March 21, 2006
Who Really Cares?
Of all the articles I have written in our newspaper The Call, the article, "Who Really Cares" is the one I have received the most feedback on. As much as I can recall all have been positive and seem to stir some strong emotions.
I am aware that as individuals we care about not just the losses in membership in our United Methodist Church but we should also be aware of the missed opportunities. The weaker we are the more we concentrate on ourselves and the less we look outwardly. We tend to use what little energy we have to maintain ourselves.
But, despite all this I am not discouraged. I still believe we can and will find our way to God's desired future for us
March 04, 2006
A Career Resilient Workforce
Tonight I looked on my bookshelf and rediscovered a book that I read in 2004. It is a book from the Harvard Business Review, "On Finding and Keeping the Best People." There is a section in which the authors refer to a "career resilient workforce." "By a career-resilient workforce, we mean a group of employees who not only are dedicated to the idea of continuous learning but also stand ready to reinvent themselves to keep pace with change; who take responsibility for their own career management; and last but not least, who are committed to the company's success." I see a great deal of similarity to the church's workforce of pastoral leadership.
1.In this changing environment in which we are called upon to be in ministry the United Methodist Church desperately needs persons who are committed to a learning process in which they are not only doing continuing education but engaged in a continuing education process that is transformative. It is not enough for us to do differently we must "be" different. It is out of our being that we do. We can no longer afford to be stoic, aloof, and merely cerebral in our approach to ministry. People want a pastor that can be touched and can feel their pain.
2. We need pastors who are no longer waiting for that big appointment but who are creating "big appointments" where they are. Ed Bufford a friend of mine said it this way. "We must bloom where we are planted."
3. We need to ensure that the sheep are cared for instead of merely caring for ourselves. The beauty of the shepherd/sheep relationship is in both of them understanding their almost symbiotic relationship. They both need the other to carry out their responsibilities if each is to live abundantly and if we don't...