Home Pastors Disarming a Weaponized Church: Moving Forward Amid Turmoil in the UMC

Disarming a Weaponized Church: Moving Forward Amid Turmoil in the UMC

Many of us are not waiting, we are getting to work in our local communities. All sides aside if we don’t figure out how to make disciples it won’t matter. Changing the sign out front won’t magically make people come beat down our door.

In the recovery community we often pray the short version of Reinhold Niebuhr’s serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

We learn to draw a circle around ourselves and take responsibility for the only thing we have the power to change…ourselves. It’s unlikely we can change denominational realities, but we can bring healing to the lives of the particular people in our particular communities. We waste an inordinate amount of time joining into the fray of schism. If we invested that time and energy into cultivating communities centered in the compassion of Jesus, decaying denominational systems fades into background noise. The renewal of denominations lies in healthy local churches.

May we disarm a weaponized church by beating our swords into plowshares on the anvil of compassion.