With all the issues facing The United Methodist Church today, there are plenty of theories and opinions about what we should do. Frankly, many of us are weary of the relentless squabbling associated with all the rhetoric. What are we fighting for? This question not only points us to the futility of our disunity but also compels us to consider what we are fighting for--what deserves our greatest intensity and effort as we seek to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
Thomas J. Bickerton offers a way to move beyond all the discord to a hope-filled future by exploring how we can come together around what matters most so that the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a vibrant part of our lives and witness. He says that fights, feuds, and uncertainties can distract us, leaving us ineffective and mired in mediocrity and decline; but focusing on what matters most causes our ministries to flourish and the church to become a relevant and vital presence in the community and world. With a warm and practical approach, he leads us on a journey of discernment, inviting us to explore:
the spiritual problem at the heart of the issues we're facing,
three foundational reminders,
guidelines for determining the essentials necessary to make disciples,
a motto for working together in the midst of disagreement,
and thoughts about the ultimate essential, love.
Each chapter includes practical stories of real people and churches who are attempting to stay centered on what matters most as they live out the calling to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Whether you read the book alone or as part of a group study, you will find the courage to say yes to the things that are worth fighting for and no to the fighting that so easily distracts us.