Changing Patterns, for Better or Worse



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Just like Teachers

This analysis sounds much like what public school teachers are facing - no support, exaggerated expectations, no personal connections with the hierarchy, unwillingness of the best teachers to enter the hierarchy, and no room for alternate views or whistle-blowers.

Ted Finlayson-Schueler more than 8 years ago

Spot on and...

Rev. Eckert is spot on in how clergy are viewed sometimes. I also feel there are times that we have not seen the local church as our greatest opportunity for mission and ministry. And I think Rev. Exert describes models that worked very well in the 50's, 60's and 70's during a convergent culture when the culture "drove" people to church. Today we are in divergent culture where people no longer ask what is a good church to go to but why do I want to go to church. Ministry was much more uniform and superintendents could be uniform in a convergent culture but not in a divergent culture. It has all changed. Variety, experimentation, risk and adventure are a few of the hallmarks of effectiveness. We are much closer to a first century church where superintendents Paul and Peter were more divergent in their superintending. Paul was an apostolic superintendent, raising money for the poor, starting new churches, visiting exciting mission churches and sending epistles of encouragement and accountability. Paul and our Weslyan founders were encouragers and dealt ineffectiveness forthrightly, clearly and immediately. Today if the church in my area is not as fruitful as God needs then I look at my leadership. I say, I am the ineffective leader. I need to change. I need to do things differently. If a district is not doing well, a DS should do the same. And the same for a congregation - the pastor needs to ask what am I going to do differently. Today the church needs spiritual maturity, more encouragement and risk taking from its leaders. The past will not come back but that does not mean we cannot have a meaningful, purposeful and fruitful future. Today I call myself to do less worrying about keeping my job and more to keep the faith, less worrying about maintaining the ways of the institution and more about building the spiritual and mission capacity of the church to make disciples and transform the world. I call for us to select our leadership based on these principles. God has a great and blessed future for The United Methodist Church as we humble ourselves and take bold steps to make disciples and transform the world.

John Schol more than 8 years ago


I agree somewhat with your comments. It is hard to know where to stand being a UMC clergy. I think the liberal side of Methodist have taken over and now the only sin is to be disagreeable with the current trends. Gos Spirit is no longer important, nor is His word! The church has lost for the most part the message of Christ. The message of Christ is to humble ourselves and become servant. Dyeing out to ourselves is more important than tradition and current fads! We have clicks in the church who speak for us in every issue but never really represent the peoples wants, but rather political correctness. The church is not in a very different place. We have gotten larger than God! The end of this road will leave us on our knees.

Mark more than 8 years ago