(taken from the Free Methodist of N.A. website)
The Free Methodist Church “has a mission from God to uphold the New Testament standard of religion; and to preach the gospel to the poor.” This was B.T. Roberts’ passion in organizing a meeting of a new Methodist denomination on August 23, 1860, under an apple tree in Pekin, NY.
It’s been 148 years. How are we doing?
God is [still] calling His people called Free Methodists to share the gospel with the poor. God is [still] calling His people called Free Methodists to radical obedience, to self-denial, to cross-bearing so we might engage in a vital part of His rescue mission to the lost, the least and the last.
The standard of living in our culture keeps rising. We are a people called Free Methodists. Yet we dress in fine clothes and live in mini-mansions with manicured lawns. We drive minivans, sip expensive coffees, plan resort vacations. We enjoy our little luxuries. They are all nice. It is hard to tell us apart from our neighbors across the street.
Is it possible we are missing out on real life, the radical mission of who we are truly meant to be as Free Methodists?
We’re missing out because we refuse to deny ourselves, take up our cross and embrace the poor, the stranger, the widow, the orphan and the untouchables of our society.
We’re missing out because we can’t bring ourselves to move in with Jesus in the alley, to the other side of the tracks, in the inner cities of our nation, among the poorest of the poor in our world.
I'm not a "senior pastor", with all of the privileges and responsibilities of one. I just get to influence/lead from the realm of youth/family/children's ministries. Which is realize even in saying that....is still a pretty big calling.
Figuring out how all of the above (which I agree with) fits in the context of children/family/youth ministries in a world driven by consumerism.
I give in, once in a while. We're going to Six Flags this month. Next month, we may bring in a concert (although it will be FREE). In life, I eat chocolate sometimes. But I hope/pray that even the aspects of "church" that I can influence will reflect the desires written above....and that as the Kingdom breaks through into this world...we can both point at it, and be a part of it.
To quote Sarah's girly book that she had me read an excerpt of,
"When the day comes that this community has the same amount of energy, enthusiasm, and responsiveness for the poor, the marginalized, and those far away from God and each other, then I will believe that what (we witness in our services) was worship."