Values

Bipolar Church

bipolar — characterized by opposite extremes, as two conflicting political philosophies When I began doing congregational consulting in the late 1980s, I made a distinction between two core strategies of healthy churches: growth or mission.  A growth strategy pursues more — more people, more programs, more money, more building, more […]

United! In What Ways?

There is a great deal of discussion these days about what makes United Methodists “Methodist.”  What I find more challenging is what makes us “United” Methodists.  The fractures to our connection are deeply painful to me.  There is no real freedom to disagree in love.  People talk about one another […]

Blaming Christianity on the Christ

I caught the tale end of the discussion of a number of “Christian leaders” (that I couldn’t identify) on a television talk show on the topic of “holy hatred.”  I learned that: hatred is a critical aspect of love it is not wrong for Christians to hate — in fact, to […]

What Kind of Church…?

Today has been a day for introspection — thinking about the future by reflecting on the past.  Thinking particularly about the three churches of my childhood and what they taught me about what it means — and doesn’t mean — to be church.  And, at least in my case, three […]

This Is A Day of New Beginnings

Today, I become a member of the Wisconsin Annual Conference.  Today, I assume responsibility as the Director of Connectional Ministries in Wisconsin.  Today, I leave behind fifteen years serving the national church to focus on the ministries of a single episcopal area.  In one week, my wife Barbara and I […]

A Clash of Values

It is said that one of the most important functions of leadership is to bridge the gap between where we really are and where we say we want to be.  Where we are — our current reality — reflects our lived values.  Lived values are those that cause us to […]