Acevedo on the good and bad of the UMC

Jorge Acevedo did a Q&A a while back with Faith & Leadership about Grace United Methodist Church. The entire Q&A is worth reading and talking about for clergy and lay leaders.

I liked Acevedo’s answer to the question about his core theology:

Simple: Jesus is Lord. The kingdom of God is here. It’s not about you. The local church is the hope of the world. You can’t separate personal piety and social holiness; they work together. That’s part of our Wesleyan genius. The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is about making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. It is that beautiful tension that we live in.

His read on the assets and challenges of the denomination seem right on point to me as well:

I think the challenges that we have as the United Methodist Church are figuring out ways to turbo-charge our tradition. I think we have in our stream of Wesleyan Christianity all that we need to be faithful and fruitful in our current age. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced this personal-piety/social-holiness message — which is, I think, pretty unique to our Wesleyan tradition — is the angst of our age. The 20-somethings that I have conversations with want a church that has a vital piety but is making a difference in the world.

And so I think getting rid of — jettisoning — anything that keeps us from practicing ministry in that way is going to be our biggest challenge. Have we become so monolithic in our systems, both at the local-church level and beyond it — the districts and conferences, jurisdictions and general church — and so encrusted and so hardened that we’re unwilling to put those things aside so that we can claim the very core identity of who we are and live into that?