church leadership united methodist church

Ten Provocative Questions

I finished reading Ten Provocative Questions Inspired by the 2007 State of the Church Report (PDF Document) by Lovett Weems. This is a 6 page response to An Invitation: A Summary of the State of the Church (PDF Document). I recommend reading each of these if you are interested in the current and future state of The United Methodist Church.

One of the questions from the document on which I particularly reflected was this:

“Can medical science continue to keep U.S. United Methodism alive?

… The failure to reach younger people is abundantly clear in the State of the Church report. It is painful to read that clergy seem less concerned about this than laity are, and that laity want younger people but are not willing to change their worship or budgets to reach younger generations.”

Wow. I find it disturbing that there is not a greater overall concern about young people in church. One way in which I think that this could be addressed would be to create opportunities to connect with the church and live a life of faith for college and post-college age persons that would be continuous or complementary with both student ministries from one side and adult faith development on the other. Integration campus ministry could be an important part of this conversation.

What is your response to the State of the Church or Ten Provocative Questions? What about a smooth transition between student ministries to adult discipleship? Do you know of something like this in existence?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

4 replies on “Ten Provocative Questions”

I studied church leadership in depth back in the 2000-2004 time frame. One thing I learned was to separate institutional concerns from missional concerns. Since then, I try always to remember that the mission is primary and the institution is just a tool to accomplish the mission. If we’re worried that younger adults aren’t attending church and aren’t becoming pastors because we’re afraid for the future of the denomination, that’s a selfish, inwardly-focused fear. On the other hand, if we’re disturbed by the fact that large numbers of young adults do not have a vibrant, active relationship with Jesus (I’m very concerned about this personally), then I think we will be motivated to be bold, take risks, and not give up until we turn it around.

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