I have watched all of what is happening in the United Methodist Church from the safe confines of the sidelines and I have felt deeply troubled. I was troubled not only for the deep pain that continues to be inflicted on many people I care about and deeply respect. But even more, I felt troubled because even though I had left the church I still felt responsible for what was happening; for the pain that was being caused.
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.
This is part 2 of a multi-week study of Acts and how we can continue to build a progressive Wesleyan movement that manifests God's Kingdom on earth in our local churches. Any study of the New Testament church will both critique where we are currently as a church as well as stir up visions for where God is leading us.
The disciples' question shows us how asking the wrong questions can bring us to an entirely different end result from what God desires. The disciples want to know about their national greatness and their individual advancement. Jesus wants to recruit them to join the mission of transforming the world as witness of the coming of the Kingdom. So, many things depend on what kinds of questions we ask.
The United Methodist institution is careening towards dismantling. What is sad is that the church seems so solely focused on its survival that it often forgets the substance of its calling – to love and to serve. It is time for progressive people in “leadership” positions to put their proclaimed values into action. Here are a few suggestions: