our 33rd wedding anniversary

Lisa and I are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary this weekend. We are very proud of our achievement. It has been years of delight and hard work. One does not exist without the other.I have learned a great lesson, a spiritual one, from our relationship. Each of us has gone through incredible individual journeys. We have taken our turns being believers, agnostics and atheists. Rarely at the same time. Through it all we have loved each other. But it does take hard work. The hard work is … [Read more...]

breaking free of the community

Sophia decided she had to make the definitive cut that tied her to the constrictive and controlling community. With one decisive swing of the axe, she separated herself and set herself apart. Of course, it would be interpreted as violent, rash, unnecessary and permanent, but this was the only way she could find her own mind, her own voice and even her own life... her right to be independent. It was a prophetic act against the community. But it was a prophetic act for herself. Within what one … [Read more...]

3 essentials for healthy church

The cartoon I posted this morning, "Exit Interview", provoked quite a bit of discussion here and on Facebook.Some took the side of the one leaving and even identified with him. So many people have had such negative experiences in choosing to leave a church. Some others took the side of the pastor who experiences hurt and disappointment and sometimes even anger when people leave his or her church. I've been on both sides and know the feelings of both.I've thought a great deal about this kind … [Read more...]

How To Control Dissent in Your Church

never quote from any other book except the bible; let it be known that dissenters will be refused positions of leadership; stop talking to them on a personal level; make them think that to disagree with you is to hurt your feelings; at least once a month quote the verse, "Thou shalt not touch God's anointed!" continually emphasize that love means total and unquestionable agreement; remind them weekly that you and the leadership hear directly from God; constantly confront and challenge … [Read more...]

reactions to your coming out

You must expect, when you finally decide to show your true colors, to come out (not just sexually), to reveal who you really are, the following reactions from the herd you are exposing yourself among:Revulsion: Actually a better word may be fear. When we are confronted by something we don't understand, usually our first reaction is fear. What is strange to us we are afraid of because we have no idea how to control it, manage it or manipulate it. It is threatening to us. Some of the people who … [Read more...]

are you being played?

Most people know when they are being played.That is, they know when they aren't being taken purely for who they are, loved as they are, appreciated as they are, delighted in as they are.In a true loving relationship do you have an agenda? Of course not. If one person in the relationship has an agenda for the relationship the purity of the relationship is already spoiled. Even the most seemingly intimate relations will be superficial and strategic plays to further the individual's agenda, … [Read more...]

my new book “Without A Vision My People Prosper”

This isn't my official launch. Yet. This is my preview notice. But I am happy to announce the publication of my new book: "Without a Vision My People Prosper". This is what I say about it: David challenges the modern need to formulate visions and set goals for local congregations. He argues that even though vision and goals might be useful for individuals, businesses and other organizations, it is harmful to genuine community.Through a collection of his most relevant posts and cartoons from … [Read more...]

The Nakedpastor is Robed!

I've been thinking a great deal since my trip to speak at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. I had an incredible weekend. This is me in a clerical robe and the green-themed Guatemalan stole getting ready for the Sunday morning service. I am naked underneath. Just like you.The first thing that hit me was that it is a very inclusive community. It was very mixed company, with heterosexuals, married, gay and lesbian couples, etc. But what got me was that there was no tension in … [Read more...]

different but not too different

It's easy to talk the talk of diversification. It's another thing to practice and embrace it. Especially if you are all alone. The most remarkable men and women in history have been those who, all by themselves, walked their unique path. In many cases their opposition was incredible and often fatal. But we will remember them for the good they accomplished.What is it that you sense you must do? What path are you intuiting that you must walk? … [Read more...]

Exclusivists Among Inclusivists

The problem with endeavoring to be an inclusive community is that there may be some who want to be a part of it who are exclusive. I found this to be one of my greatest challenges as a pastor. I continue to find this a challenge on this blog, nakedpastor.My take on the ministry of Jesus as told in the gospels is that his greatest adversaries were precisely the exclusivists. The exclusivists were those who had a very exact and exacting understanding of the law that protected the intelligentsia … [Read more...]