I came across a folder of interviews I did in 2004 with 22 lifelong United Methodists who, in their 60s, 70s and 80s, made the decision to leave the denomination and join another church.  These people did not make the choice based […]

Limited Appeal

I got an email this week from a lifelong Methodist who writes: You do realize, don’t you, that you have a very limited appeal?  The majority of United Methodists are extremely happy with the way things are. Really?  We are happy with losing credibility?  We are happy that more people […]

Muddling Through the Middle

I read an article a few years ago that stated that our brains are hardwired to avoid ambiguity.  Even though mature reasoning demands a high level of abstract thinking and working through contradictions, conundrums, and puzzles, the normal state is one of binary certainty.  We want our lives to operate in […]

Souled Out

When will we get tired of playing the numbers game?  We have been misled to believe that the answer to all the problems of The United Methodist Church is more people.  We don’t care about who these people are or whether they will benefit from being United Methodists — we […]

Dead, Or In Exile?

I watched some of the Global Leadership Summit videos over the weekend and have to admit they depressed me.  It felt like another missed opportunity.  Hopeful rhetoric infuses a blurry and misdirected vision for a limited and inwardly focused future.  It is all about us — and not all of […]