If you can keep your head when all about you are loosing theirs, then you may not fully appreciate the situation.
The special session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church is days away, and many of our churches have been told that it is only about sex , and it will not affect the ministry of your church. You have been misinformed and ill advised. This Conference (GC2019) will address essentials of the faith, the fundamental organization of the church, and it will radically affect your church in the very near future.
The magnitude of the coming impact ought to be apparent in the overwhelming resources committed to the problem. For three years the best minds in United Methodism have been working the problem. We have called on our ordained and laity, seminary professors and lawyers, financial analysts and parish ministers. Over 1,000 delegates, alternates, and staff from around the world will leave the responsibility of family, work, and their community to spend four days in St Louis in the dead of winter to debate and decide their future and yours. This four day conference alone will cost us seven million dollars. The only other time we had a special conference was fifty years ago. We do not expend those kind of resources for inconsequential matters that will not affect your church.
Regardless of the path that GC2019 chooses, your church will be on a different trajectory on February 27, 2019 than it is today. Many churches across the country have leadership teams prepared to address their membership on March 3rd on the best options for their community. Over the next few months they will make informed decisions calmly. Churches who are unprepared will find themselves sometime in the next year or two making uninformed decisions out of panic.
If your church is unprepared then you likely need to reach out for resource people beyond your local church to help bring you up to date. I can’t overstate this next point.
* DO NOT TURN TO YOUR CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP FOR HELP! *
They are the cause for your being unprepared, the reason we are in this mess, and have an agenda for keeping you uninformed.
Ask for assistance from other churches in your conference who have been following the events. Contact para-church groups who have a faith in the person of Jesus Christ that is consistent with the Jesus you worship. If you cannot locate them on your own then you can contact me through this website, and I will put you in touch with someone. I am prepared to do this regardless of your theological camp.
I am including this link to an old essay. It is not detailed, but it is a general introduction as to why a church should begin to prepare. It does not address the specific issues before us. It just explains why the local church should care.
We may choose different paths after February 27th. That’s O.K., but we have a responsibility before Almighty God not to make that choice from willful ignorance, nor to allow others to make it for us.