My Vision for the United Methodist Church

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.

This is Good Juice!

Last night I had the great opportunity to serve communion at KidsCOR for family communion which gives families an opportunity to receive communion together as a family. One of the interactions with the kids was priceless.

Child: (a few feet away, to Mom) What do I do?

Mom: You go get the bread first.

(Child receives bread from server. I kneel down and offer the cup of juice.)

Me: The cup of salvation for you. Dip your bread in the cup.

Child: (dips bread in cup and steps back a couple steps) When do I eat it?

Me: Right now. You can eat it right now.

Child: (exclaims) This is good juice!

Me: (recognize the profundity of his statement) It is good.

Communion is good. Christ for all is very goood news.

WWJBlog? (1 of 3)

I think that Jesus would blog good news.

This is the first thing that he publicly proclaims to people when he began his ministry and continues to be the focus of those who follow him today. I think that primarily commenting on other blogs would be a way of spreading this good news – connecting people where they are.

I invite you to join me in writing a post or a series of posts answering the question – What Would Jesus Blog?

  1. Write a post with “WWJBlog” in the subject line, answering the question – What Would Jesus Blog?
  2. Invite readers of your blog to write similar posts
  3. Link back to this post and join the conversation.

iCampus – Why start an internet campus?

This is a series of responses to questions about an internet campus from a previous series of posts. Do you have any other questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to respond to each one. Thanks!

Why start an internet campus?

This is a great question and a fundamental question for any organization considering a new venture. As a ministry of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection the answer is easy. It aligns with our purpose to build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. My hope is that an internet campus might be a way for those who have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ to become connected to a community of faith in which they might experience God’s love, receive forgiveness and be on the journey of knowing, loving and serving God toward becoming a deeply committed Christian.

If an internet campus does not connect with non-religious and nominally religious people, I do not think that it could be determined to be a success. To quote Craig Groeschel,

To reach people that no one else is reaching, you have to do things that no one else is doing.

To my knowledge there is no other church with an internet campus in the Kansas City area and I believe that it might be a way to connect with people that are not otherwise being reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Other responses to the question include, but are not limited to:

  • Renewing the mainline church
  • Providing a model for other United Methodist Churches
  • Share resources from Resurrection.

What do you think about my responses? How would you answer this question?

Good News for All

Last week I posted on Christianity and Other Religions and included my thoughts about how to best respond to someone of another faith. I want to follow up on some of the conversation that I have had via the comments and emails on my assertion that it is more important to share the good news of Christ with non and nominally religious persons rather than persons of other religions.

I have received some excellent critiques that it is the responsibility of all Christians to share the good news with others – regardless of whether they adhere to a particular faith tradition. I agree. I do think that it is important to tell the story of Jesus to all persons in a way that tells of life transformation and gives the opportunity and calls for a response.

I did not intend to assert that Christians should not share their faith with those of other religions. I do believe that this is important. In regard to a relationship with Christ I do not make a distinction between someone who is non-religious and someone with who is faithful to another religion. In the collective, it is important to share the good news with all.

I would like to stay with my original assertion that given the choice of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with an individual of faith and with someone without any faith I believe that I would pursue the relationship with the person without faith. However, I recognize the validity of the counterpoint that someone with some sort of faith structure may have a familiarity with shaping her or his life around a life of faith and thus may be more willing to shift

As you can likely tell, I am still working this out and have appreciated the comments which help sharpen my thoughts. So here is a question about which I am not clear – Which of the following do you think would be someone that would be more willing to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ?

  • A person who faithfully practices a faith tradition other than Christianity?
  • Or

  • A person who does not practice any religion?

I am clear that it is important for Christians to share their faith with each of these groups. What do you think?