The United Methodist Church

Evangelisn’t

Faith sharing and evangelism have fallen on hard times in The United Methodist Church.  For the most part, we don’t do them — except with people who already believe what we do.  As part of our research on spiritual practices, we asked 922 United Methodist lay people to share their […]

Wanted: Heart Warmed — Strangely or Otherwise

I sat through another United Methodist worship service — this time bombarded by thumping, lively praise music extolling how awesome, moist, and shiny Jesus is.  (If you’ve experienced ‘contemporary’ praise music, you know what I mean…)  The energy was high, it was the theology that was missing.  Everything was simple and […]

Information, Formation, Transformation

My definition of Christian education is (and has been for over thirty years): Information needed for formation that leads to transformation.  Christian education was a central focus of the research I did on congregational vitality (1999-2006) and I found quite a bit of evidence that confirmed the value of such […]

Survival – Revival – Thrival

Yes, I know “thrival” isn’t a word, but it should be.  We spend so much time in the church talking about ‘survivial’ and ‘revival’ that we forget to talk about what it would look like if we truly thrived.  Last year, “…for the transformation of the world” got officially added […]

Speaking the Truth in Love

I’m no Fox News, but I do attempt to be fair and balanced.  This past week I struck a chord with a significant number of people with my Igniting Misery and Taking It All Too Seriously posts.  One subtext of both posts is that some of our decision-makers in the […]

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 […]

Igniting Misery

Somehow (it’s not hard to understand…) I have developed the reputation of actively disliking Igniting Ministry/ReThink Church/”Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”  This isn’t actually true, but perception shapes reality.  I am critical of our marketing work/branding efforts for a wide variety of reasons, but I have never said Igniting […]

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?, […]