Recently Read: Serving as a denominational bishop in a post-denominational culture

Our friends at Faith and Leadership posted an article by Bishop Ken Carter on being a denominational bishop in a post-denominational world earlier this month. Even though it’s been up a while, it’s worth the read. Carter writes:

Bishop+Ken+Carter-2_medDenominational bishops in the United States represent the continuity and catholicity of the church in an increasingly congregational climate. The congregation is where baptism, confirmation, conversion, mission, discipleship and hospitality happen. It is often the voice for justice in a community.

But in our polity, the congregation alone is not enough. It is a necessary but insufficient expression of lived Christianity. United Methodists value the connection of congregations that share resources, build institutions and accomplish objectives that are beyond the capacity of even the largest and strongest of our churches on their own.

As a bishop, I have sensed a shift in our ecclesial reality. Where congregations were once called to support the denomination, the roles are now reversed; the denomination is called to support the vitality and flourishing of congregations, where intentional discipleship is practiced.

via Ken Carter: Serving as a denominational bishop in a post-denominational culture | Faith & Leadership.

Click on the link above to check out the full story.

Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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7 Comments on "Recently Read: Serving as a denominational bishop in a post-denominational culture"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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Gil Caldwell
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I would appreciate Methodist Pie being more specific about my suggestions. What a wonderful
thing it would be if in 2014 we began more intentionally to expand or re-cast the ideas
of others rather than tearing them down. I believe this is what Methodist Pie had in mind.

Gil Caldwell
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Bishop Ken Carter ends his article with these words; “The church’s challenge today is to navigate between liberty and chaos. Working together, continuity and change will take us there.” I have suggested that a Biblical text for this moment in our history is John 5: 7: “Sir I have no (man) to put me into the pool when the water is troubled and while I am going another steps down before me”. When “the water is troubled”, it has healing possibilities. This story about an ancient Jacuzzi that heals when the water is troubled, can be a metaphor for the… Read more »
MethodistPie
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I appreciate the bishop’s article. Gil Caldwell’s ideas are more likely to recreate the conditions of 1844 than the Christmas Conference.

chuck chipman, UMC Clergy Retired
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Re: Wes Andrews’ evaluation: If the UMC bishops, agencies, colleges, seminaries are ineffective in reflecting your UMC, who measures up to your standards? Is there only one issue to which we all must follow your lead, and if not we all should leave? After serving in my annual conference for over 50 years I have found all four of the above outstanding in leadership and love.

Wes Andrews
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Nope, Chuck. It’s based on loss of membership. It’s based on Bishops not dealing with clergy effectiveness. It’s based on Bishops refusing to hold people, and yes agencies, universities and seminaries accountable to the Book of Discipline. It’s based on who we are as defined by the Book of Discipline, and NOT “my” version of the UMC. On the contrary, the pro-gay marriage/ordination crowd clearly has their own UMC that has nothing to do with the collective will of UMC members/clergy at General Conference and published in the BOD. Chuck, under no measure can we determine that any of the… Read more »
Wes Andrews
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With respect to your office, and to you Bishop Carter, in my view, it is the Bishops who have refused to lead over the past several decades, that has brought the UMC to the chaotic place it finds itself. There has been a growing incongruity between the local churches and the UM agencies and University/Seminary system. Every four years the local church “speaks” through the open and orderly process of General Conference. And following and preceding those General Conferences the UM agencies, Universities/Seminaries undermine and confuse the clear, and what should be authoritative, decisions arrived at those quadrennial conferences. Functionally,… Read more »
DL Herring
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Thank you, Wes. Well said!

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