I am sitting at home after another WOT (Worship On Thursdays) [this is our local chaotic remodelled version of Messy Church].
I am wondering about perspective.
For years people have been telling me to get a proper perspective on the Methodist Church. Typically the proper perspective has included things like:
- Leave because the Methodist Church is in terminal decline
- You won't find any Methodists interested in Evangelism
- Methodists aren't interested in Mission
- There are no young people in Methodist Churches
- Methodists can't/won't change or do anything new
- Methodist Worship is boring and traditional, it is of no interest to people outside the Church
- Methodists are boring and have given up.
- Methodists are silly liberals who don't believe in the Holy Spirit or in Jesus or in anything really
- Methodist Churches in rural areas and small towns are doomed. You might as well just close them as soon as possible.
I want to thank all those who have shared views like this with me over the years. These views help me keep a proper perspective.
Without this proper perspective I might look at what is happening in Raunds, particularly at WOT and be led astray.
For example I might be confused by the new people, who have never been in a Church before, who keep coming.
I might be confused by the young people who keep bringing along more friends. Without the "proper" perspective I might think that young people enjoy being part of this Church.
It is lucky that I have these "proper" perspectives or I might look at the numbers in the register and believe that just because they keep going up there is growth.
Without that proper perspective I might be confused by the dedication of the Methodists here, by their eagerness to share their faith and to care for others. Without the proper perspective to correct me I might have mistakenly believed that they took you seriously and through the power of your Spirit in them were alive and active as part of your Kingdom reaching out to those who don't know you yet.
OK enough of the sarcasm.
This is want I really want to say:
Thank-you ever loving and living God for the people called Methodist that I have the privilege of serving in the Nene Valley Circuit. The wonderful people here who are eager to praise you, follow you, serve you, tell others of you and show them you through their love.
Thank-you again and again for your son Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for his teaching and example that it is our joy and delight to share with these young people and their families. Thank-you that they find him as attractive, welcoming, affirming and life changing as your people have through the centuries. Thank-you that we are able to share wonderful news that he died on the cross to offer forgiveness, reconciliation and new life to all. Thank-you that new people are receiving new life through your risen Son.
Thank-you for the work of your Holy Spirit among us, bringing us new life, changing lives, challenging and changing us. Thank-you for the wonderful gifts your Spirit has poured out on your people here to use in your service. Thank-you that you have never given up on us.
And as for me Lord I thank you that your perspective is so different to that of the world. I praise and thank you for best time of my life that you have led me to. May my perspective always come from you.
Thanks for the growth of your Church here. Whooo Hooo
If this is what being part of a boring, dying Church is like – then can I have some more please