Kingdom Work?

So, I think I'm in the minority on this one. Over the last few weeks I've attended meetings and have had conversations with individuals about this topic. I can' help but get the same feeling from most people.

Our conference is pushing a new-church development campaign. Each church has been encouraged (you fill in whatever word you want) to make a pledge. Our church, and I suspect others may as well, have some concerns and issues about that. I think I understand some of them and may even agree.

However, I am discouraged by some of the attitudes that prevail when it comes to discussing these types of things. The first thing that seemed to arise were rising apportionments. Our church has experienced a substantial increase over the last several years. I understand how that can be frustrating. For today, I'll skip the talk about our connectional system and how and what that means; you've probably already heard it. However, I will say this. Apportionments are a calculated figure, correct? If that's the case then comments like, "If we don't give to this campaign then they'll just raise our apportionments" seem to me to be out of line.

The major factor for the calculation is the church's expenditures. Let's review the last few years. We've bought land for and completed the laying of a parking lot (decent size). A few years later we constructed a Fellowship Hall. Finally, three and a half years ago I became the best Associate Pastor this church has ever had; yep, I was the first. So, in the span of say 10 years or so we've added three big additions to our church. I'm just not surprised apportionments rose the way they did.

Sure, politics is present everywhere--even the church. There's people in the church as well. We should be able to hold our leaders accountable. I think I've been able to do that so far. If there are concerns there are ways to have them addressed. That said, this campaign is not some idea of the bishop's as he was heading out of office. It's not his big bang to leave with. Since 2005 there has been talk about getting to where we are now. This was voted on at Annual Conference. This was discussed (at length!) at Annual Conference. We are not talking about anything that was just suddenly thrust upon us.

In the next 10 years, we are told, this region of the state will have so many new people. Our conference is trying to get ahead of the curve. Now, we can talk about how leaders are only looking for numbers. But we can't complain about them when we do the same thing. Yes, monthly reports are due, but when we're not sure how many people were at church how about we underestimate the number. Perhaps our conference doesn't need new churches. I'm not sure. The only knowledge I have of it is what has come out of the work of the committee to do the job. They are members of our conference and people of faith. Forgive me for trusting their work. There may be actions or decisions I would disagree with, but I'm not doing the research and planning.

I really contemplated deleting this. I suppose I still could. If I was really bad to the bone I'd email it to everyone. Either way, I'll stop here and let the discussion begin. Stay blessed...john

0 Responses :