Part 1 of ?
Okay, now that the long series of 21 ponderings on the questions, vision pathways, and focus areas that may be likely to shape the future of the denominational structures of the UMC has come to a close, what's left to write about?
Well, a good bit, I think.
Along the way of thinking and talking with some of you during the 21-part series (and, by the way, since this is a blog, all 21 parts are still out there and you can comment on any of them anytime you like!), several other basic issues came up (and I invite you to raise others) that may call for some serious re-thinking and re-working as we re-emerge into a more missional Methodism in our own contexts in the days ahead.
Here are just a few...
Ordination-- what's it for, who needs it, and why-- in a missional Methodist context?
Membership-- where does it belong, really? And why?
Clergy Itineracy-- what WAS it for, what's become of it, and in what kinds of contexts does it still make sense (and not!)
Sacraments-- where do these belong, not belong, and how and why?
Organizational Capacity-- for both the missional/discipleship structures AND the congregational/denominational structures-- who is best at doing what and what does it take for each to do that?
Getting paid-- by whom, and for what?
Who has what "rights" in a missional context? And why does that matter (or not!)?
If local matters most, where do trans-local and global connect?
Do we really HAVE to build discipleship structures ALONGSIDE rather than primarily WITHIN the congregational format?
What about Sunday School?
What about the role of children in the life of a missional Christian community and their formation and deployment as missionaries?
Who holds missional/discipleship groups accountable to one another? Congregations? A network among missional groups?
Do worship experiences in a missional group "count" for a given week/period of time, or does only congregation-based worship count, or both, or what?
Before I begin on any of these, though-- I'm interested in hearing what you might add to this list of missional Methodist meta-questions.
And in the meantime-- I'm in Fort Worth getting ready for assisting all the worship events we do at General Conference-- so do pray for us down here!
Peace in Christ,