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You & Your Church & Your Pastor

November 19, 2022

United Methodist Bishop Ken Carter posts a Saturday morning summary of his weeks, and here is today’s – – –

On Wednesday I met with the Strategic Advisory Board of Leighton Ford Ministries. Leighton is the brother in law of Billy Graham, and in the evangelical world is a singular figure of influence. He has been a “friend on the journey” for many years and he humorously calls me his bishop!

There were about 40 of us present, the board, staff and friends. I was the only United Methodist, it was mostly non-denominational, and in the evangelical stream. The concerns they lifted up were exactly the ones we are focusing on. As I listened I could have been in a cabinet meeting.

We sometimes assume that the concerns we are going through—-polarization, decline of the church, different perspectives around human sexuality, exhaustion—are unique to our denomination. They are not.

For example, the Barna research says that 1 of 2 pastors would leave the ministry given the above, if they could.

And they discussed the need to move from church growth and mega churches to micro groups and relationships if life change is going to occur.

I am blessed to be a part of this group, and doubly blessed to have come to know Leighton.

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  1. Mike Stidham permalink

    I sometimes wonder if the real future of the UMC lies in going back to the former emphasis of Wesley with his small “bands” as opposed to the empire building of previous generations.


  2. I wonder if “moving from church growth and mega churches to micro groups and relationships” may just be the path forward for the remaining UMC. We might be able to do a better job of “making disciples of Jesus…” by a return to Wesleyan-style “bands” and “classes” as our focus.


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