The AME Church....its vision and future!greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Hello my dear friends! Ol'brother Ray has been pondering quite a few things pertaining to our "Zion." In a few weeks the Strategic Planning Commission will begin phase two of charting the master plan for the church. Ol'brother Ray knows someone serving on that commission and would be willing to read and share your comments. Please feel free to share your thoughts upon the vision and future of the AME Church. You may be honest, terse or even verbose....but please be sincere in your posts. Don't worry Bill, there is enough room for even your prophetic musings!
-- Anonymous, February 18, 2005
I honestly don't believe many of our pew members are even remotely aware about the important work of the Strategic Planning Commission. Many pew members feel alienated because they do NOT have the time or resources to attend our myriad of Connectional meetings and thus are not "in the loop" and aloof about matters like Strategic Planning. To correct for this perception of alienation I would recommend the following:
A. When Bishops speak at our various AME Churches integrate the topic of AME Strategic Planning in their sermons. Congregations need to know the Biblical/Theological origins of this key concept.
B. Every Church Conference, District Conference & Annual Conference should have a workshop topic on Strategic Planning.
C. All Presiding Elders should address and explain the topic of Strategic Planning at one of their regularly scheduled Quarterly Conferences. The perfunctory reading of our Quarterly reports can wait until this issue is thoroughly addressed.
D. Require all AME pastors to allow one Sunday for a "Town Hall" Meeting about Strategic Planning. Folks do not come out during the week. Most don't attend Church, District & Quarterly Conferences. Do it on Sunday at 11:00AM. Many of our members have questions but feel like there is no forum to address such concerns. We are in need of DIALOUGE not sophomoric sermons which promote meandering monolouges.
Just my two cents :-) QED
-- Anonymous, February 21, 2005
Parson Ray Forgive me for following, in agreement, to the distinguished Professor. I find it extraordinary that the Church could even try to actually pull this off considering this is no real connection with the various constituents within our connection. We have seen better communication on this BB than the Church can report anywhere. To continue with a strategic plan without stakeholder input is no more than an exercise in futility.
I whole-heartedly agree with Bill on this one. This is a sad case of errant nonsense. We are the Church of some of the greatest ideas but without unity of support and purpose this too like everything else will die on the vine.
Before we look at a strategic plan let us first have an honest discussion on what is still going on in our Church. The good and the bad are wreaking havoc because we have yet to develop consistancy in our operational in Episcopal leadership. How can the President of the Council of Bishops Lead if the Senior Bishop is beating the drum louder. How do we move our Church forward when we are still suffering with the reality of moving poorly performing pastors to more Churches to destroy them after already wreaking havoc in another. We have a Book of Doctrine and Discipline and it is time for us to start using it from the top down and the bottom up. If we used the doctrine we have we would not need many of the remedies that we presently use. We would not have so many Pastors and other leaders in court for compromising thenselves with Pastoral or sexual misconduct.
We have become a dinosaur in the religious community and it is we who need to wake up before we become extinct.
In Bermuda we have had leadership that has resulted in declines across the Board. The remedy, leave that which is not working in place and pray harder. Please!!! give us the members of this Church credit for something. If poorly performing leaders know nothing will happen to them, they only continue what it is they are doing. There is no need for a strategic plan for that or the direction of the Church. Let us first start with cleaning the house that Allen built. That by itself will take at least 10 years across the connection. After that let us begin honest ministry in our inner cities and our wilderness countries, that will take 20 years. After that (if any of us are still alive) let's have that meeting of the Strategic Planning Commission. The AME Church can and must do better but this Commission will not, in this one man's opinion, ever get it done.
We spend more time talking about TD Jakes, Eddie Long and others look at the Church of God in Christ. Even with their stream of issues they have the model example of leadership.In 100 years they have grown right past us and are more than double in size. Guess how many disgruntled AME members left our Church and have given their passion and zeal to help Bishop G.E. Patterson. You might be surprised.
I have been a member of this denomination for 39 years beginning when I was 6 years old. I have seen on both the local and connectional level many of the issues that beset our Church. Till we fix those, including consolidating our expenses, insurance and banking, we will not be in a position to take real leadership. Only our mega Churches do that because they do what we won't.
