Church in Need of Bold Action Chooses No Action!

General Conference 2012 of The United Methodist Church began last Tuesday and ends next Friday. As I understand it, during the first week, individual committees prepare petitions for action on the main floor of the general conference. I have been following events from a distance via the internet, including Twitter, which, at times, offers play-by-play … Read more

Employed for Thee or Laid Aside for Thee

General Conference 2012 of The United Methodist Church (UMC) started Tuesday and will continue for ten days. This afternoon, while reflecting on some of the conference that I’ve followed online, I thought about a line from John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer … Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee The covenant prayer … Read more

Episcopal Address: Resurrection Revolution

General Conference 2012, a gathering of nearly-1,000 delegates from around the world, which meets every four years, began yesterday in Tampa, Florida. This morning, Bishop Peter Weaver delivered the Episcopal Address on behalf of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. You can watch the video of the entire morning worship service here … Read more

“The Circle Maker” 4.0

I recently finished reading a great book on prayer called The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. I’ve written some posts on the book already (and plan one final post with some specific takeaways); see “The Circle Maker” 1.0, “The Circle Maker” 2.0, and “The Circle Maker” 3.0. Here are some of my favorite highlights from … Read more

“Why Jesus?”

I finally got around to reading Why Jesus? by Bishop William Willimon. I’ve had it for a while, but my excuse to read the book was using it as a resource for my sermon series during Lent. I always enjoy Bishop Willimon’s writings. I read Pastor for a Theology of Ministry class at Asbury (interestingly, … Read more

A Prayer for General Conference 2012

Nearly three years ago, as Joleen and I began our second year in Clearfield, I wrote a prayer in my journal. Last July, I updated it and posted it on the blog: A Transformational Leadership Prayer. As I said last year, this prayer has stuck with me and I pray it every now and then. … Read more

Lord, Teach Us to Preach!

Jesus was once asked by his disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11.1). It’s a great request, one we all should make. Another good request, particularly for preachers, is “Lord, teach us to preach!” That was a request I found myself making in prayer earlier today. I thought, I don’t simply want to communicate … Read more

A Preacher’s Gotta Trust!

Preaching is the most important ministry task of a pastor. Communities of faith are shaped through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Because preachers must present a new message every week, preaching is also challenging. As every writer knows, beginning each message with a “blank page” can be daunting! Everyone has their own system … Read more

God, Give Me a Heart Like Yours!

One of the children’s books the kids have enjoyed over the last several months is Hermie, a Common Caterpillar, by Max Lucado (there’s also a DVD). Basically, Hermie, and his friend, Wormie, feel bad about being common caterpillars and keep asking God why they have to be so common. God keeps reminding them that he’s … Read more

“The Circle Maker” 3.0

I’m finally nearing the end of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, a book that’s having a tremendous impact on me. Batterson discusses fasting. He writes … Fasting has a way of fast-tracking our prayers. Because fasting is harder than praying, fasting is a form of praying hard. In my experience, it is the shortest … Read more