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Featured Methodist Church Kicks out it's Senior Citizens

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Particular, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    I came across this article, via a Facebook post. It seems a Methodist Church is telling the congregants that in order to reach a younger population the older population needs to stop meeting in June and leave for at least 2 years while the church is reimaged for young people, starting in the fall. The older people can then reapply to attend, if they submit to the new order of church function.
    I have never heard of such an open hostility to older Christians. Read the article and respond.
    Cottage Grove church to usher out gray-haired members in effort to attract more young parishioners – Twin Cities
     
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  2. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Sick sick sick.
    UMC, but the pastor doing this is a product of a Baptist seminary: Bethel in Minnesota!

    Here's the website he's put up to advance his 'Replanting' scheme:

    Community Survey
    The Grove — A New Church Growing Vibrant Faith In Families
    Answering four questions in as little as three minutes will help give us a better picture of our community. You can even enter into a drawing to win a $50 gift card to Junction 70 Grill.
     
    #2 Jerome, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  3. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Let’s think this through...
    I can see the older members thinking, “hummmm, I think I won’t be writing a check this week.”

    That church budget will be a wee bit lower next year.

    Rob
     
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  4. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    If I read the article correctly, the denomination is giving a quarter million dollars in startup seed money to reset this church. They are looking at the community and thinking this church is failing to be relevant to the community as it now stands.
    It seems that people in higher positions see the church as an outreach ministry and the current church doesn't view itself as an outreach ministry.
    The article begs us to ask what is the function and purpose of the church.
     
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  5. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    Wow, just wow..
     
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  6. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    From the article:

    "the Methodists’ regional Annual Conference is paying $250,000 to restart the church. They have hired a specialist...Jeremy Peters."

    "Peters, 30, has moved to Cottage Grove with his wife and two children. He is...laying the groundwork for the relaunch, probably in November."

    "The older members will not be physically barred from attending, said Peters. But the expectation is that they will not....'For this to be truly new, we can’t have [them]'."
     
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  7. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    On the surface it sounds bad, but I dont know the whole story. The church I grew up was seized by the elderly. They took control of the church and ran all the younger people off. A church of 200 quickly became a church of 30. I guess it goes both ways.
     
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  8. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Unbelievable! If young people are not seeking God there is nothing a denomination can do. You don't diss your faithful adherents in favor of a group that might not remain. Better a smaller but more faithful group of people than a large church with lukewarm believers.
     
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  9. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    "Stella and Jon Knapp...say they hate the plan....'If it happened, I wouldn’t come here any more,' said Stella, 34....the couple loves the church....Jon, 34 [said] 'This church is very kind to us and our children'."
     
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  10. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Not a very Christian attitude if you ask me.
     
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  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    "William Gackstetter said the aging membership has been asked to continue maintaining the church until it reopens without them. 'They want us to mow the lawn and shovel the snow,' he said....'This whole plan makes me sick. I believe it’s evil'."
     
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  12. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Was 34 too old? Or they're just going to miss their gray haired brethern?
     
  13. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    DISGUSTING!
     
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  14. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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  15. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Looks like JD finally realized his (latest) blunder LOL

    Caps of what he had up all day at P&P (wrong guy):
    pulp meth1 - Copy.jpg pulp meth2 - Copy.jpg
     
  16. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    Look, if the Methodist conference considered asking the black people in the church to leave, because they were scaring away new people, would that proposal have gotten out of the conference room? Of course not. But old people — hey, no problem. They’re getting in the way of progress. Their walkers are in the way of people getting out to the coffee bar in the lobby, I guess.

    I don’t get it. Honestly, I don’t. I totally get telling people to stay away because they are unrepentant sinners. But being old is not a sin. Is it?

    As a theological conservative in a liberal mainline denomination, I would suggest that there is probably a lot more to this story than what is presented in the article. and I would not assume that it is a case of godless liberal bureaucrats vs. poor, faithful elderly parishioners.

    There are a lot – a LOT – of seriously declining mainline congregations out there, and for most of these congregations there is only a limited time left before the work and expense of keeping the doors open become too much for the few people left. In almost every situation, the small band of elderly parishioners have no desire, motivation or idea how to grow their congregation, and are typically fully on board with their denomination’s liberal drift. They will refuse to change anything, but expect the minister to magically bring in a bunch of new folk who will bring with them invisible children, contribute large amounts to the church, but be content with having no say in how it is run. These folk will retain a death grip on the church governance.

    I am in a mainline denomination and I see this ALL THE TIME. Most liberal denominational leaders are happy to let the congregation die out, then sell the building. Truth be told, most of these aging dying congregations are quite liberal and so the liberal leadership won’t challenge them. Most liberal leaders have no clue how to plant or grow a new church. Occasionally there are people (usually more orthodox/conservative) who are interested in renewing the church, but they are powerless to do anything because the elderly, liberal parishioners hold a death grip on power in the parish.

    That leaves only two options to revitalize a church. One is to plant a new congregation in an existing parish (i.e., leave the dying congregation in place and plant a completely new congregation to use the same building). Two is to close the parish down, albeit earlier than you would have (but probably only +/- 5 years earlier than it would have closed anyway), let the building sit vacant for half a year and then plant a new congregation.

    There are pros and cons to both models. In the first model, the aging existing congregation is typically very needy to their pastors, and they will often work to sabotage the plant. Furthermore, the aging congregation is typically liberal, while you need a conservative to successfully plant a new congregation. In the second model, the con is very obvious as described in this article — the optics are bad as a church is shut down a bit early. My strong suspicion is that anyone from the old congregation who is willing to be constructive in contributing to a new church plant would be very welcome to take part.

    One last point — consider the wider issue of the dying older mainline denominations (e.g. Episcopal Church) vs. the young upstart conservative offshoot denominations (e.g. ACNA). The dying old denomination maintained a death grip on the denomination and refused to change. The folks interested in growing an orthodox church had to leave and start their congregations from scratch. It’s kind of the same dynamics.

    This is really interesting. Thanks for it. I hadn’t thought that left-right ideology had anything to do with this Minnesota situation. Based on what has been reported, it looks like that congregation couldn’t survive, and probably needs to wind down. I can’t blame the Methodist conference for wanting to do something different to revive that parish. But man, to tell old people to go away and only come back if they have permission — that is just awful.

    Out With The Olds | The American Conservative
     
  17. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace Well-Known Member
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    Wonder if any of these "failing" congregations ever consider Paul's method/style of preaching, & look for a pastor that will: "---Preach Christ and Him crucified---", using the bible as the source of sermons!!
    Probably solve a lot of the "problems", both spiritual AND social.:Thumbsup:Wink
     
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  18. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    The church did them a favor. They need to get out of that apostate denomination and find a real church.
     
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  19. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    DISGUSTING!
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    AND CREEPY!
     
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