My apologies for a lack of regularity in blogging. I have been in the midst of ending my role in Congregational Care and beginning my new role as Internet Campus Pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I am excited about the possibilities of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. You can worship with us at http://live.cor.org – a site which will be continue to be updated in the months ahead.
Will you please send me an email at email@example.com with “Resurrection Internet Campus” in the subject line if you have ideas to share about shaping the future of church online within The United Methodist Church?
I hope to hear from you soon.
I am excited and encouraged by 6 Questions for The United Methodist Church.
The purpose of this project is to:
- Raise important questions for next steps in the life of the denomination.
- Provide guidance for future face to face gatherings.
- Shape the discourse across the denomination.
6 Questions is for all the people of The United Methodist Church. Some strategies of the project include:
- Publish an article about 6qumc in every conference newsletter.
- Invite each District Superintendent to take part and bring the project to a district meeting.
- Gather small groups in local churches to discuss the project
- Add topics as suggested every two weeks
I invite you to:
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
– Japanese proverb
In considering the future of the United Methodist Church both vision and action is critical. Yesterday, I outlined a vision for renewal within the denomination and today I will tackle how I think it will happen.
I used to think that it was key to determine a clear vision that could be seen by people from across the spectrum of the denomination. This would be a clear directional arrow pointing the way forward for the entire denomination. I no longer believe that this is the best approach. It does not matter whether one particular renewal / revival effort becomes the one that gains huge momentum and spreads across the denomination. What does matter is that many people see a positive vision for the future and take action around it. Some of these efforts will have ongoing significance and some will not. But together these efforts will form the directional arrow pointing the way to renewal within the denomination and spiritual revival among United Methodists. I initiated this idea on paper in a conversation with Ben Simpson:
I have been reading The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations and am becoming increasingly convinced that what is needed is a multitude of leaders taking action toward a vision. Some of these efforts will fall along the path, in rocky places, among thorns and some on good soil. (Mark 4) I believe that sharing stories multiplies the action that is being taken and serves as inspiration.
Some examples of vision and action of which I am aware:
My invitation for you:
- Articulate a vision or align with the vision of another for spiritual revival and renewal within the United Methodist Church.
- Begin to take action toward that vision.
- Make your vision and action public through a blog, facebook, twitter, etc or share the vision and action of someone else whose story needs to be told.
- When you hear or read a story of vision and action that is producing fruit for God’s kingdom – share it with others.
The same is true for this post. If you believe that the action associated with this vision will prove fruitful, share this post with others. If not, let it pass on into the blogosphere.
My vision today is to aid in sharing stories of effective vision and action with others.
My action today is this blog post and a continuing commitment to passing along stories
With God’s help, I seek to be faithful in both my vision and actions. I plan to remain active in casting vision and taking action to see what gains momentum.
What vision do you have? What action have you taken?
I have been thinking a lot about the United Methodist Church, including the Top 5 Reasons I Stay in The United Methodist Church earlier in the week.
My vision for the United Methodist Church is that:
- Every church or charge will have at least one new member join by profession of faith each year.
- United Methodists will be known in their community by the practice of their faith and care for their neighbors.
- Every church or charge that needs to close will do so graciously and generously.
- Each United Methodist will take seriously the call to offer Christ to those who have not received the good news.
- Each United Methodist will be committed to the denomination only to the extent that it is effective for making disciples of Jesus Christ.
- No United Methodist will hold so tightly to the past as to prevent following God’s active spirit.
Check back tomorrow for ideas about how this might happen and feel free to share your vision.
My life would be easier if I didn’t care as much.
- If it didn’t matter to me if people changed their lives and became followers of Jesus Christ…
- If I didn’t care about the future of the United Methodist Church.
- If the possibility of revival throughout the state of Kansas did not excite me…
- If the purpose, vision and journey of the church that I serve did not compel me…
But they do.
It does matter.
I do care.
It is exciting.
I am compelled.
I do care and these things matter.
I am going to cast my vote today.
I printed out a sample ballot and have considered every issue or person for whom I will be voting.
Regardless of who wins or loses any of the elections – national, state or local – here are my promises to you:
- I promise to be positive about the future of our country.
- I promise to be supportive if the candidate(s) for whom I vote does not win.
- I promise to be humble if the candidate(s) for whom I vote wins.
- I promise to pray for the future president and vice-president.