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?