April 27, 2012

General Conference really wants to attend to the health and future of our Church. You may have read about the proposal legislation. While some reform is in order, it seems that we are just doing what we always do: tinkering with the structure, thinking that a new structure will solve our woes. Truth be told, how we are structured is important and so is how we go about getting ministry done. But the Call to Action or Plan B won't fix the Church or give it what it needs and here is why. First, the Church doesn't really belong to us. It's God's Church because it's Christ's body. We may be caretakers, but the Church is ultimately God's responsibility. Not to say that we can't shoot ourselves in the foot or cut off a leg. Because compromising the work of the General Boards will do just that. I'm not here to defend the General Boards, but I also don't want us to be so happy about cutting off ministries we need. We will just turn around and reinvent them once we have the money. Second, Methodism is a movement, so any structure will eventually prove unhelpful. Institutional structures by their nature are frozen in time. Movements move; structures stay put and therefore are outgrown. The problem is that our movement isn't outgrowing anything as a whole. Yes, there are bright spots and areas. "Nothing but Nets" is an example, growing vibrant churches are another--and there are many, just not enough. Third, Christianity always adapts to its cultural context. That's part of its genius. The Gospel has to be relevant for each new generation. Frankly, this is in the background of the gay debate. Younger people see homosexuality as an ok lifestyle. Period. To them it's not a Sin at all. And in a country that doesn't believe in Sin (not in the Original Sin kind of Sin for sure), it's hard to preach Salvation. We have to witness to the saving power of Jesus, but what we are saving people from has to be relevant to them. No amount of tinkering with Church structure will address that. Grace, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. I am reading trying to figure out what plan B says about security of appointment but can't seem to find anything. Do you know? Thanks!