Cautionary Photographs: the Demise of City Churches

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about some of the things I’m learning as Pastor of Duke Memorial UMC in Durham, NC.  I noted that this congregation is making a valiant effort to have a future.  If we succeed (and the past few weeks have been indeed fruitful and rewarding) we may joinContinue reading “Cautionary Photographs: the Demise of City Churches”

Insights on Church Renewal from Jim Harnish

The leaders of Duke Memorial got to hear Dr. Jim Harnish, pastor of Hyde Park UMC, Tampa, on the subject of congregational renewal.  Out of the dramatic turnaround Jim led at Hyde Park, here were the insights gleaned on the things that really matter if a church is to grow into the future: The PASTContinue reading “Insights on Church Renewal from Jim Harnish”

Flawed and fallen folk

An interview published in The Christian Century Oct 07, 2013 by Lillian Daniel After publishing 64 books on theology, worship and church leadership, William H. Willimon wrote a novel,Incorporation (Wipf and Stock), about a large suburban congregation, its dysfunctional staff and its narcissistic senior pastor. We wanted to know what led Willimon to try his hand at fiction.Continue reading “Flawed and fallen folk”


This book came to me just when I needed it. This past June, the bishop appointed me to a church. The congregation had previously suffered decline but had recently experienced some modest growth. A congregational long range plan dictated that they would be at 400 attendance in four years but they had been stuck atContinue reading “Overflow”