Thursday, April 19, 2012

How the United Methodist Church Can Survive

Dr. Timothy Tennent, president  of Asbury Theological Seminary, is concerned with his denomination's future; as he considered the upcoming 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Tampa he wrote:
We were once a powerful evangelistic movement.  Now, we are forever searching for new ways to manage our decline.  Endless studies and reports and commissions and re-structuring and new slogans (Open hearts, open minds, open doors) have ensued over the years.  None of these well intentioned initiatives have halted – or even really understood – the nature of this decline.  It will probably take a least three more cycles of general conferences before the following suggestions can be heard.
How does he propose to turn the ship around?  Below is a summation of his points.  You can read his blog in its entirety here.

1. Official and approved UM seminaries must teach Wesleyan doctrine.
2. The UM bishops should remove all heretical pastors.
3. The seminaries should teach their pastoral students how to preach strong sermons.
4. The churches must learn how to evangelize the post-Christian culture.
5. The UM needs to pray and repent.

Nothing unfair about that list; all points are valid and timely.  If the United Methodist Church will do so is known only to God.