June 30, 2009

Indiana Annual Conference

So last week I had the opportunity to experience my first annual conference as a clergy member of the United Methodist Church. To be honest, this was the first annual conference I have ever experienced, clergy or otherwise. This also happened to be the very first annual conference of the new Indiana Conference of the UMC. It lasted four days from Thursday morning until concluding on Sunday morning with the Ordination and Sending into Ministry service. Besides being kind of long, the service was pretty cool.

One thing I found interesting was that the demographics were largely the same across the almost 3000 people that were in attendance and I'll just leave it at that...

My favorite part of the four days was listening to Adam Hamilton speak at the three opening sessions. I knew very little about this guy or his church and was expecting him to be a giant dork but he actually seemed to be pretty cool. I think he had some good things to say in regards to leadership, preaching and what is going to happen to the UMC if things don't change. He shared some statistics that provided a much needed slap in the face or hopefully a wake-up call at least. I think I would be safe in saying that a number of churches, denominational and non-denominational, need to take a step back and evaluate how "church" is being done.