Give your life away
The official mission statement of the United Methodist Church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”There’s the cynical (and sometimes true) idea that making disciples is about institutional survival; to see the word ‘evangelism’ as code for an ‘oh-my-God- we’re-dying’ reaction to panic.
That mindset reduces words like ‘discipleship’ and ‘evangelism’ to survival tools; and that’s the wrong way to think about it, according to Doug Anderson. “Churches that try to grow so that they can save themselves will tend to decline, because people won’t buy in,” he said. “Churches that give their life away and serve others for the sake of the Gospel will tend to grow” You can listen to an interview with him by clicking on the file below:
We’ve written about a church (to be) in this conference that is discovering answers to these questions. Perhaps their courage can inspire us.
In yesterday’s State of the Church address, the story of Community of Grace was shared with the Conference. There once were three churches in Huntington that were just barely hanging on. After a lot of work, they all voted to close.
And now, there’s new life.
Community of Grace will be chartered in the Fall as a new congregation, the first in the Conference since the 1980s.
Here’s a little piece of their story.