Categories
church leadership ministry renewing the church

Growing from Our Roots

Churches can learn from big bluestem. This picture is of this native plant putting out new spring growth. Once established, this grass can be burned, mowed, or otherwise cut back and grow again. It draws strength from its roots, which have made their way deep into the soil. The church has roots in the good […]

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church leadership renewing the church united methodist church

Reflections on Day 2 of #gc2019

This morning I led worship at Berryton United Methodist Church and preached a sermon about being in connection with one another – Moved to Connect. It is the second in a three part series, The Movement Continues. It is focused on who we are as United Methodist Christians. During our worship service, we lifted up […]

Categories
annual conference leadership ministry

Making the Network Work

Over the last several years, the Great Plains Annual Conference has introduced Networks into our life in ministry together. These are groups of congregations that share a physically contiguous mission field – all the churches in an area. The church which I serve, Berryton United Methodist Church, is connected in a network with Big Springs […]

Categories
church experiment grow

Experiment: Facebook Live Book Study

I am running an experiment this fall in the local church with the purpose of engaging people in discipleship. The experiment is a Facebook Live Book Study. Some of the observations that lead to this experiment: High engagement of video on the church’s Facebook page Congregants sharing the value of study’s led by the preacher […]

Categories
church communications

Eero: My Church WiFi Hero

Last month, I undertook the task of upgrading the wireless network at Berryton United Church. I am a bit of a tech geek at heart and enjoy things working well. I am grateful that there was an existing wireless network, though one of the challenges was that it was a different network in the sanctuary […]

Categories
church family life

Baking Bread and the Life of the Church

“A little yeast works through the whole lump of dough.” – Galatians 5:9 I love baking bread. There is something incredible about the power of yeast. As the author of Galatians notes, just a bit of yeast is able to be effective when mixed in with the right ingredients. Just a few tablespoons of yeast can […]

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developing leaders leadership united methodist church

Highly Functioning Teams

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Houston for continuing education focused on highly functioning teams. It was part of the Advancing Pastoral Leadership program that I have been part of for several years. We had the opportunity to hear from leaders from Chick-fil-A, NASA, and Chapelwood UMC. It was an excellent learning opportunity and […]

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church faith ministry united methodist church

Preparation for a Service of the Baptismal Covenant

A Conversation about the Meaning, Symbolism and Responsibility of Baptism One of the great privileges that I have as a United Methodist preacher is offering the sacrament of Christian baptism to individuals and families connected with the local church. I like to meet with the individual or family in advance of the service to hear their […]

Categories
changing lives faith Sharing Christ

A Response to the Charleston Church Shootings

Over the past few days, I have continued in prayer for Charleston. I want to share a portion of my response to the Charleston Church Shootings which I preached this morning at First United Methodist Church. I believe it is important and inadequate. You can find the entire sermon and manuscript online here. Let me […]

Categories
Bible

The Lost Son, Older Brother and Running Father

Jesus often tells parables or stories which teach us something that is true about God, about us and how God and humanity interact. Here is one of them from Luke 15. This is the story of a man who had two sons “The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of […]

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faith life

Praying for Charleston

The only response I can manage right now to to a story like this in the New York Times, is deep sadness, anger and prayer. “A gunman … opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the nation’s oldest black churches, on Wednesday evening, killing nine. Police arrested the suspect in Shelby, N.C., […]

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developing leaders leadership united methodist church

Excellence in Ministry #umbom14 – Reflections from Day 4

Today was the final day of the BOM Mid Quad Training Event in Denver.  We had the opportunity to hear from two groups presenting on Identifying Critical Issues for General Conference. For each we heard a presentation and had the opportunity to follow up with table conversations on both the Global Discipline and Study of Ministry. As the presenters were […]