(adapted from an article by J. Gerald Harris, The Christian Index, Volume 187, Number 6)
George Mitrovich, a member of First United Methodist Church in San Diego and active in Wesleyan renewal efforts, has stated that membership in the United Methodist Church in America has declined by nearly three million members in the past 30 years. He reveals that the average age of a United Methodist is approaching 60 and that United Methodist youth membership totals less than 500,000.
“Based upon statistical evidence, one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that unless we experience dramatic change, the United Methodist Church has no future,” Mitrovich observed. We are a dying denomination–a once great church that is in danger of becoming a mere footnote in American history.”
Mitrovich concludes his remarks by saying, “Today, America’s growing churches are theologically conservative and evangelical. Why? They know what they believe–and they proclaim their beliefs without ambiguity or apology; which is markedly different from the theological mush you hear most Sundays from United Methodist pulpits. Conversely, we are a church confused about our message,” Mitrovich continued. “The occasion of this confusion is a great divide between theological liberals in the pulipt and political conservatives in the pew. What’s needed is something dramatically different: theological conservatives in the pulpit…and a laity willing to obey the Gospel’s call to witness…”
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