I was saddened but not particularly surprised to hear the news that GracePoint United Methodist Church would end worship this past weekend. After the formation of Grace Point Community Church, the potential viability of Grace Point UMC seemed small. I appreciate the commitment of the annual conference to north west Wichita, but I believe that the damage has been done that will last.
I do not believe that it would be healthy or helpful for the United Methodist Church to use the land and building plans of GracePoint UMC for a future church start. I believe that the land and assets should be liquidated and the money used for future new church starts, but not necessarily a direct correlation to a single future church.
I believe that the new church start that was GracePoint UMC has been and will continue to bear fruit in God’s kingdom.
It is okay that the new church start that was GracePoint UMC did not work out for the Kansas West Annual Conference or the United Methodist Church. I believe that the annual conference should be about starting more new churches, not less as a result of this scenario. They will not all become viable or develop exactly as planned. But some will and will produce fruit a hundred fold.
Email from Bishop Scott Jones – I could not find a link on the web. It was sent to members of the KS West UMC clergy
CONFERENCE COMMITTED TO GRACEPOINT UMC
WICHITA–The United Methodist Church’s commitment to a new church start in northwest Sedgwick County remains strong a day after the leadership of GracePoint United Methodist Church announced plans to leave the denomination and begin a new community church of the same name. “We want the membership of this congregation to know that we are deeply committed to this church and that we hope they will continue to be part of GracePoint UMC,” said Kansas Area United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones.
GracePoint United Methodist Church will continue to worship at Maize South Middle School at 37th Street North and Tyler Road. Jones and the district superintendents are working to name an interim pastor this week and plan to introduce the new pastor to the congregation at 11 a.m. worship Sunday, March 8.
“We would have liked to have some opportunity to discuss this in advance to see if the issue could have been resolved in a different way,” Jones said. “While we knew there was some disagreement about the church’s desire to expand faster than we were able to support, we were unaware of Rev. Bryson Butts’ decision to leave the United Methodist Church.”
Butts has surrendered his clergy credentials in the United Methodist Church and is no longer a United Methodist minister.
Perspectives from others with whom I have been in conversation:
I think this is definitely a time to wait and see, pray and fast, and see what the Lord has next.
we can either be mean or gossipy by our nature, but if i learned anything from the umc its that grace is my rule of life
there is likely a difference between Bishop Mutti and Bishop Jones’ leadership that may have had an affect on the situation
What does it say about the United Methodist Church that pastors like Bryson and Craig Groeschel leave?
There will be an interim pastor in place by Sunday, March 8. It will be interesting to see who it [is].
I know I don’t understand this whole thing. There is a great deal of grief involved for many people and a great deal of hope for many people. I hope and pray for spiritual revival in the state of Kansas and renewal in the United Methodist Church. I believe that GracePoint has been and will continue to be used by God in these areas.
I’ll close with these three scripture passages that sum up my feelings.
1 Corinthians 12:26 – “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it”
Romans 12:4-5 – “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Acts 5:38-39 – “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Thanks to Chuck for this reference.
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