- Published on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 14:01
If you could change one thing about the United Methodist Church what would it be? If you could change one thing about Killbuck United Methodist Church what would it be? Last month I wrote about change being in the air and this month I would like to continue with that theme and be a little more specific. Almost every journal and church related magazine I receive these days has at least one article on change: How we must change our attitude, our perspective, our look, our brand, our "way of doing things" to attract the unchurched. It seems to be a theme with all denominations as they chase the "numbers." Don’t get me wrong, I am firmly committed to the mission Jesus gave us of "making disciples for the world." But sometimes I think we get too caught up in the number game and we spend too much time changing who we are to be "all things to all people." Today’s secular culture is telling us that we are out of date, that we need to change our thinking and our ways; that we are out of step with today’s world and thinking.
The Bible’s format may change, but not the message, we may use different methods to reach seekers like the Internet, Facebook, twitter and blogging but the message is still that of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I believe that we are still called to have "Faith without apology and belief without belligerence"*
One of our Christian leaders of the church said it best: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do it with gentleness and respect." 1Peter 3:15
Let us not forget that those "numbers" we are pursuing have faces and those faces are real live people with whom we need to build relationships. And relationships take time to build and for each of us to grow in trust with one another. When is the last time you took the time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, or a coworker, or a neighbor and asked them how they were doing and really listened? When the last time you told someone who Jesus was and what He was doing for you that made you a better person? How has Jesus changed you? If you can’t answer that question, then maybe you do need a change! If we are putting up barriers that keep us from reaching people in our community- then I will be the first to say "let’s change it" and so if you have an idea of what we as a church can do to make it easier to "sow the seeds of the gospel" let me know. But let us never change the message that we believe that Jesus is the life, the truth, the way and the light that this world needs to be in covenant with God, the Almighty, and the Creator of all.
You are loved!
* Thanks James P. Long for this great phrase!