Tuesday, October 10, 2006

retraditioning

This year our District Superintendent gave us a book to read in our pastor small groups. Its called The Practicing Congregation by Diana Butler Bass.

We've been reading this book together and its pretty interesting. One comment Bass makes gives me encouragement as a young pastor. She writes:
"In both my research and my own church attendance, I have noted younger church members are attracted to particular congregations because those churches are clear about their traditions" (p.48).

I think she's going to be building on this idea throughout the rest of the book. This idea seems to be confirmed by the renewed interest in Calvinism that we are seeing as of late, and the ancient/future emerging worship trend.

If the United Methodist Church can reach back and boldly proclaim our Wesleyan doctrine in a relevant way, we may stand a chance of influencing a new generation of seekers for Christ.

7 comments:

St.Phransus said...

hey jason!!
i hear that i missed seeing ya at cor last week- bummer!! i read bass's book last year and really identified with it.

i believe the renewal that she is speaking of is definitely going to resignate with many congregations of the wesleyan persuasion- but more than that- that kind of renewal- traditions and rituals are exactly what our generation and the younger gens are hoping for, i believe. the boomers rebelled against it- family traditions, traditional, ritual but then they grew up and replaced it with absenteeism. now we hunger for community and a life that has traditions and rituals. funny how life works.

enjoy the book. and i'm jealous- your ds is the real deal!! shalom.

Jason Woolever said...

i would have loved to see you guys. i totally missed out on the umerging thing. i would have loved to hear the bishops panel too. i hope that i don't miss the opp to hang out with you guys next time. i feel that these internetworks built through the blogosphere are and will be crucial to all of our health and vitality in UM ministry in this new age we're in.

i am blessed with a really great DS right now. he's got a lot of integrity. Thanks for the comment!

a group of christian friends said...

As a young person in the church I sought out traditions. In the changing pastors our church never seemed to lose particular things and that intrigued me. I always asked why do we do that? Sometimes there was an answer sometimes not. Being as intellectually minded as I am, I always sought answers which brought me to attending Annual Confrences, serving on youth boards, attending a seminary program for youth, working at a UM camp, and currently living in a college campus ministry house. Yet, I still often seek out a Catholic Mass simply because I love their traditions. Don't get me wrong, I love being a Methodist, particularily for the social justice work, but the reverance and traditions carried out in a Catholic Mass help calm my soul.

I understand that I am unusual for my generation. I am at a church 4-6 days a week. Yet, I strongly believe that we need a renewal, or a revival of some kind and that our young people would respond to it. We are quickly becoming a Nation that doesn't really care, as long as we have our private lives that's all we want. If the church would clean up and clarify some of our basic theology and challenge people I think we'd all be better off.
God Bless,
your sister in Christ,
Erin Kruger

a group of christian friends said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Woolever said...

erin, i agree with you 100%

gavin richardson said...

that's a great book! i started doing some chapter by chapter book review on the old blog last summer of practicing congregation and postmodern parish. both good reads for the mainline church.

i agree with your assessment & vision of blogosphere relationships, they will be vitally important

Jason Woolever said...

i'll have to check out postmodern parish. i've never heard of that one.

i'm always looking for a helpful paradigm shift