I am thinking about how our church might be “born-again.” As strange as it sounds, we surely believe in such a possibility. We believe the message of John 3 that we all have the privilege of receiving life from above, which Jesus describes as rebirth. And, we share a key conviction of the Reformed branch of the family—that the church must be ever reforming. And, we also belong to a tradition that cherishes the great revivals that have blessed our forebears. And, most of us have longed and prayed for a fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit in our church. And, and … and … We do believe in rebirth. So, why not a church “born-again”?
As members of the larger Methodist family, could we commit to a disciplined process that helps willing people actually become like Jesus and participate in the ongoing mission of Jesus? Indeed, could we learn to be together as church in a way that carries us toward Jesus-like character and mission?
One of the greatest challenges, I think, is to bridge the gap from where we are (which depends on “where we are!” J) to where we need to go (see above paragraph). We must demonstrate that what we want to do is not new but a rediscovery of historic, biblical, Wesleyan dynamic; that we wish to encourage a restoration movement among us, rebirthing the Church. Yes, I’ll say it again: the FMC needs to be “born-again, filled with the Spirit, perfected in love, and launched in mission!” Here are some questions to ponder in the pursuit.
QUESTION: if in some sense we have become “the Church of England” what would John Wesley do? Or, if we have become "the Methodist Episcopal Church" of our day, what would B.T. Roberts do? We want to become Wesleyan again, not just in theology but practice!
QUESTION: Could we start a Methodist Movement within the FMC? What about organizing a “Holy Club”? We are not lacking in resources or materials to help us. Who are the seekers, new believers, the desperate, and hungry among us? They are likely the prime responders to such an invitation.
QUESTION: where are the E.P. Harts among us? (B.T. Roberts appointed him to “Michigan.”)
What do you think? How will you pray?