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.
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.