Control vs Organic Growth

On his blog yesterday, Seth Godin offered several examples of organizations or movements that have achieved organic and viral growth. Here is his brief analysis of what these groups do well: Invent a connection venue or format, but give up some control. Show it can be done, but don't insist that … Read more about Control vs Organic Growth

Not So Sweet 16 for the PC(USA)

In addition to the new Pew report on US religious trends, this week we also received the 2014 statistics report from the Presbyterian Church (USA). This data shows what decline looks like in the denomination I serve. Two years ago, when the PC(USA) posted a membership loss of almost 103,000, I … Read more about Not So Sweet 16 for the PC(USA)

BBQ Church is Happening on Sunday

What I Did on My Summer "Vacation"... Friends and readers of this blog will know that BBQ has become one of my passions in recent years. As a Southern boy who likes to eat, I've always enjoyed BBQ. But for the past few years it has become one of my most consistent hobbies, pastimes, and … Read more about BBQ Church is Happening on Sunday

The Vine is Dying

I'm growing increasingly frustrated and impatient with mainline Protestant churches like the one I serve, the Presbyterian Church (USA). At every level of our system, from congregations on up to General Assembly agencies, we keep missing the big picture. We measure our success by how well we manage … Read more about The Vine is Dying

Into the Deep

I preached this sermon yesterday at our afternoon jazz service. The scripture reading is Luke 5:1-11. My son is finally getting comfortable enough in water to enjoy swimming. My parents live on the beach in Florida, so he’s been exposed to swimming pools and the ocean his entire life. While he’s … Read more about Into the Deep

A Denomination in Decline

This post comes directly from the PC(USA) Mid Councils Commission report (18-19). I wrote this section with input from commission member Karen Dimon. I am posting discrete sections of our report as a means of generating conversation, so please make comments. At the end of this post, I have suggested … Read more about A Denomination in Decline

Dreaming of a Blues Church

Today the Chicago Tribune published the final installment of Howard Reich's excellent series on Chicago blues. I first noticed the series a month ago, with the publication of the third installment, a fascinating article about the gap between struggling historic blues clubs on Chicago's South Side … Read more about Dreaming of a Blues Church

Presbyterian Priorities

When I served as a commissioner to the 219th General Assembly this past summer, I was assigned to one of the two Social Justice committees. We recommended passing a number of studies about a variety of social issues like education and immigration. As we passed each one, someone would inevitably … Read more about Presbyterian Priorities