Pushing Back (on Pushback)

I have been the Senior Pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since July 1, 1997.  In this time we have grown by an average of one hundred each year in worship.  We are constantly engaged in the economy of change and have found that change brings with it both excitement and discontinuity.  TheContinue reading “Pushing Back (on Pushback)”

Shaking Hands (While We Still Can) #UMC

Sometimes you just need to shake hands and go your separate ways while you can still shake hands…

A Pastoral Statement

Pastoral Statement: I have been loving God, loving people and watching God work mightily at Christ Church for twenty-two years. That some may want those years of work suddenly defined by a “tweet” on the recent St. Louis General Conference is absurd. If you would like to know where I stand, I invite you toContinue reading “A Pastoral Statement”

Christ Church, MLK and Me circa 2019

Christ Church has been holding special services around the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday since the late 90’s. In those days we ran about 300 a week in worship and were anything but racially diverse but we had a dream. In the early years we participated with our friend Rev. Sylvester Weatherall and the goodContinue reading “Christ Church, MLK and Me circa 2019”

Why People Leave a Church

In the early days of my ministry, not many people left our church.  I was in a rural area, there wasn’t much competition and people were loyal to the institutions of their community.  They would no more leave our church than they would send their children to another high school, stop doing business at ourContinue reading “Why People Leave a Church”

United Methodist Mania (And what we can do about it)

Were I to assign one word to American culture circa 2018, it would be manic.  Manic derives from a Greek word meaning “inclined to madness.”  The adjective refers to “characterizing, denoting or afflicted by mania.”  The noun is a person afflicted with mania and synonyms include “anxious, hysterical, worried, demonic, unhinged, unbalanced and feverish.”  IContinue reading “United Methodist Mania (And what we can do about it)”

Supporting Leaders (And Leading Supporters)

Can’t sleep tonight.  It happens.  Not very much but it happens. Praying for Christian leaders. My heart is heavy. Leadership circa 2020 is SO difficult. Pandemic. Churches closed. Cultural upheaval. Election cycle. Throw the devil (yes, I believe in such stuff) into the mix and the task can seem overwhelming. I know some great leadersContinue reading “Supporting Leaders (And Leading Supporters)”

United Methodists Still Have Time (but the clock is ticking)

I am a United Methodist and proud of it!  This church has given me a context in which to live out my calling as an Ordained Elder and I am most grateful.  Our historical roots are excellent.  Our General Rules are golden.  I have been graced to stay in one place and see my localContinue reading “United Methodists Still Have Time (but the clock is ticking)”

Choosing Peace

Choosing Peace That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring greatContinue reading “Choosing Peace”

Musings on MLK Day 2020

  Musings on MLK Day 2020 “And now abide these three; faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love.”  -I Corinthians 13 When my daughter Lydia was in high school we didn’t really talk much.  We spent time together but we didn’t really talk.  In fact, I used to joke that theContinue reading “Musings on MLK Day 2020”