Craig’s Corner for October 2018

We Are All Dying….

There is no doubt that BMUC is smaller in number than we have been in the past. There is no doubt that there are fewer kids, especially of elementary school age than there have been in the past. There is also no doubt that the average age of our congregation has seen an uptick than in the past. And these facts put together might lead some to believe that we are a dying church.

And I would say, “Yes, we are.”

But only in the sense that every church like every living being is dying right from the moment they are born. There’s no getting around it. From the moment we enter this world, we are dying. The biological clock starts winding down and that is also true of every organization ever created. Now, a cause, a movement, a belief system can last seemingly forever. Look at the world’s major religions. Each has been around for not just decades or centuries but millennia! Individual churches, temples, etc.? Not so much. So in that sense we are dying.

But we are also living!

We can’t ignore the fact that we have life in us! That we are still doing vital ministry. That we are still a presence in our community. For a church our size we are doing the work of three or four other churches. I look around and see people who love God, love one another and love this place. Any pastor who was blessed to come into this situation would be foolish not to see the potential here. The bones of this church are solid.

Then why aren’t we growing?

We are going to explore that together. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to see how we can harvest our talents and abilities in a different way. Sometimes there are things that hamper effective ministry that over time we become blind to seeing. And sometimes we just need to take a look in the mirror and evaluate who we are and what we are doing. At our Leadership Summit this coming October 20th we will be doing exactly that. At the end of that summit, I don’t expect to have a magic solution, but I do hope we will become more clear about our purpose and our aspirations.

I did not come to pastor a dying church.

I came because the Bishop sent me. Okay kidding aside, I was eager to come to BMUC because of the possibilities for thriving ministry. Some churches need managers. Some churches need hospice care workers. But I’m not that kind of pastor. The Bishop and the Cabinet know my heart for growing a church and they sent me here because like me, they see great potential here. You should know that our conference, our District Superintendent, and our Bishop all see the possibilities for revitalization right here at BMUC. That’s why I am here. I hope you see that, too.

There is vast potential here in our community.

I see a ministry field that is waiting to be harvested! I see children and young adults wanting to be part of who we are and what we are doing. And I see the possibility for a new era at BMUC! Together we will take this journey by utilizing our gifts and graces and finding ways to engage that community and hopefully bring to life this vision. We are a dying church. But we are also one that is very much alive and there is still a lot of life inside of us.

Peace in Christ,