Tuesday, September 17, 2019

AN INVITATION TO JOIN US IN THE DESERT NEXT SPRING

 
You are invited to spend five days in the desert with scores of other church leaders, lay and clergy, who long to be midwives in the birthing of God's new things.   This is a professional development/renewal event unlike any other.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

HOPE FOR A POLARIZED CULTURE




Back in the first century, the church of Jesus Christ was born out of the Pentecost reality.  It drew together the most diverse and eclectic group of human beings that the Roman Empire (and probably the world) had ever seen. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

WHAT PLAYING 4 SQUARE TAUGHT ME



I looked out the window of my hotel room into the open plaza in front of the Kansas City Convention Center, and I saw four square courts. I had not thought of four square in years. This game dominated recess in my elementary years at Alcott Elementary in Riverside, California.

The first thing I remembered is that I was competitive.  But then I thought about it more, and realized I wasn't very good at it.  Competitive but not very good. Often I would work my way up from square 4 to square 1, even though my coordination was abysmal. Why?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

PRIDE MONTH AND THE UNITED METHODIST BROUHAHA


A Washington Post story, published on DC Pride weekend, told about an evangelical family whose college freshman son came home one weekend, and came out as gay.  The parents went into panic mode and convinced the young man to do sexual orientation reparative therapy for a year.  But beyond that year of panic, these folks proved their mettle. They began to invite his friends to their home, and to hear the stories of others in the LGBTQ+ zoological garden. Eventually, the healing of their family required them to leave their megachurch and join a local United Methodist congregation.  Now they could have found any number of churches in which they might have worked out their faith in light of their changing life experience - but like untold thousands before them, they picked the Methodists.

Monday, June 10, 2019

WHEN MERGERS WORK



Some of the most rewarding work that I have done in the last few years is to coach churches that are going through a process of merger, property divestment and re-launch as a fresh church in their community. Dirk Elliott discovered a decade ago in Ohio that mergers work best when:

Monday, April 29, 2019

HOW MUCH SHOULD IT COST TO PLANT A NEW CHURCH?



Recent data in my denomination (UMC) showed a typical range of between $300,000 and $500,000 in denominational subsidy per new church plant, depending on the region and how deep its pockets. And roughly 2/3 of the projects survived the first five years. However, this measures only the denominational monetary contribution - typically in the first three years. The real cost of a church plant also includes donations by members and participants, sponsoring churches and other friends of the church. And it sometimes includes a donated building!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

TAKING THE JESUS CHALLENGE



Today, on two different coaching calls, the conversation focused on the process of individual spiritual development within a faith community context - both calls with new communities that exist within the framework of larger, long-existing ministries.