Ending infant mortality in the UMC

Taylor Burton-Edwards compares what happens in most congregations with infant mortality. We get new birth, but then we leave the babes out and exposed to the elements, where they die. One of the brilliant things about John Wesley was his determination to prevent spiritual infant mortality.

Burton-Edwards challenges us to keep up that legacy.


This is why for Wesleyan Christians it is not enough that we try to increase attendance in services of worship or even have more “professing members” or even more small groups in our congregations. There are too many ways to do all of those things that have nothing to do with the new birth or actual growth in holiness of heart and life– and they are being tried successfully– if your metrics of success are increases in attendance, membership and the number of small groups.

But our earnest passion and the striving of our souls and bodies is not simply for significant spiritual encounters or pledges of institutional allegiance or places of belonging. All of these may be related in some way to the new birth, but none of them necessarily so. We, too, live in a hostile environment where there are way too many cases of infant spiritual mortality. … It’s time to end spiritual infant mortality in our own day.

Check out his post for more.