We can’t ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, “Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days.”
But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I’ve only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we’re in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed. Why I Stay…
1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships. 2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God’s kingdom by myself. 3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day. 4. I am fascinated by our founder who’s only intention was to create a renewal movement inside the Church of England, not a new denomination. So our founding elements were refreshingly innovative. 5. We do our very best to love the person who’s words we disagree with. 6. Our singular goal is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 7. Our focus right now is leadership development, starting new churches, ending global poverty and global health issues. 8. Every time I meet a young United Methodist candidate or clergy, I’m overwhelmed with the potential and hope of our new leaders. Yes, there are pieces of our church that are broken, but given the space & responsibility, God will use these new leaders to move forward in new ways. 9. The way we view the world is perfect for the times we’re in. We hold things in tension. God is big enough for our questions. We are a middle ground between polarizing issues. Our hearts beat for grace and mission. 10. We’re real people. Serving a real God. In a real world in need of real love.
I invite any pastors & lay members of the United Methodist Church to respond on your blog, Facebook, etc. to this question:
Why do you stay?