|One conference's overall dashboard.|
The result was that persons who were in the church, by and large, had been well and deeply formed in living the Christian faith and in the basic habits and "tempers" of discipleship. To be a member was to be incorporated into the body of Christ as a disciple of Jesus, and indeed, a disciple who was actively prepared to carry out the world-changing mission of Jesus wherever she or he may be or be led by the Spirit to go.
So what's a missional Methodist to do with what appears to be the inevitability that many, if not all, of our pastors and congregations will soon be expected to complete and be evaluated, perhaps weekly, on the current "maintenance discipleship" dashboard metrics, instead of progress in actual discipleship, scriptural holiness, and perfection in love in this life? We know, after all, that the standard we have in Christ, not to mention Wesley, calls us to rely on and work for more than improvements in the maintenance metrics, and we also know that those maintenance metrics don't necessarily equate with discipleship to Jesus much at all! (For a major study confirming that very finding, see Willow Creek's "Reveal" study and my entry on it on this blog).