Deciphering the Past and Decoding the Future

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Human Sexuality, Leading the Church, Main, Methodism, Theological Thinking | 1 comment

When the social order of our culture changes within a matter of years and not decades, the Church must deal with the difficulty of orthodoxy in a shifting paradigm. For many, this is a simple matter. Either you are part of the change or you are part of the barriers to that change, depending on your degree of liberalism or conservatism. But how you navigate change matters. We’ve not done a good job of moving forward to new things. Too...

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The Difference Between “Now” and “Then”

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism | 3 comments

Some things never change. There are still hot dogs at baseball games. There are still fish in Kentucky Lake. And there are still Methodists meeting on a yearly basis to talk business and make decisions. In the past two weeks, I’ve been to two Annual Conferences. And, at those sessions, I spoke with pastors and leaders of the Church at length. Something was different. In years past, Conference was a coming together of factions. Sounds...

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Growing at Grace

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main | 1 comment

What makes for a good leader? Most folks think that “followers” would be the required component. But anyone who has led anything more than a rousing chorus of “Row Row Row Your Boat” understands that the measure of leadership is the number of leaders you produce, not the number of followers you attract. Leaders don’t just magically appear. Yet, many congregations still expect their leaders to arrive. Rare are the...

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So What DO You Mean By “Grow?”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Blogroll, General Rant, Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism, Pop Culture, Sermons, Society at Large | 3 comments

Once, as a child, I played sick to avoid a particular confrontation that I knew was going to take place at school. My plan was foolproof: Moan a little bit, wait for the thermometer to show up, and then fake a fever using my desklamp to inflate the reading. I may or may not have recently watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” In either case, I would have been more successful in my devious effort if I had followed his advice and...

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Doing What We Can

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism, Sermons | 1 comment

I just left a Finance Committee Meeting for Grace UMC, the church I’m presently serving. And I just witnessed a very admirable act. “Heroic” is a little too strong a word, but not by too much. Let me offer some background. Grace has had some financial strain over the past two years. Attendance was dropping sharply due to conflicts within the church and giving was way down. The congregation eventually divided its property...

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