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Wesleyan Wisdom: Ala.-W. Fla. bishop shares his leadership style

United Methodists love our bishops. One of the 1808 “Restrictive Rules” was that subsequent General Conference sessions could not “change nor alter any part or rule of our government so as to do away with the episcopacy.” We usually see our bishops in their role as presiding officers and we are aware of their power […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Reflections on visiting Wesley’s Chapel in London

Editor’s Note: Wesleyan Wisdom columnist Donald Haynes recently traveled to England, and reports here on a visit to Wesley’s Chapel in East London. LONDON—No pilgrimage is quite so meaningful to anyone influenced by John Wesley as to walk along the concrete and glass jungle of commercial buildings which line City Road in the Moorfields section […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Using Internet and more, small churches can be vital

General Conference is perhaps at its lowest ebb of leadership since 1844, the conference that led to the division of the Methodist church, over the issue of slavery, into two denominations. I am hearing from someone in every jurisdiction that the effectiveness of Jurisdictional Conferences in electing bishops is also under question. The talk of […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Turning dying churches into vital congregations

Every United Methodist Church would benefit if a network of small groups would study Len Sweet’s latest book, The Greatest Story Never Told. Our singing a “somebody done somebody wrong” song about General Conference will get us nowhere. (When you point an index finger, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself!) Instead, the focus […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: James had it right – ‘Faith without works is dead’

Two previous columns have highlighted the role of “belonging” and “believing” in our Christian journey. The third dimension is “behaving.” When we argue about religion, we usually argue about doctrine or some debatable interpretation of a verse of Scripture. Let us consider the ultimate test of “good” or “bad” religion. Does it meet the criterion […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Is the nature of belief exclusive or inclusive?

In the last column, I noted that the portal into any new “people group” is belonging. So many clergy tell me the nightmare of itinerancy is that when their kids arrive in a new church, school and community, other Christian youth shun them as newcomers. Meanwhile, the peers who reach out to them are often […]