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Every denomination needs one of these...

Refusing to be part of a dying church

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Oasis on West Elm UCC in Lima, Ohio is a special place to me as I spent the first 6 years of my life in that church and have some very special memories of it (then it was just known as Welt Elm UCC). Apparently they are going through a study and Rev. Jim Oates has concluded that he refuses to lead a dying church. From his blog:

After six weeks of studying, reading and learning together, the group has learned some significant things and we want to share some of them with you.

We decided early on in reading the book that we do indeed Refuse To Lead A Dying Church! The Oasis on West Elm United Church of Christ has a bright, mission filled future ahead of it, IF, we chose to live out this unique calling.

So, what did we agree to?

  • We refuse to lead a dying church.
  • We agreed to draw a line in the sand and refuse.
  • We refuse to simply go thru the motions and play church.
  • We refuse to help our church gracefully into the grave.
  • We refuse to channel our best ministry energy into community or justice endeavors that are detached from our congregation's life and ministry.
  • We refuse, ever again, to lead a dying church.

There are six critical choices:

  • Choosing Life over Death
  • Choosing Community over Isolation
  • Choosing Fun over Drudgery
  • Choosing Bold over Mild
  • Choosing Frontier over Fortress
  • Choosing Now Rather than Later

Over the next six weeks, I will be sharing some of the significant learnings and how they impact the future of our church and the direction we choose to go in the future. Check back for updates and feel free to make comments and ask questions.


posted by UCCtruths, Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Who doesn't want to lead a vibrant ministry for the sake of Jesus Christ? Is UCCTruths against such ministry?

This website seems like an almost constant onslaught of negativity. While it is true that the UCC (like every denomination) isn't perfect, it also does some wonderful ministry. Perhaps you could focus on ministries such as Back Bay Mission.

The constant negativity makes this website seem more hypercritical than convincing. I regret that you are unable to find joy, goodness, and gifts in your research. Perhaps you'd be served well by a more balanced and grace-filled approach.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:13 AM  
LOL... I guess that's the response I'd expect from someone thats a part of the herd mentality. As a denomination, we have the arrogance to criticize others but can't stomach it ourselves. hmmmmm
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 9:22 AM  
I read it as "Here's something RIGHT with the UCC," not as a critique or put-down. It is part of the UCC Truth. Though it is relentless in its criticism of the national office, I perceive this site to be saying the UCC is much bigger than its national or state office.
commented by Blogger Steve, 2:23 PM  

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