“The United Methodist Church is a denomination in crisis.”
“Mainline denominations are outdated and irrelevant.”
“Congregational Christianity is at its end, soon to be a thing of the past.”
Or, at least, so we have been told. In one way or another, each of the above statements is true. But, broadly speaking, they are all wrong. Indeed, for many, statements such as these have become easy excuses for failing ministries and shrinking churches.
Over the past few years, I have evaluated, studied, and served United Methodist churches. I have connected with church leaders (both clergy and laity) whose innovative approaches to ministry both push us forward into the future and call us back to our roots. [blockquote align=”right”]The future is much brighter than many would have us believe.[/blockquote]And, by God’s grace, I regularly have the honor of teaching essential elements of Methodism (as well as concepts of church vitality) to up-and-coming new leaders (again, both clergy and laity). These experiences have made one thing clear to me: The future is much brighter than many would have us believe.
While we have challenges ahead of us, our greatest issues lie in ourselves: our attitudes, which often fail to demonstrate an active faith; our approach to ministry, which has taken us far from our roots; our understanding of who it is that God has called us to be as the People Called Methodists.
This site is all about those challenges, and the ways that we can meet them by leveraging off of our rich heritage as Methodists. It is also about providing practical resources, stories of success, and new ideas. If you are looking for suggestions or ideas about building large churches, you might be disappointed – large church ministry is not the focus here. Indeed, we easily forget that – by far – the majority of ministry occurs in smaller churches, despite the fact that those very churches often suffer from a bit of an inferiority complex as they compare themselves to large faith communities.
This site is also about history, and theology, and more. Already, a visual timeline of Wesley’s life is being built. My academic work involves both Wesley and Paul Tillich, so there will be musings about Tillich’s life and theology as well. Stay tuned, and bookmark this post – I will update it with links to major sections of the site as time progresses.