More people, more young people, more diversity


“Jesus Christ is Lord of all!” — Acts 10:36

Professor Lovett Weems, a Mississippian now teaching at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., has offered The United Methodist Church a great gift in writing “Ten Provocative Questions.” 

Question number 8 continues to grasp my soul: Can the church change to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people?

Our church continues to grow older and less diverse than the population of the United States. Recently, a district superintendent and I met with the district lay leader and two young adult leaders. We asked the young adults to talk to us about their hopes for leadership and service in Christ’s church. They said that they wanted to lead and to serve. They also said that they wanted to be mentored by those who are older.

Might we hear their hope and their request? Might we invite young adults to lead in our churches and support them as they step up and out faithfully? The key to the future of The United Methodist Church is held in this provocative question: Can we change to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people?

I look forward to responding with you to this and other provocative questions as lay and clergy members of the annual conference gather in five settings over the next weeks. I look forward to local churches engaging the provocative questions.

Dr. Weems will be with us at Annual Conference in June to help us see clearly what is and what may be as we love and serve Christ, who is Lord of all.