Notes from the leadership journey!

Pray for The United Methodist Church!

If you’ve been following church-related news lately, you know The United Methodist Church is in turmoil. Some are even calling for schism, seeing no way out of the current mess.

The best thing we can do, though, at this point, is PRAY.

That’s what the Aldersgate Covenant is planning to do. They have called a gathering for May 16-17, 2014, which will take place at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. (I’m not able to attend; I keep hoping some or all of it will be webcast!)

I wrote in 2011, What The United Methodist Church Needs is nothing short of an awakening by the Holy Spirit. As I noted, John Wesley said …

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.

Wesley seems to indicate that survival of the organization isn’t the most important thing; being faithful to God and staying connected to God is.

I’m grateful for the UMC and I’m hopeful that God will revive us and make us a movement again. Here are a few posts I’ve written in recent years that come to mind …

What are your prayers for the UMC?

2014 Confirmation Trip

The Clearfield Cluster of United Methodist Churches offers a two-day confirmation bus trip every few years. We left last Thursday morning around 5:30 and returned home around 10:30 Friday night. It was a full, fast-paced two days! The trip included nine youth from three area churches plus seven adults. We made stops at the PennsylvaniaContinue →

Leaders Go First

“Leaders go first.” It’s a fairly common phrase. I thought of it the other day as I was reading 1 Chronicles 29. King David, nearing the end of his life, is preparing the nation for its new king, his son, Solomon. Specifically, David is making preparations for the building of God’s temple. The temple wasContinue →

Character, Competence, & Chemistry

I’ve been familiar with these terms for a while. These three Cs—Character, Competence, and Chemistry—are critically important for teams, including church ministry teams! I was reminded of this again lately as I’m reading slowly through Leadership Axioms: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels. The book includes brief sections on 76 different concepts, including a chapterContinue →

“Shaped By God’s Heart”

I recently read Shaped By God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches by Milfred Minatrea. I should have included this book in my doctoral dissertation (how leaders shape missional culture), but I missed it! Minatrea’s definition of a missional church is … a reproducing community of authentic disciples, being equipped as missionaries sentContinue →

Our Girl is 5

It’s hard to believe, but Sarah turned 5 this week. Today, several friends and family members, including my dad, who happened to be visiting from Tennessee this weekend, helped us celebrate Sarah’s birthday. Sarah requested the Disney Brave theme, even though she’s never seen the movie (too scary). But, she likes Merida’s bow and arrow!

Cultivating a Movement: Keep Moving Forward!

We’re at the end of our series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, Pray Through, and Be Moved With Compassion). I’ve been describing a movement as a people God can move through, a church God can use. A dictionary definition of a movement is, “AContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Be Moved With Compassion!

We’re nearing the end of my sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, and Pray Through). There is clearly a great deal of need in the world. And, the only organization in the world that truly has the power to change the world isContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Pray Through!

I’m in the home stretch of a sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, and Preserve Unity). Too Busy Not to Pray! We often live as if we’re too busy to pray. In an effort to get things done, we cut out prayer time. This isContinue →

“The Externally Focused Church”

I just read The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson (2004). It’s a good book about the church in action through service. Rusaw and Swanson suggest, “Externally focused churches are internally strong, but they are oriented externally” (17). They are “convinced that good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated”Continue →