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”

UMC Christmas Truce

I would like to make a motion that the United Methodist denomination cease all internal hostilities until after Christmas for the purpose of focusing on Jesus. Can I get a second? We will call it the UMC Christmas Truce of 2018.

I am Joining WCA (but I am not in a bad mood about it)

For years now, I have been standing in the middle ground of the United Methodist Church.  Right-middle to be sure but middle none-the-less.  My plan was to batton down the proverbial hatches, keep Fairview Heights Christ Church growing (we have grown for twenty consecutive years) and hope the denominational storm would pass.  When asked aboutContinue reading “I am Joining WCA (but I am not in a bad mood about it)”

Vision 2020: What I See Coming

Vision 2020: What I See Coming We all know that our world not only has changed and is changing but we are beginning to realize that our world is change.  You see, change is no longer the obstacle around which the fish swims, it is the water itself.  Many years ago, a wise mentor namedContinue reading “Vision 2020: What I See Coming”

Christian Leaders and Celebrity Culture

I recently read about the “crash and burn” of another well-known Mega-church pastor.  It is truly heartbreaking.  We have all watched this movie before.  We cry every time.  I hurt for the spouse and family of the pastor, the congregation and the many people who are just a little further from Jesus than they were beforeContinue reading “Christian Leaders and Celebrity Culture”

Why Do We Struggle to be Open and Honest (about the church)?

Why Do We Struggle to be Open and Honest?   There are many temptations common to a church.  Among the most deadly is the temptation to appease.  Let’s face it, in most church cultures being nice is a much higher core value than being open and honest.  Not so many years ago we had aContinue reading “Why Do We Struggle to be Open and Honest (about the church)?”

A Pastoral Statement on the Ferguson Decision

(A year into what we normally refer to as “Ferguson,” it seemed a good time to re-blog a post I made when the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision was originally announced) Dear Friends, In the wake of the recent announcement of the Grand Jury concerning the death of Michael Brown, I would like to urge the followingContinue reading “A Pastoral Statement on the Ferguson Decision”

Does the Church Have a Future?

Fifteen years ago everyone was using the word “post-modern.”  Its definition centered upon the premise that the modern world was slowly crumbling (due to the advent of the personal computer) and a jagged new world was slowly emerging from the ashes (riding the momentum of the internet).  The time it would take to get from “thereContinue reading “Does the Church Have a Future?”

Simmering the Stress (of church leadership)

Simmering the Stress (of church leadership) Some years ago (when I was still “young-ish”) my health was in a rapidly declining state.  Christ Church was moving from 400 in worship each weekend toward 750 and it was literally killing me.  Our staff was a mess, the congregation was in flux and I was doing theContinue reading “Simmering the Stress (of church leadership)”

Outlasting Push-Back

I have been the Senior Pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since July 1, 1997. In this time we have grown from just over 200 per weekend to well over 1,700. We are constantly engaged in the economy of change and have found that change brings with it both growth and discontinuity. TheContinue reading “Outlasting Push-Back”