Is there a struggle for spiritual awakening in the AME Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I have noticed a trend at least in the southwest (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana) that there are many AME churches struggling for spiritual awakening. By this I mean gift phenomena, charismatic worship, and varied outreach ministries. It seems to be a desire to fit in with the other groups who appear to be growing and thriving while relinquishing all traditional links to denominations or orders. Do you all think that this a problem or not. Are we dying by keeping our traditions?

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001


Rev. Neal:

You pose a terrific question. From a strictly church growth model, conventional methods emphasizing legalistic behavior as represented in the Discipline are associated with AME churches who have either anemic growth rates or declining membership trends. The charismatic revolution has resulted in spectacular growth rates. As I have stated for many years [before and after my AME conversion] young people today are not enamored with our strict customs and traditions. They have reverence for archaic expressions like "constituted authority" or Connectional responsibility. Unless we as a church adapt we will quickly become extinct. This is the law of social evolution. QED

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

I think that as churches move closer to God they start to look like each other. Jesus only preached one doctrine. There was a time when those who practiced these things were persecuted by the protestant church but became more accepted as more and more people found themselves involved. I am told Billy Grahm crusades got many churches together and when pentecostal and charismatic churches were accepted by him it brought them into the main stream.

I used to go to a Fundamental Baptist church where the preacher preached against these things but many of his people either practiced them or knew others who did. Because of that most of the people did not believe that part of there own churches doctrine. They did not tell there preacher tho ha ha.

These things are good. I think as churches get closer to God these things will become more common and the only differences between churches will be things like music and style.

In Christ, Nathan Paujo

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

I am Christian by the mercy and grace of God. I am A.M.E. by the choice God has allowed me to make. A God who has made every thumbprint, every grain of sand, and every snowflake to be different from all the rest, surely must not frown upon individuality.

The Blood of Christ makes us one. However, I have never felt, nor do I feel now, that all Christians could be, should be, or even would want to be A.M.E.

While traveling to my church I pass at least twenty (20) Christian churches of other denominations, many of them where I fellowship from time to time. Since no one held me at gunpoint to choose the one I attend, any of these could have been my choice. Thank God for the freewill to chose. For, I am blessed to be a Christian and I am proud to be an A.M.E.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

Please forgive my omission of an important word in my earlier response. The third sentence from the end should have the word "little" between have and reverence. The uneditied sentence is inconsistent with my assertion that youth are virtually disinterested in AME polity. Thanks and let's pray that Rev. Fisher's technical problems with the AME Today website will be of a short time duration. QED

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

There is a spiritual awakening taking place in the AME Church. I can see how my church is being called to be one of the churches that will lead the way by example. I am completing my 4th year at Macedonia (Kaufman, Texas). When I came here, we embarked on continous sound Bible, lots of prayer and service to the community. The result is that God is assembling a team to get His word out. Our growth consist of people with skills that are needed in this body of Christ as well as those who need to be ministered. Each time a person becomes a member or a former member returns, we see the hand of God calling. The revelation is coming step by measured step. He gives us light to walk by and we are enjoying the ride.

Blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

First of all it is so good to hear from you Rev. Neal, keep posting we miss you! As I read your post, and read the words "some churches are struggling for spiritual awakening" my heart was touched for it seems that on some level there is movement of the Holy Spirit, God's time is not our time. So let's keep those churches in prayer. Though I am new to the denomination I look at my own experience in starting a church. It was not my plan! An AME minister from Texas wrote me and said I should transfer my ministerial credentials and start an AME church in Montana. I prayed and prayed and realized God was telling me to start a church. On August 6 2001 at Annual Conference we will officially be an AME church. Then another Texas AME minister Rev. Paris also encouraged me and helped get things started. He has been a wonderful mentor. And Rev. Brenda Payne and Jerryl Payne also from Texas have been powerful role models and generous with sharing on how to start a church. So I was surprised you mentioned Texas in your post;-) for it seems the Texas AME's are on fire for the lord and spreading the gospel. And even in the state of Montana at our Annual Conference. We will have three AME churches in a state that is 98 percent white. And all three minister will receive our ministerial orders. Maybe what we should do is have people from the U.S and around the world, share what the Holy spirit is doing. I know the 15th district is on fire for the lord! Joy in Christ, Denise

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