What we Know Even When We Do Not Know

One of the four initiatives that the Lord placed on my heart at the beginning of the year is to be more positive in the local church. After all, the reason we exist is to bring the good news of Jesus Christ.   Bad news has supplanted the good news way too much in recent years. The world starves for good news, not bad news. So let’s do everything we can to make sure the good news of Jesus Christ is the center and pulse of everything we are through Shalimar United Methodist Church.  

My good friend and colleague, Dr. Cory Smith, Senior Pastor of Auburn First United Methodist Church, recently posted about what we know in the United Methodist Church. So I asked Cory if I could share his positive word with you.

“Recently, I was asked, “What is your opinion? Which direction do you think the United Methodist Church might be taking in the years to come?”
I shared the truth, “I don’t know…And…here is what I do know.”

I know that I was born into a United Methodist context and culture. My Dad is a United Methodist Pastor. He retired a few years ago from a part-time appointment where he served in the same UMC appointment for 38 years. It may be some kind of record!

I know that this United Methodist Church is the church that has formed me, taught me, included me, and connected me to ministries in the inner cities of Mobile, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, and lots of wonderful rural places in between.

I know that this is the church that has taken me to places such as Kenya, Cuba, and Costa Rica, opening my eyes to the way the United Methodist Church is strongly connected globally in transforming lives in various ways and in cultures wonderfully diverse and far different than my own.

I know that this is the church that, when a disaster strikes, especially hurricanes and tornadoes where I live, this is the church that already has a tried-and-true built-in network to respond.

I know that this is the church that when Holy Communion is celebrated, everyone is invited, everyone included and welcomed to the table....giving God’s grace room to work in transforming everyone into the image of Jesus Christ.

I know that I love the United Methodist Church, imperfections, and all. I love our history and heritage. I also give thanks for our future as we move forward, trusting in God’s mercy and grace.

So as questions are raised about the United Methodist Church, the best answer that I know to give is my own personal reflection. This is the church that has formed me, shaped me, and helped me discover who I am as a follower of Jesus Christ.”


Thank you, Cory, for reminding us we have much we do know in times of uncertainty. I know that I have many reasons to give thanks to churches like Shalimar United Methodist Church. We do not know everything about the future, but we do know God is in charge. God is always reshaping His church so that more fruitful ministry can happen. We are entering a new church era. I know I am excited about what God is up to in the future, and I hope you are too!  

Shalom,
Philip

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