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

It’s Time to Help Mercedes

I was in a Justice For Our Neighbors meeting last week (an amazing faith-based organization that is providing counsel and assistance on legal issues to immigrants) when I learned about a young lady named Mercedes Gonzalez. Mercedes was brought to the U.S. when she was 2 and has been a successful newcomer to Nashville. She … Continue reading It’s Time to Help Mercedes

8 Reasons That I Am Attending SoulFeast

Yeah, I sound like a broken record, but like any convert I want to encourage anyone who reads this blog, follows me on Facebook or Twitter, or who simply lands here by accident, to think about attending the Upper Room’s Soulfeast Conference at Lake Junaluska. No, it’s not as hip as the Wild Goose Festival, … Continue reading 8 Reasons That I Am Attending SoulFeast

Take Another Look — A Sermon for Easter Sunday

Ever since I have been in parish ministry, my wife Kay and I have rarely worshipped together as we have served different congregations. However, with her being on leave this year we actually got to be in the same building on Easter Sunday. She said that she thought this sermon was pretty good and since … Continue reading Take Another Look — A Sermon for Easter Sunday

Do United Methodists Believe in Hope?

During the past couple of weeks, in the midst of the conversation surrounding Rob Bell’s book and the dismissal of Chad Holtz from his position in North Carolina, I have found myself engaged in some though on hope. Some of this is due to teaching a class on N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope,  in which … Continue reading Do United Methodists Believe in Hope?

When Will They Ever Learn? Some thoughts on the Rob Bell conversation.

I’ve been hesitant to offer comment on the ever swirling conversation surrounding Rob Bell’s latest offering, “Love Wins,” for there are more than enough words being thrown around from both sides of the debate. For my money, Tony Jone’s analysis of Bell was the among my favorites. Yet, in thinking about the whole thing this … Continue reading When Will They Ever Learn? Some thoughts on the Rob Bell conversation.

An Open Letter to Tony Jones

Dear Tony, We’ve been friends for a while, and I have learned over time to pretty much ignore your rants on denominationalism, recognizing a disconnect with those expressions of faith. But given the latest ramping up of attack with your new Ecclesialeak feature, especially given that you’ve attacked my tribe first, I feel I have … Continue reading An Open Letter to Tony Jones

New Devotional Blog on Common Prayer

I recently picked up "Common Prayer -- A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals" by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okorro and have started using it for my personal devotional practice. All three are folks that I have respected for some time, and the book is basically a daily office but with a perspective that recognizes … Continue reading New Devotional Blog on Common Prayer

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

Word DO matter…so what are you going to do about it.

Words matter.  Even in our reading from Timothy today, Paul encourages the Christians to take their words seriously: to beware the words that wound and divide – he talks elsewhere in this chapter about the power of the wrong words to bring ruins, to spread like a gangrene, destroying faith – and Paul encourages them … Continue reading Word DO matter…so what are you going to do about it.

Prayer for a Saint Known From Afar

I learned this afternoon that Harold Frelix Jr. was killed yesterday in a motorcycle accident on I-24. Harold is a the son of Harold Sr., pastor of the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church, and after a stint in the military, was becoming a leader in the Antioch community. Harold and I were at best acquaintances, … Continue reading Prayer for a Saint Known From Afar