Two Months, Five Days: Charge Conference Reports and Jail Visits

I suppose this is true across all professions when retirement looms and perspective on what is necessary changes, but I admit it for myself here:  for the first time since I’ve been a solo/senior pastor, I am not terribly concerned with Charge Conference reports. Our Charge Conference is next Tuesday. Now, the church administrator and I sat down several weeks ago and walked through who needed to do what.  He had responsibility for all reports that don’t have to be generated by me. I presume they will all be done on time. But I’m not hovering or checking this year. … Continue reading Two Months, Five Days: Charge Conference Reports and Jail Visits

The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part Three

Note: this is part three of a three part series. Part One is here; Part Two is here. Three Things to Keep in Mind First: not all growth is good growth.  When effectiveness is measured only by numerical growth, we make the fatal mistake of assuming that just because something grows rapidly, it is doing so under the blessing of God.  All gardeners and physicians know this:  rapid growth doesn’t necessarily mean good, healthy or desired growth. Second:  the process of making disciples is a long, slow, and often painful one.  A disciple is one who is actually willing to … Continue reading The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part Three

The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part Two

Note: this is the second of a three-part series.  Part one is here; part three is here.   The Church is In Crisis I suspect everyone agrees that The United Methodist Church, as a world-wide organization, is in crisis.  Our membership grows older and the death tsunami looms. Few churches see a vital future. People in the US church, who have been the principle financial support of the worldwide church, are moving away from denominational religious structures. The crisis leads to pressure to have numbers that look good. We’re no different in that sense from any business that must please … Continue reading The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part Two

The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part One

I recently walked out of a local electronics store in some frustration.  I have an older inkjet printer that needed new ink cartridges.  Now, ink cartridges are some of the biggest consumer rip-offs ever devised, so I wasn’t in a great mood when I walked in.  My irritation grew when I realized that my aged printer does not have its exact model number indicated on any of the multitudes of printer cartridges available. Two different sales staff tried to help; each came up with a different solutions.  Both admitted that if I bought a cartridge, put it in the printer … Continue reading The Consumer-Driven Church Model, Part One

Administration and Spirituality: A False Dichotomy

Spiritual Maturity and Administrative Skills In the controversy over the decision to involuntarily retire Bishop Bledsoe, Mr. Don House, chair of the evaluation committee, said, . . . the committee was aware of “great things” in the North Texas Conference, and praised Bishop Bledsoe as “a gifted man, a dedicated Christian man in the church.” But he said the committee acted in the interest of the denomination. “We need excellent administrative skills, and that’s the primary motivation behind this – the health of the church,” he said. “Although Bishop Bledsoe has excellent skills in many areas, we were concerned about some of … Continue reading Administration and Spirituality: A False Dichotomy