Church Change

Slow to Move

“I thought we were going to do something with this thing.” This is my response to the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. I am glad I did not go (normally I work with the United Methodist Rural Advocacy group trying to inform delegates about rural, small church, and local pastor issues).  Unfortunately, General Conference did not move any further towards honoring (ordaining) the non-seminary trained clergy that work tirelessly in many rural settings.

Getting IT

There once was a District Superintendent who got It. He:

Reformation

Paul reminds us that Abraham was saved by grace. We should know that obeying God’s laws isn’t the golden key that unlocks heaven’s doors for us (see Romans 4:4). So, go tell your people that all their being good isn’t getting them anywhere. This is the point at which all great religious reformations start.

 

Abraham reformed the religion of his day by rejecting the civilized temples with their rituals of offerings, guaranteed to bring good luck, and set out on that long walk that happens when you simply listen to God. “Take a right here,” God says and Abraham does. This is faith in its most refined and reformed state.

 

Jesus emphasized humility and told individual’s who were poor in spirit that God’s Kingdom had already granted them admission. He rejected the classism of Israel’s religious leaders. His reformation went face to face to tell people that they were okay. It distributed soul-healing freely.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Lent 2

Exodus and Church Change

From time to time, churches go through transition. It may be a change of pastors, made more traumatic by the length of the exiting pastor’s term (more than 8 years), an over or under-functioning leadership style, or the presence of parish conflict. It may be that the church is changing locations or involved in a merger or parish realignment. It may be a transition to a different form or category of clergy leadership. These major changes require theological understanding and prayer. They are best undergirded by congregational study and a renewed emphasis upon the importance of worship and the sacraments.

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