Tuesday, July 5, 2016

YOU CANNOT FAKE HOSPITALITY



Last weekend, instead of going to church, we went running - or walking as the case would be - joining a friend for a beautiful summer morning with his running club - followed by brunch.   Here is what happened. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

TEN SOUND BYTES FOR REFLECTING ON UMC GENERAL CONFERENCE



Please plagiarize freely when talking to grass roots people about the state of the UMC as a denomination.

Monday, May 23, 2016

REFLECTIONS FROM THE BOOK TOUR





Thirteen book parties into our year-long tour, we are meeting a range of great people from San Diego to Bronx, from Portland, Oregon to downtown Washington DC to London, England.

Friday, April 8, 2016

RENDEZVOUS IN A RAIN FOREST


After the second Weird Church book party in February, my whole week went weird when a guy crashed the party and stole my computer. This forced a significant change of agenda for that week, as I got a new computer, and tried to reload everything and redo my income tax.   I cancelled a five-day event and, after all the computer-related business, was left with two days of Sabbath, stuck more than three thousand miles from home. I decided to spend my 48-hour Sabbath in a temperate rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

THE DIFFERENCE DNA MAKES

 
This is the first time that I have given this space to a testimonial by one of the people I coach. The following paragraphs point to the power of good DNA in the life of a congregation. This is from Matt Meisenhelter, a church planter south of DC. I am proud of Matt and celebrate what God is doing at his church. - Paul Nixon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SOMETHING IN THE WATER



Ed Friedman, the brilliant congregational systems thinker and author of Generation to Generation and Failure of Nerve, is one of my primary mentors.  I never knew Ed personally, but I have devoured his writing over the years, and listened to many of his lectures.  His thinking is deeply influential in the way that I approach congregational consultation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE


Cognitive dissonance is the human capacity (indeed penchant) for holding simultaneously contradictory values, beliefs or practices.  We see it in individual people, and we see it in faith communities.  Among conservative Christians, it might be love of guns or participation in the military alongside worship of a character who was practically a pacifist.  Among liberal Christians, it might be belief in the theory of evolution alongside a belief in divine creation  - that somehow both are true.  Or for all Christians, cognitive dissonance occurs when we claim to believe in an all powerful God of love, but we also live with problems of evil and suffering that seem to have no redemptive value.