In the run up to the Thanksgiving holiday, I attended two informative events. While distinctly different from each other, each is evidence of the creative reflection taking place across the United Methodist Church. Saturday, November 20th I attended “Can We Talk?” and took part in a Bishops’ Panel during a Q& A time. “Can We Talk?” focused on “Effective Leadership … Changing Our Reality” in the African American church. (An annual event, this is my 3rd year in attendance.) Rev. Ronnie Miller Yow, pastor of Wesley UMC, Little Rock, Arkansas, gave a powerful address on new ministry in new ways. Some nuggets of his address:
- Dead worship will not bring anybody to Christ.
- No pay, no say – if you are not tithing you should not have a say in the direction the church is taking.
- The reason this church is dying is that pastors don’t know how to pray.