The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.Mission Statement of the United Methodist Church
An article was recently posted by the United Methodist News Service (UMNS) appears to give the image of being some good news in a season when sad news has saturated the United Methodist Church (UMC). So far over 2,000 congregations in the U.S. have disaffiliated (withdrawn) from the UMC. And though the UMNS quickly points out that that’s somewhere around 9% of UMC congregations, for many Annual Conferences it represents 40% or more of their average weekly attendance, as well as 40% or more of the funds for those Annual Conferences. And now it’s being touted as, well, let me put it in the exact words of the UMNS: Growth For Some Churches Staying United Methodist (read the entire article here)
Some growth? As the article stated, that growth happening from people migrating from other churches that had disaffiliated from the UMC. In other words, they grew by sheep swapping! Sheep swapping is when one member from one church joins with another church. Thus they brag they are growing their church. Now, a most serious disclaimer. There are moments and situations when one moves from one church to another for just cause. Perhaps that church has deeply wounded them–and they know that they cannot grow in faith if they stay there. Or those moments when The Spirit transplants them from one congregation to another because of His plans for them and/or their new church.
But simply to move because a local church didn’t meet their needs? That’s not a just cause, in my humble opinion. Now, back to the UMC. Their mission statement is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. But it seems to me, a former tribal member, that the best they can do is to tout they have pulled in folks from other congregations. Nothing about making new disciples and nothing about for the transformation of the world. Isn’t this their stated purpose?
Now, here’s a reality check for my former tribe. Your leadership isn’t following your mission statement. I’m right because of four words: the transformation of the world. The UMC leadership in its theological direction should have this as its true mission statement: The Mission Of The United Methodist Church Is To Compromise With The Values Of The World So That No One Is Offended! A final word to any United Methodist who is still considering staying in the UMC. They tell you they haven’t changed any other part of your beliefs–YET! If they are willing to compromise with the values of the world in one area, then it won’t be long until they will compromise with the world in another area. . . and then another. . . and then another . . .and. . .