Some disparage it as the “holy huddle” syndrome. But others counter that the success of a church can, more or less, be measured much the same way one’s golf game (an appropriate analogy, since everyone knows “the good walk spoiled” was invented in the land of Presbyterians): the least strokes you take the better you’re doing. Likewise, the least peripheral stuff you’re taken up with the better you’re doing.
When I was growing up as a hit-or-miss mega-mainline Methodist golfing was what the churchly power brokers (AKA ministers) did when grooming their cultural clout. We lowly parishioners did it because we descended from a semi-long line of midwestern golfers. But Willimon proves that not all mainline Methodist ministers are clueless (do some even nurture an inner Presbyterian?). The Reformed Reader has the scoop. And here is a related post.