Saturday, October 20, 2007

That Time of Year, Again

Stewardship Campaigns, Pledge Drives, Commitment Sundays, whatever you may call it- it's that time when the Methodist Church asks the congregation for financial backing. So my question to everyone is this: Does your pastor/church leadership gear up for one big push, or is "stewardship" something that is taught throughout the year? Does your local church have a vision of where they're going and what it is they want to do with the money raised for ministry? Or do they just kind of stumble along doing the same old stuff they've done year in and year out, regardless if it works or not.

The local church I serve has a computer program called "Shelby." This is a program that allows us to track the congregation in many ways... including breakdown by age. I ran the program this week and discovered an interesting fact: the largest group in the church is those defined as "young adults," ages 18 through 30, 621 members. This is far and away the single largest group in our church. But the leadership has done nothing to encourage them, to teach them, to support them, or for that matter listen to them. The classes offered are the same old things, which appeals to the members over 55. There isn't any outreach set up to attract them to even attend the church.

Pity, the UMC has nothing at the Conference level in Virginia for these folks and the GBOD doesn't offer much either. This group is NOT the "church of tomorrow," they're the church NOW. But the power structure that is the UMC is ineffective in reaching out to these people, with the result that they leave and don't come back. Wake up... we're dying as a denomination. Let's spend the money we ask the congregants for to actually promote the Gospel of Jesus, not the social gospel we've replaced it with. For this is what they're really looking for.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Too Good Not to Share!

The Ohio State University Marching Band singing and playing "Eternal Father, Strong to Save."

This is but one of the reasons why they have the nickname they do: TBDBITL