Look forward, not back: A United Methodist Pastor on history and the future

I’m making a very simple point here: Let’s stop comparing our present to our past. Our context is different from those other places and eras. Discipleship in the 21st century may have nothing to do with church attendance, or baptisms, or recorded professions of faith. It may have nothing to do with buildings, denominations or clergy.

So let’s quit trying to rebuild, recapture, redo old-time Methodism, whatever it was. Stop worrying about “death tsunamis” and “declining attendance” and “shrinking budgets.”

The serious disciple of Jesus only has one real question to answer: What does it mean to follow Jesus here and now?

via  The United Methodist Portal.

1 thought on “Look forward, not back: A United Methodist Pastor on history and the future

  1. “The serious disciple of Jesus only has one real question to answer: What does it mean to follow Jesus here and now?”
    Perhaps so, but who is to instruct, explain, guide and counsel the disciples as they try to interpret “what it means to follow Jesus”? Leaving every individual to deal with the ancient texts and documents of the faith on their own is a recipe for chaos. It is one thing to suggest that it is senseless to try to resurrect some ideal structure from the past, but to argue that organized denominations (traditions) and an educated clergy are not vital to the Church is to deny the relevance of the sacraments for which the clergy is responsible and would appear to undermine the goal of being disciples of Christ.

    Church buildings are Holy spaces; denominations are witnesses to the visions of the past and the present, and the clergy are the interpreters of the faith. We need all of them.

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