Christianity · church · clergy · religion

United Methodists considering economist’s plan for church growth

The United Methodist denomination is concerned about its continuing decline in numbers which it has been experiencing since the 1960s– a trend that became worse in the early 2000s. Enter economist Donald R. House, who volunteers for the denomination. He devised an all-encompassing proposal to reverse the trend which he submitted to leaders within the denomination.

Upon examining demographic and financial trends in thousands of churches, House’s plan, called “The Benchmark Project”, is being tested in several churches and allows for a congregation to sign up without waiting for approval of the whole denomination or its top leaders. House says it is based on the Biblical principles of stewardship and evangelism. It’s goal is to register 1,000 United Methodist congregations into the plan then have them raise $120 million together to invest strategically in programs while they act as entrepreneurs in ways that focus on each community’s needs to spur growth as they cover it all with prayer.

One leader who works with the denomination said the plan’s prioritization of making disciples is good, but its effectiveness will depend on the personalities involved and how they work with or work around differences of opinion they may have.

But what is the denomination’s real problem? They embrace doctrine that is anti-Biblical. Many of them object to the idea that Jesus is the only way to God. There are also many in their ranks who believe there is nothing wrong with fornication, including homosexuality. Many of them also believe eternal life isn’t eternal. And many of their leaders teach liberation theology, which is a mix of liberal socialist doctrine with Christianity. Unless and until the denomination repents of their disobedience to God, they will not experience the genuine spiritual change of the heart that’s needed, even if the strategy draws millions to their worship facilities.

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it… Psalm 127:1

Source: Michael Gryboski. Economist Pitches Plan to Reverse Decline of UMC Before It ‘Ceases to Exist As We Know It.’ July 31, 2013.


5 thoughts on “United Methodists considering economist’s plan for church growth

  1. What do you think about baptism? i was formerly a methodist and got baptised when i was a baby. does it still count i think some people think you have to be baptised as an adult to be saved.


    1. When Philip in Acts preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”

      Philip responded, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Then the eunuch confessed his belief in Jesus and was baptized. Peter said in 1 Peter that baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God.” It’s something we do as a result of the salvation we have already received through Jesus to profess publicly our devotion to him and is symbolic of death and burial of our old nature and the resurrection of a new life we get from our relationship with the Lord.

      So baptism isn’t what actually saves us and in order for it to mean something, a person has to make a conscious decision on their own to do it. Babies aren’t aware of their sin and they don’t voluntarily get baptized, so infant baptism has nothing to do with salvation.


      1. Our works, like baptism, aren’t what save us. The thief on the cross was never baptized and Jesus told him he would see him in paradise. All I was saying previously is that infant baptism is meaningless since the infant doesn’t know what’s being done. Whether or not you get baptized again is a matter for you and God to work out.


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