Category Archives: church growth

Church as Ecology

In his Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity, Alasdair MacIntyre draws from W. Edwards Deming and Wendell Berry: “Individuals who farm need to regard themselves as contributing to a larger project, that of making their particular farm productive while sustaining its … Continue reading

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Poor God?

I’m not a proponent of the prosperity Gospel. On the contrary, most versions of it sound like heresy. I am, however, a proponent of a Philippians 4:19 Gospel: “My God shall supply all your needs through his riches in glory … Continue reading

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Planting Large Churches

One of the curious things I observe in some talk about church planting is the goal of planting “large churches.” Since I’ve never been a church planter (and have only read a few books on the subject), I’m obviously ignorant, … Continue reading

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The “Most Revealing Indicator…”

One of the claims Will Willimon makes in his book Bishop is that, “The most revealing indicator of congregational vitality is the trend in worship attendance.” Worship attendance sure is important. I remember many years ago reading a biographical blurb … Continue reading

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Who’s Fit to Preach?

My memory of the fine details of my own life events isn’t too sharp. Since my own passage through the hurdles set before me by the Board of Ordained Ministry was thirty years ago, I don’t remember everything. I do … Continue reading

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Change or Die, part 2

Change is good! New is good! Growth is good! It’s so nice to deal with abstractions. In my last post I mentioned some forms of growth that aren’t very desirable. Cancer. The bloat of decomposition. In this post I’m going … Continue reading

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Change or Die

I’m picky when it comes to shoes. I want shoes that fit well and are comfortable all day. I want to spend as little time and money as I can when I acquire them. For now, I’ve settled on a … Continue reading

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Individual vs. Collective

Listening to Peter Harrison’s fifth Gifford Lecture as I drove to Marshall today, I heard his description of a shift from natural philosophy to science in the early modern period. Under the old paradigm (and I use Kuhn’s term intentionally), … Continue reading

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Growth Drivers

We United Methodists have been rather obsessed with growth of late. Unfortunately, our obsession seems to be often driven by a fear of decline. We know the reality of decline too well. Many of our churches are shrinking, many are … Continue reading

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Gil Rendle – Journey in the Wilderness

We will be reading Gil Rendle’s book Journey in the Wilderness: New Life for Mainline Churches here in the North District next month. It is well worth reading for all of us in the United Methodist Church who desire to … Continue reading

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