Sorry if I have gone overboard my Dear Brother but I am growing tired of great speaches and poor results. We must do better I am still on board. God Bless You
-- Anonymous, February 21, 2005
You state, "How can the President of the Council of Bishops Lead if the Senior Bishop is beating the drum louder." Please explain.
God bless. A.J.
-- Anonymous, February 22, 2005
Oh, by the way, Brother Nalton, I forgot to say, AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-- Anonymous, February 22, 2005
It is my opinion, that there are many concerns about the future of our church is essential. As Bishops, General Officers, pastors, ministers, laity and youth I feel that we must first look at the spiritual and evangelistic growth of our church. It is imperative that each of us are able to grow spiritually and accomplish our mission of saving souls. It amazes me, that almost every church that I visit, the emphasis of worship services and ministry or not designed on saving souls. There are many pulpits on any given Sunday that has at least 6 or more Itinerant Elders, deacons, evangelists and retirees participating in the worship services in reading of the scripture, the decalogue, gifts of mission etc., from Sunday after Sunday occupying space. It would be most helpful if pastors would formulate ministries for these ministers to go out into the communitites during the week and on Sunday's and be of service to those whom we are called to serve. These ministers could also be of assistance to mission churches in aiding them as well. Also, prepare special training for these ministers before doing Outreach ministry. I believe that Dr. "Chip" Murray had a successful Outreach ministry for ministers during his tenure. Another concern is the youth and young adults of our church. There are alot of churches and mega churches who are still operating from the 60's in ministry. Our churches must meet the needs of these persons through Christian Education from the connectional level, through the episcopal, conference and local levels. Alot of these youth and young adults are bored and feel that our church does not have anything to offer them. They are highly involved in teaching ministries, seminars, worshops and community service work. Many of them go away to college and return with abilitities and skills that could be of service to the church and other denominations seek after them and appreciate sometimes what our church does not utlize these persons. Lastly, but not the least. A new system of electing Bishops and General Officers of the AMEC. I feel that it should matter what how long a candidate has been a member in the AMEC and what services one has rendered in support of the church. Our FAITH should be first, before our our emotions. Character, integrity and a vision for the people of the church is needed if we are to be a productive church. Our founder's built this church on less than what we have today and it appears now that we complain about having too little to build upon. It is my hope that our church will seriously look into these concerns and others, for the vision of our church and become all that God has intended for this GREAT CHURCH to continue to become in kingdom building.
-- Anonymous, February 23, 2005
Sis. Augusta The President of the Council of Bishops is the Chief Figure of the Church outside of the General Conference. They work in conjunction with the President of the General Board. The Post of Senior Bishop is a ceremonial one but our Church seems to use Seniority to make decisions more than by administrative policy. There is the view that the Senior Bishop is the leader of our Church and as a result they are treated as such. This is not the case.
I hope this helps By The way, thanks for your input and feedback
God Bless You Nalton
-- Anonymous, February 24, 2005
Thanks Brother Nalton. I honestly did not know that about the Senior Bishop vs. the President of the Bishop's Council. Thanks for educating me and the rest of the members of this board.
God bless! A.J.
-- Anonymous, February 26, 2005
Thank you for that word of wisdom. Your message resonates with me in a powerful way and I trust it will do so with all who read it. I share your sense of the thing, but am much more aggressive and a lot less diplomatic!
I fear the A.M.E. church is on the very edge of the abyss. Church ministries (outreach, education, discipleship, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the widow, the ill, the poor, etc) take second place to maintenance of facilities, strategic plans, position, politics, gifts, and all the other vanities and dead works that can be named. We have Ph.Ds and Masters of Divinity presiding over congregations with levels of Biblical illiteracy that is utterly shameful. Our churches have been reduce to little more than community lodges with their melodic pomp and secret handshakes, led by those occupying offices more akin to the lodge's 'grand pubas' than that of Christ's servants.
This Church is in need of a strategic plan for revival and reform. It is the Work of Christ that is our mission - all else is vain. If we're not doing His work, then we are doing nothing. Until we stop sugar-coating the problem and playing pattie-cake with truth and describing the challenge in political-speak, we shall sink ever deeper.
Yours in Christ,
-- Anonymous, February 27, 2005
Well said Bro. Harris . Well said
-- Anonymous, February 27, 2005
Dear Ron, Thank you for your words of wisdom and your aggressive insight. Let us to continue in prayer and supplication for our church.
-- Anonymous, March 01, 2005