Archives For December 2011


I’ve noticed a trend leading into this Christmas that is troubling: large churches requiring tickets for admission to holiday services. 

Having worked at a large church, I’m acquainted with the discussions that likely preceded the decision. The asphalt ocean that surrounds the complex can only hold so many vehicles at a time. The 70 minute format limits the number of services that can be offered. A dearth of volunteers caps the amount of children that can be handled. Seating is limited by a finite number of folding chairs and mobile televisions.

Still, tickets? “Act now, before they run out?” C’mon.  Continue Reading…

Is you church having services on Christmas Day? What do you think about that?

Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty is an excellent book. Hirschman looks at decline in organizations and how members/customers react to decline. He merges theories from two fields, economics and politics, to explain the decisions that members/customers make regarding whether to stay or go.

It has long been thought that exit is the best barometer of the quality of a product. If the quality of a given product by a particular company declines too much, customers will stop purchasing it and move on to a competitor. Seems pretty straight forward, but as Hirschman points out, it is much more complicated than that. Customers don’t act in one unified way. Some have a greater tolerance for decline in quality than others. That is often linked to their mobility in the market, the availablity of alternatives, and the cost (perceived or real) of making a change. These factors combine to present a strata of customers, unequally distributed, that will react to decline in very different ways.  Continue Reading…


On December 3, I hosted a live chat to discuss whether or not brewing beer and spirituality had anything in common. Though I’d hoped for a large group of people, there ended up being only three of us who could make the chat. What we lacked in numbers, we made up for in depth of conversation, though. Using monastic brewing communities as a jumping off point, we talked about how brewing beer and the Christian spiritual journey have some common experiences. It was a rich conversation. Thanks to Russ and Brendan for sharing their time and insight with me. They also agreed to allow the transcript to be posted publicly. I’ve put it below. Perhaps we’ll do this again in the future… and you can join us!

Beer and Spirituality Chat.pdf
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