Debate as Sacrament

Debate as Sacrament

At one church I visited recently, a long-time member confided that the church was going to have to split because the two pastors had differing views on human sexuality and the Bible.   Why can’t our differences live side by side?  They do in the Bible.  ...

Adventures with the Spiritual But Not Religious

“Can I still call myself an atheist, and believe in God?” I looked up from the salad bar at the 20-something young woman posing the question, my fork hovering over the red and green peppers. “Tell me more,” I said, momentarily confused. “Well, I now believe in a kind...

The Secret Reason Why Good Churches Die

Why do good churches die? I’m not talking about churches who have an apparent fatal flaw like mean or nasty people, terrible location, clergy sexual misconduct, uninspiring worship or the like.  Churches can and do recover from all of those things. No, I’m...

Worship and Power

Let’s say you have recently arrived at your new pastoral appointment. You’re wondering just what sort of people you are serving. Worship services can give you a strong indication of how people perceive their power in relation to the world. This sense of personal power...

Are You Secretly Sabotaging Your Church?

Congratulations!  Your church is on the move.   Let’s say you are feeding the hungry.  You are praying for and visiting the sick.  You minister to those in prison, jail, and the nursing home.  You work hard to clothe those in need, and connect with the homeless. You...