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
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
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
Election Post-Mortem Mark Davis, a right-wing conservative radio host and columnist, wrote this in his post mortem about the Presidential election: But I lament a country where the middle class is more attuned to government benefits than the work ethic that was once our nation’s engine. I will blame the culture of dependency that leads millions to seek rescue paid by the incomes of others. And I will point to a society that has stood idly by while standards of family, self-reliance and independence have dwindled to mere shadows. I found as I read his column that my normally quite … Continue reading The Election Port-Mortem, the Fundamentalist Takeover of The Republican Party . . . and The UMC?