Power, status, hierarchy, agendas, BAD POLITICS. . . WIM (Women in Ministry) another attempt by satan to separate and divide -- Us and Ya'll. This is not to say that women should not be ministers, but it is to say I see no need for the divide (sub-culture within the main culture). While I am yet speaking in "bullets" I really don't think that I need to define what I have said it is self explanatory. We have lost sight of our purpose -- Discipleship. We have become program driven churches and tend to put less emphasis on prayer and drawing the unsaved to Christ.
I have only been in the AME organization since 1999. . . coming from the outside looking in I'd say we have a long way to go as it concerns winning souls and uniformity as it concerns the connection -- each District does things differently, as evidenced by the changing of the guard (bishop).
Division is human, it is what we do.
How we do it is the question, and as you have pointed out it is often done badly.
There is nothing wrong with a program driven church as long as God is in the center, not the pastor or some personality for personal glory.
Drawing the unsaved to Christ, how many are even thinking like that. There is a tendency to seek those in some other church.If you caught your pastor coming out of the cat house or cruising bars, saw him/her on the corner with the drug dealer...... well would the Pharisee come out?
Oh in a program, in church or some house that is okay, but all the sick are not in hospitals. Healing has to take place where they are, be there un-conformed but transformed to let them see Jesus.
Whoops, started preaching....sorry.
We have big meetings with out big purpose, with you I agree.
Hi my sister.
We just came out of our district conf.in the north alabama areas, we shared on the same topic.The answer that I gave came from Carl Erikson's stages of growth,(EGO brings on stagnation.) See we have let our own egos take over and by this the church has become a center of staleness .Not wanting to go forward because of our Egos says It me and my four and no more.So others in the church starts to just sit down and there is no movement to grow. But I come to tell we must get out of our box and go out,He said if you go I will be with you, so let get out of stagnation by having a pure heart.To do the will of God (it's not about us)
We have been discussing this topic on a conference level. Many pastors and churches have been attempting to reinvent themselves and follow non-denominational or inter-denominational fellowships instead of building on the way our denomination has flourished for nearly three centuries....connection. Churches have complained that the denomination doesnt have trickle down economics and have been attracted to those fellowships that appear to do so. Also, bishops, presiding elders and pastors have not emphasized the importance of the connectional church politically, socially, economically and educationally. I was amazed at one of my earliest pastoral appointments at a mission charge. The members had very little idea of what happened outside of quarterly conference when the elder came and since no bishop had ever visited the church, they had no interest in anything outside of meeting their assessments. With my encouragement and example, they begin to attend district and annual conferences, and some connectional meetings such as general board and bishops council meeting. That along with a renewed effort of evangelism and teaching using the discipline, the church members grew spiritually and numerically.
As a pastor, I make every effort to attend meetings outside my conference and episcopal district (when able) and to join groups such as this to become familiar with my brothers and sisters from around the world. For example, I recently took in a new affiliated member who had joined the AME Church in India and was looking for an AME church in the states to attend. He and his family have been attending and tithing and growing. It was exciting to my members and conference to hear and see that our church is a true multicultural and international church. Blessings my brother
It is so good to hear someone seeking to grow 'us' and just talk us down.
As a group many like minded pastors could bring forth CHANGE. The way we do business and handle money and do ministry. Alas while we are heavenly minded the leadership is so earthly bound so focused on money while praying to God.
I have never been a Pastor, God knows I would have had many issues with the system and I probably would not have advanced beyond that first church.
We have abandoned our means of growth, Classes, and lost, almost, our connectional nature. We still have a financial connection. Very few churches work together, do any presiding elders or bishops? This individualist for myself attitude is killing us. Segregation was good for Black America, it drove us together, we had to depend on each other. Now it should be realized that integration is a myth but we can't see beyond what is in it for me as persons or groups.
How often do members or pastors identify 'My Church' instead of the church of Jesus? It is not about us, is it?