Enough With Church Politics

For three years, I worked in public policy and gained first-hand experience to the growing polarization that exists in our nation. I went into it, perhaps, with a bit of naive hopefulness believing that everyone would work for the same common principles, especially since we were an issue-oriented group. What I often saw was how some were more interested in defeating the “other side” than about promoting the cause or working towards a consensus.

That experience led me to make one of the most common statements I share about my time before going into ministry: I give thanks to God I had some political experience, because it has helped to find my way through church issues.

It is sad for me to admit that being in politics, even as a staff writer for a higher education policy group, was one of the best training grounds for ministry, because it gave me on-the-field perspective regarding the polarization that exists in the church today. The church, especially my own United Methodist Church, is suffering in the United States because we often reflect of the same political polarization that has crippled Washington, D.C., and state houses across the nation for a generation. We are more interested in winning political arguments than we are about “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Continue reading “Enough With Church Politics”

Nothing More Important

This is a familiar passage for us. Many of us might be able to recite these words, especially Matthew 28:19, from heart.

It is a “go to” passage for us Methodists. This is a passage we frequently turn to as one of our favorite passages. We Methodists like it so much we made it our mission statement. At the 2008 General Conference, delegates approved making a version of this passage the definitive statement about our mission and ministry. Look at the front of your bulletin and you will see this. Our desire is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

These words, this mission, are to define our work. Everything about us as a church is to be centered on our hope of making disciples of Jesus Christ who are sent out to make a difference in our world by how they love others. We are called to make disciples of Jesus. Continue reading “Nothing More Important”