Eric Pone Lay Associate Family Discipleship
Over the last year, I have been focused on preparing for seminary and preparing for my certification meeting with the District Committee on Ministry. I have read a lot of Wesley and a lot of what our denomination believes. All of this is to create a cohesive theology that will allow me to effectively show my readiness for ministry.
I have a theology of ministry practice that I would call Human-Centered Christianity. I stole this concept from Andrew Yang’s Human-Centered Capitalism because it summed up where I am.
- The Church is a movement centered around people and not a building.
- The Church’s responsibility is to spread the good news of Jesus and the grace of his sacrifice.
- Other people are the center. If a congregation finds that their ministry isn’t other-centered it should get rid of anything that stands in the way of this.
- The Church isn’t an institution. It’s a movement. Jesus started this movement as a means of educating people about loving one another, showing each other grace. It’s not an extension of government, it’s not a means of governance (although one of the roles of the elder is to provide this oversight). It’s about telling as many people about Jesus by any available means and trusting that God has the resources out in creation to accomplish this.
I taught last week about how many church’s open the doors every Sunday and assume people will just flow in. And many have closed as they have died off. The effective ministry now must involve sending people out into the world to show love, and talk about God. An effective congregation will partner with other organizations to solve real-life problems with joy and love. People want to be where authentic joy and love and acceptance live and this will pull people into our two campuses.
We have two approaches to discipleship and the most effective congregations do as well.
- We have live teaching and events on our campus that equip people to go into the world.
- We have a digital campus that’s focused on building relationships and providing teaching in smaller chunks.
Our denomination says that our path towards perfection begins with baptism and our grace is perfected by loving others, serving others, praying with others, helping others, It’s the core of who we are as Christians centered around a simple question…how can we help?
So this is what I have learned so far from all of you. I look forward to continuing my learning with all of you!! Grace and Peace.