Black people within the united methodist church are facing two major challenges: Proving our worth to the dominate culture and bridging the generational gap to ensure the churches future.
Dominant Culture &
For years it has been reported that the black church within the United Methodist Church is declining. We can see it in our local church attendances, national organization memberships, number of certified candidates, etc. Often the significance of the black church is not recognized by the dominant culture and our churches are not properly cared for by the annual conferences that are their care takers which leads to the eventual closing of “underperforming” churches. Effectively communicating that significance is a challenge of the Black Church that must be overcome to ensure the future of the Black Church within the UMC.
Older Generation &
There is a missing generation within the Black Church. Many young people have left the UMC because of the challenge of finding authentic places within the black church to live out their purpose. Younger generations have found it difficult to find a home in many of the traditional congregations because do not create space for them to live in the individuals God has created them to be. Furthermore, young people struggle with having their gifts and talents used as vehicles to accomplish goals of our elders and not being allowed them to fulfill their individual calling. Bridging the gap between our elders and our younger generations is essential to the life of the Black Church.
The challenges facing the black church have no one answer or solution. With that said the first step to finding solutions is listen. Listening for understanding will provide foundation for authentic healthy conversation and cultural changes.
Authentic Healthy Conversation
Having real conversations about the struggles of black people within the UMC is necessary to begin to find real solutions. Talking about the issues will begin the path to true understanding.
Cultural Change and Competency
At the root of our issues is flawed cultural norms. These norms must be confronted with love and care. That love and care must include competency to cultures outside of our own and change to these norms.
How You Can Help
We can’t do this work alone. No one person or one group of people can. We need your help to share the stories, have the authentic conversations and change the cultural norms that have led us here.
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These stories can expose people to the struggles of black people with the UMC. We need your help to share the stories with the people who need to hear it most. Follow the link below to view and share the stories.
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At the end of this road is a UMC where all people feel wanted, heard and valued. That is God’s Church, that is the Church that we are called to create. It starts with us. The change will only happen when we begin to change. Share your story with us and the world