church growth is sexy

When I pastored a local congregation I was well aware of the fact that most often the visitors were disaffected members from other churches. We created our own disaffected members as well that went elsewhere.┬áIt's an elaborate exchange program. Or, in keeping with the analogy, swapping program. A real swinging time!Once a whole bunch of people left our church and started their own. Others left and populated other churches. One church got so many of our members that they actually asked if … [Read more...]

a sheep’s attempted escape

There's really no theological commentary to add to this one. Sheep don't intentionally try to escape and hide. At least I don't think so.However, just the other day someone asked me how it felt to be lost. I politely replied that I'm not lost, but escaped. And then I thought of this cartoon and realized that even though I have escaped, I keep getting dragged back into the fold, engaging in the conversation around theology and the church.So I guess some of us are like sheep in the desert, … [Read more...]

the church and herding cats

This cartoon was inspired by a friend of mine, Richard, who commented on one of my sheep cartoons this week by saying that he was more like a cat. Bingo!Right now I have a dog. I have had cats in the past. You can control a dog. You can't control a cat. You relate to a dog on your terms. You relate to a cat on theirs.When I pastored a local church, this is often what it looked and felt like. Herding cats. Then one day I realized that's okay. People are allowed to be the way they are. On … [Read more...]

SHEEP WEEK: culling is killing

Welcome to SHEEP WEEK, a week of my sustained critique of the shepherd/sheep analogy illustrated by my cartoons. This morning's cartoon is "Culling is Killing".If you have a particular vision of what you want your people to be like that isn't universal, that doesn't include all, that isn't all-encompassing, you immediately prohibit community. To pursue purity of the flock actually destroys it.Everyone de facto belongs. I claim that the problem isn't who belongs. No. The actual struggle … [Read more...]