Should I stay or Should I go? A United Methodist Church bolts from the Denomination

 

A fast growing United Methodist Church just left the building.  Er, the denomination.  Well sorta.  The pastor who started and grew GracePoint UMC just quit and is starting a church with the same name minus the UMC.  GracePoint UMC will continue on with a new pastor and GracePoint Community Church will meet at a different site.  The Community Church already has a spiffy new website up.

GracePoint UMC just went from success story to metaphor of what’s wrong with the UMC.    The Witchita newspaper has a detailed  summary of the situation. And the Methodist blogosphere is all over it.  

I hadn’t heard of GracePoint until I read some of the blogs.    But as a life long United thMethodist and somone who is in love with the emergent church, does it make sense to stay within the UMC conversation?   

The GracePoint story is important though my critique of the UMC system comes from a different place.   The “connectional” system is pretty much a joke on the local level (especially for nonclergy).  There are too many failing churches  and not enough action or imagination to transform them.     The stable churches are too cautious and have zero prophetic voice.  The most powerful churches refuse to lead on the most important social issues of our day.  

But if anything John Wesley and the early Methodists give me hope.  Church doesn’t have to be stuck inside and tied to the state or tied to establishment.  Jesus message is most transformative when heard in the mines  and fields and in the prisons and in the slums.  

Just some thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Should I stay or Should I go? A United Methodist Church bolts from the Denomination

  1. Interesting post, I am not sure if the connection is a non issue at the pew level. Perhaps there is a disconnect but there should be a feeling of connection to UM’s everywhere.

  2. Good leaders will lead in or out of the denomination. Bryson was getting tons of support from the conference. That congregation was “seed” by members of other UMChurches.

    What is disturbing is that the congregation was not involved in the decision. He didn’t trust them enough to engage them.

    Ordination vows and memberships vows don’t mean what they used to.

  3. Pingback: Reaching Those Who are Far From Christ « G. Kevin Baker

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