Summary: How to thrive as a church
Wesley on Thriving
We have had several funerals in our community recently
Today I would like to consider another
What would happen if our church closed?
Do not start worrying
KUMC is healthy and are no where near closing
Or even slowing down
We are just thinking today
What if our doors were locked?
Would we be missed?
Who would miss us?
Yes, we would miss the church
But, who else would miss us?
Is our mission to the members, like a country club?
Scripture, Wesley and our mission statement tell us our mission is to those on the outside
Do we fulfill that mission?
Throughout the Bible, God has told us that we must have Piety, or an inner state of worship
But, it is not acceptable to God without Mercy, or an outer state of worship
During the upcoming Lenten Season, many of us consider fasting
God tells us, through Isaiah, He considers service to the less fortunate a fast
When we serve those less fortunate than ourselves, we become humble
Humility is very high on God’s list of Christian character traits
We are to love God (Piety, inner grace), love our neighbor (Mercy, outer grace) and love ourselves (Piety, inner grace)
But, Micah 6:8 tells us that we must “do justice and love mercy” before we can walk with God
Amos 5:21-24 goes further. He says God will not accept our offerings, sacrifices or praise and worship UNLESS we allow “justice to run down like water and righteousness like a stream.”
Nothing we do to love God is anything to us UNLESS we love our neighbors as we love ourselves
Wesley said that holiness is both vertical (loving God) and horizontal (loving
Jesus’ harshest criticism was aimed at the religious people that ignored the least of His flock
What would he say to KUMC?
Who would miss us if the doors closed?
Many, if not most, churches are shrinking
Every year, some fall by the wayside
Who misses them?
Do the poor? The hurting? The hungry? The unchurched?
Or just the members?
The churches that are thriving, and even growing are the churches that reach out
If we made a list of the people and organizations that would miss us
Who would be on it?
Who would not be that should be?
Would this year’s list be shorter, or longer, than last year’s list?
How would it be different?
What could we do to be more inclusive?
How can we reach more children, youth and adults?
What would bring more families?
If we reach out, we will thrive
The more we do to reach out, the greater we will thrive
The more people and organizations that would miss us, the more certain we will thrive
Think about it
To read more check out www.opendoorstochrist.org
Rev O K Neal