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January 26, 2010


James Kytta

Mark 2:21-22 "And no one sews a patch of new cloth on an old garment, else it takes away from its fullness, the new from the old, and a worse tear occurs. No one puts new wine into old wineskins, else the new wine bursts the wineskins, and the wine spills, and the wineskins will be ruined. The new wine must be put into new wineskins."

James Whatley

People often overlook the closing verse of the "New Wine passage in Luke."

And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

Luke 5:39

I agree Mark the great inhibiter of future innovation is past success.

David McEntire

The issue,wether it is Israel, the Christian church, any denomination, or individual church has always been a spiritual one. The less intimacy with God the less effectiveness at the core. You can't preach the love of God unless you are in love with God. Apart from that it is simply "motion wihtout direction".

Dr. James R. Jones, Jr.

In the case of the UMC I think it is true. I am a third generation Methodist and the first in my family to become a UMC clergy. I married an outstanding woman who is a college professor and very gifted in her field. Upon graduating from a Ph.D. program, we moved to another conference. Now, after nearly fifteen years of experience in the ministry and leading churches that have grown (I also received my Doctor of Ministry degree and wrote a book about healthy churches), I was recently told that because I am not originally from this conference (we moved here for my wife's job) that I would have to completely start over in the appointment process just as if I had recently graduated from seminary. So, now after numerous conferences, incredible experiences, a pastor with incredible energy for leading may very well find himself in a small church that wants to go nowhere. The focus of the UMC system appears to be loyalty to a certain conference for a number of years rather than one's effectiveness in ministry. I see many complacent pastors in churches larger than I will receive soon simply because they decided to live and die in the state where they were born! I might as well go bury my talent in the sand or look elsewhere. That's how some of us in our forties feel about it. The past success of the UMC has blinded it from pursuing a more aggressive and radical approach to the future. As John Maxwell says, "everything rises and falls on leadership"; so, as long as pastoral leadership is measured by loyalty to a system rather than loyalty to God and effectiveness for the Kingdom of God, the church will continue to hemorrhage. How long will it take for our leadership to wake up? I love the church and do not want to leave but I also know that God will hold me accountable for how many people I brought to Christ and I now honestly wonder if I can do that more effectively outside rather than inside, of the UMC.

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