A part of it all

2 John

For some, being Methodist means being good at meetings. That’s silly.

I’m a United Methodist Christian because of our emphasis on God’s grace. Everything we talk about and commit to doing always comes back to the graciousness of God. I’m a United Methodist Christian also because of our sense of “practical divinity.” That is, we are on an intentional path of discipleship. Our practical divinity is a shared response to God’s grace.

Which leads me to another reason I’m a United Methodist Christian. As much as I could go on about the other two reasons, this one is key. It’s the one that initially grabbed my attention the strongest. I’m a United Methodist Christian because of our understanding of connection. Our ministry is directly connected to one another. That’s not a theory or a wish. It’s a reality.

Now, we have denominational structures to keep that connection going. But you and I are the ones that need to assure it remains a reality among us.

And oh I have tried.

And I have failed.

I’ve learned churches can be pretty territorial. We’re also consumed with fear of losing our resources. And we like our way. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of frugality, but not at the expense of the gospel. Our way may be fine, but there’s joy in learning from and growing with others.

A UM church once started a Spanish worship service. What’s the problem with that? A Spanish-speaking UM church was six blocks down the street. Why didn’t the first church send people to the other church to boost what they were doing? Why didn’t they offer resources to the church already naturally doing what they were trying to fabricate? Why didn’t both congregations plan more activities together?

I bet you can guess. And most of those reasons are why our connection grows weak.

If you’re a United Methodist Christian, think about the other UM churches close to you. How can you live into our connection? If you’re not Methodist, aren’t we all still a part of the body of Christ? How can you share our witness with other Christians?

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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