One of the most frequent questions I get is, “You say that we must do a better job of evaluating clergy effectiveness. How is it possible to define ‘effectiveness’” I believe that those of us who are charged with the ministry of administration must get better at evaluating and rewarding clergy effectiveness. Thus the bookContinue reading “MEASURING AND MANAGING CLERGY EFFECTIVENESS”

It’s Easier To Take Out Than To Put In

Two weeks ago, I mentioned a book that the Cabinet and I read together last year, Marcus Burkingham and Curt Coffman, First, Break All the Rules, (Simon and Schuster, 1999, the Gallup Organization). The Cabinet is charged with the deployment and development of our pastoral leaders. First, Break All the Rules makes the rather surprisingContinue reading “It’s Easier To Take Out Than To Put In”

Pastors as Visionary Leaders

Lovett Weems lists the phases of thriving and declining organizations: original vision, growth and building the organization, maintenance, decline, recognized decline, crises or death. I feel that in the United Methodist Church we are in the period of at last recognizing our decline. I hope this leads to a crisis that provokes change and growth.Continue reading “Pastors as Visionary Leaders”

It’s About The Mission!

This week, we’ve had our Annual Conference. We tried to have a greater focus on our vision statement and priorities in order to stress our mission: “Every Church challenged and equipped to grow more disciples of Jesus Christ by taking risks and changing lives.” Tom Bandy, in his new book, stresses that we must keepContinue reading “It’s About The Mission!”


WORDS FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL To an acculturated and accommodated church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote these words. He wrote them to us in Birmingham, from our jail, fifty years ago but the words ring true in the church today, perhaps in the church of any age, so let us reflect upon them again inContinue reading “CHURCH AS THERMOMETER OR THERMOSTAT:”

Thoughts on "The Jesus Enterprise"

I’m concerned about a book about the church that uses the word enterprise in the title, a word borrowed from business. But I sure want to reach the unchurched. Thus I read The Jesus Enterprise: Engaging Culture to Reach the Unchurched (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004), by Kent R. Hunter. Here are some quotes from theContinue reading “Thoughts on "The Jesus Enterprise"”