Attending General Conference has renewed my hope in the Methodist Church.
I spent ten days worshipping with my brothers and sisters from every corner of the world. Our different cultures wove into worship, voting procedures, volunteer situations, the food court lines, asking directions, taking the airport shuttle and in the elevator.
We are part of a global church. We so often get bogged down in the local church world that we forget how effective our church is on a global scale. No other church is as well connected as the UMC.
It has been difficult to return and hear the cynicism and dripping sarcasm when United Methodists ask me if they got anything done at General Conference. Until someone personally sees 1,000 faithful Christians try to agree on matters of faith, they won’t understand how difficult the process can be.
It is dangerously easy to critique our denomination’s leadership from our comfortable vantage point in our local church. Change seems so slow. I was guilty of that very perspective until last week. Yes, I saw that it is a political and at times, underhanded process.
But I choose to spend my energy on the incredible movement of hope rising in the Methodist Church.
I got a chance to interview Adam Hamilton, the senior pastor at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. He is dedicated to renewing the Methodist Church and he’ll talk and talk until he speaks it into existence. I believe if more and more young people see the same hope I do in the Methodist Church, our generation will lead the church to come out of decline.
Does anyone else dream things that seem so impossible it’s almost silly to type it?
We can speak it into existence. We will. God will.
First round of videos from Young People’s Address at GC are posted here…