14 February 2007

Can Denominational Churches be Relevant?

As Willowcreek prepares for this year's Leadership Summit, they invited the host site pastors to spend some time with each of the speakers that will be featured during the 2.5 day event. Tim Stevens has a great synopsis of some comments made by Bill Hybels and John and Nancy Ortberg.

I wanted to draw your attention to one thing that John Ortberg said: "Leaders want three things...Freedom, Opportunity and Challenge. They want these three things way more than money or security. However, deonominations are set up to repel leaders."

John serves a Presbyterian church in California, so he knows about denominations. I serve a United Methodist church in Texas, and I know a little about the power that denominational structures have to quell creativity and experimenting. Can the UMC crawl out from under that structure to make a meaningful impact on the kingdom of God? Can we be both relevant and faithful to our denominational heritage? Or are we doomed to be enslaved to the system that keeps things the same?

NB - Trietsch is not a typical UMC, so most of the previous rant about the UMC does not apply to my current appointment.

I don't have all the answers, but I hope that the next 10-15 years of my ministry are creative, relevant, and transformational to a generation that despises organized religion and fake Christianity.


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