I posted this back in October. I'm re-posting this again to get people's reactions, especially those Disciples in Minnesota. Do you agree with my sentiment? If so, why? What are the solutions?
I look forward to your thoughts.
I've been trying to rein in my Aspie tendency to be incredibly blunt. So far, I've done a good job.
But I think I need to be blunt for just one moment.
I don't mean to be down on my own denomination, but I do think that here in Minnesota we Disciples just suck. I'm really starting to believe in a few years there will be no Disciple churches in Minnesota.
Why do I saw that Disciples suck? Because over the last few years, I've encountered frustrated pastors, lay people who leave Disciple congregations for other churches, a defeatist attitude, and a lack of willingness to be change agents. I keep wondering if Disciples here in the North Star state really care about the future of Discipledom. If we don't then we should just close up shop.
Take for example the fact that there are a fair number of Disciples that have left Disciple churches. Why is that? Do we ask those questions? What can we do to bring them back?
I don't mean to sound harsh, but I get frustrated in the lack of new ideas, of a willingness to think outside of the box. In many cases, I feel that we Disciples are stuck in doing church as it was in the 1950s. This was a time when the culture was nominally Christian and there was a certain way to do worship. But we don't live in that culture anymore and people under the age of 40 are looking for something different in a church, if they are looking at church at all.
I also get frustrated at the lack of diversity among Minnesota Disciples. We are still amazing white. I don't there is overt racism, but it would be nice if we had more people who looked like me in our churches. I would also love if we tried to find ways to plant more ethnic churches in the Twin Cities. We have a lot to learn from our Lutheran sisters and brothers that are busy planting Hispanic, Chinese, Hmong and countless other immigrant congregations in the area.
I also find myself frustrated at time of those who leave. Did they try to share their on complaints? Maybe they did, but it seems like they just took their toys and left. I wish they could put their anger into developing new ways of being a Disciple in the 21st century.
Now I love the church I am currently serving at, and I love the people there. I also love the many Disciples that are found in the other congregations, many that I know and have worshipped with. But I feel that there is a lack of the Spirit found among us. We seem to be without hope.
I would like to see a Pentecost experience happen among of the Disciples of Minnesota- an outpouring of the Spirit. I want to see the young having visions and the old dreaming dreams. I want to see a revival, a people who are not looking back at the good old days, but faithfully forward into the future. I want to see us dreaming of new ways to share the good news of Jesus.
I love my fellow Minnesota Disciples, but we need to wake up and stop sleeping. I pray that the Holy Spirit will awake our souls. Come, Holy Spirit, Come!