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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Take Disciples … Yes, You

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in General Rant, Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism | 1 comment

Today is Saturday. That means that I’ve heard that “the Church is in decline” approximately a hundred times since Sunday, give or take a few. It means that I’ve heard that the answer is “to make disciples for the transformation of the world,” approximately seventy-five times. You may have noticed that I hear about the problem more often than I hear about any proposed solutions. But there is a great deal of...

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Call to Action: Don’t Confuse the “What” with the “How.”

Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Economics, General Rant, Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Methodism | 0 comments

Bishop Joe Pennel has raised some excellent questions in a recent post at the UMPortal.  He indicates that we are not focusing on the right things with Call to Action in the United Methodist Church. He writes: I cannot prove it but I am of the opinion that congregations that focus on growing in compassion, forgiveness, mercy, kindness and justice have a stronger and more authentic commitment to social witness than those that are not so...

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A Vision for the Future: Questions (4/5)

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in General Rant, Leading the Church, Main, Memphis Conference, Methodism, Pop Culture, Sermons, Society at Large, Uncategorized, US Politics | 0 comments

Who are we? Where are we? What is the problem? What is the solution? These four questions round out the scholarly method used by N.T. Wright to examine some of the deepest questions of our faith. Wright has examined Jesus, Paul, the notion of the Kingdom of Heaven, and taken on the most confusing issues of our beliefs, including atonement, the Resurrection, and many more. With apologies to my favorite theologian, I am taking up his method to...

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