By The Numbers

Our Conference has pioneered the use of metrics in ministry in our Conference Dashboard. Our Dashboard shows the spiritual health of churches each week showing the most reliable indicators of spiritual vitality, not only of a church’s participation in Connectional Giving, but also professions of faith, baptism, attendance, and service to those in need. OthersContinue reading “By The Numbers”

Good News – by the Numbers

We opened Annual Conference this year with our Conference Statistician (and Connectional Ministries Director) Lori Carden, giving us some dismal, rather frightening statistics. Then the next day Adam Hamilton opened his address by saying that if the general church continues on its present path of an aging and shrinking membership, the United Methodist Church willContinue reading “Good News – by the Numbers”

More On Numbers: Jason Byassee

***Disclaimer: this post is not written by Will Willimon. Bishop Willimon invited Jason Byassee and Andrew C. Thompson to respond to criticism about his focus upon numbers as an evaluating tool in accessing effectivness in ministry for United Methodist clergy and congregations. This is Jason Byassee’s response to that invitation.“It’s easy to get people inContinue reading “More On Numbers: Jason Byassee”

It’s All About Numbers

Although I’ve never heard this comment from a bishop, a pastor, or a church that was growing, a frequently heard comment in response to our Conference Priorities, from those who have limited their ministry to decline is, “So? It’s all about the numbers.” Though I don’t see much indication that we have become infatuated withContinue reading “It’s All About Numbers”

A Post-Election Call for Confession

Prayer of Confession for Trump Enabling Pastors Dear Fellow Evangelical Pastors: As increasing numbers of Trump’s buddies jump his sinking ship, I’m sure that his evangelical allies are afflicted with buyer’s remorse.  Even though many of you are in churches that don’t have prayers of corporate confession, we all know that confession is good forContinue reading “A Post-Election Call for Confession”

Reading More Barth Together

Having closed out the Reading Barth Together series with Stanley on Karl Barth’s Dogmatics in Outline, all five sessions are posted on my YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure. Since those went so well, Stanley and I have decided that we’ll be Reading More Barth Together, starting July 14th. In 1960, the American church got its first look at three of KarlContinue reading “Reading More Barth Together”

Resurrection Thoughts for Easter Monday

“Everything depends upon a red wheel barrow.” Thus begins a poem by William Carlos Williams.  And that sort of sums it all up, don’t you think?  We are modern folk who begin (and end) with the hard-core stuff of life, what can be seen, touched, tasted, tested.  No metaphysical flights of fancy for us.  SeeingContinue reading “Resurrection Thoughts for Easter Monday”

A Tremendous Sermon

A particularly painful aspect of the Trump presidency has been that some Christians have supported this man as Christians. There may be good reasons for advocating for Trump, none of them have any biblical or Christian theological basis. Originally printed with The Denver Post, Garrison Keillor underscores this in a humorous way with his parody on theContinue reading “A Tremendous Sermon”