As the UMC prepares for a decade of navel-gazing and focusing on church growth to reverse the trends, on this MLK Jr day we are to reminded that such a focus on church growth is set in tension with the prophetic words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here’s MLK Jr in his speech “A Knock at Midnight” (audio version here)
An increase in quantity does not automatically bring an increase in quality. A larger membership does not necessarily represent a correspondingly increased commitment to Christ. Almost always the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better.”
Let this be a reminder that while church growth is required and excellent and needed and a result of dedicated discipleship, if we truly embrace the call to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” then disciples are always less in number than the worship attendance, always less in number than the membership, and transformation is done through a dedicated minority not a hyped up, worship-as-a-drug-induced frenzied majority.