“Say What?”: The Vague Call of Reform



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If the saving Grace of Jesus and Love are not your "true first priority" than all is lost for the UM. Bigger shows are not what Christians need. Jesus says LOVE is the greatest of all gifts. I think LOVE should be the "true first priiority" the lack of love has probably hurt business you think.

lori.wells@us.army.mil more than 5 years ago

Vital Congregations

I so agree with your thoughts...I think most people outside of the church or those people disillusioned with the major denominations are looking for something that they know is going to be challenging but is going to change their hearts and lives. We have diluted our churches down to the point that if you go to worship and you show up for an activity or two and you put money in the offering plate that you can check off religion as done. There aren't enough of our pastors preaching about truly opening up our hearts and fully accepting God into every part of our life--not just the Sunday-go-to-church part of our life. I am glad to see the Vital Congregation initiative because I think it begins to get back to the basics. But without strong leadership throughout the UM church helping put the meat on the initiative, it is going to be yet another program that is shelved after a couple of years without any discernible change. We need to learn from the UM churches that are thriving around our area and learn from them. Yes--I do think that my small church can learn from churches such as Ginghamsburg and Church of the Resurrection, etc. etc. I need a small group program so that I can build safe relationships. My church might be small but it is not so small that it wouldn't benefit from closer relationships. Likewise, we might not have a lot of youth but putting the energy into this program is critical to not losing those families and to instilling something that those children and youth will carry forward.

I love the teachings of the UM church and I pray that GC12 will be a turning point to return to the teachings of Wesley and the lessons from the Bible and start carrying out God's will in the most effective way possible. Thanks, Ben, for sharing your thougths and God bless.

Irene more than 5 years ago

Vital Congregations

The problem, I see, with the VC initiative is that it ignores the reality of small membership churches. Small group ministries? Children and Youth ministries? You've got to be kidding. Is this simply a plan to kill off what once was the majority of UM Congregations and leave us with a denomination of large and mega churches?

Elliott J Bush more than 5 years ago

Notable Quotes

“The period of Lent is given us to focus on what can be changed by listening carefully to the word of God. The word of God brings the clarity about injustices, but also how we are given a new opportunity to change injustices to justice. God has given that we in the death of Jesus Christ have been liberated from our trespasses as he was raised for our justification.”

– The Rev. Olav Fyske Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, in a March 20 sermon marking World Water Day.

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, lays out his agency’s plans to help United Methodists reach people for Jesus. He addressed his agency’s board in Nashville, Tenn.“We have tried to reverse this decline by trying to offering technical fixes, tinkering with our worship services, collecting huge amounts of data, tinkering with metrics and then when the metrics didn’t fit the picture we wanted, we readjusted the metrics.  [United Methodists] can’t program our way back to vitality; there is no quick fix."

– The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, unveiling his goals for the agency to create 1 million new Christian disciples over the next four years, reported by Heather Hahn of United Methodist News Service.

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