A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Things for United Methodist Clergy to Unlearn

Rev. Sky Lowe McCracken, District Superintendent for the Paducah District of the Memphis Annual Conference is spot on. I only list his bullet points. The details can be found here.
1. Our seminary professors and continuing ed teachers were wrong about clergy professionalism. If we are to being about discipleship, conversion, and mission, we can't have "professional distance" from those we serve – we have to be intimate with those we engage!

2. Preaching needs some change. It's a sore spot for most preachers to be told anything critical about their preaching – but my experience is that collectively, we're missing the mark.

3. UM Pastors – more specifically, elders and deacons-- act too much like a union (I've blogged about this before) and not enough like servants and vessels.

4. The Book of Discipline is too large, connectional and conference structures too wieldy, and theological/missional/discipleship questions as well as policy questions are often decided by popular vote instead of theological/missional foci.

5. We don't live the trust-- much less model it-- that the Kingdom and the denomination demands of us. We often get put on committees or commissions and remain silent, waiting until the parking lot or text messages to our buddies to kibbutz and critique… thus depriving the institution we vowed to uphold and denying the spirit of conferencing that is so at the heart of our Wesleyan DNA

6. Like it or not, we have to be generalists. More than once I have heard, "That's just not me" or "I was raised/educated in a different era." To those that we serve, that is a great disservice. For example: I didn’t grow up with nor was educated in the use of multimedia in worship or for preaching.
Thanks, Sky. These are words we clergy need to hear.

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