A comment on my previous post which will probably won’t make anyone any happier…

In my previous post I raised some questions related to a statement that Amy DeLong made in regards to change and grace. Several folks have rightly suggested that I took the sentence in question out of context, and that Amy was obviously referring to change in regards to GLBT folks who have spent their lives … Continue reading A comment on my previous post which will probably won’t make anyone any happier…

Oh, I’m probably going to tick all sorts of people off….

Earlier today, a buddy of mine sent me a link to an interview on the Believe OutLoud website with Amy DeLong, who was recently tried for being an open lesbian and for performing same-sex marriage/covenant ceremonies. In the end, she was acquitted on the first charge for she refused to talk about her sexual practices … Continue reading Oh, I’m probably going to tick all sorts of people off….

The Dilemma Of Leading a Church in Decline

One of the hallmarks of my ministry as a solo pastor is that I have been sent to congregations that at sometime in their life have been growing and thriving places but due to  difficult pastoral appointments, changes in community community demographics, and poor decision making at crucial times along the way, these congregations now … Continue reading The Dilemma Of Leading a Church in Decline

Engagement vs. Inertia – Discipleship Development

Worship guru Dean McIntyre raised the question in my last post as to how to differentiate between those congregations that are engaged (leading toward vitality) and those who are driven by inertia (surviving and perhaps even growing numerically, but disconnected from the source and power of vitality). He asked for practical descriptions of the differences … Continue reading Engagement vs. Inertia – Discipleship Development

Engagement vs. Inertia – Discipleship Development

Worship guru Dean McIntyre raised the question in my last post as to how to differentiate between those congregations that are engaged (leading toward vitality) and those who are driven by inertia (surviving and perhaps even growing numerically, but disconnected from the source and power of vitality). He asked for practical descriptions of the differences … Continue reading Engagement vs. Inertia – Discipleship Development

Pastoral Accountability

A couple of commenters on my post on congregational vitality have suggested that critique of the Council of Bishop’s Call to Action report is based in a discomfort with pastoral accountability. To quote one commenter: “Spiritualize it away all you want, but the old tired notion referencing unmeasurables is a transparent attempt to avoid accountability. … Continue reading Pastoral Accountability

What is Congregational Vitality?

For many years, going back to the Council of Bishop’s “Vital Congregations” initiative (a project I worked on back in pre-1996 UMCom days), the United Methodist Church has talked quite a bit about developing and promoting “vital” congregations. The language of congregational vitality has been on the tips of our tongues as we wring our … Continue reading What is Congregational Vitality?

Ministry to the Dechurched

The word "dechurched" is not a common term in mainstream Christianity. In fact, it doesn't even appear in Webster's unabridged dictionary. But for me, it describes a neglected group of Christians: those whose firsthand encounters with Christianity have been negative, painful, and alienating, and because of this significant wounding have left the church or lost … Continue reading Ministry to the Dechurched