I am a malaria survivor. I know what the fevers, shakes, and fear do to the human body. For these reasons, I am especially supportive of Methodism’s call for the world to “Imagine No Malaria”. I admit that it is frustrating to sit in conference or district meetings and be lectured about the importance of eradicating malaria by those who’ve never had the illness. No one has asked for my insight nor have I sought to offer my perspective. Clearly, I’m pro anti-malaria. However, as my colleagues and congregation are urged to imagine a world without malaria, I also “imagine” other realities. What might Methodism “imagine” eradicating next? I’m going to vote for distractions, gimmicks, fads, ploys, contrivances, and other manufactured ministry methods. Imagine No Manufactured Ministry Methods-the next step in imagination from the United Methodist Church.
The Imagine No More Manufactured Ministry Methods campaign may lead to:
A world without PowerPoint screens in every sanctuary
A civilization free from pre-packaged sermon series that last 6-8 weeks
A worship space where there are no drums and no plastic booths for drummers to play behind
A denomination where satellite campuses and video link sermons are relegated to history books
Churches where communion is celebrated weekly
A world where pastors preach the entirety of the Bible over a three year cycle
A place where adult Christian education isn’t replaced by small groups
A Christian environment more focused on Jesus’ words about money than those uttered by Dave Ramsey or published by Crown Financial
A church that listens directly to its own community instead of deciding what its neighbors need based on George Barna’s research
As we raise funds to stop the spread of malaria; might we also imagine a world free of the contrived, manufactured ideas that are killing our congregations? If we can combat the drug-resistant malaria ravaging Africa we can certainly imagine a gimmick free Methodism.