Gifts of God – for the Work of Ministry

Service of OrdinationCanterbury United Methodist ChurchBirmingham, AlabamaJune 4, 2010 11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith andContinue reading “Gifts of God – for the Work of Ministry”

The Truth Shall Set You Free

***Disclaimer: this post is not written by Will Willimon. I recently received my Olan Mills’ 8 x 10 portrait photograph in the mail this week from our North Alabama Annual Conference clergy pictorial directory. As I looked at the portrait in disbelief, I showed it to my wife and said: “I don’t look like this!”Continue reading “The Truth Shall Set You Free”

Let the Children Come

A couple of decades ago, in a sincere attempt to make our churches more accessible and welcoming to children, some of our churches adopted an innovation: the children’s sermon. Today the children’s sermon is, to my mind, a prime example of a noble effort but an unfortunate strategy. I’ve heard lots of children’s sermons. TriedContinue reading “Let the Children Come”


Every person who joins the North Alabama Cabinet including our newest members: Lori Carden, Sherill Clontz and Bill Brunson read a book that has revolutionized our ministry of oversight. Marcus Buckingham’s First Break All the Rules. Now Mike Stonbraker has had the Cabinet read a related book, Patrick Lencioni’s Three Signs of a Miserable Job.Continue reading “THE THREE SIGNS OF A MISERABLE JOB”

Anything Worth Doing For God Is Worth Counting

How do we Methodists define effective clergy? We do it with one word: growth. Effective clergy know how to grow the church in its membership, witness, and mission. In North Alabama we now have a “Conference Dashboard” that every church logs in on Monday morning and reports their numbers for that Sunday’s attendance, baptisms, professionsContinue reading “Anything Worth Doing For God Is Worth Counting”