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.’ ChristianPost.com. July 31, 2013.