Rodney’s Reflections: Who’s On First?!

Pitchers and Catchers reported for Major League Baseball spring training this week. I could not help but think of the great Abbot and Costello Who’s on First routine. If you don’t know what I am talking about check out the full video by clicking on the image below.

The central dialogue is something that has stuck with me. I have referenced it many times in my leadership roles inside and outside of the church. Comically, it makes me shake my head and laugh out loud. However, it is an excellent example of how real communication breaks down, especially in organizations going through lots of change.

Abbott: … we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.

Costello: That’s what I wanna find out.

Abbott: I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third 

Costello: You know the fellows’ names?

Abbott: Certainly!  

Costello: Well then who’s on first?

Abbott: Yes!

Costello: I mean the fellow’s name!

Abbott: Who!

Costello: The guy on first!

Abbott: Who!

Costello: The first baseman!

We are not a Major League Baseball organization. But you may have noticed over the last 24 months Aldersgate UMC has experienced changes in its staff. Two retirements (Pastor Lyle & Cindy Carlisle), one commissioning /reappointed (Pastor Aaron to First Sherman), and even some support / office staff changeover. Mike Link and Sunny are the only remaining staff that started 2018.  Add to those changes, the normal ever rotating 12 months on a 3 year cycle of stated leadership committees change, it does not surprise me there are a few people left wondering who’s on first. 

Included in this weeks Reflection is the new color coded organizational chart  (Staff Color Coded Chart) handed out to all leaders at our Leadership Kick off event in January. Also included is a list of leaders by committee which was passed out as part of November 3 church conference. Just like MLB, we will also put this online at our new website ( and have it available in hard copy.

We want to hear your questions and thoughts about the leadership of our church. Hopefully these new graphics will help make sure everyone know: “Who” really is on First!  “What” is on second, and “I Don’t Know” is on Third!  Sometimes it takes a graphic when words fail us. 


Rodney Whitfield, Senior Pastor