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.

Friday, March 1, 2019

WHAT TO SAY ON SUNDAY




The events of the UMC Special General Conference earlier this week have the American press abuzz, alarming our parishioners and our children (most of whom pay little attention to denominational drama most of the time).

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO, MAKE DINNER!



During the month of January, churches throughout the DC area have been organizing to offer free evening meals to federal workers and their families. It is a very small thing in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't pay the mortgage or keep Volkswagen from coming to take away the family car.   But it is something. And it says, "We see your situation." It says, "We want to be community with you in this situation." It says, "You are not alone in this." It says, "We love you."

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A CRITICAL CONVERSATION



Earlier this month I filmed a commercial for a course I am teaching in the Spring semester at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC.  It is truly a new world when academic courses come with video commercials to help students decide what to take in a given semester.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

FLIPPING OUR RELATIONSHIP TO CHURCH BUILDINGS





Earlier this month I was a part of what United Methodists call a Paragraph 213 Meeting - a meeting looking at the viability of current congregational ministry versus the possibilities of their community.  In this case it was a P213 on Steroids - as we were looking at 10 churches simultaneously across a small urban region.  Among the things that became clear:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

THE GREAT WORK OF OUR TIME



As I tinker with the last edits of my new book MULTI (coming to you this winter), I am beyond the major writing - more into the stage of ruminating.  Why did I really write the book - what are the implications?  MULTI is about how diverse groups of people forge partnership as church.  It is about how we are able to step beyond tribal perspectives and allegiances into God's greater possibilities of community, healing and human thriving.