A leader from the United Methodist Church asked me if I’d write a few suggestions for the denomination. I was very honored by his request and thought I’d share a few thoughts.
My family attended various Methodist Churches in Texas and Oklahoma. I did my undergraduate work at Oklahoma City University (a UMC school). After graduating from college, I entered ministry as an associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in downtown Oklahoma City.
Amy and I planned on serving God in the Methodist Church for our full ministry. After experiencing other styles of ministry, God gave us a vision to do church in a different way. We asked for permission to plant a new UMC church. Since I was only ordained as a “deacon” and not an “elder,” church planting, for us, was not an option as a UMC pastor.
Our burden to start a church became greater than our loyalty to a denomination. We left the UMC on good terms with fond memories and many great relationships.
This week, I’ll post six suggestions for my UMC friends. I offer them humbly and in love. I hope one or two ideas are helpful.
Let’s start with the use of Financial Resources. Not long ago, the UMC launched a $20 million advertising campaign called “Rethink Church.” While I wholeheartedly applaud the church’s aggressive efforts to reach people, I don’t think advertisements that promote a denomination are the best plan.
Today’s generation wants to join a cause, not an organization. I would have suggested investing $20,000 each into 1,000 UMC church plants across the United States. Starting new churches is easier than revitalizing old churches. Once a new movement begins, revitalizing the old becomes much more doable.
My thought on this: People are more likely to join a new mission rather than an old denomination.