In the foreword to 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church, United Methodist Bishop Michael Coyner writes about the similarities between the eighteenth-century Church of England and the twenty-first century United Methodist Church in the United States. Some of these include:
- Clergy often lived away from their people, focused upon their careers, and saw ministry as a job.
- The church used outdated methods of teaching and preaching the faith.
- The church and the clergy focused on arguments about morality rather than proclaiming God’s grace for all.
- Music and liturgy were morose and lethargic.
- Passion for the mission of the church was replaced with second-hand support of missions and charity.
- Education of the clergy was valued over wisdom, common sense, and fruitfulness in ministry.
- Laity were excluded from meaningful leadership.
Ironic, isn’t it, that a church which came about as a reaction to things like those listed above is now experiencing them again? But we can’t single out the Methodist churches, because the things on this list are happening in many churches of all different denominations.
In their co-authored book, Bob Farr and Kay Kotan offer 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church and address such key aspects of doing church as mission and vision, hospitality, worship, community connection, intentional faith development, connection process, leadership development, and more. They offer prescriptions for the top ten issues they’ve seen during church consultations and tell churches what to change, and how, for positive results. These prescriptions came about through Farr and Kotan’s work with churches through their HCI (Healthy Church Initiative) process.
Kay Kotan will be discussing the content of 10 Prescriptions in two PRC – Practical Resources for Churches webinars. Session 1 will air on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern time and Session 2 will be on Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern time. If you can’t attend the live sessions, don’t worry. All PRC webinars are recorded and available to view for at least a year after they’re recorded. You can click on the links above to register for the webinars or to sign up to view the recordings.