I am reading an interesting book called, “10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church”.
The author shares the similarities between the Church of England in Wesley’s day and the UMC in the United States in our day. Let me share some of them with you.
The high economic status of its members separated from the masses and kept ordinary people from feeling welcome.
Clergy often lived away from their people, focused upon their careers, and saw ministry as a job.
The church used outdated methods of teaching and preaching the faith.
The church focused on arguments about morality rather than proclaiming God’s grace for all.
Music and liturgy were morose and lethargic.
Passion for the mission of the church was replaced with second-hand support of mission and charity.
Preaching was focused upon “the head” not “the heart”.
The church worked hand-in-hand with the government to maintain the status quo of the society.
The author pointed out that the church was ripe for renewal and revival in Wesley’s day, and it is in our day, too.
I believe that many of us see these similarities in our Methodist churches, whether they’re large, small, global or local. I also see some of these signs in our church. But the good news is that this is an opportunity for the renewal and revival. And we have already started our journey for the renewal as we’re working on the Jubilee project.
Our Jubilee team meets every month to prepare for the 50th anniversary in October. But this is only one part of the Jubilee project. If we just focus on having a big party, we can’t expect the renewal.
How can we bring the renewal and revival in our church? It’s not us, but God. It’s not only God, but us also. God takes the initiative and we respond. I believe God will give us an opportunity as we work together prayerfully and persistently.
Rev. Eunbae Doh