The United Methodist Church

The Day After

Well, Wisconsin Annual Conference, Session the 41st, ended yesterday.  Tracking all my rookie mistakes — this being my first year organizing the agenda for conference in my role as DCM (Director of Connectional Ministries) — I can proudly say I only made a few, and a couple of them were of […]

AC/DC

Where is the power and energy at Annual Conference this year?  I am not talking about any one Annual Conference — I’m talking about all of them.  Is our energy toward building, creating, forming, bridging, healing, mending, bonding, uniting, and becoming?  Or is it about conflict, controversy, contention, competition, factions, […]

The $100 Challenge

A young man came up to me the other day and led off with the line, “You probably don’t remember me, but…”  Having worked for the national church for almost 15 years, I have met an awful lot of people, and I must confess that I don’t remember too many […]

Measuremental Disorders

Blog-buddy John Meunier asked me a question on his blog on a topic that I was in the middle of writing about on my blog.  So here is his question as well as my answer.  His question, “I wonder if anyone who has studied church vitality and maybe even written […]

United Methodists Wanting to… What?

The United Methodist Church… wants to… what?  This is a question I asked for years when I worked for the General Board of Discipleship and travelled across the country.  I let people fill in the blank, then pressed to be sure I understood what they meant.  I came upon a […]

Mad Methodists

A few years ago I stood up in a meeting at the General Board of Discipleship and asked, “Has anyone else noticed how many deeply angry people we have in The United Methodist Church?”  At first, a few puzzled folks asked what I meant, but I didn’t even have to […]

Four Sin-Dromes

The concept of “sin” actually means “to miss the mark.”  It doesn’t matter if you miss by an inch or miss by a mile — a miss is a miss is a miss.  And there are four “sins” — ways we are “missing the mark” — prevalent in our congregational systems […]

Remembering the Future

I spent the day at the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC 21) summit in North Charleston, South Carolina.  The positive spirit and energy of this gathering is infectious, and the hopeful vision is noble.   But this is a gathering of leaders from throughout our connectional system, […]

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 […]

Via Negativa

I note with dismay that your blog is consistently critical of the church.  It doesn’t seem fair or balanced to continuously pick at flaws while ignoring the good.  While we certainly have problems, there is little benefit in dwelling on them all the time.  I don’t care to be made […]