By Laura Blevins
In the third and final teaching session of Annual Conference Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor and founder of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection discussed how United Methodist Churches must understand their “Mission, Evangelism and Methodism.” Each church must answer three essential questions: Why do people need Jesus Christ, Why do people need the Church, and Why do people need this church?
According to Rev. Hamilton a lot of United Methodist Churches struggle with low self-esteem, and it’s up to the pastors and laity to find what each church does well and expand on those areas. Hamilton went on to say that it is important that churches only do things with excellence.
“The future of Methodism in the State of Missouri rests on you,” said Hamilton to the Annual Conference session.
Churches must then prepare themselves for visitors by looking at their church through the eyes of the un-churched. Hamilton shared how the Trustees at Church of the Resurrection go around with a camera taking pictures of the building to find what needs to be fixed. Greeters and clear signage in the building are also ways to make things easier for first time visitors to the church.
Preparing the building is one step in the process of reaching outside the walls of the church. Hamilton explained that Social Justice and Evangelism are two halves of one Gospel, and that the United Methodist Church has a unique way of doing both.
“When people are broken and lost, we [the Church] are to be the presence of Christ in the world” said Hamilton.
The Social Justice issues in each community can differ, but through the mission of helping the least, last and lost the un-churched can be introduced to a community
“The Social Gospel is the key to proving Jesus Christ to people who don’t believe” said Hamilton. Hamilton went on to say that once people are in the door of the church that it is important that they understand the importance of Evangelism and the theology behind their beliefs.