A Modest Proposal: The Minimum Standards in the Texas Conference

My friend Jeremy Smith, whose blog Hacking Christianity I’ve followed for years, posted yesterday about my conference’s Proposed Minimum Standards for Entering Candidates. As I have a little bit of knowledge about this, I thought I would offer some clarifications and challenges to what he has written. If you are new to my blog, welcome! … Continue reading

In Company

On the wall of my study hangs a poster-sized picture of my confirmation class. It’s a game for my church members to come in & try to find sixth-grade-Josh. Not a hard game, actually. I keep it even though I can’t remember everyone’s name—it was a big class, and not everyone was a regular at … Continue reading

On the Security of Appointment, the Judicial Council, & Being Clergy

I’m a lifelong United Methodist, an elder in my 8th year of service, and the new chair of my Conference Board of Ordained Ministry’s Conference Relations Committee. I spent a few days last week with other bright, passionate, warm, and capable conference BOM leaders at a training sponsored by GBHEM in Dallas where not a … Continue reading

The Christian as Leader

Leadership, leadership, leadership. We hear this mantra all the time, especially in the church. In fact, these 3 words were tweeted by Bishop Scott Jones on the opening night of General Conference 2012 as he reflected on the most important factors in United Methodist renewal. Though acknowledged as crucial, we might profitably ask, “What kind … Continue reading

Do You Know What I Have Done To You? A Sermon

This sermon was preached at First United Methodist Church, Orange, Texas, on Maundy Thursday 2011. The Scripture is John 13:1-17, 31b-35. The camera pans out, and we see our hero, paralyzed, perhaps strapped to a chair. No escape. The James Bond villain, or perhaps an antagonist from CSI or some other police or mystery drama … Continue reading

What’s a little conspiracy among friends? A Relevance LEAD wrap-up

Lots of folks blogged, tweeted, facebooked, instagrammed, and flickred (pinned, anyone?) their way through Relevance LEAD and Relevance X last weekend, so I won’t rehash every detail. I was fortunate to be on the inside a little; helping to coordinate the social media presence — PR on the cheap — and generally pitching in to … Continue reading

Relevance LEAD this week!

I’m doing something new at the end of this week. I’m going to a conference (well, that’s not new) in Las Vegas (well, I drove through on the Interstate once) called Relevance. (That. That’s the new thing!) Relevance LEAD follows the TED model — where current leaders in technology, entertainment, design, and more share brief … Continue reading

What would you teach your leaders?

I’m putting together a leadership curriculum for the student leaders in my campus ministry. For good or for ill, I’m staying away from how-to books (though there are some good ones) and instead provoking a deeper level of reflection about servant-leadership and Christian formation. Here’s what I’m toying with (yes, I know it’s a long … Continue reading

And You Give Yourself Away

The theme for this year’s Texas Annual Conference, reflecting the idea of Extravagant Generosity, immediately calls to mind U2’s anthemic “With or Without You.” Without a doubt, it was one of the best annual conferences I’ve been a part of. The highlight was Tuesday night’s service in which my wonderful wife Christie was ordained as … Continue reading

Discipleship, Leadership, and Community

For those of you who have read my blog somewhat regularly over the past year, you know that one of the questions I have is about how communities of faith grow both excellent leadership and provide a context for high-capacity Christian discipleship to flourish. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=greenhouses&iid=284895″ src=”0281/7c83f863-b104-4c59-8e83-424a3a407263.jpg?adImageId=10544181&imageId=284895″ width=”234″ height=”350″ /]One of the metaphors … Continue reading