The Type of Ministry I Want to Implement

I wrote this down in my moleskine journal book while sitting at Starbucks (procrastinating, of course).
These thoughts are gathered from various sources.
And I really want to incorporate this type of ministry, given a chance. Though, for some reason, it doesn’t look very “UMC.”

Does anyone think that too much organization can be detrimental?

Anyway, here are my thoughts:
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7 thoughts on “The Type of Ministry I Want to Implement

  1. I’ve got to admit, you don’t sound very UMC. Well… to be accurate, you don’t sound liberal UMC. There are still some conservative UMC pastors around, but they seem to be getting fewer and fewer, or perhaps the liberals seem to be getting more vocal. you might want to check out other denominations who hold to the centrality of the word of God.

  2. Joseph,
    I am beginning to think the type of church I want to implement is a unified Anarchy. That is to say, having a single shared goal, but allowing each person to do that in his or her own way, without leadership of the dictatorial, presidential, oligarchical kind.
    As for the comment wbmoore made about the Word, I am sorry that is the perception. The centrality of the Word has been the focus of every pastor I know. Where they spend that time and energy has been the difference. That it omes across as non-central is sad.

  3. I’m sorry if I have offended. This was not my intent. In fact, I was not really trying to slam the UMC. I truly appologize.

    But given the publicity I’ve seen and the pastors and former members I’ve spoken with, my perception is that the UMC going much the same way as the Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Lutheran denominations and even the Southern Baptists (who had the more liberal cooperative baptists split from them) have gone. They seem to be allowing liberals who do not believe the Bible to be the word of God or who do not want to teach or live by the word of God) to run the show, and in doing so, they seem to be pushing out those who DO want to teach God’s word and shepherd the flock.

    They seem to want people to feel good, rather than be holy. I think we can do both.

  4. Joseph,
    Right there with you man. Maybe we could start a multi-site church, with West and East Coast campuses?

    I especially agree with your last point, about the establishment letting go while we (younger clergy) learn from them.

  5. Joseph, I’m with you on this, and I’m serving in a church that is really beginning to do a lot of the things you are talking about.

    We launched small groups this fall with 80 people (out of an average attendance of 240), and that has been extremely helpful.

    We are working specifically on the prayer ministry and have people praying together all the time and are seeing God doing miracles in response to our movement in prayer.

    I’ve been doing a series on the mission of the church – “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” works for us.

    The hard part is letting go of the past, all the while celebrating the advances that the “past” have made and the achievements of the faithful ones who have gone before, holding on to meaningful tradition and growing new traditions (and being flexible enough not to say THIS is THE only way we do things). The book “Who Stole My Church” was an excellent read on this subject.

    (for the record, I am in a UMC that has been “accused” of not being much like other UMCs – that’s mostly been a complement, but for some lukewarmers, it’s been a complaint).

  6. David – i think a little anarchy can do us a bit good, in McManus’ words, be a barbarian. I often feel that a lot of the organization in the UMC works at ‘taming’ the spirit and movements. i am beginning to feel that all these committees that we have hurt us more than help us. i could be totally wrong.

    wbmoore – i, for one, took no offense. i do agree with the sentiment that a few churches focus more on helping others than serving God. And those few churches seem to have the loudest voices. my current setting doesn’t have prayer meetings. but then again, I don’t know if prayer meetings are part of an anglo-church, since i’ve been in korean settings before this one. (and prayer meetings are a staple to korean churches).

    Dan – it’s time to give us young clergy a chance and a louder voice. i can’t seem to get over the fact that the NFL values young and old coaches. A Bill Cowher (a proven veteran) is sought after as much as a Spagnolo, who has never been a head coach in the NFL. Why can’t the UMC work like that?

    Thief – 80 ppl in small groups sound amazing. i’ll definitely check out the book.
    I for one have been accused of being liberal AND conservative. How does that happen?

  7. Jospeh,

    I’m glad I did not offend you.

    Prayer meetings are indeed a part of anglo churches, but not specific to any group of churches that I am aware of. I think it depends on how important people see the Holy Spirit and how active people think God is today. The churches I have seen that have prayer meetings seem to have the main driver as an expectation of God moving. The churches that do not have the expectation that God answers prayer do not seem to have prayer meetings.

    I’ve seen lots of charismatic/pentecostal churches (the various denominations where that is a focus of their doctrine) with prayer meetings. But I’ve also seen, or heard of, Methodist, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Baptist (of various flavors), Presbyterian (various flavors), Evangelical Free Church of America, Church of Christ, Bible Churches, Community Churches, non-denominational churches all have them. Unfortunately, I have not seen many denominations where the majority of the churches have prayer meetings. But again, those that do have them expect to see God work, knowing He answers prayers. The ones that do not have prayer meetings seem to have a small minority that believe in God answering prayer (and those people tend to be on the prayer team to pray for needs as they are made known), with the majrotiy of the church just giving the idea lip service.

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