The Church Funeral
via my MIL
Dealing with the contradictions and challenges of faith, disbelief, and living and dying
There are two things I have had heavy on my heart of late. Connecting better, and more often; and building Disciples.
One of the initial barricades I met upon entering ministry at Santa Maria St. Andrew UMC was a deep sense of fear and anxiety. I took time to pray it out, and to ask for prayer cover from members of the congregation, and from some of the prayer institutions of Santa Maria.
18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
This week is a big adventure for me in the online realm.
This is for the Alabama faithful and the bandwagon jumpers alike.
This year I am committing myself to doing a better job.
I was asked the other day what I thought some of the emerging trends in Christian Education are.
The Great Commission16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina]" style="line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I think there are a couple of emerging trends coming from some of the same problem. We have a shortage of leaders in the church. As such, there is an increasing trend to train pastors for the years to come. Some of the places where this is coming out is , and in the increased sense of urgency in many local congregations to train up pastors. The second is training leaders. We are beginning to watch the passing of many of the local church leaders who have been stalwarts and managed our churches for many years. As we see them die, or become incapable of continuing we are found lacking for people to come into leadership to fill those voids. We are having to train people to do those jobs, and then we are already beginning to look down the road and ask those leaders to then train the next generation behind them, beginning now.
Some places are obviously ahead of the curve, but most of our are just now entering the curve.
To that end, we are realizing that Christian Education is more than just and Bible Studies. It is teaching people to lead with the Spiritual Gifts God has granted them to lead the people of God in this time.
This prayer is the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, and as I heard it told is often repeated by British Methodist Churches in their services at the first of the year. Many local congregations in the United Methodist Church do likewise. I offer it today for personal benefit.