Foolishness to the Mainline Protestants

I'm still working through McKnight's book with the club, but here's something I found in a UM Connection article, exploring factors leading to decline in membership in the United Methodist Church.  When in doubt, look to the megachurch:

"Instead of small wooden pews, one or two microphones, and an organ or piano, mega-churches boast stadium style seating for thousands, use state of the art visual projection equipment and play mostly contemporary music, often with a full band."

I can hear the spiritual seeker now:  "Almost am I persuaded to be a Christian, but that projector is so 2006!"

To be fair to the author, more is mentioned than just technology, but the article is program-heavy.  I have seen technology, management techniques, and creative programming produce impressive results in ministry.  Programs also offer security, as they allow programmers a certain amount of control over the outcomes.  However, if the Gospel is to be believed, such security is misplaced, and is a danger to authentic ministry.  Not to be down on technology and management techniques, but the church has relied upon them for too long. 

I like the N.T. Wright quote on page 76:

…the point of the Spirit is to enable those who follow Jesus to take into all the world the news that he is Lord, that he has won the victory over the forces of evil, that a new world has opened up, and that we are to help make it happen.



About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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1 Response to Foolishness to the Mainline Protestants

  1. Gina Dawson says:

    [ciò è buono] Aahh…I can hear it now…just add a new program offering, change some bells and whistles and they’ll come.

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