Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Embers of the Fire

These are some reflections on the life of a denomination or individual church that initially began at a campfire on the night of November 6. I will begin with observations of a scene, pose questions related to the church and respond to these questions in a future post.

When there is a fire that is burning brightly there will be a point when the fire will begin to die down. At that point, fresh logs could be added to keep the fire burning. If the fire has burned down significantly, there are still embers that contain a lot of energy that can be harnessed for new fire. As the embers burn down, they begin to produce more heat than light and if they are spread out will burn out quickly.

What if you want to move the fire to another location? How can fire be spread to other areas? If you removed just one burning log or ember, it may burn out or it may be successful in starting a new fire. What if you took away half of the logs and embers to start a new fire. It would carry a greater likelihood of success in the new fire and would also significantly alter the initial fire. This would enable two new fires to be well lighted, but neither the new fire nor the one that remained would be as it was before.

  • Do these reflections apply to your community of faith?
  • Is your community of faith producing more heat than light?
  • When a church is not in a period of growth, how can the energy that is present be harnessed for new growth?
  • What is the best way to share momentum in making disciples with other communities of faith?
  • Is it more effective to start new churches or revitalize existing ones? Or both?