Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Ten Things I Like about the Wesleyan Church

I know I said I'd probably post these sorts of things on Facebook, but because I'm busy vacationing (and working on vacation ;-) this quick post came to mind.  I will not be posting a follow-up on the top ten things that frustrate me ;-)  These are not in any particular order.

  1. Joanne Lyon - here's a leader that understands the mission of the church and is a good lateral thinker (as opposed to letting procedure and structure trump objectives and purpose)
  2. Empowerment of the laity (in our decisions, an equal number of lay and ministerial represent the church; we have a small top -- a nice mid-point between a powerful hierarchy and completely local power)
  3. Balance in worship (you can do it late 1900s, you can do it 21st century, you can do it liturgical)
  4. Not ideologically rigid (on the things that are outside the creeds - a lot of freedom when it comes to things like baptism and communion)
  5. Women in ministry, Empowerment of minorities (we are reclaiming our heritage as one of the first churches to ordain women, we have an incredibly strong Hispanic church network and are expanding in these areas--we're doing it with the right heart rather than with bullying)
  6. Arminian - the only coherent version of Christianity ;-)
  7. Innovative - we have a host of pastors and educators that make me smile all the time with their creativity
  8. Lets its scholars be scholars - As long as your heart is in the right place, the WC pretty much lets its experts do their thing without the Salem Witch Trials of other churches
  9. Crazy Church Planters - the fever to start new churches is going gang-busters right now
  10. Headed in the right direction - Let's face it, a lot of the last century we were in the Dark Ages as a denomination, full of legalism, a vastly uneducated denomination with almost no competent biblical experts, theologians, worship experts, etc (in the 80s when I was at seminary, it seemed like half the Wesleyans there were thinking of jumping ship), we sat on our hands during civil rights and then pursued some of the more shallow versions of the church growth movement in the decades that followed.  Now we are missional, have started a seminary, and are finding lots and lots of ministers from other denominations come our way because our spirit is attractive.  No promise for the future, but right now it's looking good.


JRS said...

Great list Ken! There is much to like.

It seems one clarification is needed regarding number two.

You seem to be thinking of the church in its district and general function and on those levels there is shared decision making between lay and clergy.

However what is often overlooked is the dramatically different way our local churches operate. There is no parity locally. In local churches, the laity make the key decisions. Clergy have input, but there is no equality of representation. Lay people run the show.

Whether this is good or not is an entirely different question. There are strengths and weaknesses in any system.

Anonymous said...

after the first two, i completely agree

Random Arrow said...

“Arminian - the only coherent version of Christianity ;-)”

Sweet. Any dissenters? What about those who say the texts do not decide this issue? Hedgers?

Ken, housekeeping. I apologize for putting up my stupid comments about Jael on the other thread. I do love Jael. She’s a great inspiration for me in the poverty work I do. She's an outside the "genealogy" genealogical blessing. To me! But I don’t advise battered women and wives to pick up tent pegs. Except the tent pegs of restraining orders in courts. I tore those posts down. Because I read some more of what’s happening in Norway. I regret posting as I did. Even in play. I’m sorry about those posts.


Ken Schenck said...

I recently read the Jael story to my kids ;-)

Random Arrow said...

Lol! Those kids are going to grow up to be the coolest. I’ll never cross ‘em! ~ Jim

FrGregACCA said...

Arminianism: "the only coherent version of PROTESTANT Christianity...." (precisely because it is the iteration of Protestantism that is closest to the original, Apostolic Christian faith).

Ken Schenck said...


Tim Kirkes said...

Well said. I heartily agree