There is literally a broken world that would love for you and I to dream new dreams, create new networks, and raise up new leaders this coming year. And rest assured, if United Methodists turn aside from this uncharted and holy mission, God will certainly find others to walk forward. In many ways, God already is.
When faith leaders and faith organizations write out their long church statements and resolutions expressing their grief at more unnecessary deaths, their rightful outrage that this killing continues unabated, and even their call for certain policy changes, these statements and resolutions are simply playing their part in the new national ritual that is the new normal. The killings continue and nothing is changed.
Though the church began as an egalitarian revolution we now have transformed an organic and dynamic movement into a corporately structured morass of selfish political games, which is utterly bereft of transformative power. We are supposed to be salt and light to the world; a living example of a complete transvaluation of all that the world holds dear. But our vertical hierarchies just show us to be just another corporation, though terribly ineffective and growing more and more bankrupt by the day.
The simple truth of this is that bureaucracies cannot have simplicity in their words. The church cannot follow Jesus here. Our “yes” cannot be “yes” and our “no” cannot be “no.” Too many reports to give, too many meetings to attend, too much money to spend on institutional upkeep, too many missional efforts to ignore or just give lip service to.