The United Methodist Church

Thanks Giving

There is often a chasm between what we say is important and the actions we take which reveal what is truly important (like saying “we want to make disciples,” then counting “worship attenders.”) to us.  Something is always driving us, but identifying exactly what it is isn’t always easy.  You […]

C is for…

But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, Oh, Lord!  Please don’t let me be misunderstood. Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell & Sol Marcus I received an email from a woman in Texas — I do seem to irritate people from Texas more than from any other state (right, Don […]

The Mediocre Commission

From the Gospel According to Bob, 28:16-20: Then Jesus sayeth unto them, “Go, invite people to come sitteth for an hour in church once every six weeks or so, telling them that very little will be expected of them, that they will heareth good music and that there will be coffee and snacks.”  […]

United Methodist Preservation Society

The latest wave of announcements about our future are dismaying.  Not because they are negative, but because they are pedestrian.  We are not “rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic,” as some assert; we are strategically planning and designing a Titanic upon which to rearrange deck-chairs.  The short-sighted, defensive, U.S.-centric, survival-mentality, institutional […]

Di*cip*eshi*

What in God’s name do we think we are doing?  If I hear one more prominent church leader define discipleship as going to church I will scream.  We aren’t going to count the number of people who attend church anymore.  Some genius decided we will count “disciples” in worship.  What?  […]

Choose Your C

I have been reading both Bruggemann and Block (The Word That Redescribes the World  and Community/Abundant Community) and have been challenged in my thinking to a great degree about how we live together in healthy Christian community.  Both books press a very simple, yet signficant distinction between two Cs: consumer […]

Accountability Ability

Three “laws” of accountability: There is no progress without accountability — holding people accountable to the vows they make is the key to development, growth and maturing Actions have consequences — where there are no consequences (positive or negative) there is no accountability Lack of accountability renders relationships meaningless — […]

Spiritual or Spiritualistic

A few year’s ago I noticed an interesting trend.  As Christians reported giving less and less time to prayer, the sale of books about prayer increased dramatically.  For me, this is a simple illustration of a continuing dilemma — we are more interested in spirituality than we are in being […]

Running Out of Options

What is the greatest threat to our United Methodist Church?  Is it decline?  Is it tolerance of sin?  Is it judgmentalism?  Is it hypocrisy?  How about controversy and conflict?  Nope.  There is one, simple threat to our continued existence and that is US.  Our church has been subverted by a […]