Professions of Faith
Much happened yesterday at the Conference in the way of worship, celebration of different ministries around Virginia and more. But I wanted to highlight a couple of things.
There were two major issues. One had to do with churches who received no professions of faith this past year. The Conference statistician reported that there were more than 500, yes more than 500 churches, that had not received a member by profession of faith. A motion was made for a program to be put in place where help would be given to these churches and also provide accoutnability as to why these churches had not recevied one person by profession of faith last year (profession of faith means that they were not a believer before they came to the church/ had never beloned to another church- not a transfer).
While it seems many of the people at the Conference agree with the intent of the resolution there seems to be legitimate questions around how it will be carried out. Currently the motion calls for the a District Superintnendent from another District and two people from what is called the Common Table (a governing body on the Conference level) to provide consultation and accountability to such churches.
I agree there may be some problems with that set up but I believe we need to do something now and can tweak later. Ths situation is just not acceptable and shame on all of us. The District Superintendents have rightly claimed that they already have too much on their plate. If this is the case, which it appears to be, then they need to clear their plate and get rid of some of the stuff they are doing because this is far more important.
In a related motion, the conference agreed to a goal of planting 250 new churches in the next 20 years. It is about time. While the whole start new churches revitalize existing churches debate is not an either/ or debate (we can do both) I still firmly believe that the most effective way to make disciples of Jesus Christ is to start new faith communities.
Both of these motions were made by Keith Boyette from Wilderness Chruch. Wayto go Keith.
We also received a report from Task Force looking into a new assembly center who suggested another task force look into coming up with a plan for a new assembly center as Blackstone will just not suffice any longer. You would of thought we were attacking the divinity of Christ!! It made me reminiscent of being in a church meeting filled with building worshippers. Many of those who wanted to protect the hallowed grounds of Blackstone spoke of what a spiritual place it was. Jesus had something to say about places like that to the Samaritan woman- "There will come a time when you will not worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem." Buildings are not spiritual!!! I should tell them that New Season Church might be worshipping in the warehouse of an old Southern States store!! More later I hope.