I know it was a couple of weeks ago that Time magazine came out with the 100 most influential people in all the world. I find this issue always interesting but once again I am shocked by the lack of religious leaders in the list.
The only Christian minister in this list was Rick Warren. The other ministers are ones that hold government offices. This makes me ponder, where is the Christian voice? Does it only come from Rick Warren? Are there any voices within the UMC that has any type of influence in the world? We have a bishop for every conference but do any of them affect dramatic change in our world? Or is the most influential United Methodist Hillary Clinton? (now that Bush is out of office)
Are we not influential because we are too busy arguing with ourselves? Are we so busy having the same debates over and over again that we don’t really make a difference. Is the UMC the parishioner you ignore during church social events because you know you are going to have the same conversation for the 121st time?
I know that when it comes to missions and ministry the UMC does a ton. UMCOR is fablous and I cannot speak more highly of it. There are tons of missionaries, mission projects, and other worthy ministries that are affecting huge changes in lives all over the world.
I’m not talking about that. I am talking about a denomination that when it speaks people listen. Not out of fear but out of respect. I don’t think the UMC has that type of influence in the US. We may have at some point but not know. Have we been so worried about failing, declining, and debating that we have lost respect in our part of the world?