Lessons from a Failed Plan



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The primary finding of the market research done by Towers and Watson

A massive distrust deficit by laity in the leadership of the church. The recent UMComm theological survey of rank and file American UM members explains such a trust deficit: Bishops and other church leadership are trying to take the church in a direction many of us do not want to go. Theological diversity may be all well and good from a denominational perspective; at the grassroots level it is anything but when the local church starts blowing in the wind with whoever walks in the door and starts implementing their particular understanding of who we are and what we are supposed to be. There is absolutely no need to go church hopping; if you sit in the pew long enough another new church will appear.

betsy more than 2 years ago

UMC bishops: No thinking outisde-the-frocks!

I’ve no idea how deep and wide your “market research” was for the 2012 meeting, but there was essentially none that I could see for this 2019 waste of time and money. Market research is where you ask questions of your target customers in key markets. I’ve seen no such attempt by UMC leadership to ask the pew-sitting, tithe-paying members what they think.
In fact, this current group of bishops hand-picked a way forward group and had them hold CLOSED meetings, fed them what to consider and seemingly discouraged any outside-the-frocks thinking. It has been a marketing plan most similar to growing mushrooms.
Any honest market research, in other words, based on what the “customers” think, would have clearly indicated non-negotiable, irreconcilable moral and social opinions. A significant portion of us are not only Methodists, but we are also citizens of communities which have moral traditions which we expect our church to reflect and uphold. We have children who we want to continue those traditions and moral codes and we will not accept our house of worship attacking those.
My personal observation is that the UMC bishops are much like the corporate middle-management I knew over decades: their priorities become the protection of their comfy positions and any challenges are neither sought nor welcome.

Reese more than 2 years ago

and also..

it seems like that for many....the real objective is to make sure those $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ keep a'comin! After all...what happens to the Episcopacy should the number of them needed is reduced to half...if that many

a edwards more than 2 years ago

Notable Quotes 

"When one’s power, authority, or position is derived from demarcating and defending orthodoxy, then singling out more heretics is always necessary. The status one holds depends on maintaining loyalties and passing purity tests."

– Baptist pastor Brian Kaylor, "The Tragedy of Russell Moore" in Religion & Politics.


"The choice before every theologian and church leader is clear: either the tradition of the church tells us who we are, or we read the Scriptures in light of who we understand ourselves to be."

– Robert A. Hunt, Perkins School of Theology, in a Facebook post on Catholic bishops proposing to deny communion to President Joe Biden over his support for legal abortion.

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