Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good Reason to be Depressed?

If you are involved in ministry within the United Methodist Church, you may have good reason to be depressed. It seems that everywhere we turn, there is someone waiting to remind us about the dwindling numbers in our denomination. It is true. Statistics show that membership in our churches is declining, and there are various initiatives being explored to help us reverse that trend.
But I don't think Jesus read statistics. Jesus read hearts and minds. Jesus may have attracted the crowds, and filled the fields to capacity, but His focus was always on the individual. Friends...there is power in focusing on the individual. Ask Nicodemus, who came to Jesus at night, and undoubtedly returned to witness to the Sanhedrin. Ask the woman at the well, who was so moved after her encounter with Jesus that she told her entire village about Him. Ask Zacchaeus, whose transformed life after having spent time with Jesus was a far more powerful witness in his community than any words could ever have been.
So if you are ministering in a small church; if you are the teacher to that one lone child; if you serve in your church nursery with that one single baby on your lap...take heart! We who are called United Methodists still seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ, for the transformation of the world...and this usually begins with the transformation of one.
Yes, there is work to be done in our denomination, but far better to significantly impact the heart and mind of one, than to attract one hundred who do not hear the message. The individual was important to Jesus. And if that was good enough for Him, then it's good enough for me.
Read this interesting article from Jim Winkler, on 'Lies & Statistics'

12 comments:

  1. What a great word! Focusing on the one is so important. It isn't about numbers as evident when David took a census; it is all about how God is moving in the hearts and minds of people.

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  2. So true. The important thing is to build up God's kingdom, and not just a certain denomination. I learned this the hard way after spending many years in a church that existed just to convert people to it, not to Christ, although they were convinced that it was one and the same, because they thought all the Christians were in that church. Over time it dawned on me that this was not right. After much study and prayer God showed me a better way.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  3. Im so glad that He showed you that better way Charlotte! Thanks so much for commenting. I truly do appreciate it!

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  4. Thank you Glenys, your blog reminds me that every individual matters! David

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  5. Thank you for your comments! I just revised a workbook for GBOD called "Charting a Course" that will be out in August or September. The emphasis on this is to help churches look at just where they are going in helping to make disciples for the transformation of the world.

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  6. Delia..that book sounds great..I will be on the look out for it!

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  7. Yes, Jesus was all about the individual. It's a good policy when working with kids, too. Each one is important to God. When we focus on the individual the numbers cease to matter.

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  8. What an encouraging post and lovely blog, Glenys. Thank you for finding me online and connecting. When folks stop in at my blog, it reminds me to do some visiting of my own. Blessings!

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  9. Thank you for encouraging me Renee!

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